It turns out that the John Birch Society, through its magazine, “The New American,” has been whipping up the swirl of online outrage over Idaho being sold off to the Chinese, Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker reported on Sunday; you can read his full article here, which included this tidbit: Last week, the online frenzy bumped a six-month-old Statesman story about about an effort to court Chinese investment in Idaho to the most-viewed article on the Statesman's website, drawing tens of thousands of viewers. Barker's article includes a Q-and-A “fact check” on the claims, noting that the Chinese have not bought 50 square miles of Idaho, nor would a possible free-trade zone exempt the Chinese from American laws; Idaho has a free trade zone for Canada now in Boundary County.
In the latest “New American” article on June 9, writer Joe Wolverton blasted Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's “Project 60,” a plan to increase the state's gross domestic product while Otter is governor, as “an extraordinary display of misdirection all designed to lull the citizens of the sovereign state of Idaho into a stupor while their state is sold to the Chinese.” Barker reports that Otter fielded questions from concerned Idahoans about the reports at his recent Capital for a Day event at Castleford.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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