Otter: Still Running After All These Years

If you haven't checked out IdaBlue lately, you really should. Alan over there has made some very good points on water policy and Butch Otter recently.

Earlier this week, undoubtedly as a direct result of the Thayn domestic violence fracas, Otter's office set domestic violence policy. As Alan observed, "I'd like to see Gov. Otter issue a policy with real teeth."

Well, exactly.

Such has been Otter's M.O. since he took office. Talk a good game, say the right things, but when it comes down to brass tacks offer nothing of substance. Whether the issue is water, transportation infrastructure, taxation, that nasty commute from Star to Boise, or this, the common thread is all talk, no action. Otter seems to have forgotten that there's a difference between being a libertarian and being a statist. Thus far, he's demonstrated he's clearly the latter.

It also goes to show how dysfunctional the Idaho Republicans have become. One one side you have true-believer do-gooder neophytes like Thayn, who want to legislate family values but can't seem to stay on message long enough to have any impact (even if they were onto something), and then you have folks like Otter, who's certainly been around long enough to know how things work, but for whatever reason doesn't do anything about it. The result is a big mess in the public sector.

People say I'm unorthodox for looking at running for governor three years early. Hell, Otter basically ran for governor for more like _30_ years. Now that he has it, what's he doing with it? That's a valid question if there ever was one.

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Hard realities

I'm sorry, but to be an 'old Dutch Uncle' giving you the hard're holding zippo. You're tilting at windmills, my friend. And your family may be suffering. 'Tis best you lower your sights, and become relevant. My advice is to run for the legislature and get some name recognition right there in the Magic Valley. It's called growing your gravitas, and it works on both sides. We love your infectious enthusiasm for the battle, but we know that's all it is; and in this red state without something else on your resume, you'll never get the funding to carry-out your grandiose plans.

There's About Two Years to Find Out

And if that's what comes to pass, c'est la vie. I'll drop down. The whole point of going exploratory as early as I did was to build up the necessary resources and name ID. If come 2009 those aren't where they need to be, I'll reassess where to run. That's been the plan all along.

There's a lot against me. There's never been a governor from Twin Falls. There's never been an Idaho State alumnus/alumna as governor. There hasn't been a governor without prior elective office in over 100 years. Should I run and win in '10 I'd probably be the youngest governor in the country (I'm two years younger than Bobby Jindal). If I have to wait until '14 or '18, meh, so what? Time is on my side.

Still, apart from the Two Larrys, Walt Minnick and maybe a couple of others, I don't see anyone else making an effort to step it up. That motivates me too.


I served two years on the Idaho Democratic Party executive committee, became a published author, ran for Congress, and did all of the above before my 30th birthday. So it's not like this is my first rodeo.