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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Our View

No way to treat the neighbors

It was a big deal last summer when Vice President Dick Cheney visited Blaine County for a fundraiser, only to give those who couldnít pay the entrance fee the cold shoulder.

It was a big deal last winter when Democratic primary winner John Kerry came to Sun Valley for a little R&R. Kerry was different. He was a visible part of the winter scene and greeted folks he met.

The public mostly honored his plea for a little time off, and he seemed to have a good time. Kerry and wife, Teresa, were given lots of space to relax without major intrusions.

Kerry is part of a long line of famous people who have sought refuge here. Residents have a long tradition of leaving famous people alone, unless otherwise invited or unless famous people put themselves into the public eye.

The Kerrys roamed the valley undisturbed for years, even though John is a high-profile senator from Massachusetts. But when he announced his candidacy for president of the United States, everything changed.

So, it was a big deal when Teresa Heinz Kerry came to the Sun Valley area on the eve of the Democratic National Convention looking for money, and with the help of a strong Idaho organization, raised $300,000 for the Kerry campaign. That may be pocket-change for the campaign, but itís a lot in a state where wages are not as lush as the landscapes.

Call us old-fashioned, but we thought Heinz Kerry would also be looking for votes. Despite the realities of the Electoral College, Idahoans cleave to the idea that our votes actually count. After all, the last presidential race was decided by just 537 votes in the Hanging Chadlands of Florida.

We also thought that the Dick Cheney Charm School had also graduated only a single pupil.

What fools we were.

The only people in Idaho who heard Teresa Heinz Kerry speak a week ago paid for the privilege. No press conference. No friendly, five-minute "Howdy do" for valley working folks. No light answers for the folks more interested in knowing why she loves Idaho enough to have a home here than in hearing one more policy platform.

At the fundraiser, Heinz Kerry reportedly proudly announced that no members of the press were present, the better to have a cozy chat with the faithful.

This was no way to treat the neighbors.

Heinz Kerry and Cheney taught the same lesson: People with money count. As for the rest, itís obvious.

With attitudes like this, itís no wonder apathy always gets more votes than any presidential candidate does.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.