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C.L. “Butch” Otter has been a fixture of Idaho politics since 1973 when he was elected to his first term in the state House of Representatives.Otter was elected to his third-consecutive term as governor on Nov. 4, 2014. He was elected to his second term as Idaho governor on Nov. 2, 2010. Otter first became Idaho's governor on Nov. 7, 2006.Gov. Otter was at the helm during the peak of the Great Recession and it was his administration that oversaw the cutting of the state budget, record unemployment, and a boom in the number of people using government assistance.Otter spoke with StateImpact Idaho back in 2012 about that recession and its lasting impact on Idaho's workforce.Governor Otter: Every Generation Deals with Joblessness and We Live Through ItA Brief BiographyOtter, a Republican, is the longest serving lieutenant governor of Idaho, his tenure spanned from 1987-2000. In 2000 he was then elected to the United States Congress and served until 2006.According to the Washington Post, Otter voted with his party most of the time, 86 percent, but has been known to have an independent streak on some issues.“He was among three Republicans in the House to vote against the USA Patriot Act in 2001 and he later sponsored a bill to repeal parts of it. But independent streaks are sometimes tolerated in a state that would rather not be told what to do by the federal government.” - William Yardley, New York TimesOtter was born on May 3, 1942 in Caldwell, Idaho. He attended St. Teresa’s Academy in Boise and graduated from Boise Junior College (now Boise State University) with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1967.After college, Otter joined the Idaho National Guard and served in the 116th Armored Calvary until 1973.Butch Otter is married to his second wife, Lori. He has four children and several grandchildren.

Ethics Charges Against Idaho Lawmaker Dismissed

State Sen. Monty Pearce (R-New Plymouth)
Scott Ki
Boise State Public Radio
State Sen. Monty Pearce (R-New Plymouth)

An ethics panel unanimously dismissed charges against state Sen. Monty Pearce (R-New Plymouth).  Idaho Democrats accused the lawmaker of violating conflict of interest rules on an oil and gas bill.  Wednesday’s ethics panel discussion played out like a courtroom drama.   

Sen. Dean Mortimer (R-Idaho Falls) chairs the ethics panel.   The six member committee has three Republicans and three Democrats.  They’re judge and jury, if you will, to decide whether an ethics complaint against Sen. Monty Pearce has merit. 

Sen. Les Bock (D-Boise)  is one of the minority party's leaders who brought charges against Pearce.  Consider him the lead prosecutor who makes a closing argument. "This committee has a duty to investigate further," says Bock.  "And I fear that we will have summary proceedings this morning. The matter will be dismissed which I think would be a travesty."

Democrats say Pearce personally benefited from an oil and gas bill he shepherded through the Senate’s Natural Resources and Environment Committee, and then voted in favor of last week.  Pearce disclosed he held oil and gas leases right before the bill’s final vote.  He also signed a lease in November with Snake River Oil and Gas.  Attorney Charles Peterson represents Pearce.   He says, "The complaining parties have no proof that he received any benefit different than anybody elsewho signed those leases with Snake River Oil."

That argument prevailed with the ethics panel.  Three Democrats joined their Republican colleagues to dismiss charges.  They’ll also recommend the Idaho Senate consider clearer rules for disclosure of personal interests. 

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