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Otter Swears Again

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Governor Butch Otter was absent on his first day in office by jetting down to Arizona to watch the Boise State Broncos beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl.

Otter's new administration has begun moving in to the Idaho Statehouse, in preparation for his first State of the State Speech on January 8, and the beginning of the Idaho Legislature that same day.

But Otter kicked off his term with a tussle with local media, when he chose to have his inauguration ceremony performed in private at the Simplot Mansion. When he did so without a single member of the media present, local news outlets cried foul.

Both The Associated Press and the Idaho Statesman said they had requested to be present at the event.

"He came in here and said, 'Jonny, I don't want to make a big deal out of this,'" said Otter spokesman Jon Hanian.

Timing was an issue, too. Idaho's Constitution requires new governors to take their oath, on the first Monday in January after the election. This year, the first Monday falls on New Year's Day, a government holiday.

By the time Otter has his public swearing-in on Friday, January 5, he'll have had three such events: the first was the written oath he signed on December 28.

As he has for the past seven months, Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch acted as governor while Otter was away.