Why can’t Gov. Otter commit to one woman?

Sep 3rd, 2007 | By | Category: News

Got your attention, huh?

Why is it preordained that Gov. Butch Otter must fill the US Senate seat vacated by Sen. Larry Craig with another white, Republican male? If there was ever a time for Idaho to embrace its core independent nature, the time is here.

The sure money seems to be on Lt. Gov. Jim Risch as the placeholder until the 2008 elections. There’s the outside chance that it will be Rep. Mike Simpson. And then there is the extreme long shot Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

All three candidates have at least some things in common. They are white, male, republican and most assuredly married heterosexuals. Those alone are suitable qualifications for the likes of Bryan Fischer, Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance.

In total indifference to Idaho women, Fischer says:

“We also believe it is incumbent upon Gov. Otter to appoint a man of unimpeachable integrity to take the senator’s place. The senator’s replacement should be a man who is not only a skilled legislator but a man of character who is a role model as a husband and a father.”

And in less than ambiguous tones, Fischer makes it clear NO queers:

“It is likely that the character and personal conduct of his replacement will come under close media scrutiny, and Idahoans cannot take the risk that he may have skeletons that come tumbling out of the closet and bring fresh embarrassment to the state.€

Skeletons in the closet? That so cliché. I would toss in a restroom stall metaphor, but why bother?

So why isn’t Otter being asked to consider a woman for the job? Why is the media focused only on the usual suspects and not asking Otter if he’s considered a woman?

Idaho has a large population of successful, educated and racially diverse women who could match, if not exceed in abilities to hold the office as Idaho’s US Senator. So why isn’t Gov. Otter considering selecting one of them?

Ever since the state was admitted into the Union in 1890, women have played a major part in Idaho law and politics.

There are 25 women presently holding elected office in the Idaho Legislature; six are in the Senate and 19 are in the House.

Six women in the Idaho Senate: 2 Democrats / 4 Republicans:

Diane Bilyeu (D) District 29; Joyce M. Broadsword (R) District 2; Kate Kelly (D) District 18 Minority Caucus Chair; Shawn Keough (R) District 1; Patti Anne Lodge (R) District 13; Shirley McKague (R) District 20;

Nineteen women in the Idaho House: 12 Democrats/ 7 Republicans:

Lenore Hardy Barrett (R) District 35; Maxine T. Bell (R) District 26; Sharon L. Block (R) District 24; Donna H. Boe (D) District 30; Marge Chadderdon (R) District 4; Liz Chavez (D) District 7; Susan B. Chew (D) District 17; Margaret Henbest (D) District 16; Wendy Jaquet (D) Minority Leader District 25; Phylis K. King (D) District 18; Nicole LeFavour (D) District 19; Janice K. McGeachin (R) District 32; Anne Pasley-Stuart (D) District 19; Donna L. Pence (D) District 25; Shirley G. Ringo (D) District 6; Mary Lou Shepherd (D) District 2; Elaine Smith (D) District 30; Diana L. Thomas (R) District 9; and Jo An E. Wood (R) District 35.

This does not include the women presently serving on boards and committees around the state such as the 12 woman serving on the Idaho Women’s Commission.

Pssst€¦. Yo€¦ Gov. Otter€¦. Check out these women€¦ You do like women, don’t you?

PrideDEPOT.com editor, independent journalist & LGBT media spokesperson,
Jody May-Chang now writes on "As I See It...Reporting from the front lines

As I See It Jody May-Chang.com Reporting from the front lines

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  1. God forbid the good-ol-boy would appoint a woman. CNN today showed Otter in a local interview with Boise CBS affiliate. He showed his true colors as a real ahole. They also reported that Kempthorne and Simpson are also in the running.

  2. My guess is that the Fischer comment about skeletons was made because Kempthorne is on the short list. Personally, I think Otter should appoint Patricia Kempthorne to the seat.