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Kempthorne recalls challenges as governor, offers ‘guiding principles’

Former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne speaks Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Boise at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho annual conference. (Betsy Z. Russell)
Former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne speaks Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Boise at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho annual conference. (Betsy Z. Russell)

Former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, addressing the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho today, recalled the challenges of his years as the state’s governor, from a serious economic downturn to a crisis in school-building safety to fighting for GARVEE bonds to improve the state’s highways. Kempthorne, who also served as a U.S. senator and as the secretary of Interior under President George W. Bush, offered these “guiding principles:”

“Do not spend one penny more than absolutely necessary of the precious dollars of the taxpayer,” Kempthorne said. “And also as you face the challenges, invest – invest in education, as Gov. Otter just talked about.” And, he said, “My goodness, if you have a failing infrastructure, how successful can you be?”

Kempthorne also urged people to innovate, involve and inform. “You certainly ought to involve others in the decisions,” he said, so that they can buy in and feel ownership in them. “And my goodness, inform … Inform your citizens, what is the situation and what are you going to do about it?”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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