Butch Otter

Bowe Bergdahl
1:46 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Idaho’s Politicians Walk A Careful Line In Debate Over Bergdahl Release

Bergdahl, now 28, spent nearly five years as POW.
Credit Courtesy of the Bergdahl family

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrived at a military hospital in Texas Friday to continue his recovery process. There has been no shortage of strong opinions about the release of the former POW, except among Idaho's Congressional delegation. The two senators and two congressmen from Bergdahl's home state have largely avoided the national fray.

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Gay Marriage
12:37 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Gay Marriage Plaintiffs Ask Idaho To Pay Their Court Costs

Deborah Ferguson is the lead attorney for the four Idaho couples.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Four couples who successfully sued Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter over the state's gay marriage ban are now asking to be reimbursed for nearly half a million dollars of attorney fees and other court costs.

The group filed a motion in Boise's U.S. District Court on Tuesday asking that the state be ordered to pay more than $467,000 for the expenses associated with bringing the lawsuit.

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Business
4:27 am
Wed May 28, 2014

'Little Bitch Otter' Beer Maker To Give Some Proceeds To Gay Rights Groups

Crooked Fence Brewing's Kelly Knopp created this image for its beer label.
Credit Courtesy Crooked Fence Brewery

The brewery we told you about two weeks ago that's fermenting a batch of political commentary plans to give a portion of its proceeds from "Little Bitch Otter" beer to gay rights groups.

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Prison
3:57 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Idaho Opting Out Of Federal Prison Rape Law

Eric Holder
Credit roberthuffstutter / Flickr

Several states, including Idaho, are refusing to comply with a federal law designed to reduce sexual assaults in prison, with governors criticizing the Prison Rape Elimination Act as an unfunded mandate that replaces good intentions with red tape.

The governors of Idaho, Texas, Indiana, Utah and Arizona have informed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that they won't try to meet the federal prison rape standards. Governors were required to certify by May 15 that their states either met the standards, or to promise that they were actively working toward that goal.

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Election 2014
1:49 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

After Winning Urban Areas, Fulcher Says He Lost Idaho's Governor Primary With Rural Voters

Russ Fulcher, left, and Gov. Otter talked quietly before Wednesday's GOP rally at the state Capitol.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. 'Butch' Otter won his Republican primary Tuesday night, making him the first GOP governor since 1962 to win his party’s nomination three times in a row. Otter's victory wasn't a landslide, his main primary opponent, state Sen. Russ Fulcher, gave the longtime Republican politician a run for his money.

With all but three of Idaho's precincts reporting, Otter won just over 51 percent of the vote, and lost major counties like Ada and Kootenai to Fulcher.

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Election 2014
8:38 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Wins GOP Nomination For Third Term Bid

Gov. Otter will face Democrat A.J. Balukoff in November's general election.
Credit Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter barely cinched the GOP gubernatorial nomination, winning about 52 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

Otter will face Democrat A.J. Balukoff in November as he bids for a third term in office.

The GOP gubernatorial race was tight, with tea party favorite Sen. Russ Fulcher lagging by only about 13,000 votes with 92 percent of precincts reporting very early Wednesday morning. But the governor left the GOP celebration in Boise early, without making a statement and before the race had been called.

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Gay Marriage
6:16 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Gay Marriage Must Remain On Hold In Idaho

Credit SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal appeals court says no same-sex marriages will be allowed in Idaho until an appeal is decided.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday granted a request for a stay from Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

The decision means that despite a recent ruling overturning Idaho's gay marriage ban, same-sex couples can't get married or have their marriages recognized until the 9th Circuit or U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to let the ruling stand.

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Election 2014
1:51 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

5 Things To Watch In The Idaho Primary Election

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

WHAT'S AT STAKE? In Idaho, the primary election is often the most fiercely fought contest between candidates. The winners of the GOP primary almost always go on to win in November as they usually don't face serious opposition from Democrats.

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Government Transparency
9:30 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Idaho Governor Ombudsman Order Changed At The Last Minute

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Public records from Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's office show that an executive order creating a new public records ombudsman had to be scaled back at the last minute over concerns it could step on existing law.

Otter issued the executive order late last month, naming Cally Younger the new ombudsman and calling on her to create an annual report detailing public record requests and denials. The move was in response to a request from the Newspaper Association of Idaho, which wanted an option to appeal denied requests without going to court.

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Business
5:54 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Idaho Brewery Gets Political With 'Little Bitch Otter' Beer

Credit Courtesy Crooked Fence Brewery

An Idaho brewery is wading into political commentary with a new beer dubbed "Little Bitch Otter," which appears to take a shot at Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

The logo, made by Crooked Fence Brewing co-owner and marketing director Kelly Knopp, features an otter wearing a tie and cowboy hat.

"Anyone that is going to try to take away freedoms or not let someone be equal, Crooked Fence is against," says Knopp.

Knopp wouldn't be more specific on why their political cartoon appears to put Gov. Otter in the cross hairs, although the timing seems deliberate.

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Election 2014
1:45 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

As America Laughs, Host Of Wacky Idaho Debate Has No Regrets

Melissa Davlin is co-host of Idaho Public Television's "Idaho Reports."
Credit Courtesy Aaron Kunz

Idaho Public Television host Melissa Davlin says she doesn’t blame Idaho’s governor for insisting that long-shot candidates Harley Brown and Walt Bayes be invited to participate in this week’s GOP gubernatorial debate.

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2014 Election
9:57 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Idaho's Republican Candidates For Governor Square Off In Colorful Debate

Idaho's four Republican candidates for governor, Harley Brown, Walt Bayes, Butch Otter, and Russ Fulcher, debated May 14, on Idaho Public Television.
Credit Jim Hadley / Idaho Public Television

Four candidates vying for the Idaho GOP gubernatorial nomination faced off Wednesday evening in their only scheduled debate, tackling the economy, state control of federal lands and the Affordable Health Care Act.

Two-term Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is challenged by Sen. Russ Fulcher, Walt Bayes and Harley Brown.

During the Idaho Public Television debate, Brown colorfully described the group as a cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker and a normal guy, referring to Otter, Bayes, himself and Fulcher respectively.

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Election 2014
12:52 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Idaho Congressman Endorses Challenger Russ Fulcher For Governor

Rep. Raul Labrador has endorsed two Republicans challenging incumbent Republicans.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho GOP gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher is the latest nominee to secure an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador.

The Idaho congressman announced Monday he would support Fulcher, who is hoping to unseat two-term Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. This is the third endorsement Labrador has made in Idaho's primary statewide election race. He's also endorsed Todd Hatfield, who is challenging incumbent state Controller Brandon Woolf, and state Rep. Lawerence Denney, who is running for Secretary of State.

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2014 Election
6:40 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Listen: Gov. Otter Says His Primary Challenge Is A Battle For "Heart And Soul" Of Idaho's GOP

Gov. Butch Otter has served two four-year terms as Idaho's governor.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter says no matter what, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it's known, was coming to Idaho.  

“Because if we hadn’t [have] established our own state exchange, we would have had Obamacare in Idaho,” he says. “We didn’t have a choice. We were going to have an exchange in Idaho. We were going to have the Obamacare exchange in Idaho or we were gonna have [an]  Idaho exchange in Idaho.”

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2014 Election
6:45 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Listen: Fulcher Paints Otter As GOP Outsider In Race For Governor

Sen. Fulcher is serving his fifth term in the Idaho Legislature.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Russ Fulcher says incumbent Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter no longer represents the heart of Idaho's Republican Party.  

Fulcher, a state senator from Meridian, has been on the campaign trail since late November spreading that message. He’s the tea party candidate trying to unseat a longtime cowboy politician he says has a political “machine” behind him.

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Economy
5:00 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Idaho Governor Otter Unveils New Economic Development Plan

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
Credit State of Idaho

 Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is launching an initiative he says will boost economic development using planning collaboration but not much spending.

The governor announced the plan, called Accelerate Idaho, Thursday afternoon. The initiative establishes a checklist of areas needing improvement, including K-12 education, infrastructure and labor shortages in key industries.

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Policy
3:59 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Idaho Governor Appoints Public Records Ombudsman

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has appointed a public records ombudsman to review how state agencies handle records requests and to look at ways to improve Idaho's public records laws.

Cally Younger, the associate attorney for the governor's office, is filling the post, Otter announced Wednesday.

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Idaho Legislature
3:43 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Gov. Otter Signs Tax Incentive Bill To Lure Businesses To Idaho

Credit State of Idaho

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is backing legislation aimed at creating jobs and bringing business to Idaho.

Otter on Thursday signed the bill into law that refunds up to 30 percent of state corporate income taxes, payroll taxes and sales taxes to businesses that create a certain number of new jobs.

The measure mandates workers must be paid wages that at least match the county average.

The bill hit some speed bumps during the session, drawing the ire of small business owners who said the tax breaks give an unfair edge to their larger competitors.

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2014 Election
4:38 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Removed From Idaho Education Task Force, One Member Cries Foul

Education Improvement Task Force members at a public meeting last year. Mike Lanza (left) sits next to Rodger Brown, the governor's deputy chief of staff.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A member of Idaho’s 'Task Force for Improving Education' has been kicked out of the group. Mike Lanza says he was told it was because he went to work for Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s Democratic challenger.

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Idaho Legislature
12:17 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Idaho Agriculture Industry Happy With 2014 Legislature

Credit UGA College of Ag / Flickr

Idaho's farmers, ranchers and producers say they're happy with the outcome of the 2014 Legislature.

The Capitol Press reports a lot of things went right for the agricultural industry during the 74-day session, where numerous industry-boosting bills found a foothold.

That included the Agriculture Security Act, a dairy-backed bill that punishes those who film agricultural operations, and is designed to protect farmers from spying activists.

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