I was surprised to read comments made here over the three-day weekend re: Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. They were harsher than the usual pol bashing that’s part and parcel with being an American. Example: “Dirk: Ignorant, aloof, and out for himself, i.e., he supports tax breaks for businesses that might hire him” — James Bond. Another one: “It’s at times like this that I wish a politician — Dirk the Ignorant, in this case — would be running for re-election. I’d relish the opportunity to vote against him” — Dang. And: “Dirk looks out for ‘Number One’, first last and always. He has no concern for party developement, no concern for the people - he is out for Dirk” — Facts.
Dunno James Bond’s political pedigree. But the other two listed above are Republicans. So, this is some indication that Dirk isn’t well-loved within the party. On the other hand, I give The Dirk Tater high marks for fast-tracking reconstruction of U.S. Highway 95 and landing a Health and Science building for North Idaho College. Also, he zeroed in on plenty of important items in his State of the State address: more money for public and secondary education, an upgrade of 6 state parks including Heyburn, and the need to add hundreds of beds to address our burgeoning prison population. I didn’t like that he short-changed property tax reform, but the Legislature still can address that.
Overall, I like Kempthorne, as a person. And, after a lackluster first term, I believe, he’s rebounding and having a decent second one. Also, I believe, he’ll have a good legacy upon which to look back. Overall, I’d give him a B-minus for his time in office. The grade could go higher, if he comes to his senses on property tax reform.