In 2001, Otter paid $50,000 in fines for his third violation of the federal Clean Water Act, for work he did without a permit to convert marshy areas on his property into park-like ponds.
Otter made frequent references to the incident in his remarks. “I also told them I sold my backhoe – it cost me $50,000 every time I got on it,” he said to laughter.
Later, when asked about his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants, Otter said, “If they’re gonna forgive and forget … I got some stuff I want EPA to do.”
Overall, the two-term Republican, who is running for re-election and faces Democratic challenger Naomi Preston, said Congress won’t do much between now and the election. “What’s gonna happen in Washington between now and November? Nothin’,” he said to laughter. “I should say very little. The Senate is really bogged down.”
He described the U.S. Senate as “one of the only institutions in the world that can successfully talk for 72 hours without doing anything.”