Thursday, April 9, 2009

With all due respect, Mr. Governor

Who is irresponsible? First this comment by Governor Otter on the decision by the House to defeat a two cent gas tax increase:

First let me thank the 32 House members who showed today that they understand the issue and the stakes," he said in a statement issued by his office. "I appreciate their patience, leadership, and commitment to doing the right thing. That being said, I am very disappointed by the outcome of today’s vote. Employers, local leaders and other concerned citizens from throughout Idaho have helped me assemble a mountain of information to make the case over the past year. A legislative audit confirmed the need. For months now we have made every compromise, addressed every legitimate concern and provided every alternative that opponents wanted. Instead of working in the best interest of Idaho, 37 members of the House continue finding new excuses to do nothing. That is irresponsible. I have done and will continue doing everything I can. It is the responsibility of all of us — including those 37 House members — to act on the real needs of the people we serve. This is a serious and immediate issue of safety, of economic recovery and future prosperity, and of whether we are going to be responsible stewards of a $16 billion investment that generations of Idaho taxpayers have left in our care or passive witnesses to, and victims of, its continuing deterioration. We must not and I will not ignore reality. I will continue working with those legislators who understand the problem and are willing to provide leadership and solutions to meet our responsibilities.

With all due respect, Mr. Governor, your statement is irresponsible. You state, "For months now we have made every compromise, addressed every legitimate concern and provided every alternative that opponents wanted." With all due respect, Mr. Governor, but that is categorically false. As my debate against HB135 indicated you haven't even attempted to address every legitimate concern. You also haven't provided every alternative that opponents wanted. Are you saying that concerns about improving access and funding to alternative modes of transportation aren't legitimate? At what point did you invite members of the House Democratic Caucus from the Treasure Valley (who nearly all voted against your plans) to the table? At what did you ask us, "What do you need to get on board?" To my knowledge the answer is obviously never. Even last week during the amending order, we tried as hard as we could to amend the bill so that it would address our concerns. You offered no leadership in supporting those issues that the people of my district care about. With all due respect, Mr. Governor, please don't suggest that you tried to meet us half way and certainly don't suggest that I am being irresponsible. I understand the problem, but will not be bullied or shamed into do something that I know is not in the strategic long term interests of the state of Idaho.


Anonymous said...

Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Durst,
Your comments to Governor Otter are truthful and explanatory.
We have been informed by Mr. Hammon that the Governor has spoken to everyone, well maybe, if he talks in his sleep!
Your blog has been useful during the end of this session.
I wish you would inform us as to the true cost of a representive.
After reading the Statesman's quotes, I don't think we are getting our monies worth out of several members.