Capitol & State

Balukoff: Tying him to Hobby Lobby case shows Otter's running from 'terrible record'

Gov. Butch Otter seized on Monday's Supreme Court's decision over contraception benefits to allege Democrat A.J. Balukoff would "happily go along with Obama's attempt to repress religious freedom and individual rights."

Balukoff countered that he supports religious freedom, the U.S. and Idaho constitutions and charged Otter "continues to overlook" his constitutional mandate to provide uniform and thorough education in Idaho.

Otter's statement, released shortly after 3 p.m. Monday, was brief:

"Like his support for same-sex marriage, the Hobby Lobby case provides a vivid example of how my Democrat opponent's support for Obamacare and President Obama would undermine Idaho values. As governor, this Boise Democrat would not only support Obamacare, he would happily go along with Obama's attempts to repress religious freedom and individual rights."

Balukoff, replying Tuesday morning, took three paragraphs to Otter's one:

“By misrepresenting my views, Otter makes one point very clear: He knows he will lose if he tries to run on his own, terrible record.

“I am confident that Idahoans can see Otter's tactics for what they are, an attempt to divert attention away from his dismal 40 year political record. Idaho is last in the nation in per capita wages and in education spending. Otter is camouflaging his flawed policies that leave regular Idahoans on the outside looking in. It is clear that the governor hopes people forget about such issues as the ongoing FBI investigation into the private prison scandal. And, after 40 years in politics, he doesn’t want people to remember that his own campaign is top-loaded with high paid lobbyists who represent private prisons, the Luna Laws, and major out-of-state contractors who live off of Idaho government contracts,” said Balukoff.

“The truth is, I support both the United States and Idaho Constitutions, including equal protection under the law, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, and the responsibility of the State to provide a uniform and thorough education for all of Idaho - the mandate he continues to overlook year after year,” said Balukoff.