In his luncheon keynote speech today at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s big annual conference, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said the best answers come from groups like PNWER, which brings together state and provincial officials from both the United States and Canada to address regional issues. Ideas that bubble up from communities around the region, he said, “are going to be a whole lot better than either you get out of Ottawa or we get out of Washington in the United States.” That drew a burst of applause. “I’m gonna look for answers from you,” he said. “… All we need is for the rest of those folks to get the hell out of the way.”
Among those Otter was fingering: He said at a recent meeting of western state governors in Park City, federal officials attending included representatives of “the White House committee on we’re gonna disapprove of whatever you want to do - whatever that committee is called.” That drew a laugh. “By the completion of this conference, I believe we can start truly planting the seeds for designing our own destiny,” Otter declared. The PNWER annual conference runs through Wednesday; it’s the first time it’s been held in Boise.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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