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Allred returns from tour, slams Otter for 'irrational pessimism'

Allred returns from tour, slams Otter for 'irrational pessimism'

Dustin Hurst
February 5, 2010
Dustin Hurst
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February 5, 2010

Democrat candidate for governor Keith Allred returned from a 10-day trip across Idaho and immediately took a swing at Gov. Butch Otter for practicing what Allred calls "irrational pessimism."  Allred also criticized Otter for his proposals to cut Idaho Public Television, as well as budgets for education and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Here is the full text from the Allred release:

"After nearly two weeks of travel throughout Idaho, gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred says that Idahoans from across the political spectrum are united in their concern over Otter’s erratic leadership.

“In communities across Idaho, I’ve heard Republicans, Democrats, and independents express outrage over Otter’s proposed cuts to education, Idaho Public Television and Idaho State Parks,” Allred says.  “These aren’t partisan complaints.  These are just people who think Otters’ proposals are the wrong answers.”

Allred agrees with what’s he heard.  “These are the toughest economic circumstances in Idaho in my lifetime. We need good leadership more than ever,” Allred says. “But what we’re getting from Gov. Otter is irrational pessimism and recklessness. Idaho deserves better.”

Otter’s proposal to cut education ignores evidence-based projections predicting more than $80 million in increased revenue.

Otter’s proposal to cut state funding to Idaho Public Television would save the state just $1.5 million a year. That’s about $1 for each Idahoan.

“Idaho Public Television is one of the most effective ways for Idahoans to keep track of what their elected officials are doing in Boise in this geographically dispersed state,” Allred says. “It’s one of the few things that really bring us together as a state. A dollar a year is a bargain for that.”

Otter’s proposal to cut funding to Idaho State Parks is of a piece with his reckless idea to cut education and IPTV.  It is a proposal that, like many other Otter ideas, has been rebuffed by everyday Idahoans and the Legislature.

Even as he’s proposed these cuts, the Otter administration has spent more than $70,000 for showy ribbon cutting events to celebrate highway projects, according to the Idaho Statesman.

“Otter is waving a white flag of surrender to circumstances,” Allred says.  “That goes against how I was raised.  On my grandfather’s ranch, when times got tough, you rolled up your sleeves and went to work.”

(Note: Allred had a busy day Friday.  After he released this statement, the Idaho Republican Party criticized him for failing to file a lobbyist report with the Idaho Secretary of State.  Read the statement from the GOP here and Allred's response here.)

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