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Posts published in “Day: November 5, 2014”

The Otter message

malloy CHUCK

In Idaho

Judging by his margin of victory, Gov. Butch Otter sealed the deal on this election long before the Oct. 30 debate on Idaho Public Television. But if there were any doubts about Otter in rural Idaho, where Otter practically is a political folk hero, they were quickly dashed in the debate.

From a rural perspective, Otter, the rodeo cowboy, was going against all the forces of evil. There was a Democratic egghead, a smooth-talking lawyer and a liberal media panel that peppered him with questions about issues that didn’t amount to a jar of tobacco spit – mainly, the prison scandal and settlement amounts.
Otter, the smart politician he is, turned the situation in his favor. He fought back, putting the rich Democrat, the lawyer and the liberal press in their place. A few times, he stood toe to toe with John Bujak, looking him straight in the eye – which, given Bujak’s physical stature, was like staring down Mean Joe Greene.

Somewhere in rural Idaho, someone had to be saying, “You tell ‘em, Butch.” The rural folk couldn’t care less if the settlement amount with Corrections Corporation of America was $1 million, or $1.3 million, or whether he participated in negotiations that gave the CCA a golden parachute. One thing people in rural Idaho can understand is how to deal with tough times, and Otter played those cards just right. It’s easy for people in Boise to talk about spending more for education and raising taxes; it’s a lot tougher for people in rural Idaho to come up with the cash.

For almost an hour and a half, Otter showed a side of him that has been missing for so long. He’s the guy who, as a legislator, voted “not no, but HELL NO,” on a bill he didn’t like. As lieutenant governor, he vetoed a bill to raise the drinking age when the governor was out of town because he didn’t want to yield to the federal government’s blackmail. As a congressman, Otter stood up to a Republican president at the height of his popularity to oppose the Patriot Act, because he thought it trampled on people’s civil rights.

During the talk about the Patriot Act, calls of “You tell ‘em, Butch,” didn’t just come from rural Idaho. Otter was a champion of the people and even the editorial pages gave him credit. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Republicans sweep in Idaho races (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal, Moscow News)
New bishop, Christensen, for Idaho catholics (Boise Statesman)
Grossenbacher will be replaced as INL head (IF Post Register)
Asotin Co elects new sheriff (Lewiston Tribune)
Agidius loses to Jordan (Moscow News)
More gun background checks approved in Washington (Moscow News)

Legal pot wins at ballot, no to driver cards (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, Corvallis Gazette, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Kitzhaber gets 4th term (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, Corvallis Gazette, Pendleton )
Corvallis rejects parking district plan (Corvallis Gazette)
Klamath passes school bond (KF Herald & News)
Lake Co sheriff race too close (KF Herald & News)
Jackson Co sheriffs race finally decided (Medford Tribune)
Hermiston/Standfield fire district rejected (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Close split on GMO labeling measure (Salem Statesman Journal)

Kitsap elects first R commissioner since 08 (Bremerton Sun)
Gun background check initiative wins (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Bremerton Sun, Olympian)
Washington congressional incumbents win (Everett Herald, Olympian)
Who wins control of Wa Senate? (Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald)
Cowlitz prosecutor may be ousted (Longview News)
Cowlitz PUD board gets new commissioner (Longview News)
Thurston Commission sees change (Olympian)
Close vote on reducing class sizes (Seattle Times)
Republicans romp in Idaho (Spokane Spokesman)
Republicans win in Spokane races (Spokane Spokesman)
Clark Co voters support home rule (Vancouver Columbian)
Newhouse ahead of Didier in House race (Yakima Herald Republic)
Winter elected as Yakima sheriff (Yakima Herald Republic)