Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and First Lady Lori Otter
GLENN: Today from 1210 WPHT in Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom, hello and welcome to the program. We've got a lot to cover today. I want to go back to Dom here in just a second. He's a caller in Orlando, Florida. He says, I don't know what the truth is, how do we find it. We're going to have that conversation in just a second. But also we have on phone with us from Idaho the governor of Idaho, Butch otter. Hello, governor, how are you, sir?
GOVERNOR OTTER: I'm fine, Glenn, how are you?
GLENN: I'm very good. It was a pleasure meeting you last week, sir.
GOVERNOR OTTER: Well, thank you. That was quite a program you put on. I recommend it to all of your listeners if they don't get a chance -- if they do get a chance, if you are close to them, they should go to it.
GLENN: I tell you, I didn't even know they were attending the show until I got there and somebody says, the governor's here and yada yada yada, and you are just sitting there in the pack, you know, just like a governor should, just like regular folk. And it was great to have you there, sir.
GOVERNOR OTTER: Well, thank you. It was wonderful. And it was a great program.
GLENN: All right. So governor, let me talk to you about a couple of things here. Let me start in Illinois. Do you by any chance know Blagojevich?
GOVERNOR OTTER: Yes, I served two years in congress with Rod. He left the congress after my subsequent election to the congress to go home and run for governor of Illinois, and I really didn't know. I didn't serve on any committees with him in congress. So I didn't know him very well. Knew of him, you know, played basketball in the gym and that sort of thing. That was about it.
GLENN: Okay. They are now trying to -- the attorney general in the state is trying to get a court to deem him impaired or disabled to get him out of office. Why in your wildest dream would you give a judge or a court the ability to take somebody out and deem them impaired or, you know, disabled instead of going through the impeachment process?
GOVERNOR OTTER: Well, I don't know. That's a good question, Glenn, because it seems to me like there is bordering if not a direct violation of separation of powers. You know, we do have three separate but distinct units of government and they are distinct from each other and are held harmless by each other. And so I would think that a vote by the legislature on repealing his authority, repealing his power, impeaching him and then if they've got to go through the Senate process for the trial. But what I think she was trying to do was probably like a mandamus which the Court can offer and say, okay, you can't fulfill certain public responsibilities for a while here until this cloud is removed. I really think that's the direction that she is going.
GLENN: Are you -- I mean, we talked a little bit about things backstage before the performance last week in Boise.
GOVERNOR OTTER: Right.
GLENN: And I have to tell you, governor, it was good to look into a politician's eyes and see that he gets it and that he understands that our Constitution is hanging by a thread here, that we are in deep, deep trouble, from the financial stuff to the corruption to the bailouts to disenfranchisement. I mean, we've got a -- we're sitting here in a perfect storm.
GOVERNOR OTTER: Well, our biggest problem, Glenn, is we've forgotten who we as politicians are. We are supposed to be the servants under the constitutional direction that we get, of the people. And then we forget what government -- as a result of forgetting our position in this magnificent system that we have, if we haven't destroyed it completely, that we forget what the government is supposed to be, what is the proper role of government.
GLENN: Well, let me ask you this, and let's just play this out down the road a bit. Let's say that the government just starts to just take more and more authority because things just start to shimmy apart even more and they -- I mean, we have already destroyed so much. We are becoming a nationalized state with our industry. Let's just say they keep nationalizing this industry, et cetera, et cetera, and grabbing more and more power. Do you believe that states like yours could turn things around?
GOVERNOR OTTER: Well, I would tell you, Glenn, not only do I believe that but I believe that there are quite a few folks that ran for office last time or the time before last and are now governors of their states that believe that as well. They have been back to Washington D.C. either serving in congress, as I did for six years or more, or they were part of the apparatus in Washington, D.C. Jon Huntsman from Utah is a very I think good example of a person who maybe didn't serve in congress but did serve in the United States office of trade representation and did a tremendous job there but recognized, as did Jim Gibbons who is new the governor of Nevada, myself in Idaho, and quite a few others that ran, Jim Nussle in Iowa, Mitch Daniels who is now the governor of Indiana, Mark Green up in Wisconsin. Anyway, that list could go on and on. What you need to know is that we looked at what was going on in Washington D.C. and we said, you know, we're not going to save this great republic from Washington, D.C. It is not in their selfish best interests to divest themselves of either the money or the power. And so what we've got to do is we've got to go back home and recover this nation and reclaim this nation in the way it was created in any sense of the word. I don't believe that the created can ever be greater than the creator, and it was the states that created the federal government and so by coming back to Idaho and Nevada and Utah and Indiana and places like that, I believe these governors are taking hold. But the biggest problem we've got, Glenn, is we've got an uncle, and Uncle Sam is constantly offering what --
GLENN: Free candy.
GOVERNOR OTTER: What the parents have tried to deny, and I don't mean ours is a parental government. But when we say something in Idaho, the first thing we get challenged by is some federal law that says, "No, you can't do that; no, you can't do certain immigration things; no, you can't do certain health and welfare things." And the core of everything that we're destroying, Glenn, is personal responsibility. We're destroying it, it's no longer the value in many areas of this country that it should be because personal responsibility, individual responsibility then leads to family responsibility. And then from family to community, community to then like the city or the county government and then the state and then the federal government. And when we've destroyed that core, and I would tell you that it's probably alive and well more in the Western states than it is any place else.
GLENN: The West and the South, I would agree with you. Now, Governor, how concerned are you that -- because I mean, I've now been in 63 cities in four weeks. I have probably actually shaked the hands of 60,000, 70,000 people in four weeks.
GLENN: I don't have a lot of time to spend with them but I can look them in the eye and I've read every single note that has been passed to me, and I sense real trouble on the horizon. There is real discontent within the people. What do people need to do so they feel empowered, and will these states ever stand up and say, if push comes to shove, "You know what, gang, this wasn't really the compact that we made here. You have violated the Constitution."
GOVERNOR OTTER: Absolutely. And the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution only has 28 words in it, Glenn. So obviously it wasn't written by a lawyer. But that is the contract between the federal government and the state government, and it says very simple: Those powers not granted to the United States by the Constitution, nor denied to the states by it are reserve to the states respectfully or to the people. 28 words, that's it. So you have to look very, very hard to find these delegations of authority which has then sometime invited the federal government into its, all these activities that it has now involved itself in. And they have been invited to do that, you know, and Macon once said that all elections are nothing more than an advanced auction sale on stolen goods, and what he was talking about there was people would go out and they wanted something, they wanted the government to give them something, they couldn't get it, they found somebody that said if you vote for me, I'll give it to you and then that's how the whole thing got started. And as a result of that -- so this thing has gotten just way out of hand. So when people realize, with all the stuff that they're asking for, whether it's nice or whether it's necessary, when they realize that the government that's strong enough to give them everything they want, that government would then be strong enough to take away from them everything they have.
GLENN: You know, have you ever read any Ayn Rand?
GOVERNOR OTTER: Oh, sure. Oh, absolutely.
GLENN: I mean, if you read "Atlas Shrugged" now, we are living in those days, don't you think?
GOVERNOR OTTER: You know, indeed we are. And, of course, everybody's just like all these people that constantly want to remold and rewrite the Constitution and say, "Well, we're living in a new time, we're living in a different time, it's different." There is nothing more basic, if you look in our Constitution, how many of those people want to go back to King George III in 1760 when he took over and the colonists finally said, "Hey, we believed that we were born with these rights. These rights came with us when we were -- this is our birthright. We don't have to look to you to give us those rights." And so the creation of our government was the first time when the people were recognized, were honored to be higher than the crown, higher than the king, higher than the governor, higher than the mayor, higher than anybody elected to office and that those who were elected to office were to do the doings, the biddings of the individual and free person.
GLENN: Should we be bailing out the Big Three in any way, shape or form?
GOVERNOR OTTER: No.
GLENN: What do you say to the people that we'll lose, you know, we'll lose millions of jobs?
GOVERNOR OTTER: Well, for a little while we will, but as we retool those plants in order to make products that people want to buy, we will retool the arrangement and the contract between those companies and those employees, and in both cases we will become more competitive and in the long run we'll be a lot better off. Our Idaho delegation, our entire Idaho delegation voted against it.
GLENN: Thank God. Bloomberg is reporting today that U.S. policy makers -- and you are an informed man. You follow this stuff -- U.S. policy makers are flooding the world with an extra $8.5 trillion in cash through 23 different plans designed to bail out the financial system and pump up the economy. Can you name more than a couple of these 23 different plans? Where is this coming from? This is out of control.
GOVERNOR OTTER: No, I can't. In fact, most all of those plans, most all of those plans are inviting more mischief by government, more power by those who run the government. The more authority they have, the more mischief that they are going to be up to. Lord Acton once said that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. When you have the power over the free market system which we've always been very selfish about inviting too much government into. In fact, I don't know a lot of government that's ever been invited into. They just nosed their way in for the quote/unquote public good: We're here from the government and we're here to save everybody from being harmed by them. You know, perhaps that's when we ought to start asking questions about many of the politicians that are in jail today. But it was because they could get away with it. And the more authority and the more power that government has beyond the reach of the peoples to draw them back, the people's authority to draw them back, Glenn, the more problems we're going to be in.
GLENN: Governor, God bless you, sir. It was great to meet you last week. Thanks for coming to the show. Thanks for being on the program today. I appreciate it. Please stay in touch. And please don't close the borders to those of us who might be living in the wrong parts of the country that might want to sometime move to a sane part of the country.
GOVERNOR OTTER: Glenn, you're always welcome. You know as well as I do you've found great favor in Idaho not only with your person but with your programs and so God bless you and keep up the good work.
GLENN: Thanks a lot, governor. I appreciate it. The governor of Idaho, Butch Otter. You've got to love a guy named Butch.