• Andrus and Carlson

"I've long thought that Governor Andrus has never been given the full credit he deserved for the critical role he played in leading the way to passage of the greatest single piece of conservation legislation in American history. So I set out to make sure the history books properly reflect this excellent piece of his legacy." - Chris Carlson

carlson

Baby-boomer parents who ever read bedtime stories to their children often delighted in reading books by “Dr. Seuss.” They had a lyrical, often rhyming quality to them and the accompanying illustrations added to the joy.

If Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter truly loves Idaho, and wants to have some kind of noteworthy legacy, its time he took his cue from Marvin K. Mooney and exits stage right. He should resign and turn the governorship over to his loyal Lt. Governor Brad Little.

The positive reasons are many.

· It would make Little the incumbent and give him a leg up over First District congressman Raul Labrador in next May’s primary.

· It would provide Little with a legislative session to show what he could do for the state and his ability to work with leadership.

· Little would carry-on some of the Governor’s initiatives, most especially a continuation of restoring educational funding.

· It would give Little the opportunity to demonstrate his knowledge of the issues as well as his knowledge of state agencies, and that he knows how to instill positive response.

· Little is heads and tails above all the wanna-be’s in terms of qualifications. No other Republican nor is there any Democrat more prepared to take over.

· Having accompanied Governor Otter on almost all his “Capitol For A Day” visits, Little knows Idaho and almost every single community across this state better than any of the others.

· Little is the best, one-on-one retail campaigner of the lot.

There are also some negative reasons for Otter to abdicate:

· Otter’s office and his cabinet are mostly in “glide mode” – doing little or nothing as they wait to see who the next governor will be.

· Its obvious, given the snafus and turmoil coming from the governor’s office of late that Otter’s hand on the steering wheel has lessened considerably. Some say Otter is just mailing it in, that his heart is no longer in administering or managing.

· Labrador, given his prominence in the Freedom Caucus and their decisions that so vexed President Trump, will find that the current Administration will not work with him (they take names and keep enemie’ lists). Little will be able to work with the Trumpsters.

· Little listens and works to bring people together by fleshing out what they agree upon first. Labrador is an ideologue with pre-conceived thought of his own as to what has to be done.

With apologies to Dr. Seuss here is a revised version of his classic. “Clement Leroy” is the beginning of Governor Otter’s full name:

“The time has come/The time is now.

Just go. GO. GO! I don’t care how.

You can go by foot. You can go by horse or cow.

Clement Leroy, will you please go now!

You can go with your Tony Lamas’.

You can go on your ATV.

You can go with your stetson on.

But please go. Please.

I don’t care. You can go with your chuck wagon.

You can go on your mountain bike.

If you like you can go in your tennis shoes.

Just go, go, GO! Please do, do, DO!

Clement Leroy, I don’t care how.

Clement Leroy, will you please GO NOW!

You can go in a surrey. You can go by canoe.

You can go in the state cadillac, if you wish.

If you wish you may go by a wolf’s tail that you shot at and didn’t miss/Or stamp yourself and go by snail mail.

Clement Leroy! Don’t you know the time has come

To go, GO, GO!

Get on your way, Clement Leroy! Give the office to Brad Little today! I don’t care how you go, just GET!

Butch, Butch, Butch! Will you leave the office?

Clement Leroy Otter, I don’t care HOW!

Clement Leroy Otter, will you please GO NOW!

I said GO and GO I meant. . . .

The time had COME,

So Clement Leroy Otter WENT!

Column

carlson

Baby-boomer parents who ever read bedtime stories to their children often delighted in reading books by “Dr. Seuss.” They had a lyrical, often rhyming quality to them and the accompanying illustrations added to the joy.

If Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter truly loves Idaho, and wants to have some kind of noteworthy legacy, its time he took his cue from Marvin K. Mooney and exits stage right. He should resign and turn the governorship over to his loyal Lt. Governor Brad Little.

The positive reasons are many.

· It would make Little the incumbent and give him a leg up over First District congressman Raul Labrador in next May’s primary.

· It would provide Little with a legislative session to show what he could do for the state and his ability to work with leadership.

· Little would carry-on some of the Governor’s initiatives, most especially a continuation of restoring educational funding.

· It would give Little the opportunity to demonstrate his knowledge of the issues as well as his knowledge of state agencies, and that he knows how to instill positive response.

· Little is heads and tails above all the wanna-be’s in terms of qualifications. No other Republican nor is there any Democrat more prepared to take over.

· Having accompanied Governor Otter on almost all his “Capitol For A Day” visits, Little knows Idaho and almost every single community across this state better than any of the others.

· Little is the best, one-on-one retail campaigner of the lot.

There are also some negative reasons for Otter to abdicate:

· Otter’s office and his cabinet are mostly in “glide mode” – doing little or nothing as they wait to see who the next governor will be.

· Its obvious, given the snafu’s and turmoil coming from the governor’s office of late that Otter’s hand on the steering wheel has lessened considerably. Some say Otter is just mailing it in, that his heart is no longer in administering or managing.

· Labrador, given his prominence in the Freedom Caucus and their decisions that so vexed President Trump, will find that the current Administration will not work with him (they take names and keep enemies’ lists). Little will be able to work with the Trumpsters.

· Little listens and works to bring people together by fleshing out what they agree upon first. Labrador is an ideologue with pre-conceived thought of his own as to what has to be done.

With apologies to Dr. Seuss here is a revised version of his classic. “Clement Leroy” is the beginning of Governor Otter’s full name:

“The time has come/The time is now.

Just go. GO. GO! I don’t care how.

You can go by foot. You can go by horse or cow.

Clement Leroy, will you please go now!

You can go with your Tony Lamas’.

You can go on your ATV.

You can go with your stetson on.

But please go. Please.

I don’t care. You can go with your chuck wagon.

You can go on your mountain bike.

If you like you can go in your tennis shoes.

Just go, go, GO! Please do, do, DO!

Clement Leroy, I don’t care how.

Clement Leroy, will you please GO NOW!

You can go in a surrey. You can go by canoe.

You can go in the state cadillac, if you wish.

If you wish you may go by a wolf’s tail that you shot at and didn’t miss/Or stamp yourself and go by snail mail.

Clement Leroy! Don’t you know the time has come

To go, GO, GO!

Get on your way, Clement Leroy! Give the office to Brad Little today! I don’t care how you go, just GET!

Butch, Butch, Butch! Will you leave the office?

Clement Leroy Otter, I don’t care HOW!

Clement Leroy Otter, will you please GO NOW!

I said GO and GO I meant. . . .

The time had COME,

So Clement Leroy Otter WENT!

Column

carlson

At an age when most men of means are sitting on a beach somewhere soaking up the sun’s therapeutic rays, or in a box seat watching their beloved Rockies (Cubs, Giants, Mariners) at spring training in Arizona, former Idaho Attorney General and Lt. Governor David Leroy, 69, is planning on a return to public service.

If elected Idaho for sure will be the beneficiary, and even the nation.

After a term as the state’s chief legal officer, and one as Lt. Governor, the Lewiston native and University of Idaho undergraduate (and Idaho Law School graduate), at the time a rising Republican star, decided to take on former Idaho Governor and Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus. Most observers thought Andrus would easily walk to a third term, not recognizing how tough a comeback can be for anyone seeking a return to the governorship after a ten-year absence.

It was the closest gubernatorial race in years. Leroy lost by just 3300 votes. He could have demanded a recount but instead graciously accepted the outcome. He then took a policy position as the nation’s Nuclear Waste negotiator before returning to the private sector to become a successful attorney.

Public service though is in his blood. In 1994 he sought to win the seat he is seeking now, but lost the GOP primary to his former campaign manager, Helen Chenoweth. For Leroy public service is a calling for which he is well-suited. He runs for the right reasons, not as a gratifying exercise in ego.

He runs because he sees himself as a problem solver. He is particularly intrigued by Republican control of both houses of Congress, of the White House with Donald Trump as POTUS, and, a 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. He sees opportunity for principled members of Congress to get past harsh partisanship and gridlock.

He calls himself a constitutional conservative, has deep admiration for President Abraham Lincoln (He has become a true Lincoln scholar) and sees himself as a uniter not a divider. He is no hide-bound ideologue. Rather, he applies his intellect and thoughtfulness to issues demanding solutions.

He will bring to the table maturity, experience, sound judgment and a sense of history. Some may say his time has past, but he can point to a president today in his 70’s and the three major Democratic challengers in the 2016 election would have been 70 or older by inauguration day (Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders). Seventy has truly become the new 45.

Leroy has also been a long-time admirer of former Idaho Governor and U.S. Senator Len B. Jordan, a true principled conservative Republican if there ever existed one in Idaho.

By announcing within a couple days of the currrent incumbent, Raul Labrador, signaling his intention to run for governor in 2018, Leroy is hoping to pre-empt the field. He quietly started planning his bid months ago, banking on Labrador not seeking re-election to Congress.

He has tied down loyalists across the district and should have no trouble financing his bid. He expects a challenger, someone like young GOP 4th District State Representative Luke Malek. A sleeper could be First District State Representative Heather Scott. Leroy should win regardless of who challenges him either from within the GOP or the Democrats.

Leroy has another attribute that does well by him – a sense of humor. In September of 1989 in what was a fortuitously clear, cloudless day with no wind, I climbed Mt. Borah. At 12,662 feet it is Idaho’s highest and the second highest, after Mr. Rainier, in the Pacific northwest. I carried with me an Andrus bumper sticker which I slapped onto a plastic tube at the top in which folks that make the climb can leave notes and messages.

I had a message I wanted to deliver to David Leroy who in the 1986 race had made much of his youth and vitality in a not too subtle contrast between Andrus’ age and his. Knowing that Leroy was thinking of a rematch I took an educated guess that if I left a message for him in the tube someone would read and report it to him within several weeks.

My message read: “By Chris Carlson, done on behalf of his friend, Governor Cecil D. Andrus, as a message to David Leroy. There are thousands like me who will climb any mountain and do whatever it takes to return the champion to the ring for another term. You better think long and hard before seeking a rematch.”

Three weeks later he called saying he understood I’d left a message for him on top of Mt. Borah. We shared a good laugh and not coincidentally was there a rematch. Ironically, the roles are reversed today, but the message is the same. A veteran who knows politics is going to be tough to beat. A political natural has returned.

Column

carlson

One of the worst things too many politicians do is pander to their constituents, telling them what they want to hear, not what they should hear. It is endemic and it is epidemic not to mention also insulting to the intelligence of the voter.

It is especially disgusting when the pandering politician knows it is just kabuki theater designed to keep their supporters mollified in the belief that their congressman or senator is looking out for their best interests.

A recent example was the introduction of a bill, S. 132, on January 3, 2017 by Idaho’s two senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, that restricts the President’s ability to utilize the Antiquities Act to preserve special and in some cases, sacred lands deemed worthy of extra protection, The bill mandates “local approval” and congressional authorization for any new monument designations.

The bill effectively gives higher standing to the comments of those living in and adjacent to these national interest public lands. In doing so it illegally creates a second class of citizenship, with those living next to or inside the boundaries of these public lands having a greater say and sway with the federal land management agencies.

Such legislation panders to the myth, the mistaken belief that public lands in a state like Idaho, in which the government owns 61% of the state’s acreage, belong more to those making a living directly or indirectly from those lands.

Many Idahoans simply refuse to acknowledge that a condo dweller in upper Manhatten has as much interest in Idaho’s public lands as does any Idahoan. Bills such as the Crapo/Risch proposal¸ that require public hearings as well as a public vote before a president can act, serve only to perpetuate the myth of neighbor ownership.

Until recently one could remain philosophical about such proposals. After all it is hard to imagine any president deliberately signing legislation that would restrict his power. In what appears to be an incredibly stupid move, though, President Donald Trump appears about to prove how unsuited he is for the presidency.

He has ordered a review of 27 national monument designations made by his three immediate predecessors apparently with the idea he may actually try to rescind some by executive order and lessen the acreage of others. He thus is encouraging those who believe a president just might be dumb enough to give up some of his authority.

Here is what Senators Crapo and Risch don’t tell their constituents:

they don’t tell them that almost every national park had its beginnning as a national monument;

that almost all of these then national monuments were opposed at the time by the surrounding communities but today they are seen as the key to a clean thriving tourism economy—parks like Olympic, Grand Canyon, and Grand Teton were first national monuments.

That all but three presidents have created national monuments since 1906—the three non­-users were Ricard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Utah is leading the charge to limit a president’s usuage of the Antiquities Act, yet four of the five national parks Utah advertises traveling to visit started as national monuments.

Critics clamor for more public hearings yet the Bear Ears National Monument had the most public process in history.

The largest national monument declaration ever was NOT the Alaska lands designation of 56 million acres, it was actually a declaration by George W. Bush of an oceanic national monument in the Pacific.

During the last government shut-down Utah felt so strongly about the importance of the national parks to its tourism economy that they agreed to pay the daily cost (some $167,000) out of state funds to keep them open.

Despite false claims of restricted access to national monument lands regarding alleged arbitrary restrictions on fishing, hiking, camping, and even some hunting in adjacent “preserves,” monuments are open for recreational multiple uses along with some grazing. Understandably, logging, oil and gas drilling, and mineral entries are deemed incompatible activities.

Creating national monuments is not a new federal land grab – the monuments are carved out of alreay existing public lands.

National interest lands – parks, monuments, fish and wildlife refuges, seashores and wilderness areas – are all part of a natural legacy belonging to all Americans. Left solely to Senators and Congressmen, most too heavily influenced by contributors, this wonderful national heritage belonging to all of us never would have happened.

Column

carlson

If one lives long enough, as the great Yankee catcher Yogi Berra once said, “its deja vu all over again.”

The latest example is the squabble between legislative leadership and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter over whether he vetoed the bill removing the grocery sales tax in a timely manner.

Current law allows the governor to take ten days after a legislature adjourns and after he has received the bill to decide whether to veto or not. Some still today contend that the ten-day clock begins ticking from the moment the Legislature adjourned, which in their defense appears to be what the Idaho Constitution says.

However, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in July of 1978 in favor of language saying “upon receipt” in the Governor’s office. That supposedly settled the matter in favor of Governor Cecil D. Andrus in a lawsuit he brought against then Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa for failure to recognize his veto of two bills on the grounds that they weren’t vetoed within the ten days.

Of course by July of 1978 Andrus had been the Secretary of the Interior in the Carter Administration for 18 months, but the case had proceeded in the Court because of the question and the precedence it would establish.

In Cenarrusa’s defense he was acting on the advice of the then chief legal officer for the state, Attorney General Wayne Kidwell, a former Ada County prosecutor and State Senate Majority Leader. Therein lies the real background story that is missing from today’s media reports on this old matter being revisited.

The lawsuit cited two vetoes, but there was only one that really mattered: the veto of a bill within ten days of receipt in the governor’s office sponsored and driven by the attorney general to consolidate all attorneys working for the state under his office. This included attorneys working for cabinet agencies.

It was a raw, naked power grab by the attorney general who also harbored ambitions to run for governor in 1978 whether or not Andrus might be going for a third term.

Knowing his ambitions and hard Republican partisanship, Andrus did not trust the former state senator. Kidwell also had a hair-trigger temper. In the 70’s the AG’s office was on the same floor as the governor’s office. Upon learning of the veto, Kidwell, who should not have been surprised, nonetheless confronted the governor in the hall between their offices.

Playing the role of a “surprised” and personally hurt victim, Kidwell’s temper quickly rose and the confrontation devolved into an unseemly shouting match. Andrus, who can on occasion display his own temper, probably thought about decking the obnoxious attorney general, but restrained himself.

The irony is that earlier in Kidwell’s term as AG, in an extraordinary display of compassion, Andrus literally saved Kidwell’s political career.

The setting was a meeting of the Idaho Land Board, the five constitutionally elected statewide officers who are the trustees of the State lands. They were voting on some minor matter and when the vote came Kidwell was on the short end of a 4 to 1 count.

It was then, according to observers present, that Kidwell started to lose control of himself. Despite their political animosity, Andrus, who could have sat back and let Kidwell irreparably lose it altogether, instead called for a 15 minute recess, stood up, walked around the table to assist Kidwell out of his chair, and escorted Kidwell into his office..

To this day no one knows what Andrus said to Kidwell, but it’s a pretty safe bet he told him to get control of himself and displayed some compassion for his political adversary. Andrus knew what few people were aware of, that the Kidwells had recently lost a child, and were understandably devastated by the loss. What is known is that Kidwelll regained his composure and went back to his office. He did not return to the Land board meeting itself that day.

In today’s highly partisan atmosphere in which people with differing views are treated as the enemy and considered evil, its hard to imagine that kind of true compassion.

Its all about power, who has it and how ruthlesssly they can wield it. Some critics of Governor Otter’s veto are now talking about trying to change the law, but the betting is they’ll not succeed. Now, as Paul Harvey used to say on his noontime radio show, you know the rest of the story.

Incidentally, Kidwell chose not to run for re-election in 1978 and was succeeded by David Leroy. Kidwell later served with distinction for six years on the Idaho Supreme Court from 1999 to 2004.

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