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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Otter to be sworn in for 2nd term today

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter will be sworn in for a second term today at noon. Though it'll be a private ceremony, in advance of the public inauguration ceremony on Friday, the public can watch, as it'll be streamed live on Idaho Public Television's "Legislature Live." This comes after Otter took some heat four years ago for holding his private swearing-in at a family breakfast at the former Simplot mansion, now called the Idaho House. "That's the way the governor wanted to do it at that time," said his spokesman, Jon Hanian. This time, he's opted to let the public watch online and allow the media to photograph the ceremony.

Here's why there's both a private and a public swearing-in ceremony: The Idaho Constitution says that all constitutional officers, including the governor, take office on the first Monday in January following their election. But the public inaugural, at which all the officers will be formally sworn in and the governor will give his inaugural address, isn't until Friday. Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, "I'm filing an oath in front of a notary." All the officers' oaths of office will be kept on file at the Secretary of State's office. "We'll be getting those today," Ysursa said, to meet the constitutional deadline.

Mark Snider, who served as press secretary for two-term Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, said Kempthorne had small private swearing-in ceremonies in his office as well. "It was just his family, it was very private, there were no invited guests," Snider recalled. "There was no hoo-ha about it."

Otter today is scheduled to be given the oath of office by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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