Remembrances of Idaho political icon Cecil Andrus are pouring in from leaders across the state and the nation. The former governor founded a public policy center at Boise State University after retiring from politics. The center’s director, John Freemuth, was a longtime associate of the late Andrus.
He says knowing his boss and friend was an ongoing education.
“It was like getting a PhD in the real political world,” says Freemuth. “Just the way he could look at issues. His deep caring for the state and the people of it was not manufactured, it was real.”
Over the three occasions Freemuth worked under the Idaho Democrat, he says he got closer to him each time. Freemuth thinks the late governor will be remembered for two particular policy legacies. The first thing that comes to Freemuth’s mind is Andrus’ commitment to education and making sure it received ample funding.
Secondly, “his environmental record,” Freemuth says. “His protection of the public lands and his work with President Carter.”
The head of Boise State’s public policy center says it’s a sad day for Idaho.
“It was a pleasure to get as close to him as I did over the years. I felt fortunate in that way,” Freemuth says.
The former governor and Secretary of the Interior died Thursday, just one day short of his 86th birthday.
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