Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Guv debate closes with candidates mixing it up…

Here’s a link to my full story at on tonight’s debate between GOP Gov. Butch Otter, Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff and Constitution Party candidate Steve Pankey. After their closing statements at tonight’s KTVB debate in Nampa, there was a little extra time, so the candidates got in a few extra digs. Otter said of Balukoff, “If you went to his original website, it’s much, much different than his website today. In his website he says we need to have a statewide property tax so that we have a sustainable tax for our school system in our state, similar to Montana.” Balukoff interjected, “I have never said that, and in fact you should know, Governor,  that the Idaho Constitution prohibits a statewide property tax.”

Otter retorted, “It also defines marriage as between one man and one woman.” That prompted Pankey to blurt, “Do I need to separate the two of you?”

Perhaps the biggest news out of tonight’s debate: Otter pledging to continue fighting same-sex marriage, though he issued a statement earlier today saying, “We have done all we can through the courts for now to defend traditional marriage in Idaho.” Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage has been overturned in court and the state’s appeals have failed; same-sex couples can begin legally receiving marriage licenses in the state Wednesday morning.

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.

Follow Betsy online: