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Eye on Boise: Jerky quip earns an Oberto sampler

Oberto Brands in Seattle, manufacturer of beef jerky, is planning to send Idaho Rep. Heather Scott a case of beef jerky.

The company noticed a post on Eye on Boise about how Scott, a Blanchard Republican, said during the special session of the Legislature on Monday, “Hey, I brought beef jerky, I’ll go for days.”

“We thought it’d be fun to send her some, now that we know her love for beef jerky,” said Courtney Roe, marketing coordinator for Oberto Brands in Kent, Washington. “I was thinking a case, so like eight bags. It’ll be a couple different flavors.”

Roe said it’ll be the first time the beef jerky company has sent its product to a state legislator. “But I’ve sent some to a chef once in Seattle,” who commented in an article that his favorite snack was beef jerky, she said. “We do it every now and then for fans on Twitter as well.”

Scott’s comment came nearly four hours into the committee hearing on child support enforcement legislation, which she opposed. She asked to pose another question to someone testifying, something she already had done many times during the hearing. Committee Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, noted the time – the noon hour – and said, “They’re going to just give us bread and water here if we keep asking all these questions.”

That’s when Scott gave her beef jerky reply. Amid laughter, Lodge responded, “You’d better pass it out.”

Oberto Brands was founded in 1918 by Constantino Oberto and his Uncle John in Seattle, pledging to sell “only the finest hand-made Italian sausages and salami.” By 1994, Oberto was the nation’s top jerky manufacturer. Among the company’s trademarks is the slogan, “Oh boy, Oberto!”

Scott had this reaction: “Wow! That is awesome! What a generous act of kindness.”

Geddes to succeed Luna, who resigned

Former Idaho Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes, a geologist who also is a former Idaho state tax commissioner, was named the new director of the state Department of Administration last week by Gov. Butch Otter. Geddes replaces interim director Keith Reynolds, the department’s chief financial officer. Reynolds has been serving in the post since former director Teresa Luna resigned last month amid controversy surrounding a broadband contract with the Idaho Education Network.

“Bob is a steady and trusted hand who knows his way around state government,” Otter said in a statement. “He has faithfully and conscientiously served the people of Idaho for many years. This new chapter in that service presents new challenges, but I know without a doubt that Bob is the right man to turn those challenges into opportunities for the Department of Administration and more importantly for the citizens we serve.”

Geddes served nine terms in the Senate as a Republican representing Soda Springs in eastern Idaho; he served on the state Tax Commission from January of 2011 to mid-2012, when he left to return to his previous longtime employer, Monsanto Corp., where he was an environmental engineer.

Ybarra: Job done, tech chief leaving

The key staffer who oversaw the successful and quick transition of Idaho schools from the defunct Idaho Education Network to individually negotiated broadband contracts is resigning June 30. Will Goodman, chief technology officer for the state Department of Education, said he wanted to return to his prior job as technology director for the Mountain Home School District and spend more time with his family.

Idaho schools saw big savings plus increased bandwidth with their new, district-by-district broadband contracts. The transition was completed in just a few weeks, after courts declared the state’s $60 million contract for the statewide Idaho Education Network illegal.

“Will has been an integral part of the office transition, and has accomplished the tasks that were placed before him in this short time,” said state schools Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra.  “Being close to family is important, and he will again be a great asset for the students in the Mountain Home School District.”

She named Chris Campbell to replace Goodman. Campbell is currently a regional education technology coordinator for the department. Prior to joining the department, he was director of technology for the Genesee Joint School District for seven years.

Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog. She can be reached at