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Doug Clark: Butch Otter takes Idaho from Spud State to Stud State

Sun., March 9, 2014, midnight

Before we explore the ins and outs of how the Republican governor of Idaho wound up in an unrated soft-core sex flick, allow me a moment to pose a simple question.

Isn’t “Butch Otter” about the best-ever name for a porn star?

I’m just saying.

Anyway, while you think that over, I’ll explain the gist of the big Spud State news that was buzzing about the Internet on Friday, generated by a story by the Idaho Falls Post Register.

Back in 1993, while he was Idaho’s lieutenant governor, Otter landed the credited and speaking role of a corrupt sheriff in a low-budget horse opera that was shot around Weiser.

The Post Register suggested that Otter got the part because the director liked his rugged Idaho looks.

I don’t know. There could be a much simpler explanation as to why a Hollywood director would let an elected official portray a corrupt sheriff.


For the record, Otter’s role in “Roundup,” later to be renamed “A Time to Revenge,” was completely harmless and fully clothed.

Apparently the naughty sex scenes were added to the movie 10 years later for sales value and without any gubernatorial knowledge or approval.

So let’s get this straight.

Butch Otter has never* acted in a porno.

( *That we know of. Anyone with any information regarding a Butch Otter sex tape or adult movie career should please contact me for a prize.)

Otter’s appearance in this movie reportedly came about as one of those flash-in-the-pan opportunities that just happened, and I applaud it.

Anytime you can lure a politician away from screwing over the public is a win-win for the nation. If I had my way, I’d get part-time acting jobs for the Spokane City Council, the County Commission and the entire Washington Legislature.

But getting back to Otter.

A wrangling sort of guy, Otter reportedly first got involved with all of this when he heard that a California movie crew needed some horseflesh for an upcoming shoot around Weiser.

In cowboy parlance, Otter moseyed on down to speak a spell with the folks of Western Image Group.

And the rest was cinematic history.

Embarrassing cinematic history, that is.

The movie was a stinker, of course. According to the Post Register, it “was released straight to video as an R-rated film in 1997 and then sexed-up and re-released as unrated in 2003.”

Which just goes to show that some people will do anything for a fast buck.

And not just lieutenant governors, either, but movie people, too.

I don’t gather from the story that Otter was any great shakes as an actor.

His abbreviated role consisted of lines like …

“OK, boys, that’s enough.”

Yikes. It’s no wonder someone felt that they had to spice up a dog like this with 10 extra minutes of simulated sexual frolicking.

But I can’t state it strongly enough that Gov. Otter is the witless victim here.

He had no clue that his acting would be exploited to someday hawk an unrated soft-porn Western.

Though at the time, Otter did appear to have been bitten by the acting bug.

“I fully expect somebody to come up to me and say, ‘Sheriff Butch! Sheriff Butch! I want your autograph,’ ” he told the Idaho Statesman in 1998.

But who knows? Had things turned out differently, perhaps Sheriff Butch Otter would have ridden off on an entirely different career path.

Why, just imagine the top cowpoke classics that might have been made with Otter appearing in:

1. “Heaven’s Gape.”

2. “Blazing Paddles.”

3. “High Nooner.”

4. “The Wild Buns.”

5. “True Grip.”

6. “The Long Ranger.”

7. “The Alamoan.”

This seems like a good time for ol’ Doug to get outta Dodge.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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