Linwood Laughy, Kooskia
The Lewiston Tribune 9/4/12
Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter tells whoppers. In March 2011, he told a congressional committee that more folks visit the Coeur d’Alene golf course floating green than the Frank Church Wilderness. Was he unaware that more than 35,000 visitors recreated in the Frank in 2010?
A year earlier, contrary to 50 years of Federal Highway Administration research, Otter repeatedly claimed that a megaload weighing 600,000 pounds with multiple axle weights exceeding 35,000 pounds would cause no more highway damage than a one-ton pickup.
Otter added another whopper at a recent event doling out $1.3 million in taxpayer money for a dock extension at the Port of Lewiston, where container shipments have declined 75 percent during 10 years. At the invitation-only, police-guarded gathering, Otter was quoted saying, “Next to throwing, water is the cheapest way to move goods.”
The governor conveniently ignores the $43.6 million cost of the 2010/2011 lock repairs on the Columbia/Snake river system, the earlier $200 million lock replacement at Bonneville Dam, and the $24 million spent on other lock and dam repairs since 2004.
He forgets the $178 million required to dredge the Columbia River in 2005-2010. He feigns ignorance of the estimated $400 million to $500 million that the Army Corps says is needed to repair jetties at the mouth of the Columbia and soon millions more for dredging the lower Snake and Clearwater rivers or raising the dikes at Lewiston.
Once again, “free-enterprise” champion Otter helps sustain welfare for corporations on a massive scale by subsidizing river transport and telling Idahoans whoppers.