Cope Keeps Butch Up at Night


The headline above is not quite accurate.

But Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter did tell a breakfast crowd of reporters this morning that he bristles at the headlines he sees that attribute some motive to his actions as governor. His chief example, though he did not name BW columnist Bill Cope, was Cope's recent column, The Kill Joy. (Subhead: Otter's inferior past is Idaho's inferior future.)

Otter wrote about his treatment by the press in a recent OPINION column that some newspapers across the state ran on their EDITORIAL PAGES:

However, I did not propose closing any parks or eliminating any agencies. I did not propose “a batch of half-baked plans to zero out small but politically popular state services.” I did not ignore “hidden costs.” My approach was not, “If it brings joy to people, government has no business doing it.” And I am not trying “to run parks or public TV on the cheap.” —Otter's recent guest opinion

Otter says that contrary to some of those headlines, the cuts to state government that he is making keep him up at night, cause him to call legislative leadership late at night and early in the morning and are tougher than he once thought to implement. He said he "bristles" at the headlines and asks for some compassion from columnists.

"Otter doesn't want to cut," Otter said. "I would like to see some compassion. This is a tough tough position to be in and I've got to pick and I've got to choose."

Otter said the headline he'd like to see is "Otter obeys the Constitution."

At the same event, Otter was asked what he would want the hallmark of his tenure to be, were the state budget flush with cash.

"Happiness," he responded.