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Eye On Boise

‘You’re on the air with the governor’

How many Idahoans had questions for Gov. Butch Otter when he went on live TV last night? Plenty. I counted 15 people who asked him questions live on Idaho Public TV (and they didn’t get to everyone), plus another dozen or so whose e-mailed questions Otter addressed. The governor was asked about everything from tribal jurisdiction over Lake Coeur d’Alene docks to privatizing liquor sales, from property tax relief to illegal immigration, from dairy expansion to wolf hunting to anti-tobacco programs to nuclear power plants. The softball question of the night, though, came from a fan who asked, “I was wondering if you would ever consider running for president – you’re honest, I know that.” Otter responded, “Evie, you are so kind,” and noted that “this young lady” and her family have worked on all his campaigns, starting with his first run for the Legislature in 1972. In his responses to various questions, Otter said he’s hoping grocery tax relief will be enacted in the first few weeks of next year’s legislative session; he doesn’t see a “general consensus in the state” to privatize liquor sales; he “would fight to outlaw any kind of distraction from the very serious job of driving,” including cell-phone use and other distractions; and he’s not ready to issue any executive orders regarding dairy expansions. Several of the callers complimented the governor on doing a good job, or a “mostly” good job.

The entire program will be rebroadcast Sunday afternoon, at 5 p.m. Mountain time or 4 p.m. Pacific time. Or, you can watch it online any time at

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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