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Posts tagged: Cecil Andrus

Some Love For Overshadowed Guv

“Medimont Reflections” is written by Chris Carlson, who served nine years as spokesman for former Gov. Cecil Andrus. In it, former Idaho Gov. John Evans receives some well-deserved attention. Evans assumed the governor's office in 1977 when Andrus became President Jimmy Carter's interior secretary, taking Carlson with him to Washington. Far less flashy than Andrus, Evans served for 10 years and might have upset GOP Sen. Steve Symms in 1986 had it not been for a late campaign visit from President Ronald Reagan. Andrus was narrowly elected to his third term that year. Between them, Andrus and Evans maintained an unlikely Democratic grip on the governor's office for 24 years. No Idaho Democrat has come within 8 percentage points since Andrus chose not to seek a fifth term in 1994/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Anyone out there remember Gov. John Evans? Any reflections to share?

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Andrus Calls Risch ‘Obstructionist’

Former Democratic Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus called Republican Sen. Jim Risch an “obstructionist” for stopping Republican Rep. Mike Simpson’s Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill. The two men fought regularly when Risch was Idaho Senate Pro Tem and Andrus was governor in the 1980s. So Andrus got personal when he chided Risch for withdrawing his support for Simpson’s bill, describing Risch as “this little short guy” who stopped Simpson’s Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act from getting out of the Senate. “I apologize, not for what I said previously, but that I said he was short,” Andrus said. Because of Risch, he has supported having President Obama designate the 500,000-acre Boulder-White Clouds and Jerry Peak areas as a national monument/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo: Singer and environmental activist Carole King testifies during 2005 Boulder-White Clouds hearings in Washington, D.C.)

Question: Should Boulder-White Clouds be designated as a wilderness area?

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Andrus Can’t Win Term-Limits Dispute

Probably the last guy who should be promoting term limits for elected candidates is former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus. But that's what Andrus told the Tribune's Eric Barker. Andrus says it's necessary to break the cycle of incumbency that allows politicians to reward themselves with privileges no ordinary citizen receives. “I would give them two terms in the Senate and an equal number of years in the House and then they are gone,” Andrus told the Tribune's Eric Barker. But Andrus is the antithesis of term limits. He was elected four times as Idaho governor, a record. Had term limits blocked the popular Democrat's ability to seek a third and fourth term, a Republican most likely would have been elected instead/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Anyone out there still support term limits?

DP: 1990 Battle Eclipses Ultrasound Flap

Think this spring’s ultrasound battle is epic? Join me at 1990 Memory Lane, when Idaho was the epicenter of a national struggle over abortion rights. On March 30, 1990, Gov. Cecil Andrus vetoed House Bill 625, which would have been the toughest anti-abortion law in the country. The story was prominent on network news shows that night, in the days before the atomization of cable TV. For weeks, Boise was a regular dateline in The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post. The Senate debate was broadcast live on C-SPAN. “It began early, engaged national interest groups on both sides and consumed the whole session,” said former GOP Rep. Pam Ahrens, who co-chaired a two-day joint State Affairs Committee hearing that drew 1,500 people to Boise State’s Jordan Ballroom. “Compared to 1990, this year seems like a flash mob”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Anyone else recall the 1990 battle?

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Carlson: Idaho’s Best Governors

As you know, Chris Carlson/Carlson Chronicles has written a book in which he dubs Cecil Andrus as Idaho's best governor. Now, he ranks the other governors since 1946 when he was born:

  • 2. Dr. C. A. Robins, 1947-1951. The first of the modern era governors, he set the state on the correct course forcing substantial consolidation of school districts, paying teachers more, removing patronage from the Highway department, establishing the Department of Labor, and the Workman’s Comp program, obtaining separate status for Idaho State University; the list goes on, but you get the picture. He was a doer. Doc served as State Senator from Benewah County from 1939 to 1945 and was Senate Pro Tempore during his last session.
  • 3. John V. Evans, 1977 to 1987. Smart enough to continue along the path Andrus chartered. Brought a congenial collaborative style to the office that enabled him to get along with solidly Republican legislatures. He had served in the Legislature as the State Senator from Oneida County before becoming Andrus’ Lt. Governor in 1976.
  • More here


Charmin’ Andrus Leaves ‘Em Cheerin’

Out of deep respect for the good, great former governor of Idaho, I bit my tongue during Cecil Andrus’ disavowal of my book’s title (Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor”) during the opening of the Nov. 10 Boise City Club forum. His modesty is sincere. His sense of history though is flawed. The vast majority in the audience, as well as across this state, concur with the assessment expressed by the title as do most other serious students of Idaho history. Even at the age of 80 the zeal and skill with which Andrus skewered the Idaho Republican party for harboring scoff-laws like tax-dodging, state timber stealing Rep. Phil Hart of Coeur d’Alene, drunk-driving and car stealing Sen. John McGee of Caldwell, borrowing-his-association’s-funds party chairman Norm Semanko of Eagle, to ridiculing Tom Luna’s replace-teachers-with-a-computer phony educational reform was a thing of beauty to behold/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: I can't help but think that Idaho's Republicans would be embarrassed into doing something about questionable antics of Phil Hart/John McGee/Norm Semanko, if Cecil Andrus was still governor. What do you think?

Andrus: I Ain’t Greatest Governor

Former Gov. Cecil Andrus opened his remarks at Thursday's City Club of Boise forum distancing himself from the claim of his former press secretary, Chris Carlson, that Andrus is Idaho's “greatest governor.” Andrus and Carlson appeared to discuss Carlson's new memoir, “Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor,” which has prompted a good deal of debate about who is worthy of the title. Before Andrus answered the first question posed by moderator Marty Peterson, Andrus asked for time for what he called a “disclaimer.” “This is Carlson's book, not mine,” Andrus said, “and I took offense at the cover and the title, you know, 'The Greatest Governor.' What an arrogant sounding, conceited title.” Andrus, a Democrat, then suggested three contenders for the “greatest” moniker: Republicans Phil Batt and Bob Smylie and Democrat John Evans/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.

Question: Which governor (regardless of state) would you consider the best during your lifetime?

Carlson: Where Are The Leaders?

In talking with newspaper editors about running excerpts of the book of reminiscences of my years working with and for Governor Cecil D. Andrus, I often encountered the question “where are today’s Cecil Andruses?” Or “why can’t we produce leaders like Cecil Andrus, or Dan Evans or Mark Hatfield any more?” In other words, “where have all the leaders gone?” Cecil Andrus reflects leadership to the core of his being. While there are many definitions of leadership, and Andrus would fulfill most, it is one of those things you just know when you see it. As long as people have known Andrus they will tell you he has always possessed the quality that says “I’m leading; I know where I’m going. Follow or get out of the way!”/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: I believe Idaho has an exceptional leader in Congressman Mike Simpson — and mebbe U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo. Can you think of anyone else in the state you would classify as a leader/statesman?

IFF: Andrus Greatest Guv? No Way

I moved to Idaho in 1995 shortly after Phil Batt took office, so I did not get to experience either of the gubernatorial administrations of Cecil Andrus. And my dealings with Andrus in his post-elected life have been relatively benign — a conversation here and there, mostly by phone. I have no animus toward Andrus and seems fairly personable and likable. But I get a little queasy whenever modern writers take various current or former officeholders and establish them or their myriad policies as “the greatest” anything, as former Andrus staffer Chris Carlson has done in his new book with the gushing and obviously over-the-top title “Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor.” The book was released last Monday. No, I haven't read the book, and I'd like to promise here and now that I won't waste my time because of my distain for the title/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Have you ever met Cecil Andrus? Tells us abou it.

Weighing In On ‘Greatest Governor’

Monday's publication of “Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor” prompted a good deal of chatter about who deserves the title. Chris Carlson, author of the new book, was Andrus' press secretary. Carlson considers Andrus a surrogate father and offers an openly affectionate view. Steve Smylie, a former four-term GOP lawmaker from Boise, has shared a moving and until now unknown account of his dad, three-term Republican Gov. Bob Smylie. Smylie struggled with alcohol, but after he left office he dedicated one day a week to counseling alcoholics, his son says. In my story on the book Monday, I mentioned Smylie (1955-1967) and Democrat Ben Ross (1931-1937) as contenders for the “title” of Idaho's greatest guv. I should have included Republican Len Jordan (1951-1955), though his stellar reputation is also based on his U.S. Senate service (1962-73). Republican Phil Batt (1995-1999), despite serving only one term, also deserves mention for his fearless pursuit of principle/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo — Cecil Andrus in 2001)

Question: How many Idaho governors have you personally met? Which one impressed you most?

Book: Andrus: Idaho’s Greatest Guv

Cecil Andrus was just 39 when he was elected governor in 1970. It wasn’t long before he calculated his next move. Chris Carlson’s “Cecil Andrus: Idaho’s Greatest Governor” was released Monday. Among its revelations is Andrus’ early plan to become U.S. interior secretary. After Watergate, he figured Democrats would win the White House in 1976. But for Andrus to be in a position to take a Cabinet post, he would have to ensure a Democrat would succeed him as governor. “He left little to chance,” writes Carlson. In the final weekend of the 1974 re-election campaign, Andrus shifted almost all of his pre-paid TV spots to the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, John Evans. Carlson assumed Andrus sought revenge against GOP nominee Vern Ravenscroft, a “turncoat” who’d switched parties after Andrus beat him in the 1970 governor’s primary. Andrus was thinking ahead, not back/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo: Then Gov. Cecil Andrus waves to his family during 1994 State of the State speech)

Question: Do you consider Cecil Andrus to be Idaho's greatest governor?

Final Count: Andrus $85M, Otter 0

It's been 16 years since Cecil Andrus (pictured in SR file photo) left the governor's office. Sixteen years since Andrus kept a constant watch on the state economy and the tax-generating machinery. For the last five years, Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter has been working full time studying revenues, considering budgets and watching the economy. Yet Andrus remains better at it. As evidence, he just collected $100 of Otter's money. Andrus bet Otter that the governor and the GOP Legislature essentially low-balled projected tax collections more than a year ago — thereby needlessly cutting schools and government programs. Andrus bet on former Chief Economist Mike Ferguson's projection that the state would clear $2.43 billion. Otter stuck with his view that Ferguson's number was $143.4 million too high. Otter bet he and the GOP legislative majority knew more than the economist. Turns out Ferguson was right on the money/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Who would you rather have sitting in the governor's office today — Butch Otter or Cecil Andrus?

Alaska Mine Opening Attracts Andrus

At the time Andrus’ name was mud to the “propeller-heads,” as he and former Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond described the men who wanted to carve up some of the nation’s most beautiful landscapes, no matter what the impact. But this week Andrus was in Juneau to celebrate an altogether different landmark, the opening of the Kensington Gold Mine. Andrus was on the board of Coeur d’Alene Mines for many of the 17 years the Idaho-based company worked on opening the controversial mine. So he joined his close friend CEO Dennis Wheeler in a community celebration upon the opening of the $400 million mine. “I always was supportive of mineral developments that were protective of the environment,” Andrus said in a telephone interview/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has ex-Gov/Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus gone over to the dark side by returning to Alaska to celebrate opening of controversial mine?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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