Idaho Libertarian chairman calls billboard linking Obama to alleged Colorado assailant insensitive, but agrees with message

Libertarian Party Chairman Rob Oates said Tuesday that the electronic billboard making national news in his hometown of Caldwell "invites the unfounded criticisms of racism and political baiting," but makes a fair point about the deadly policies of President Obama and his three predecessors.

Oates, the Libertarian candidate for 1st District Congress, also says billboard's defender, Maurice Clements, should not be portrayed as a libertarian. Clements ran as a Republican in the May primary, losing to Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston.

In a news release Tuesday, Oates misspells Clements name, but says he agrees with the billboard's sentiment that Obama's wartime policies -- and those of Presidents Clinton and George H.W. and George W. Bush -- have caused "hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world."

The billboard shows President Obama alongside Colorado movie theater mass murder suspect James Holmes.

The news release from Oates follows:

Libertarians praise free speech, question taste, agree with message.

The controversial poster showing a comparison of the murderous activities of the “dark knight” shooter and the foreign policies of President Obama that appeared on the Ralph Smeed Memorial billboard this week has been the focus of great controversy. Libertarians champion the cause of free speech and support the right of the Smeed Memorial foundation to post anything it chooses on its billboards. Libertarians also strongly agree that the policies of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, William Clinton, and George HW Bush have been the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world.

While we feel that outrage about these moral atrocities should be stronger we also feel the mes-sage lacks both sensitivity to the victims of the shooting and invites the unfounded criticisms of racism and political baiting. Libertarians throughout the state hold in solemn regard both the Aurora shooting victims and the thousands dead as a result of Mr. Obama’s polices. Libertari-ans call for an end to all aggression and ask that the people of Idaho join us in doing so.

We also encourage the press to be more precise in its reporting about persons claiming to be libertarian as the spokesperson that was interviewed, Morris Clements, is a Republican, and just finished running a Republican campaign for office.

The Libertarian Party of Idaho and the Smeed Memorial Foundation are separate and distinct entities, each with its own leadership team, objectives and internal policies; neither one influ-ences the other. More information about the Party is available at

You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.

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No vote

Racism? Where does that come into the "poster"?

"hundreds of thousands"?
Is he blaming all the natural disasters on our recent Presidents?


Dear Oates,
You are an idiot and write as well as Rocky Barker.

Obviously you and your type would stand aside while Bashar al-Assad kills his own people- even "hundreds of thousands" of them.

The dictators of the world- past, present and future- appreciate you and Maurice.

Too bad the L party doesn't muster a smarter chairman.

Good luck in the polls.



didn't misspell Clements name. He goes by Morris with friends and family. Especially back in the days (mid-'70s) when he threw lavish parties and hunting trips for his legislative cronies and political friends at his ranch at Johnson Creek. Companionship was also furnished, right Morris?

Idaho skinheads

Calling themselves 'Libertarians' and 'Republicans.'

Mr. Oates

chastises four presidents for, "hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world," but would like the world to know, according to his web site, that he was an attack helicopter pilot and was the Army's Cobra helicopter weapons test pilot at the Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona.
Just wondering Rob, do you think that some of your weapons on the Cobras that you were testing, might have contributed to some of those, "hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world," that you are blaming four presidents for?

Libertarians, Oats & Clements (LO&A)

LO&A embarrass all of Idaho. To accuse the present and past Presidents of our Country of murder, comparing them to James Holmes - mass murderer, is irresponsible and possibly delusional.

After the United States of America was violently attacked, killing thousands of people on 911, and threatening thousands more, our government, our Presidents have acted to protect not only us(A) but also the rest of the world. Now LO&A is trying to tell us our Presidents killed our military who acted to protect our safety and freedom and provide those same luxuries to others.

LO&A is sick and wrong, sick and wrong.

1. Oates needs to worry less

1. Oates needs to worry less about who is a Libertarian (capital L). Ron Paul is an Republican too.

2. not to hard to get casualties in the 6-figure range.

Perhaps We Misunderstand the Billboard

Holmes killed 12 and wounded 58, some of whom are still hanging on by a thread, with permanent neurological damage. They were innocent victims who had done nothing wrong. Of course everyone freaked out.

President Obama's foreign policy is to attack terrorists, terrorist leaders, and those who harbor them. He uses a volunteer military that is the best trained, best equipped, best supported in the world. He has been successful at killing many of the world's worst scum bags. Of course he received a Nobel Peace Prize.

Perhaps the billboard is intended to show the stark contrast between America's worst and best. I doubt it, but it is all in your attitude and how you read it.

When you look at the sign, just imagine the missing words "of terrorists and bad guys" after the word "thousands" and it's all good.

No, it's still a better location for a cellphone antenna tower.


You fry wants with that?