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Eye On Boise

Wed., Aug. 1, 2012, 8:59 a.m.

Caldwell mayor asks for removal of billboard message that’s drawn national outrage

The Idaho Statesman reports today that the mayor of Caldwell has asked the Ralph Smeed Foundation to remove a billboard message at a prominent entrance to the city that compares President Obama to Aurora, Colo. theater shooter James Holmes, picturing the two side by side, but the foundation has refused. The billboard message has drawn national outrage. Foundation chairman Maurice Clements, a former Idaho lawmaker and an unsuccessful candidate for the state Senate this year, told the newspaper he planned to change the message on the readerboard sign on Friday as scheduled.

Among those who have objected to the message are families of the Colorado shooting victims, who say the sign politicizes the crime that killed more than a dozen people at a Batman movie premiere. Clements told the Statesman he's received about 1,000 emails and phone calls about the billboard message, and has done interviews with the New York Daily News, TMZ and radio stations in Los Angeles and Denver. You can read the Statesman's full report here from reporter Katy Moeller.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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