Otter spending another week in the sun, leaving Little to speak to big business group

Gov. Butch Otter is in Florida this week attending a meeting of the Republican Governors Association and is sending Lt. Gov. Brad Little to give Thursday's luncheon address at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho's annual conference.

ATI represents many of Idaho's leading companies, including Century Link, Hewlett-Packard, Idaho Power, Intermountain Gas, Micron, Melaleuca, Monsanto, Simplot, SuperValu and Wells Fargo.

The conference draws about 300 power brokers to the must-go event in advance of the legislative session. The theme of the 65th annual conference is "Niching Idaho in Uncertain Economic Times."

ATI always invites sitting governors to speak and Otter was originally listed as "invited" on the conference program. ATI President Randy Nelson said the governor informed the group he wouldn't attend several weeks ago.

The agenda also includes talks from Keith Phillips, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Greg Casey, president and CEO of the Business Industry Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C.; House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill; and a briefing from the Legislature's top budget staffer, Cathy Holland-Smith.

Registration is required to attend.

Two weeks ago, Little filled in for Otter in chairing a key meeting of the Idaho Oil and Gas Commission, which approved new rules for natural gas exploration. Otter was spending five days in Maui with his wife, Lori, at the expense of the California Independent Voter Project.

Otter left for Orlando early Tuesday and will return late Friday. He is accompanied by Mrs. Otter. The trip is paid for by the Republican Governors Association, according to Otter spokesman Jon Hanian.

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Oh well ...

Probably doesn't make much difference anyway. When he is "here" he's not "here".

Maui, Orlando ..must be nice.

For pete's sake, learn what he actually does or get a tutor.


Everybody wants to hue the knurled


Butch, stay in Florida.

I would rather hear from Little

He is smarter and has more common sense.

I agree becourteous ...

I agree.

I've been to this event a number of times and it's not all that

It's usually quite interesting, but I wouldn't rate it a "must go".
Legislators give the same kind limited information they give at a number of meetings prior to the session. The room will be filled with business lobbyists all afraid to miss some informational gem from legislators but usually walk away without much new information.
The speakers are usually "experts" with variations fo the same "taxes are bad for business" message.
I respect the ATI but don't think it is that big of a deal.

Idaho is in good shape....a Good Man needs

rest and relaxation....

Idaho in top 5 best states for GDP to debt ratio....other states should copy Idaho....

Good job Otter and enjoy Florida....

These type of interactions with industry are good examples of

how limited access to government has become. Government exist to serve these types of constituents. To the extent the rest of the concerns of the population is addressed, it is only an incidental side effect to the ripples created by the entitled and big money shakers who have direct access to the decision makers. People have lost access to their government and delegated their well being to these pirates. The real sad thing is that 3/4 of Idahoans think that the pirates have the people's best interest in mind.


benefit did the people of Idaho gain by Otter attending a California Independent Voter Project conference in Maui?

It's good to be Governor

In a state where 97,000 are underemployed

He's just breaking Little in....

Pretty much a foregone conclusion that Little will be the next governor anyway. He's got all the qualifications--Daddy gave him a big farm and he has an R behind his name.