LeFavour raises hopes of Add the Words hearing, Bedke says she misunderstood

Add the Words organizer Nicole LeFavour told supporters early Thursday she had “amazing news.” House Speaker Scott Bedke “implied” the group will get a hearing before the Legislature’s adjournment, fulfilling the unrequited goal of an eight-year campaign to apply the anti-discrimination provisions in the Idaho Human Rights Act to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

But Bedke said LeFavour — whose most recent trespassing arrest at the Capitol came hours after her meeting with the speaker — appears to have mistaken politeness for affirmation.

A former state senator, LeFavour’s post to a private Add the Words Facebook group Thursday morning, began, “PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THIS OUTSIDE OUR GROUP AT ALL.

“We have amazing news. Yesterday morning the Speaker implied we would have a hearing. We were told to watch (H)ouse State Affairs for a human rights bill. I am cautious here for two reasons. First there may be a good bill and a bad bill. Also it may be that they intend a public hearing but do not intend to pass it. I believe if they hear the stories they will not be able to vote no! So we have done what was impossible! They may print or introduce the bill today….”

Bedke implied

Not so, said Bedke, just as the House was convening at 10 a.m.

“No,” Bedke began, looking at a printout of LeFavour’s post.

How did she get that idea?

“Well, I always try to be very polite and I hope that she has not mistaken my politeness,” Bedke said. “That (a hearing) has become something that she wanted very badly.”

Minutes later, LeFavour led a group of supporters and a film crew that’s working on a documentary on LeFavour’s 2014 effort, to the House gallery.

As she walked, I asked LeFavour about her post.

“What social media post did I do?” she replied.

After I handed her the same photocopy I’d shared with Bedke, LeFavour said, “That’s in a private group, Dan. How’d you get that?”

I said I didn’t think that mattered. As she continued to walk, she declined my request to return the photocopy, saying, “No. That’s mine. That’s my private group. Where’d you get that?”

Again, I asked for comment and said that she knows reporters sometimes aren’t able to disclose where they get such stuff.

“It was a ‘may,’” she replied. “It was a may.”

I said Bedke told me he was just being polite in their meeting Wednesday.

“Yeah, so?” LeFavour said. “I must be wrong.”

LeFavour was arrested at the Capitol late Wednesday, at least her sixth arrest during a string of protests during this year. LeFavour was booked at 11:25 p.m. at the Ada County Jail for trespassing and released.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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