Posts tagged: Butch Otter
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter says U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill is out of touch with Idaho values, including freedom and the marketplace. Otter called out Winmill during his Feb. 7 “Capitol for a Day” in Craigmont, according to the Lewiston Tribune. Otter “urged people to understand their votes matter in coming elections because public officials are responsible for appointing judges like Idaho U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill, who he said might not share Idaho’s values,” wrote the Tribune’s Dylan Brown in a story a available online to Tribune subscribers. “It’s usually one that doesn’t share all of the enthusiasm for the marketplace and freedom that we do in Idaho,” Otter said of errant judges like Winmill/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: So would Gov. Butch Otter consider you “one of us”?
Public policy in Idaho isn't likely to be swayed by negative media coverage of the state's gay rights disputes, Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter said Tuesday. Speaking to reporters at an Idaho Press Club event, Otter rejected the notion that the Legislature's refusal to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation could have a negative effect on efforts to attract new businesses.“I can't point to one company I've visited with that has suggested that was a problem,” he said. “I don't know that companies look to the political activity - they don't say, 'You're a red state, and that's why I've come here.' They look to public policy and tax policy, and they look at predictability.”Otter's comments came a week after 44 gay rights activists were arrested for blocking access to the Senate chambers/William Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
On guns on campus: Otter said he supports the pending bill to allow guns on Idaho public college campuses under certain circumstances. “I am an advocate and always have been for the 2nd Amendment, and I don’t think people lose their rights under the 2nd Amendment, or the 1st Amendment, when they walk on a college campus”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Hours before Tom Luna made his surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election, Gov. Butch Otter placed a pre-dawn phone call asking the schools chief to hold off. State Superintendent Tom Luna, left, announces his decision not to run for re-election on Jan. 27. Luna is joined by (left, to right) his wife Cindy, Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill and Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde. “He wanted to know if I had really thought it through,” Luna said. “The governor didn’t say, ‘I want to talk you out of this.’ What he said is, ‘Can we take more time to discuss this?’” The night before, on Sunday, Luna called Otter and key lawmakers to tell them he would step down when his term ends. After staying up most of the night thinking about it, Otter wasn’t sure if Luna was making the right move/Clark Corbin, IdahoED News. More here. (AP file photo: Luna announces decision not to seek re-election)
Question: Butch was ready to back Luna, despite all the controversy, the wifi snafu, and the rejection of Students Come First laws? Really?
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s winning a tight jeans contest has become an unwelcome part of his legacy. In the new edition of the “Almanac of American Politics,” word of Otter’s 1992 victory at Boise’s Rockin’ Rodeo lounge appears on page 523 of the 1,904-page book published by National Journal and the University of Chicago Press. Otter was 50 at the time and bested competitors half his age, who were judged on “looks, appearance in jeans, total body shape and sex appeal.” A waitress said the then-lieutenant governor’s win was no upset. “He looked great,” she said. The Almanac has also used the Otter bit in at least two prior editions, 2004 and 2006/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo: Butch Otter, left, and Karl Stressman, of Colorado Springs, Colo., compete during the team roping Pocatello in 2010)
Question: Should Butch run from or embrace his “tight-jeans” contest win of some time ago?
Gov. Otter is desperate to make us forget what has happened to Idaho’s schools and Idaho’s economy under his watch. To a crowd at the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, the governor declared that Idaho’s economy “is in great shape.” A few days later, this headline came out in Idaho’s largest newspaper, “Idaho Wages Lose Ground in 2012.” The first line painted a bleak picture: “Already among the lowest-paying states, Idaho wages fell even further behind in 2012, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.” We are now 46th in the nation for average wages. This should surprise no one — especially the governor. He already knew that Idaho leads the U.S. in the percentage of workers who earn minimum wage/Larry Kenck, chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, IdahoED News. More here.
Question: How much blame should be put on Gov. Butch Otter for Idaho's low wages and poorly funded education system?
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has sent a guest opinion out to Idaho newspapers declaring that education is the state's top economic priority. “We have a variety of incentive programs designed to foster business opportunities in Idaho, but the most important thing we’re able to provide is our people,” the governor writes. “Idahoans are creative, resourceful and hard working – exactly what growing businesses need. But we also need to provide graduates who are prepared. Education is the key to higher-paying jobs. Full story.
Columnist Chris Carlson's analysis of the game of chicken being played by Gov. Butch Otter and Congressman Raul Labrador re: 2014 gubernatorial race:
There is a huge bluff game being played and at this point it appears Governor Otter has bluffed Congressman Labrador into thinking he really is running for a third term. Furthermore, the governor appears to have convinced Labrador that in a head-to-head primary he would kick Labrador’s rear. To that end there are rumors Governor Otter is quietly preparing a huge north Idaho fund-raiser that will feature – no, not Tea Party darling and the new Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz – but rather the charismatic governor from New Jersey, Chris Christie. Governor Christie is clearly no favorite of the Tea Party so this has about it an “in your face” message to Labrador. Neither does holding a fund-raiser remove all doubt about the governor’s intentions. He does in fact have a hold-over campaign debt (a loan from himself to his campaign) and the proceeds all could go to paying off the debt to himself. My guess is that if Governor Otter runs, he would crush the overly ambitious congressman. Full column here.
Question: Who would win a GOPrimary race for guv between Otter and Labrador?
Mow, hoe, trim and water. That's Rep. Maxine Bell's routine during the summer at her home in Jerome. It also describes her role as a co-chair of the Legislature's budgeting committee - with a lot of whacking and slashing thrown into the mix. In recent years, the slashing has gone through the summer with holdbacks, or the threat of holdbacks. That's not the case this year, which makes Bell and others involved in budgeting rest easier these hot summer days. Thanks to an improved revenue picture, Idaho at long last has some predictability and stability in state government and there will not be a holdback this year. “That's a relief,” Bell said. “At the end of every session, we can only hope that we did our job well enough to avoid a midyear budget holdback”/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.
Question: What do you think the state should do with its $92.5 million budget surplus?
Idaho wants gun and ammo makers. Gov. Butch Otter did his best to roll out the welcome mat in May when he announced the state was courting 79 gun and ammo makers to relocate part or all of their operations to Idaho. Commerce Director Jeff Sayer continued beating the drum Wednesday while speaking at an Idaho Firearms and Accessories Manufacturers Association forum in Boise. “One of Idaho’s strengths is the Rocky Mountains are in our backyard,” Sayer said. “There’s no reason we can’t make what Idaho is known for as one of our core business strengths. Meshing (the outdoors) with the firearm industry is a perfect fit”/Zach Kyle, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Should Otter be pursuing gun manufacturers?
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has criticized President Barack Obama's administration for seeking to limit coal-fired power plant emissions while not allowing sufficient timber cutting to tame big western wildfires, another greenhouse gas source.
Otter told reporters at a Western Governors' Association meeting in Park City, Utah, on Sunday that Idaho wildfires release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than is released during the production of coal-generated electricity for Idaho's 1.5 million residents.
The Republican governor's numbers may be technically correct, but some scientists say the link was misleading because it focused on a single, sparsely populated state with large swaths of range and timberland that burn annually. More here. John Miller, AP
Idaho's political cognoscenti (a nice way of saying “junkies”) would probably agree with the statement that historically most of Idaho's outstanding governors first cut their teeth with service in the Legislature. Democrats like John Evans and Cecil Andrus, and Republicans like Phil Batt and C.A. (Doc) Robins come immediately to mind. Conversely, governors who have struggled to govern well and often clashed with the Legislature's leadership seldom have any legislative service or at best one term in the distant past. Current Gov.C. L. (Butch) Otter and former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne immediately come to mind. Politics is all about relationships and working with fellow citizens for the common good. It is not for the faint-hearted and as has been often pointed out it is a contact sport/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: I agree with Carlson that Gov. Butch Otter needs an opponent (read: someone to send him into retirement). But I simply can't get excited about the prospect of a possible Gov. Labrador. Maybe the devil we have (who has badly damaged public education) is better than the one we'd get?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune give Jeers to …
… Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. When it's time to dole out cash to his corporate cronies via tax cuts, the governor is a spendthrift. But when it comes to helping out the schools, the governor spontaneously becomes a tightwad. The steadily improving economy has yielded Idaho a bonus. By the time lawmakers meet in January, former Chief Economist Mike Ferguson expects they'll have an extra $162 million. Not so fast, Otter says. “There's no reason to go back to the old way of doing things; because we got a little money, let's spend it,” Otter told the Idaho Statesman's editorial board. Otter is engaging in historical revisionism here/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Is Gov. Otter's stand on keeping a tight rein on a $162M budget surplus, when schools are struggling financially, a responsible position?
A reflective Gov. Butch Otter says depending on news from sources that one agrees with can complicate problem solving, citing a dysfunctional Congress, the state-run health exchange under Obamacare and the “Common Core” debate as examples. “My primary portal for looking into the world is Fox News,” Otter said. “So I get a certain contamination — maybe ‘contamination’ is the wrong word — get a certain feeling of relief that they agree with my conservative philosophy.” Otter said the practice of seeking news from outlets with an ideological slant also applies to the left. In recent months, Otter has led the enactment of the state-run exchange and supported adoption of Common Core education standards over objections of Fox News loyalists in the Legislature and the public/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you rely on a news source that you agree with politically?
Gov. Butch Otter is rejecting the notion that a projected $162 million in unexpected revenue means the 2014 Legislature should aim to boost spending. Otter said he’s “bound and determined that the government is not going to grow back at the same rate that the economy grows” and said the lessons of the Great Recession prove government can do with less by exercising fiscal discipline, co-locating agencies and engaging in partnerships outside of government. “That all suggests to me that there’s no reason to go back to the old way of doing things: because we got a little extra money, let’s spend it,” Otter said in a Tuesday afternoon meeting with the Idaho Statesman editorial board/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Sounds like Gov. Otter is proud of Idaho's ranking as second-to-last state in the nation for spending per capita on public school students. Am I reading this right?
Thirteen months out from the 2014 Idaho primaries, and a little more than 18 months away from the general election, what can we expect? Perhaps a snoozer? Randy Stapilus — a longtime Northwest political observer and former Idaho newspaper editor — advances that theory in a weekend column making the rounds. By already formally announcing his bid for a second term, Sen. Jim Risch probably “cleared the field of serious opposition,” says Stapilus. And incumbent Gov. Butch Otter may well be doing the same by signaling his plans to seek a third term. Writes Stapilus: “The closest thing to a wild card among major offices seems to be superintendent of public instruction, mainly because incumbent Tom Luna endured a big crashing ballot issue defeat last year on school overhaul, the centerpiece of his two terms in office”/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.
Question: Is Idaho Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna vulnerable if he seeks re-election in 2014?
Twenty-four people testified to the Task Force for Improving Education tonight in Coeur d’Alene, as the governor’s education stakeholder task force held its fourth public forum and its best-attended one yet. “It’s good to see a packed house,” said Richard Westerberg, task force chairman and state Board of Education member. Seven of the 31 task force members attended. By my count, among the 24 who testified over the course of the two-hour forum at North Idaho College, there were some overriding themes: Seven pleaded for more state funding and less reliance on local property tax override levies; six called for less emphasis on test scores and standardized testing in Idaho’s schools (said one grandmother of four, “We’re driving our kids crazy”); and five called for increased teacher pay/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: After watching our Legislature and Gov. Otter trash public education for the past two sessions with their unabashed support of Luna Laws and lower education funding, I have zero faith in this task force process. I consider it a show, nothing more. Am I being too cynical?
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed legislation allowing extra-heavy trucks on non-freeway routes statewide, but says he wants the Idaho Transportation Department to hold public hearings and take other steps before designating any new routes – including Highway 95 in North Idaho - for the big, 129,000-pound trucks. “Safety must be the highest priority,” Otter wrote in a signing letter sent to lawmakers today. “The process of considering nominated routes also must include timely, well-noticed public hearings and notification of adjacent property owners.” Senate Bill 1117 was pushed by Idaho Forest Group in Coeur d’Alene, but opposed by an array of local officials in North Idaho who contend the extra-big trucks are unsuitable for North Idaho’s twisting routes and wetter weather/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Seems to me that Otter should have vetoed this bill and scheduled the hearings first. Hearings are an elected officials way of deflecting criticism. Heavier trucks will endanger lives further on already dangerous Highway 95. That's a no-brainer. Shame on the Legislature for passing this bill & Otter for signing it. Thoughts?
Idaho is poised to have its own state-based health insurance exchange. But getting that far required a unique coalition - Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter, a libertarian governor who broke with many of his fellow GOP governors; a freshman class of Idaho House Republicans and a solid House Democratic caucus. The measure cleared the House Wednesday on a 41-29 vote - after another version won Senate passage by 23-12. It involved the most unlikely of bills - creation of a state-based exchange is part and parcel of Obamacare. And it came in the most unexpected of places - the same Legislature that only two years earlier so detested Obamacare that it openly flirted with nullifying the federal law in open defiance of the U.S. Constitution. One man stitched it all together, House Speaker Scott Bedke (pictured), R-Oakley/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Is the 41-29 House vote on a state-run exchange an indication that the uber-cons aren't as strong as they were two years ago?
At my request and after careful, deliberate consideration, the Idaho Senate recently approved legislation affirming my choice of a state-based health insurance exchange.
That bill now goes to the Idaho House of Representatives, where debate figures to be just as passionate. That's understandable, since most members of the Idaho Legislature share my intense opposition to the so-called Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.