Anyone expecting Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to give an in-depth consideration of the Gem State economy in today's Address to the Business Community, sponsored by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, instead got a full dose of Otter's political leanings.
Otter spent the first several minutes of the sold-out noontime event at the Boise Centre offering a rosy picture of Idaho's economy:
"The economic picture in Idaho is bright," said Otter, noting that the Gem State was one of only two states (the other being Rhode Island) that saw its unemployment rate drop in the latest July figures.
"I just received a report this morning from State Commerce Director Jeff Sayer that predicts an expansion of our economy of nearly 2,000 jobs," said Otter. "That would represented an estimated $200 million of job investment from employers."
But for the better part of an hour, Otter pushed his 2012 political agenda.
"This November is the most important election of my lifetime," said the governor. "I can't begin to tell you what is riding on the outcome."
But he did begin to tell hundreds of attendees that he wanted Republicans to take back control of the U.S. Senate and that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney would take over the Oval Office.
"And I couldn't be more pleased that the Republicans have chosen Paul Ryan as their vice president candidate," said Otter.
Otter also campaigned for a "yes" vote on the three ballot initiatives before Idaho voters that challenge the "Students Come First" reforms, also known as the "Luna Laws."
Otter claimed that the reforms were the state's response to what he called Idaho's education system being "deficient in its mission."
"It's wasteful to go back to where we were," said Otter.