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Posts tagged: Don Dietrich

Dietrich resigning as Commerce director

Idaho Department of Commerce Director Don Dietrich is resigning from his post effective Sept. 2. Dietrich, a former executive with Aspen Technology and Cargill Inc., said he plans to return to the private sector. He's also been a lightning rod as rumors have circulated that Gov. Butch Otter's “Project 60” trade-building initiative is really a plot to sell Idaho's sovereignty to China; the John Birch Society has been pushing the theory and using quotes from Dietrich about trade with China. The furor even spread to the Idaho Republican Party's Central Committee, which passed a “China Beachhead” resolution last month calling on the Legislature to look into it.

In his resignation letter, Dietrich wrote, “I am proud of what we have accomplished during these challenging times. However, it is clear to me that a change is necessary – for the Department and for me personally – in order for you to continue building on these successes and to meet my desire to return to the private sector.” Otter praised Dietrich as “a key member of my team for more than three years now,” and said, “His professionalism and commitment have been exemplary, especially as all of us in state government learn to do more with less.”

A search is under way for Dietrich's successor; click below for Otter's full news release on the resignation. Here's a link to a June 27 article by the Idaho Statesman's Rocky Barker debunking the China-buying-Idaho rumors; Jon Hanian, Otter's press secretary, when asked what connection there was between the China brouhaha and Dietrich's resignation, said he didn't think there was any connection. Here's a link to Otter's FAQ's about Idaho-China trade.

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About this blog

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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