Does Butch Really Get $4500 For House Rent?

A reader sent us a message suggesting Guv Butch might want to rethink his housing allowance–which was reported by the reader to be $4500 a month.

We don’t know if he actually gets that much for not living in his former father-in-law’s hilltop Guv Mansion, opting for the personal property along the river near Star. If he does get the stipend, it would sure be a nice gesture to give it back to the taxpayers in light of the legislative move to forego a pay hike and the tough times being faced by state workers–both in government and in the private sector.

Butch has some cash stashed, he will get a great PERSI retirement, probably something from Simplot, and whatever perks the U.S. House gives away. He can take a pass on the house allowance since he already owns it (not renting a temp spot like out of towner legislators) with little pain.

If he doesn’t get the allowance, then the reader needs to apologize and so will the GUARDIAN. Set us straight Jon.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. well it sure did say so in the Statesman yesterday
    I am sure that is has to be true!

    I have been waiting for my tax assessment this year because I know that our appraiser will be very fair and cut our assessment down to what the market is today. Just as I am sure that Butch will want to do the right thing and turn this money back to the State…

    Ya when pigs fly

  2. Butch’s personal wealth has nothing to do with whether or not he should get or keep the stipend. Just as my bank acoount has nothing to do with my salary. It’s a job with a set salary and benefits. If he wants to give it back as a gesture during these times, that’s great. But it shouldn’t be assumed that he ought to because of his wealth.

  3. The challenge of taxpayer subsidized benefits for elected officials goes back throughout our history. When I read “Adams” by David McCullough, I was intrigued by John Adam’s struggle with the issue. While in France he and Franklin were supplied with very costly accommodations that Adams at first disagreed with. He began to justify it as he realized that stately residents and large numbers of servants were necessary to have the respect of foreign nobles and power brokers.

    Later Adam’s discussed the importance of elected officials being supported by the people because if they did not, only the rich would get elected. It seems like only the rich get elected anyway, but I get the point Adam’s was making.

    My point is, in light of economic times, elected officials benefits need to be evaluated.

    If Governor Otter does have the means to live without the housing stippend, he would go along way with me a nd public opinion by returning the money.

  4. erico49, I would tend to agree with you, however, in these times where he is asking all of his departments to cut their budgets, and take away benifits to people with disabilities who depend on that money, I would disagree with your statement. If he is getting that, which it sounds like he does, then he needs to cut that out as well as other benefits that are not needed, such as mileage reimbursment for travel that he makes. That would be the right thing, however, it is Otter that we are talking about.

  5. Tom Anderson
    Jan 21, 2009, 12:30 pm

    Actually erico49…: You cannot discount the wealth factor when talking about politicians.

    The majority of politicians would not be in office if they were not wealthy. It takes personal money, or money from the business community, or money from a huge amount of citizens to get elected (this is a very hard path only traveled infrequently).

    The vast majority of our politicians are wealthy and that is how they get in office. While in office they scratch their other wealthy buddies backs and the whole wealthy crowd gets a big economic boost by controlling our city/county/state/country. This is not ‘class warfare’ talk, this is reality.

    We should keep our politicians under a microscope for conflict of interest issues, and should think twice about their incredibly generous pay/benefits packages. Public service should be done out of an interest in doing the right thing first and foremost.

  6. Republicans aren’t noted for being generous except to the elite deciders in this country. After all, this is the party of the “Greed is Good” mantra. The arrogance of most Republicans is reflected in the fact that they are the ones who will defend obscene CEO payouts after destroying jobs and creating mega corporate mergers which are too big to fail. Governor Otter, I’m sure doesn’t care if his living stipend is paid for by taxpayers. Aren’t taxpayers supposed to be the ones who underwrite the losses and risks of private enterprise? This is part of the trickle down economic theory espoused by the Republican Saint Reagan. Pathetic apologists will always rise to defend the tribulations of the wealthy. They always remind us that if it wasn’t for the wealthy, us proles wouldn’t have jobs.Let them eat cake.

  7. Let’s remember that the $4.500 stipend is only a portion of what the state pays to house the governor. We also $100,000 plus to maintain the Simplot property. If the two are combined, as they should be, Idaho is paying $145,000 to house the governor!

    Seems to me that the least the state could do is dispose of the Simpot residence. That is a money pit.

  8. Good old JR got rid of his old expensive house to the State, and the money losing ice skating rink to the City of Boise.

    And now we are paying Otter to live some where else. I bet old JR is laughing in heaven ( I’m giving him the benefit of doubt here) right now…

  9. Deed Fort Simplot back to where it came from and get it back on the tax rolls. Have the family sell it off and get a permanent resident in that place.

    EDITOR NOTE–Dirty little secret: The house on the hill is across the street from Boise Fire Station #2, cops go there when needed, but it was not in the city during the past 25 years or so. The GUARDIAN was at the city council meeting when Mike Wetherell spoke in favor of “deannexing” the place…lots of SW Boise folks would like the same treatment.

  10. May we add that the Idaho governor’s mansion was to house the governor because not all of them lived in the area of the capital city. This then makes sense. But to give the governor housing when he lives here is just silly. It is overlooking the intent of the mansion and the “allowance” should there not be housing.
    Should the governor refuse to live in the housing provided, then there should be no reason to give him a bonus to live in his own house.
    This is on top of the current financial situation we find ourselves in and all of the other wonderful reasons already stated here.

    I understand that the Meridian School District is about to be cut by $14 million…. so how will they deal with this cut? I know that most of the grade school classrooms are at 30 kids per class – shall we make that 50 kids? Can they learn that way or can Idaho look forward to being the very last state in education? goody goody we can be number one in spending the least on educating the children who will be taking care of us as we age.

  11. Okay Butch show your one of the good guys. Give it back!

  12. Wasted Space
    Jan 22, 2009, 9:06 am

    I know very little about this thing, except that it costs a bundle to maintain, and that no one lives there.

    Does the state ever use it for receptions and that sort of thing? Could they at least rent it out for weddings etc. like the city does with the depot? If the city can be in the hospitality industry, why not the state?

    Maybe BSU could hold classes there, or the city could use it as a branch library.

    It seems like we out to be able to get some use out of the thing if the jerks (governors) we maintain it for are not going to use it.

  13. Slim Jim has it right – the fact that Otter is rich is not the point – the fact that he lives in the district and can drive to work and does not have to support another home is the point. Makes me glad I’ve never voted for him.

  14. The stipend for the guv has been reported many times, and I’ve never seen a response from him denying it, so dunno why you’re unsure about it.

    An aside: “to forego a pay hike” uses the wrong word; it should be “forgo” in this case. (Sorry Dave; I just can’t stop editing you.) 🙂

  15. Tom Anderson
    Jan 25, 2009, 10:05 am

    If the State could just do one intelligent thing with the old Simplot property, it would be to stop watering, and mowing that huge industrial waste site of a lawn, and plant native grasses, bushes, and trees. The manicured lawn is one of the most wasteful artifacts of our status obsessed culture.

  16. ahhh, yes, Mr. Anderson….
    the state could do one intelligent thing….

    if it could….

  17. On the other hand, children love to slide down that hill.

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