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Former Idaho Lawmaker Is Memorialized

October 10, 2006|From the Associated Press

MERIDIAN, Idaho — A roster of Idaho's top politicians joined ranchers in blue jeans and bolo ties and mourners in black suits to remember steely former Republican U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage at a memorial service Monday.

"I say now to the almighty God -- and I'm not quite sure why you called her -- but she's there now: Stand back and give her rein," U.S. Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) said in a eulogy before hundreds gathered in a suburban Boise chapel.

Chenoweth-Hage died Oct. 2 after a car driven by her daughter-in-law flipped on a rural road near Tonopah, Nev. She was 68. Her daughter-in-law was not seriously injured.

She represented Idaho's 1st Congressional District for three terms, from 1994 to 2000. On the national stage she often stood out, roiling opponents with her disdain for big government while gaining a homegrown reputation as a Western rights crusader.

Dozens of current and former Idaho politicians, including Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Gov. James E. Risch, U.S. Sen. Michael D. Crapo and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson attended the service.

As a congresswoman, she famously held "endangered salmon bakes," serving canned salmon to protest the fish's endangered species status.

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