Democrat A.J. Balukoff says Gov. Butch Otter worked an average of 27 hours a week in 2013.
The analysis of Otter's calendar provided by Balukoff's campaign did not count time when Otter was attending campaign events or making personal appearances, and did not give him credit for vacation time.
"Gov. Otter treats his job like he's in semi-retirement," Balukoff said. "Many Idahoans are working 50 or 60 or more hours a week in two or three jobs and still barely scraping by. Idaho needs and deserves a governor who's on the job more than part time."
The Otter campaign said Balukoff was looking at the calendar like a spreadsheet, and a lot of what he does isn't on a calendar.
"What Mr. Balukoff doesn't understand, and frankly will never understand, is that being governor is not a typical 8-to-5 occupation," said Kaycee Emery, Otter's campaign spokeswoman. "Gov. Otter is governor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year."
In September, the Idaho Statesman obtained the governor's calendar through a public records request. The Balukoff campaign also got the calendar and put it into a database that was simpler to analyze. The Statesman's analysis of that data found that Otter worked a total of 1,813 hours, or an average of 34.86 hours over the 52 weeks of 2013. That counted time in the office; meeting with legislators; doing media interviews; on trade missions; traveling; devoted to campaigning; and making public appearances at events.
Without campaign hours included, Otter worked about 1,700 hours in 2013, about 32.69 hours a week.
Being governor of Idaho pays $119,000 annually. That rises to $120,785 in January.
Balukoff's calculation of Otter's 27 hours per week on the job included office and work time, plus trade missions. When Balukoff's campaign included personal appearances and travel time, his work week increased to 32.8 hours, its analysis showed.
"Most people don't get paid to commute to work," Balukoff said.
Most full-time employees don't work 52 weeks a year, of course. The federal government considers a full-time employee to be someone who works 1,560 hours a year - an average of just 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month - under the Affordable Care Act. Those hours include paid time off.
Otter sprinkled his personal and vacation time throughout 2013, but took the most time off in May, with a multiday trail ride and a string of days that were empty on his calendar.
"Mr. Balukoff probably doesn't realize that the job of governor is a 24-hour calling, that doesn't end on the weekends or after hours or even when you are with your family during the holidays," said Emery, Otter's campaign spokeswoman.
In 2012, the Statesman obtained Otter's calendar and analyzed his schedule from 2008 through 2011. It found that Otter typically didn't show up at the office Mondays, instead scheduling "general office time" with no appointments while he worked from home.
Comparing 12-month periods from Otter's third year in office (2009) with his fifth year (2011), the Statesman showed:
Otter had 27 percent fewer appointments in 2011, both official and unofficial.
Otter had 29 percent fewer hours scheduled for those appointments.
He spent 33 percent less time traveling for official and unofficial purposes, in Idaho and elsewhere.
His personal and vacation days increased 28 percent, with 41 days off during the business week in 2011.
The Otter campaign said Balukoff had "dredged up" old news stories.
"The Balukoff campaign efforts to retread this 'story' in the waning hours of his campaign is the mark of a candidate who knows he is on the verge of losing," Emery said.
Rocky Barker: 377-6484