Idaho Congressman Butch Otter made a name for himself in the early 2000s when he voted against the PATRIOT Act and had a record favoring less government intervention in the economy. The RLC endorsed him numerous times, including in his race for Governor in 2006.
Unfortunately, since leaving his post in Congress, his views dramatically shifted toward Big Government, and he even reversed his previous civil liberties stance, saying “much of the USA PATRIOT Act is needed to help protect us in a dangerous age of stateless zealots and mindless violence.”
Although no longer a darling of the Republican Liberty Caucus or freedom-loving Americans, Otter has made the news this week for signing a bill passed by the Idaho House and Senate that would sue the federal government if the Obamacare (health care) proposal passes.
Says The Washington Post: “Idaho is leading the charge in a states-rights push to defeat a proposal in Congress that would require people to buy health insurance, a key piece of reforms being pushed by President Barack Obama. [Governor] Otter used a ceremony Wednesday afternoon to become the first governor to sign into law a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government over any such insurance mandates. There’s similar legislation pending in 37 other states…”
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has taken an important step toward consolidating bureaucratic agencies in that state: he formed a Privatization Task Force of five members to cut waste and abuse.
The members of the Task Force are Dick Zimmer, Todd Caliguire, Kathleen Davis, John Galandak and Dr. P. Kelly Hatfield. Former RLC Vice-Chairman Murray Sabrin praised the appointment of Galandak, saying
I have known John for 25 years, and we worked together for more than 20 years delivering the World of Free Enterprise program to public school children, primarily in Bergen County. John has the unique perspective of a business association trade leader who understands completely the strengths of the free enterprise system and how taxes, government spending and regulations undermine prosperity and job creation.
John should not be shy in advocating a massive downsizing of state government, and in keeping with sound free market principles, steep cuts in taxes and an overhaul of the regulatory climate in the Garden State.
In addition, John should also advocate for free enterprise education. He should call for teachers, principals, administrators, parents and other stakeholders to run local public schools. That means schools becoming nonprofit institutions, relying on tuition, fees, grants and other non-tax means to pay for all school costs.
Additionally, former Congressman Dick Zimmer, while far from perfect on the issues, was on the RLC Advisory Board while he was a member of Congress.
Politics is very circular. It’s good to see some familiar faces in the news this week.