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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Campaign ad boasts of Otter’s energy focus

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s latest campaign commercial focuses on alternative energy, touting Idaho’s moves in that direction. But the Otter campaign could not document Otter’s claim in the ad that he’s made the state one of the nation’s leaders in alternative energy research, and national statistics show otherwise.

Ad criticizes Otter’s school budget cuts

BOISE – With state education cuts high on Idahoans’ minds with the new school year under way, Gov. Butch Otter’s Democratic challenger, Keith Allred, has launched a new TV ad criticizing Otter for the cuts. The ad, which began running Tuesday night across Southern Idaho but hasn’t yet launched in the Panhandle, includes an image of a troubled Otter looking down at a tall stack of papers; that’s a composite image in which the papers and other elements were added.

Discontent over funding could impact Idaho schools race

As Idaho voters make clear their displeasure with cuts to public education spending, the men running to lead the state’s schools for the next four years are campaigning in relative obscurity. A poll of 625 people likely to vote in the Nov. 2 election shows that 56 percent think per-pupil spending on K-12 public education is too low. The poll, conducted by The Spokesman-Review and six other daily Idaho newspapers, also shows that 23 percent of voters remain undecided about the race for superintendent of public instruction, possibly because some don’t know who’s running.

Expert cites tea party in Idaho poll’s divide

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s 16-point lead over Democrat Keith Allred masks weaknesses that show the race is far from over. Otter leads Allred 45 percent to 29 percent in a statewide poll commissioned by The Spokesman-Review and six other Idaho newspapers. But only 44 percent of those polled said they had a favorable opinion of Otter, and 20 percent remain undecided.

Eye on Boise: Big debates coming in top political races

BOISE – It’s debate season, with major debates set in the coming weeks in Idaho’s top political races, giving voters who tune in a chance to see and compare the candidates. The two major-party candidates for governor, incumbent Gov. Butch Otter and Democrat Keith Allred, have faced off twice in recent weeks at City Club events in Idaho Falls and Boise; the two also are scheduled for two televised debates in late October, though Otter canceled on a planned Oct. 7 debate in Lewiston.

Allred ad touts disputed tax role

BOISE – Another fight has erupted over the accuracy of 2010 campaign ads, with Republicans arguing that Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Keith Allred has no cause to boast about killing Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed gas tax hike. A recent Allred ad claimed he and his nonpartisan reform group, The Common Interest, “stopped Butch Otter’s gas tax and registration fee hikes” in 2009. But Allred at the time was a lobbyist, not a legislator.

Idaho governor now opposes repeal of 17th Amendment

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter appears to be abandoning an issue important to many tea party activists. The Republican seeking a second term in the governor’s office declared during a political debate Monday that he now opposes repeal of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would return the selection of U.S. senators to state legislatures. But just five months ago, while in Spokane as a keynote speaker for a tea party rally in Riverfront Park, Otter was sharply critical of the 17th Amendment, which some conservative groups consider an intrusion on state’s rights and its repeal is part of the Idaho Republican Party’s state platform.

Governor hopefuls release new TV ads

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s first campaign commercial for his re-election bid contains a misleading claim, while that of his Democratic challenger, Keith Allred, includes an overstatement. But both TV spots, unveiled as Idaho enters the thick of the campaign season, begin to delineate the candidates, from the incumbent who strongly defends his state budget cuts as a victory in shrinking government to the challenger who draws himself as an Idaho Everyman who’s not beholden to “special interests.”

Gas tax debate rekindled in Idaho

There’s good reason Washington license plates are such a common sight at Idaho gas stations near the state line – gas is just plain cheaper in Idaho. Among the reasons: Washington’s 37.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax is 12.5 cents higher than Idaho’s, which has stood at 25 cents a gallon since 1996.