Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, August 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 60° Clear

Eye On Boise

Crapo, Simpson, Risch condemn racist violence; Labrador stays mum

Here's my full story from

By Betsy Z. Russell

Three of the four members of Idaho’s all-GOP congressional delegation have spoken out strongly against the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend, condemning racism and white supremacy as counter to American values.

The fourth, 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador, had no comment, and his office has not responded to repeated requests for comment from Idaho reporters.

Idaho has its own recent experience with white supremacy and neo-Nazis, with the former Aryan Nations compound in North Idaho – now a natural peace park that North Idaho College uses occasionally for outdoor classes.

Here are the full statements from Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson, which they issued on social media on Sunday; and from Sen. Jim Risch, which he sent out on Monday afternoon.


“Yesterday’s tragedy in Virginia was the result of domestic terrorism. I condemn and reject the racism and hate perpetuated by white supremacist groups. In the wake of this horrific tragedy, let us gather in solidarity with those who lost loved ones and draw closer the families whose lives have been forever shattered by Saturday’s events. As others and I noted during a recent gathering at the Anne Frank memorial, Idaho and our nation are too great for hate.”


“Kathy and I send our thoughts and prayers to the victims in Charlottesville. White supremacy and their hateful rhetoric and violence, have no place in this country. Let today unite our nation against this evil rather than allow it to be divided by a petulant minority that does not represent the values of America. We thank the First Responders for their commitment to helping those in need and let us use their compassion and selflessness as strength to guide us though yesterday’s ugly events.”


“The hateful acts of racism we witnessed in Charlottesville this weekend are reprehensible and I condemn them in the strongest terms. White supremacy – and every other form of prejudice – does not represent our American values. Vicki joins me in praying for the families of those who lost their lives and for those who were injured.”

Labrador, a fourth-term congressman and Freedom Caucus co-founder, is currently running for governor.

Other Idaho officials speaking out on the deadly violence in Charlottesville included Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer, who tweeted on Sunday, “Coeur d’Alene stands with Charlottesville. Racism and bigotry should never be tolerated in a community. We are with you, #Charlottesville.”

And state Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, a Navy veteran who is running for lieutenant governor, sent out this statement: “Our country’s veterans have fought against ideologies of hate around the globe for more than 200 years, and it is vital we stand up against hate and condemn white supremacy, the KKK, neo-Nazis and racism in any form. They have no place in our politics or our society. … In Idaho, we have fought to expel these hateful groups in the past, and we must continue to stand up and unite against this evil without compromise.”

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise
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.

Follow Betsy online: