Posts tagged: Butch Otter
COEUR d'ALENE - John Bujak is tired of the good old boys of the Idaho Republican Party fouling up the political process.
The former Canyon County prosecutor parted ways with the state's dominant political party and is now running for governor as a Libertarian. He wants to be the alternative to Republican Gov. Butch Otter and Democratic Party candidate A.J. Balukoff.
The good old boys serve those with money and influence, while the average Idahoan doesn't have representation.
“They get their legislation easily and quickly, even if it's not a good idea” for the state, said Bujak, 45, of Eagle. Full Story. David Cole, CdA Press
Which candidate is a more serious threat to Butch Otter— Bujak or Balukoff?
Idaho typically elects conservative officeholders with skeptical views of government and then allows them to lower the blinds on public information.
One would think voters would want the government closest to them to be the most open, but that’s not how it works in the Gem State.
Last spring, Gov. Butch Otter named an ombudsman for public records so more transparency and accountability would be brought into the process. After four months on the job, Cally Younger has some ideas for improvement, but she will need the Legislature’s help with statutory changes. It would help if the public pushed for reforms, too.
The Idaho Statesman published a package of articles last Sunday in which Younger discusses what she’s learned and what actions might be needed. More here.
Do you think the Legislature will support changes in Idaho's public records law?
When asked, former chairman Greenfield surrendered his post. Gov. Otter is having no such luck. Perhaps Gov. Butch Otter could end the simmering summer saga over the Idaho Republican Party chairmanship if he simply asked for Barry Peterson's resignation. That's what Democratic Gov. John Evans, pictured, did when he became governor in 1977, telling Boise lawyer John Greenfield he wanted his own man in the job. When Evans asked Greenfield to quit, Greenfield's reply was, “Why should I do that?”Evans, who died last week at 89, looked Greenfield in the eye and said, “Because I'm governor and you're not”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Courtesy photo: Idaho Historical Society)
Question: Do you think Gov. Butch Otter should simply ask for the resignation from Barry Peterson, who's trying desperately to hang onto his Idaho GOP chairmanship?
As Idaho Republicans head to Moscow for the state party convention in hopes of unifying a deeply divided party, state Sen. Russ Fulcher, who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Butch Otter in the GOP primary, isn’t too optimistic about unity. “We are very, very split as a party,” he said. Right after the election, Fulcher said people began urging him to consider running for party chairman to try to heal the rift. “So I called the governor,” he said, and discussed the idea. Fulcher said he told Otter, “My inclination is not to, unless you say, ‘Hey, look, as a move towards party unity or whatever, I think Fulcher should do this and I would support him there.’”
Otter declined, Fulcher said, instead saying he’d decided not to endorse anyone in advance of the convention, and telling Fulcher, “’If you run and get elected, certainly I’ll support you.’ I said, ‘That’s fine,’” Fulcher said, “but frankly I think that kind of defeats the whole purpose of a unity argument up-front, if you don’t go into that with kind of a consensus deal. … There just wasn’t a desire to try to connect on that front.” Read more. Betsy Russell, EOB
Do agree with Fulcher's assessment regarding GOP unity?
Incumbent Gov. Butch Otter holds a 14-point lead in a poll conducted last week by Rasmussen Reports, a conservative-leaning polling company.
The Republican Otter had 50 percent backing in the poll of 750 likely Idaho voters, according to survey results released Wednesday. Democrat A.J. Balukoff, a Boise School Board trustee, had 36 percent support. Eight percent of voters supported another candidate, and 7 percent were undecided.
The margin for error in the telephone survey was 4 percent.
What would it take for Balukoff to secure a win in the upcoming election?
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is asking the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to send Idaho’s same-sex marriage case directly to a full, 11-judge panel of the court, rather than the usual three-judge panel.
“Because the marriage issue is so passionately contested and so divisive among the citizenry, the perception of the legitimacy of this court’s resolution of it must be of paramount concern,” attorneys for the governor argue in their motion. “A decision by an 11-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a three-judge panel, just as a decision by a three-judge panel stands far higher and stronger than does a decision by a single judge.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale last month overturned Idaho’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process; four Idaho couples had sued, saying their constitutional rights were violated by the state not allowing them to marry or not recognizing their legal marriages from other states. Betsy Russell, SR
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter stops to talk with reporters while campaigning door-to-door in Meridian last weekend. Otter faces a GOP primary challenge May 20 from Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher in his bid for a third term as Idaho governor. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has built a long political career on disdain for the federal government, stirring talk of freedom and encouraging Idahoans to be the “architects of our own destiny.” So the 72-year-old, a millionaire rancher who ran for Congress a decade and a half ago on a pledge to tell the feds to “butt out” of the state, seems a bit puzzled about his GOP primary challenge by a state Senate leader who maintains Otter is not conservative enough. “Did I ever believe in my life somebody would run at me from the right? No, I didn’t,” Otter said, as he paused from campaigning for a third term as governor, walking door to door in a Meridian neighborhood. His challenger, Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher, pictured, heads a slate of Republican candidates taking on Idaho’s top GOP officeholders in the primary. The challengers say the incumbents are not true enough to the Idaho Republican Party’s platform/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
Question: If nothing else, Fulcher deserves credit for giving Idahoans a choice for the GOP nomination, right?
Integrity in Government PAC, funded largely by well-heeled backers from Idaho Falls, Wyoming and Utah, likes Gov Butch Otter about as much as it does classy Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. (From flier I received in the mail Monday.) You can read more about Integrity in Government (but not find out who is behind the organization here)
First District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador endorsed Russ Fulcher for governor today, over two-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter. “Butch Otter has done a lot of things to admire in office,” Labrador said at a Statehouse news conference with Fulcher. “But after 40 years in government, he has lost his way. … Idahoans are looking for leaders with political courage and fresh ideas. Russ Fulcher has both. … He will give our state a chance to fulfill its promise.” Labrador, a tea party favorite who’s facing only token opposition in his bid for a third term in Congress, said he believes Idaho “should be the next Silicon Valley,” and said he thought Fulcher would steer the state to “high tech and high wages”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Eye on Boise photo: Betsy Russell)
Question: Is Labrador taking a big political risk here by endorsing the opponent of a two-term governor?
Their noses the length of a toothpick apart, Gov. Butch Otter recently warned Idaho GOP Party Chairman Barry Peterson against intimidating candidates for precinct committee positions. Otter told Peterson that he heard from a “very reliable source” that Peterson contacted two candidates and their employers to complain about their running for two of the 924 precinct committee posts in the May 20 primary. That, Otter told Peterson, put the party at legal risk because of a citizen's right to political activity. Peterson denied applying any pressure, telling the Statesman, “I have not talked to either of those people.” Peterson and Otter both declined to name the pair, and Otter declined to name his source, though he said he heard the story in Twin Falls/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: Frankly, I'm delighted to see out governor show such passion. Thoughts?
A conservative friend has challenged me to predict the outcome of the major Republican primary races, and “to say something nice about the projected winners.” Hokey dokey. Here goes. Prognosticating a “closed” primary is difficult because no one can say with certainty who will actually vote. A poll may show one person far ahead, but if the expected winner has not mobilized his or her supporters to vote an underdog who has could surprise. Governor: Butch Otter easily turns back the challenge mounted by State Senator Russ Fulcher of Meridian. The margin will be 60/40. While many Republicans are hard pressed to say what the governor has done to merit a third term and share my dismay at the evisceration of public school funding that has happened on his watch, they cannot buy Fulcher’s Tea Party beliefs nor the absurd Republican platform/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: Do you agree w/long-time Idaho political observer Chris Carlson that Gov. Butch Otter will beat Sen. Russ Fulcher easily?
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?