Five Idaho lawmakers safe after deadly bombing in Turkish capital

Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and at least four other lawmakers were in Ankara Tuesday when the first deadly bomb attack in four years hit the city.

Others on the trip are Senate GOP Caucus Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, and his wife, Hanna; Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, and his wife, Deborah; Senate Minority Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum; and Rep. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, and her husband, Lew. Hill's wife, Julie, also is on the trip. It's possible others are in the delegation, as the trip is not sponsored by the state and information was incomplete Wednesday.

Three were killed and at least 34 wounded in the attack in the busy city center.

McGee said in a Facebook posting, "Hanna and I were visiting the Turkish Parliament just a few blocks away when this happened. We didnt hear the explosion but saw the smoke. T(h)e Idaho delegation is unharmed."

The trip is sponsored by the Pacifica Institute, a nonprofit group founded by Turkish-Americans that promotes cross-cultural exchanges. Attempts to reach the group's office in Los Angeles on Wednesday were unsuccessful. The Idaho delegation paid for airfare, the institute paid lodging, meals and travel inside Turkey for the trip that began Sept. 13 and ends Sept. 24. State funds were not used.

In March, the Idaho Senate passed Senate Resolution 102, recognizing the state's interest in developing Idaho-Turkey relations. Also in March, a Capitol reception was held in the name of Turkish-American relations.

The four lawmakers were not the first Idahoans to visit Turkey under a program organized by Salih Kalem, an adjunct professor at Boise State since 2008.

Reps. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, John Rusche, D-Lewiston, and Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello have been on Pacifica Institute trips. Cathy Holland-Smith, the Legislature's budget director, also has been on a Pacifica trip.

Burgoyne said there was a bombing in Istanbul the day after he and his wife arrived last year. "The bombing did not affect us," Burgoyne said. "We thought it was tragic and horrible but it didn't make us feel insecure. These things can happen anywhere."

Burgoyne, who has long had an interest in Turkey, said the historical features of the trip were "spectacular." He said he suggested that organizers add exchanges with Turkish lawmakers and other officials, an aspect of the current trip. "Turkey has been striving mightily for 200 years to really be Western."

Among the lessons Burgoyne took away was an appreciation of American government.

"An American traveling overseas begins to appreciate their country quite a bit more," he said. "We all should take very seriously the great freedoms we have in this country and how fragile they are."

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McGee??

Have they absolutely confirmed that the explosion wasn't caused by Senator John "Fibber" McGee backing a big SUV into something volatile?

LOL, Bikeboy

You were the last person I was expecting to see as the author of that comment. Well played.

What are we gaining by having these people over there?

Really the constituents who vote in these people think Ada County is foreign enough. This is nothing but a vacation for a select few people with not cost benefit to anyone in Idaho.

Did you read the article?

How has this affected you, in anyway? Good or bad?

Did you?

I never expect anything of substance anymore from you.
Sad.

At least they didn't plant heroin on anybody...

That was one SICK movie!

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No benefit?

I think that the term that you're looking for here is "small benefit" instead of "no benefit". And since no state money was spent, any benefit is a net plus. Besides, if it gets a parochial legislator to see that there's more to the world than just what exists east of the Pacific and west of the Atlantic, north of Mexico and south of Canada, it's zero dollars well spent.

BTW, as of 1:05, the link from the main page is borked.

Borked is no justice, usual suspects found unharmed at IS.com

You, being a better judge of things knew to come sit on this bench and preside.

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regardless of the virtue of their being there

I think we can all agree that we're glad they're safe and it would have been a terrible loss to Idaho otherwise.

As long as they're there...

As long as they're there, they can't do further harm here, so in one way that benefits us. However, I find it difficult to imagine how th Right Winged, Religious Nuts from here can connect with the ones there to our benefit...
How does it benefit Idaho? Even though some of the trip was funded by the Turks, we're still footing the majority of the bills.

Perhaps you should direct your question to......

the Left Winged, non-Religious Nuts on this trip - they may be able to present an explantion you could understand.

They are there to avoid exporting the tobacco.

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Are you trying to make a point?

Because your post proves otherwise.

Where is Idaho's ethics commission?

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesDailyNews/tabid/65/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4161/April-21-2011-News-Read.aspx

Hopefully I attached this link correctly. But I think the Statesman should check this out. There were newspaper stories in Hawaii about this Pacifica being a cult front and trying to bribe legislators with trips. The Hawaii Ethics commission told legislators to check with them before booking these "free" trips to Turkey.

Awesome yaggy! Statesman better get on this one, the FBI has...

Geez does it make sense that the Idaho Legistaure is now involved with a union busting cult of criminals from Turkey now?

...."reported that the Gulen movement’s 120 charter schools and education consulting companies are now under investigation by the FBI and the US Department of Education for “illegal use of these education funds, a criminal conspiracy, extortion, and violation of immigration laws"

Hey ID Statesman, I know this might be a stretch for you with "football season" going on and all, as that's really news right? But do us a big big big favor and start looking down this rabbit hole, will you?

Here's a start for you. Just Google the "FBI Gulen movement" & "Pacifica Institute” and the “West America Turkic Council". McGee has just turned a new page for some perceived criminal activity that is much more serious than Grand Theft Auto while under the influence.

http://turkishinvitations.wee

http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/ethics-concerns-public-officials-turkey-trips.html

OK, multiple states/ cities have raised ethics concerns regarding this trip. Here is a link to some of them. While surfing around, I also saw the sample itinerary. What a scam. Lets face it, nothing is free. What are are legislators giving to this group, in return for this trip? This trip is valued at around 3500 dollars. There seems to be a tie to lobbying for charter schools.

Please..Take a Look these Report..

I really really advice to read these REAL REPORT (not fake, and biased) prepared by AMERICAN PROGRESS (not by Turks, not Muslims, esp. Gulen`s part in this search)..
May be truths is totally different that as you think..

The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America by Center For AMERICAN PROGRESS

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/islamophobia.html

The Chapters of the report:
* Introduction and summary
* Chapter 1: Donors to the Islamophobia network
* Chapter 2: The Islamophobia misinformation experts
* Chapter 3: The grassroots organizations and the religious right
* Chapter 4: The right-wing media enablers of anti-Islam propaganda
* Chapter 5: The political players
* Conclusion

FULL Report (130 pages as a pdf)--> http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/pdf/islamophobia.pdf

Main page of Center For AMERICAN PROGRESS --> http://www.americanprogress.org

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Anti-Islamists small in number, but influential beyond US and Gulen schools subject to Islamophobic campaign

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-255250-anti-islamists-small-in-number-but-influential-beyond-us.html

Pacifica Inst...and FBI

Here is FBI agents are in Pacifica Institute BUUTT as a speaker, everybody welcome..You can not earn anything from others fear.. We want to live in safe thus these people try to build a stronger and safer community..

==========================
Voviette D. Morgan-FBI Agent Speaks at Pacifica Institute - Los Angeles
http://pacificainstitute.org/index.php/component/k2/item/3-voviette-d-morgan-fbi-agent-speaks-at-pi-los-angeles

Agent Morgan discussed what programs the FBI has initiated that focus on community involvement and how the community can partner with the FBI to make Los Angeles a safer place to live.

Lets be free...

I think it is time to be free from your baseless assumptions and accusations and aspersions, defamation, slanders .

You thought that " Mr.Gulen is an untouchable man or other". certainly "NO", to understand each other we have to read first, I recommend this link and get to know who is he "http://www.todayszaman.com/news-251440-if-whoever-touched-gulen-was-doomed-we-would-have-been-ashes-by-now.html", then

We know who he is and they are, there are thousand thousand infos on internet about these people, BUT we don`t know who YOU are. just copy-paste a link or website without any proof then say "hey look, look", this is not fair.

Wow Dan, your story brought out the press agents for the org!

I don't have an opinion on this group, but when they start trying to discredit other posters on an Idaho newspaper site, seems to me they are well organized and fear the spreading of any information by others pointing out allegations against them.
Very fishy...very,very fishy...

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

You didn't press your suit and take your medicine

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I thought 'Pacifica' was a public radio licensee.

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Nope,

Mexican cerveza.

Then you are totally unaware of the famous KPFA case.

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Isn't that "Cerveza Pacífico Clara"?

WIKI, WIKI. Done got Googly.

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Let me guess,

McGee thought he was going to Jackpot and ended up in Ankara.

I tried to warn him not to eat the blowfish with his Flintstones

chewable...you'll never know what kind of reaction you'll get, or excuse you'll need.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Just hope he doesn't order the hash ....

as that's not a breakfast food over there.

All aboard the train!

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Would you care to comment? Uh, talk to my lawyer ....

I love it Dan "Attempts to reach the group's office in Los Angeles on Wednesday were unsuccessful" Could be they were just busy being raided by the FBI?

Or.. they are working

Or.. they are working on the Largest and Biggest Turkish Festival in LA
Please take a look -The Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival- "http://anatolianfestival.org/".
I think this is why they could not answer.

Raided.. Sure...

Raied.. you made me lough :-) Please throw out the blinkers.

Here is FBI agents are in Pacifica Institute BUUTT as a speaker, everybody welcome..
You can not earn anything from others fear.. We want to live in safe thus these people try to build a stronger and safer community..

Voviette D. Morgan-FBI Agent Speaks at Pacifica Institute - Los Angeles
http://pacificainstitute.org/index.php/component/k2/item/3-voviette-d-morgan-fbi-agent-speaks-at-pi-los-angeles

That's BLINDERS, govna...

No blinkers and they pull you over suspecting you're drunk.

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R U high?

You come off that way.

Popkey please, let's shine the light on this ....

http://www.educationnews.org/commentaries/insights_on_education/152233.html

It's Idaho. They have to buy their own flashlight and batteries.

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This is A REAL REPORT

I really really advice to read these REAL REPORT (not fake, and biased) prepared by AMERICAN PROGRESS (not by Turks, not Muslims, esp. Gulen`s part in this search)..
May be truths are totally different than as you think..

The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America by Center For AMERICAN PROGRESS

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/islamophobia.html

The Chapters of the report:
* Introduction and summary
* Chapter 1: Donors to the Islamophobia network
* Chapter 2: The Islamophobia misinformation experts
* Chapter 3: The grassroots organizations and the religious right
* Chapter 4: The right-wing media enablers of anti-Islam propaganda
* Chapter 5: The political players
* Conclusion

FULL Report (130 pages as a pdf)--> http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/pdf/islamophobia.pdf

Main page of Center For AMERICAN PROGRESS --> http://www.americanprogress.org

Well, sure. But nobody reads here anyway, don't repost.

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I do gluten free.

What's your excuse?

I blame it on one week in summer, '79 or '80...

If the 107F and winds had subsided a bit I would've had the ability to ride my bike to the grocery, get my RC or popsicle and still be able to flirt with the grocer's daughter...

And become her first ex-husband.

Dang.

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Midnight Express II

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I don't see why people have

I don't see why people have to jump to unsubstantiated conslusions. The trip was orgnized as an intercultural trip. It was an attempt to strengthen the relations between America and Turkey since these two countries are strategic partners. There cannot be something more natural than for Idaho lesgilators to go to Turkey in order to cement this bond. Furthermore, they aren't just going to Turkey. The are also taking Idaho abroad with them. Who would want a legislator that cannot bring Idaho to the international communtiy.
What ill could come off of that? It was for an exchange of ideas and understanding. No respectable news media has even suggested that the attacks were targeted towards the American lawmakers. We should not jump to conclusions that can cause misunderstandings and further complications before we verify the facts.

I rarely get to PAYETTE anymore...

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What could be natural than Idahoans in Turkey?

Did you just say that out loud?

Have you been to Turkey?

Nope, nor Houston, Dallas or PARIS. Texas.

Nobody had baked taters at least.

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L.....S.....M.....F.....

McGEE

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