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Two weeks ago, state Rep. Curtis Bowers of Caldwell wrote an opinion published in the Idaho Press-Tribune in which he claimed that feminism, environmentalism and the gay movement were part of a communist plot to “take America down.” According to his account, he learned this at a communist strategy meeting at the University of California, Berkeley in 1992, which he attended in disguise out of curiosity. Rep. Bowers’ goal, it seems, was to pit neighbor against neighbor by targeting three groups of people: feminists, environmentalists and gay rights advocates. According to him, these groups share blame for the destruction of families, business and culture. In fact, his enemies list may include you.

Rep. Curtis Bowers: Apologize or Resign

Two weeks ago, state Rep. Curtis Bowers of Caldwell wrote an opinion published in the Idaho Press-Tribune in which he claimed that feminism, environmentalism and the gay movement were part of a communist plot to “take America down.” According to his account, he learned this at a communist strategy meeting at the University of California, Berkeley in 1992, which he attended in disguise out of curiosity.

This would be laughed off as silly if it came from just anyone. However, Rep. Bowers is a legislator and his attempt to scare Idahoans with imagined threats of communism is inconceivable when actual threats like terrorism still exist; his attempt to distract with manufactured issues is irresponsible when real issues, such as safe roads, quality education and good jobs require cooperation and problem-solving; and his attempt to foster contention with divisive rhetoric is insulting when as Idahoans, whether by birth or by choice, we all call this place home.

Rep. Bowers’ goal, it seems, was to pit neighbor against neighbor by targeting three groups of people: feminists, environmentalists and gay rights advocates. According to him, these groups share blame for the destruction of families, business and culture. In fact, his enemies list may include you.

1. Do you agree that women should have the right to vote? If so, then you’re a feminist.

2. Do you enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, skiing or other recreational activities in Idaho and do you agree that the ability to participate in these activities ought to be preserved for your children and grandchildren? If so, then you’re an environmentalist.

3. Are you among the 63% of Idahoans who, according to a recent BSU survey, agreed that it should be illegal to fire a person because they are or are perceived to be gay? If so, then you’re a gay rights advocate.

If you answered “yes” to any of these three, you are among those Rep. Bowers has accused of being unpatriotic communist sympathizers. Having answered “yes” to all three, and being offended by his accusations, I was prompted to take action.

Starting with only an online petition and just a handful of emails, people from every corner of Idaho have joined in this non-partisan effort urging Rep. Bowers to either apologize for his divisive and absurd accusations or resign his office.

As we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it might be appropriate to recall lines from his most famous speech, still powerful and relevant some forty-five years removed, “I have a dream today that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal.’”

Join us in sending that message to Rep. Bowers.

Eileen Wight lives in Nampa.

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Comments

  1. flounder says:

    This is a good start, but obviously Curtis Bowers has friends in high places, and his views are symptomatic of a bigger movement of Republicans into what I call an American Taliban. Not only do they think you are communists, they want to kill you and fundamentally destroy America and the values under which it was created.
    This movement is popular, and includes those Republicans running for President:
    Mike Huckabee and his friend George Grant jointly penned a book called “Kids who Kill”. The central thesis of this book is that America is going to be destroyed by “abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism”. Huckabee has ties to the “reconstructionist” movement which advocates reforming the US as a Christianist state. Some of these reconstructionists advocate public stoning for homosexuality and infidelity (on this note, Dave Lewis, a State Legislator in Montana recently wrote that “The thought of a US Senator chasing love in all the wrong places makes me think longingly of the Ayotollahs in Iran. They would just kill the turkey.”).
    The scoop on Huckabee and his ties to the American Taliban is exposed at Salon in the two fllowing articles:
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2008/01/18/huckabee/
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/01/18/huckabee_connections/
    Curtis Bowers, Huckabee, Dave Lewis, and the rest of this Taliban should not be asked to apologize, exposed and mocked in order to repudiate the entire loathsome movement.

  2. Bill Croke says:

    Well, Eileen, so much for the First Amendment. I don’t know what we’d do without watchdog totalitarians like you. Cheers.

  3. Sisyphus says:

    Geez Bill, you’d probably keep electing leaders who continue to erode the Bill of Rights. Nobody is denying Austin Bowers his right to free speech. Just holding a politician accountable for stupid things that come out of his mouth. If you’re a friend I might suggest you take the shovel from him soon. He’s made himself vulnerable in a safe seat.

    I view Mr. Bowers comments as either, how he really views the political world right now or, just ridiculous rhetoric designed to incite his campaign base. Since he is not nor has he ever been engaged in a campaign for his own election it can’t be the latter. He has few Democrats to run against in that district anyway. And if its the former then Eilleen demonstrates how ridiculous and polarizing his comments are.

    I might add, since he attacks a non-existent threat in a specious attempt to undermine Democrats, that he’s actually the proponent of single party rule, not Eileen. He has unequivocally demonstrated that he has no use for bipartisanship.

  4. Bruce says:

    Problem is….he’s right. Check out the released KGB archives and their admitting putting key people in feminist organizations, the environmental movement, and even go old 60s rock and roll.
    Check out history before you condemn the guy.

  5. flounder says:

    How could he possibly be right? He claims to have heard about this communist plot at a 1992 meeting. The KGB was disbanded on Nov. 6 1991. In order for the 1992 meeting to be in their archives they would have needed to invent a time machine, and if the KGB invented a time machine I doubt they would utilize it to go hang out with hippies and smoke weed in Berkeley as part of a master plot to destroy America (and on that note I think your assertion that the USSR was going to destroy the US by turning Jan and Dean or the Herman’s Hermits red is equally silly).
    If you are going to make stuff up you should at least make it fit a timeline that isn’t debunked in 5 seconds using Google. Check out history before you make stuff up.

  6. Bruce says:

    Your fingers broken? Take your own advice. Google isn’t the definitive source on this stuff. Get off your duff and do the work.

  7. Sisyphus says:

    Um, Bruce it seems the burden of proof is on the newly appointed Representative. Why would we need to prove up the outlandish statements of Austin Bowers?

    Right now my choice is that Democrats are closet communists seeking to destroy America or that Democrats simply want women and gays to be treated like humans and for business to pay for the costs of polluting our air and water. Huh? the choice doesn’t seem that hard to me.

    And didn’t you guys get the memo? Communism is dead. The bogeyman de jour is Islamofascism. They’re coming to rape yer goats and steal yer virgins. Idaho proves yet again its twenty years out of date. No wonder we’re hopelessly RED. I wish you guys would quit inventing enemies and do something productive like find us a cure for cancer.

  8. Bruce says:

    For all you Google academics…this is the way you show how you’re loosing the arguement, as evidenced above.
    Show me, show us, show the rest of the world that communism is dead.
    What coffee table book do you get your news out of?
    I know! I’ll ask for Idaho to be designated a World Heritage Site.
    The UN Foundation and UNESCO, courtesy of Sir Julian Huxley, should set up in YOUR backyard.
    You guys read like conspiracy pilots on black helicopters.
    By the way…I live in New Mexico. :)
    Doesn’t that just chap your ……..! Some outsider inserting himself in your state’s affairs.

  9. Lestia says:

    Seems to me like we should be afraid, very afraid, not of communists, but of our president, vice president, and a number of other elected officials, their cronies and pet corporations who are taking our country down with their gross ineptitude, foolish arrogance, reckless aggression, and unbridled greed.
    Our communist enemies, if there are any that actually exist anymore, don’t need to do a thing to bring this country to ruin. We are doing it to ourselves by putting these kinds of people in positions of power. Get out there and vote for a change!

  10. Sisyphus says:

    “loosing the arguement”. Funniest rejoinder I’ve ever seen. Screw Google. Try using a dictionary. Then maybe you’re ready for the internets.

    Conspiracy? Hey Bruce we’re not the ones conjuring commies out of thin air. Keep writing. Your fitting right in with Mr. Bowers.

  11. Jim Hyder says:

    When a fool is in charge (ie; George W.) people that think and know better will be the commies, liberals, or worst of all – Democrats. I am a Democrat and a card carrying member of the ACLU. I carry a quote around to that gives me courage all the time; but if by a “liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people, . . . If that is what they mean by a liberal. Then I’m proud to say I’m a liberal.”
    The other one is “I think therefore I am a liberal.”
    I believe we are all in this world together. Be you Muslim, Mormon, Christian, gay, lesbian, or anything in between we should have the ability to get along with each other and work toward a better future.

    People like Rep. Bowers are only putting others down because they are so low themselves. Kinda like the school bully that is always flunking math yet is teasing those that know it and learn from it.

  12. flounder says:

    If you have proof that the KGB wasn’t disbanded on Nov. 6 1991, please cite it. I stand by that date, and you said they were operating in 1992 and I believe you just make stuff up as needed to fit your paranoid worldview.

  13. Elizabeth J. Couture says:

    If you want to know the real truth, read the Bible. It is the most accurate record of history and it is filled with true stories and prophesies that have taken place and others that are close at hand. Revelation is in progress!
    Rep. Bowers, you are right on! We are already knee deep in socialism. Our government is taking over!
    May God reveal Himself to those who seek the truth!

  14. thedirtydemocrat says:

    Yessiree folks. Step right up and get your commie hanger. It is an Idaho tradition to condemn anything that is not Mormon or the Christian far out right.

    I have a pin I wear everywhere. It says, truthfully, “The Christian Right Is Neither.” A commie behind every tree or so I was taught in a Southern Idaho school. I was only 11 or 12 and believed it. I watched every stranger in my home town figuring he would be out at the local dam and blow that sucker. Then I got an education and looked further to see what was real and what was manure.

  15. Clayton says:

    To Flounder, by the way, it was a meeting by the communist Party USA. This was a meeting that one of Bowers professors at Burkley invited him to because the professor was unable to make it. If you actually would have watched the documentary Agenda, then you would know these simple facts. Also, I would encourage you to watch the movie, I think it is educational and informative. And while you may think, “Oh it HAS to be like this”, things may not be the way that you actually think them to be.

  16. human, planet earth says:

    Wonder what the naysayers are saying about the premise of “Agenda” now?

  17. Craigmar says:

    I have to say that after watching the Movie AGENDA that tells the whole story of why Rep. Bowers made the movie and what the others involved in the discussion have to say it is hard not to see the reality of how we got where we are today. And why does every liberal have t bash George Bush? President Obama could put all of the criticism brought against him to rest if he would:
    1. Show us his birth certificate (or)
    2. Show us some proof of his college records (or)
    3. Quit telling lies about his past ie: “My father fought in World War II” Which would have made either him or Obama’s step-father the only 10 and eleven year olds in the military when the War ended.
    4. Quit passing legislation without bringing it before the people and their representatives.
    5. Quit lying about his relationship with radicals like Bill Ayers. Acorn, Rev. Wright etc.

    Ad infinitum . . . . .

  18. xSalamander says:

    I am pleased by all the optimistic previous comments about communism being dead. I wish it were. But the truth is that there is still communist China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, and many others. There are Marxist rebelions going on in parts of India as well as major parts of South and Central America.
    And simply renaming the KGB doesn’t mean it is gone. Putin was high up in the KGB an now he’s the leader of Russia, by whatever title he is under.

  19. Thedirtydemocrat says:

    It is hate groups like the Teabaggers and the neo-con-GOPers that have tried to scare the hell out of real Americans. The uneducated folks fall for this stuff like that movie Mr. Rivero thinks so much of.

    Hate groups focus on the fear of the ill informed like the ones who watch FOX and listen to Limbaugh for their news. FOX is not allowed in Canada because they have a law that says their must be truth in reporting.

  20. digger says:

    Leading the hate groups today start with those like ‘Thedirtydemocrat’ who are so blinded by their hate and ignorance that they cannot see, hear or speak the truth and is the reason they dump on anyone that doesn’t march in lock step with their mindset. They are ignorant of those calling for a smaller, representative government like the ‘Tea Party’, Rush Limbaugh or balanced news on Fox and Rep. Bowers. So for what they do not understand they choose to demonize instead of getting the facts which are easily found if they get beyond their prejudices, hatred and bigotry. Try learning for a change instead of getting your talking points from the alphabet soup lame stream media like ABC,CBS,NBC,MSNBC,NPR,PBS,CNN. Like William said, Maybe we should watch his movie. Then if you have questions, research, don’t prejudge and learn since for too often you’ve thought it a character trait to have an open mind, the only thing is you haven’t filled it with anything but foolishness.

    See the movie for free at
    http://blip.tv/file/4855773?utm_source=player_embedded

    Watch Trailer or buy:
    http://agendadocumentary.com/

    Trailer at You Tube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH8LkIqu1c8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  21. Aram says:

    Rep. Bowers is absolutely right.I was born in Siberian prison camp and grew up in a communist country.Every single word out of his mouth is true.WAKE UP AMERICA.

  22. William says:

    Teabaggers are a Hate group? You’re right. They hate excessive taxation, supporting lazy slobs, and a government that seeks to control every aspect of American life. Gee, sounds like these teabaggers are like the ones of Colonial America who fought to deliver us from such tyranny. Sounds like you need to be controlled.

  23. John Barbour says:

    It’s really not over. It is multi-generational. That’s why the movie is called Agenda. You said your parents encouraged you to care about people of all colors etc. Exactly. It comes from the home and church. This is what is being broken down in our society. There are at least two ideas about tolerance. The traditional one has to do with people. The modern one has to do with ideas. We tolerate people but not their ideas necessarily. If their ideas lead them into crime- we do not tolerate that. We also do not tolerate evil in our own lives or in the lives of others. You mention Mr. Goebels. He too, was a socialist. His ideas like Lenin’s were intolerable. Still are. They lead to the death of millions.

  24. liberty girl says:

    What part of”opinion piece” do you not understand??

  25. The Dirty Democrat says:

    Thank you liberty girl. For the time being we still can have our own opinion. I have mine and I beleive in one God, as I understand Him/Her/It. What I dislike is some person pushing his/her opinion on me. That turns me off quickly.
    BTW the Bible has a series of good stories as does the Quran. Do I have to beleive in them? NO. I use what makes sense, the rest I leave to the folks it makes sense to.
    Bottom line any public official that spouts manure like Mr. Bowers needs fined or made to do some community service in a GLSM group to see that they are human beings just like you and just like me.

  26. John Barbour says:

    Me too. I get tired of people pushing their opinions like “any public official who spouts manure like Mr. Bowers needs to be fined or made to do community service in a GLSM group to see that they are human beings just like you and just like me”.

  27. Ron Peercy says:

    I only recently became aware of Mr. Bowers’ documentary. I bought 5 copies after watching the Trailer, and we watched it night before last. Mr. Barbour, I salute you, along with the others who who made at least open-minded comments here. As he says in his documentary, he was able to include “only a fraction” of the data he mined. Honestly, he not only scared, and made a believer out of me, I’m looking into options for best ways of getting the word out. There will always be those who react in the same vein as we’ve seen here, but if enough of us get involved, I believe there’s still time. If you want to support this, and/or are already working with a group, please email me. patriot492000-general011 @yahoo.com

  28. John Barbour says:

    Ron Peercy, Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Believe it or not, I have been fighting this fight for almost 30 years. It is so heartening to see people like yourself. You are the one we need to salute. Humbling yourself and learning something new (a paradigm shift) is the hardest thing to do sometimes. Cheers. Keep me posted. I’m on facebook – look me up. It shouldn’t be hard.

  29. The Dirty Democrat. says:

    Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave over your “Christian Nation” statement. I thought our country was founded on religious tolerance not of any special belief. I just feel that if you have to resort to bible quotes to try to win in any discussion you are a very uninformed of the facts of our country.
    1. I beleive in equality of all people no matter their color, creed, or sexual orientation.
    2. Women should be paid just as much as men for equal work and jobs.
    3. I believe our country is on a downhill slide becase of the giveaways to the very rich during a war we never should have been in.
    4. I am a patriot of my country and I vote for democracy and I participate in the process instead of cursing and moaning about what a lousy way some of our Congress is voting. I watch and I learn and I vote for the one who is working toward helping America.
    When you come up to that level I will welcome a discussion with all of you or one or two of you. In the meantime look for me on facebook. Jim Hyder

  30. John Barbour says:

    1. People are not equal. They are different in temperment, education, wealth, gender, station in life, ethnic heritage etc. etc. The only reason the founders said that it was self- evident that all men are created equal was because of their deep background in Christian thought. People were equal before God and His law. that;’ what it means. It’s the only way we are equal. There is no partiality with God.
    2. Do we have the right to tell an employer how much to pay his workers? I think not. There is the freedom of contract. Women can negotiate their salaries just as well as men.
    3. Yes, subsidies to the rich are part of the problem. All favoritism by government is. The purpose of the law is justice.
    4. Good for you

  31. Jared Floyd says:

    To Eileen Wright,

    Just because I agree with your three questions doesn’t mean that I am also an environmentalism, gay advocate, and/or feminists. Could it be possible that Bower’s is simply sharing a real life experience, and your assumptions are in fact simply assumptions and not fact?

  32. Lacy says:

    Mr. Barbour, have you seen the documentary, “The Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers” by Christian J. Pinto?

    You listed

  33. Lacy says:

    oops, my comment was cut off.

    I would like to hear your thoughts about the film.

  34. Joel Carlston says:

    I think Mr. Bowers film was compelling. I haven’t heard anyone debate Mr. Bowers observations, just like his film says, he personally was attacked and marginallized. Ms. Wight, Your accusations were incorrect and out of context, as is usual for the left and that particular tactic is straight out of “Rules for Radicals”.
    History is on Mr. Bowers side, he had many in his film that were very credible and again, if you disagree, show evidence to the contrary. So there it is Ms. Wight, Rather than attack Mr. Bowers, show me evidence to the contrary. Not everyone who believes in God, or has traditional values is a racist or homophobe… Bowers only quoted Marx and Lenin… The anecdotal evidence itself is compelling…

  35. Therese Lenzini says:

    All of you who don’t see what is so clearly pointed out in Curtis Bowers’ Agenda should worry for your children and grandchildren. If you’ve not seen it, please seriously argue against the proof that our president is a Socialist and that by the erosion of the family and our society we’re not heading toward communism. If you’re a liberal (oh, excuse me, progressive) please disregard my comments. You’re already lost!