From the August 2005 Idaho Observer:

CANAMEX: The motive behind Kempthorn’s end-of-session tantrum

Governor deceives legislature; obligates state to interstate pact and construction of international "smart corridor"

by The Idaho Observer

At the end of the legislative session Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne was pictured in state newspapers with a big red "veto" stamp, which he threatened to use indiscriminately until the legislature passed his pork-laden "Connecting Idaho" bill.

Freshman Third District Rep. Phil Hart, who was opposed to the bill because it obligated future generations of Idahoans to pay for a massive road improvement plan, commented that he had never experienced so much pressure in his life. That is saying a lot since Hart is an engineer and was formerly an Olympic-quality skier and cyclist.

Hart did vote to pass the bill, but after his committee removed the pork.

For those unfamiliar with Idaho geography, the panhandle near Canada is connected to the Boise capital (a third of the way to Mexico) by a winding goat trail called Highway 95. "Connecting Idaho"was a measure sold to the legislature as a way to improve commerce, communications and travel within the state of Idaho.

However, Kempthorne did not tell the legislators that the true purpose of blackmailing them to pass his pet bill was to participate in the CANAMEX Corridor Coalition teleconference in April—two weeks after the 2005 legislative session ended in Idaho. Kempthorne had already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with four other western states’ governors (Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Montana) in October, 2004. The MOU promises the state of Idaho’s participation in the construction of the Canada/American/Mexican superhighway without legislative approval.

CANAMEX, the planning for which has been underway since 1995, is to be a super smart trade corridor featuring seamless cell phone coverage and surveillance cameras with hospitality and emergency services from border to border.

Idaho Eagle Forum Chapter President Jane Lesko has been collecting CANAMEX information and communicating with CANAMEX planners. Lesko believes that, had the Idaho legislature been aware that Kempthorne’s "Connecting Idaho" was really "Connecting Mexico and Canada" they would not have passed the bill. She also believes that most of the CANAMEX planners believe their project will simply be good for people and good for the economy.

More info on CANAMEX will be presented in coming editions of The IO.

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