UPDATED, 11:59 a.m., with comments from Otter.
Here are the morning-after reactions from Tuesday's Idaho elections — headlined, of course, by the defeats of Propositions 1, 2 and 3.
Interestingly, the Idaho Republican Party's day-after statement contains nary a word about the propositions. If you recall, state party chairman Barry Peterson had carried no small amount of water on supporters' behalf during this campaign — criticizing the opposition's ads and calling on opposition consultant Brian Cronin, a lame-duck Democratic House member, to resign his legislative post.
Gov. Butch Otter issued two statements. Here's what he said about the presidential race:
“Governor Romney was a great candidate, and I was proud to be associated with his campaign. We had high hopes for a Romney administration, and we have serious concerns about another four years of bigger and more expansive government, increased spending, higher taxes, growing debt and more federal regulation. Fortunately we’ve already been taking steps to weather what looks like an uncertain fiscal future. Here at home we remain committed to charting our own course and keeping our own house in order. We remain committed to limited government and unlimited opportunity, to growing Idaho’s economy, to living within the people’s means, and to enabling individuals to be the architects of their own destiny.”
And here's what he said about Props 1, 2 and 3:
“The people have spoken, so I’m not discouraged. That’s how our system works. But it’s important to remember that the public conversation that began almost two years ago isn’t over — it’s only begun. Our work force, our communities and most of all our students still deserve better, and our resources are still limited. We offered these reforms not because we sought change for change’s sake, but because change is needed to afford our young people the opportunities they deserve now and for decades to come. That’s as true today as it was yesterday, so our work for a brighter and better future continues.”
Here's what the GOP chose to say.
Last night at the IDGOP Victory Party in Boise, our state Republican leaders drove home a message of unity and pride in Idaho and the United States as the greatest nation in the world. Our state leadership from Governor Otter to our senators in Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Congressmen Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador all continued by reinforcing the importance of moving forward and working together to turn the nation around and get it back on track.
Through this election season, Idahoans rallied together in support of Governor Mitt Romney over the president by one of the largest margins of all states. Simpson and Labrador also won by similar margins, demonstrating the desire of Idahoans to extinguish the overreaching arm of the government and steer our country away from fiscal calamity. “Our two congressmen understand the fiscal problems of our nation,” stated Chairman Barry Peterson. “The large turnout and victories show the confidence of the constituency in our Republican leaders.”
The Idaho GOP is proud of all of its candidates and the hard-fought campaigns across the state. Republican candidates won 85 of the 105 seats in the Idaho Legislature. “Thank you all who gave your time, energy, and money to support our legislative candidates. Throughout the state, our candidates and their supporters worked hard ensuring our communities and people that care about Republican, conservative values are represented,” stated Executive Director Joshua Whitworth.
The high voter turnout shows that the people of Idaho care about the policies put in place by our legislators. “It was good to see such a strong involvement by the people of Idaho,” said Peterson. “Being gracious in victory and in defeat, we welcome the Democrat legislators and look forward to using their talents along with the talents of our Republicans for the successful leadership of our state, as well as pursuing to improve Idaho’s education systems.”
And here's what state schools superintendent Tom Luna had to say:
“I still believe that Idahoans want better schools through education reform. I still believe that empowering local school boards, phasing out tenure, giving parents input on evaluations, helping students take dual credit, paying teachers for more than just years of experience and amount of education, and making sure every classroom is a 21st Century Classroom are critical if we want an education system that meets the needs of every child. We have now had a 22-month discussion about what this should look like. I understand Idahoans have expressed concerns, yet I do not believe any Idahoan wants to go back to the status quo system we had two years ago. I am as committed as anyone to finding a way to make this happen. We must find a way because our children’s future is at stake.”