Both Repub Guv. Butch Otter and Dem opponent Keith Allred responded to a GUARDIAN question about the three proposed Idaho constitutional amendments on the November 2 ballot.
In a nutshell the three proposals deal with the right of citizens to approve public debt at AIRPORTS, PUBLIC HOSPITALS, and CITY OWNED ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS. All three seek to eliminate the existing constitutional requirement for local government to seek approval of citizens before entering into debt.
To his credit, Candidate Allred stepped right up and gave us an unequivocal answer:
I am a strong supporter of voters’ ability to decide whether to support bonds that are funded with tax dollars. But when bonding does not implicate tax dollars, we should hold leadership of these entities accountable for the job we hired them to do, and allow them to make such decisions. I will be voting ‘Yes’ on the Constitutional amendments as proposed.
Otter’s camp gave us the usual political response:
The Governor has no official role in this process. His vote is no more or less important than any other citizen’s. It’s up to the people to decide on these issues – not the government. So Governor Otter does not want to unduly influence anyone’s views on ballot measures that he did not initiate or champion.
The GUARDIAN does not endorse candidates, but we are open in our editorial stance opposing measures which leave voters out of the governing process.
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