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Posts published in “Day: June 15, 2011”

Carlson: On Andrus and I

Chris Carlson
Carlson Chronicles

For readers who have been entertained or, hopefully, intellectually stimulated by my musings for more than a year, I have some news: Idaho’s oldest publishing house, Caxton Press of Caldwell, will be publishing a book by me.

Entitled “Cecil Andrus: Idaho’s Greatest Governor,” the book recounts an insider’s view of events that happened in the 10 years I worked for the “good, great former governor.” Elected to four terms covering 14 years with a 10-year break between the first six years and the second eight years, Andrus is without question the longest serving, most influential political practitioner to ever hold Idaho’s reins.

He is the standard against which all previous and subsequent governors will be measured. His total tenure will never be exceeded, nor will his margin of victory in the 1974 election (73 percent) ever be topped. He is considered by many to be one of the five best persons to ever serve as Secretary of the Interior.

The book describes the governor’s early years on the family farm outside Hood River, Oregon, where he was born on August 25, 1931. It also describes his teenage years, early marriage (he was 18), and service in the Navy on board a P2V Neptune patrol bomber and intel gathering aircraft during the Korean War. Few know, for example, he survived a potentially disastrous air crash.

His years as a gypo logger in northern Idaho and his election in 1960 to the Idaho State Senate from Clearwater County at the age of 29 (then the youngest person elected to the Legislature) and his years serving in the Senate also are recounted. Little has been written about these formative years and experiences.

Throughout the book I recount anecdotes from our years working together when he was governor and then Interior secretary, as well as during our business relationship at the Gallatin Group in his post-political office years. I try to help the reader understand how such an extraordinary politician emerged from such ordinary circumstances.

When a reader is finished with this book, I can only hope those that know him will say “Yup, that’s Cece.” Those that don’t at least will feel they have met and gotten better acquainted with him. Even 16 years after leaving office, according to almost all polls, Andrus remains the most popular and best known hunter/ fisherman in the state. Many believe he could easily win the governor’s chair again. (more…)

Dealing with details

Big, sweeping changes are never simple - one reason why legislation that is of large import is so often so large. Consider the education overhaul bills in Idaho this year; the bills themselves offered only an outline, and many of the details have yet to be filled in.

A Dan Popkey piece in this morning's Idaho Statesman made the point. He talked to Alan Dunn, superintendent of the Sugar-Salem School District in eastern Idaho, who saw in the new law, among other things, the requirement that school provide new distance learning for their classes, through the Idaho Education Network. He got together with several other superintendents in the area to put together some regional distance learning programs. That, he figured, would satisfy the requirements.

Then he had a conversation with an aide to Superintendent of Public Insutruction Tom Luna, who said that no, it didn't meet the terms of the law. Dunn came away with: “That wasn’t our understanding as we went through this. That may change the things we were planning to do.”

This could become ... complex.