What Happened to CL “Butch” Otter?
I am aggravated with the self-proclaimed head of our Republican party, Gov. C.L.. “Butch” Otter. We continually read from all of the papers across Idaho bashing Governor Otter concerning scandal after scandal and repeated allegations of cronyism. More disturbing is that the claims of corruption and cronyism are not just a liberal rant from leftist liberals like Taule and Trilhaase. They are actually true.
Otter has a history of being unfaithful to the Republican Party. In 2006, Otter used his puppet State Republican Party chairman at the state convention in Idaho Falls to oppose several Republican Party platform positions that were important to rank and file party members.
In 2008, Otter put on the stink face and left pouting from the state convention in Sandpoint after convention delegates refused to re-elect his hand-picked, good-old-boy puppet chairman, Kirk Sulllivan. Since 2008, Otter has abandoned the Republican Party rather than lead the Republican Party. He has withdrawn traditional forms of funding and key personnel to enrich his own campaign and starve the Republican Party of funding necessary to promote the party platform. For the past six years, he has chosen to operate his own “shadow party” built on a backroom culture of political cronyism and favoring his friends and donors at the taxpayers’ expense.
Otter has simply lost his way. As witnessed this year, Otter is supporting primary candidates against established conservative legislators like Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth and others who have dared to oppose his liberal policies, such as implementing Obamacare through the Idaho state exchange. We read reports of the recent standoff between the governor and State Republican Party Chairman Barry Peterson, where Otter falsely accused Peterson of intimidating candidates for precinct committee positions. Otter’s re-election team is also flush with lobbyists and insider cronies. Idaho’s governor is so out of touch and self-absorbed he even declared that Idaho’s greatest challenge for 2014 is “gettin’ me re-elected.”
Otter also refuses to endorse the Idaho Republican Platform, choosing not to complete the platform survey or even state publicly what portions of the platform he disagrees with or why. His opponent in the May 20 primary, respected State Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, on the other hand, has embraced the platform in full.
The Republican Party Platform is the North Star that shines forth those time-honored Republican principles that we as Republicans rely on for liberty and freedom. In a world wrought with increasing liberal thought, it is more important than ever for us to embrace the Republican platform principles and hold those who stray from them accountable, even our very own governor, when necessary.
—Doyle Beck, Idaho Falls
Time to Fix Education Spending in Kuna
I applaud the Kuna Melba News’ extensive coverage of the problems in our schools. As one who attends 9 of 10 school board meetings, it has been good to see more people starting to show up. If that is a measure of success, then the paper has “done its job.”
As for me, it is simple. For the past several years, I have seen two trends: 1) Kids and teachers lack the necessary learning materials and supplies for the classroom; and 2) Massive levies of millions of dollars poured into the schools.
There is a divide between the school district and the rest of the community. When Michael and I started questioning the data and the spending priorities, the character shots came. Even the Kuna Melba News got into the game, claiming I am part of some “vast right wing conspiracy.” I’m still waiting for that elusive Koch Brothers check? Maybe I should call it a “shovel ready” payment? (ha ha!) As for the data, we stand by it. Sure, there is argument on how some things are being counted, but I can point to reporting from newspapers that back what we’ve said. Supporters of the levy failed to back some of their “rather creative” claims.
The bottom line is this: We are pouring a lot of money into our schools, and yet there is not enough of a focus on our teachers and our kids. Spending an additional $600,000 from the state on plant and equipment and NOT on the classroom is wrong. There is also $500,000 more in recouped Medicaid funds. Obfuscating funding facts to families struggling to make ends meet is unacceptable. This includes claiming we’re spending $4,494 per pupil and then changing it to $6,758 per pupil. And, refusing to consider savings from competitively bidding custodial, transportation, and driver’s education is just dumb. I’m sure the Koch brothers would agree (ha ha!).
I stand by my offer to sit down with anyone at any time to discuss this issue. Let’s implement some of the savings we have suggested. Then, let’s pass a series of smaller levies dedicated to specific needs, focused on the classroom, and held accountable by the school board. The board is not paid for their work; they do it out of dedication. They, and not the employees of the school district, are the ONLY people who are allowed to give an opinion about school spending. The board is in charge. The school district should also not publicly support pro-levy (or anti-levy) advocacy groups like the Friends of the Kuna School District, as they did. The voters of Kuna know we have to spend some money, but the time for “blank checks” is over. Thank you.