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What’re they doing here?

One of our correspondents wrote about this: “More news from a legislature and governor trapped in the 1950’s.” Noteworthy, in other words, that it comes not from the general public, but from within the legislature.

An item from today’s Idaho Statesman: “Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, said Monday that panel member Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, had told him he was concerned that BSU was spending state money on liberal speakers. ‘I’m only aware of the couple of very liberal speakers they’ve had recently,’ said Goedde, referring to Gore and Jackson. ‘On a long-term scale, I can’t say whether there is balance or not.”’

While the Statesman obligingly referred to “a recent string of left-leaning speakers,” there have been in practice only two of major note, former Vice President Al Gore and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. And the article did go on to note recent conservative speakers at Boise State as well, including last fall the leader of the national Cato Institute and upcoming talk from Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. BSU spokesmen said no tax money has underwritten any of these appearances.

The line of rhetoric notwithstanding, the “concern” clearly isn’t over balance (it certainly wasn’t prompted by Hatch’s upcoming event), it’s over the appearance – speaking at a state institution, a state institution under control of conservative Republicans – of people who help populate conservative Republicans’ worst nightmares. And who, horrors, drew large local crowds.

On that level, at least, you can understand the concern.

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