Search for...
Follow @ontheissuesorg
OnTheIssuesLogo

Butch Otter on Government Reform

Republican governor; previously Representative (ID-1)


Voted YES on requiring photo ID for voting in federal elections.

Requires that to vote in federal elections, an individual present a government-issued, current, and valid photo identification. After 2010, that ID must require providing proof of US citizenship as a condition for issuance. An individual who does not present such an ID is permitted to cast a provisional ballot, and then present the required ID within 48 hours. Exempts from this requirement the absentee ballot of any eligible overseas military voter on active duty overseas.

Proponents support voting YES because:

The election system is the bedrock that our Republic is built on and its security and oversight is of paramount concern. Only US citizens have the right to vote in Federal elections, but our current system does not give State election officials the tools they need to ensure that this requirement is being met.

This bill is designed to increase participation by ensuring that each legitimate vote will be counted and not be diluted by fraud. There are many elections in this country every cycle that are decided by just a handful of votes. How can we be certain that these elections, without measures to certify the identity of voters, are not being decided by fraudulent votes?

Opponents support voting NO because:

There is something we can all agree on: only Americans get to vote, and they only get to vote once. But what we are talking about in this bill is disenfranchising many of those Americans. It is already a felony for a non-American to vote. We had hearings and what we found out was that the issue of illegal aliens voting basically does not occur.

The impact of this will disproportionately affect poor people and African Americans, because many are too poor to have a car and they do not have a license. We have no evidence there is a problem. We have ample evidence that this will disenfranchise many Americans. This is the measure to disenfranchise African Americans, Native Americans. It is wrong and we will not stand for it.

Reference: Federal Election Integrity Act; Bill H R 4844 ; vote number 2006-459 on Sep 20, 2006

Voted YES on restricting independent grassroots political committees.

A "527 organization" is a political committee which spends money raised independently of any candidate's campaign committee, in support or opposition of a candidate or in support or opposition of an issue. Well-known examples include MoveOn.org (anti-Bush) and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (anti-Kerry). Voting YES would regulate 527s as normal political committees, which would greatly restrict their funding, and hence would shift power to candidate committees and party committees. The bill's opponents say:
  • This legislation singles out 527 organizations in an effort to undermine their fundraising and is a direct assault on free speech.
  • This bill would obstruct the efforts of grassroots organizations while doing nothing to address the culture of corruption in Congress.
  • H.R. 513 is an unbalanced measure that favors corporate trade associations over independent advocates. Corporate interests could continue spending unlimited and undisclosed dollars for political purposes while independent organizations would be subject to contribution limits and source restrictions.
  • H.R. 513 also removes all limits on national and state party spending for Congressional candidates in primary or general elections--an unmasked attack on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and clear evidence that the true intention in advancing H.R. 513 is not reform, but partisan advantage in political fundraising.
    Reference: Federal Election Campaign Act amendment "527 Reform Act"; Bill H.R.513 ; vote number 2006-088 on Apr 5, 2006

    Voted YES on prohibiting lawsuits about obesity against food providers.

    The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act ("The Cheesburger Bill") would prevent civil liability actions against food manufacturers, marketers, distributors, advertisers, sellers, and trade associations for claims relating to a person's weight gain, obesity, or any health condition associated with weight gain or obesity. A YES vote would:
    Reference: The Cheesburger Bill; Bill HR 554 ; vote number 2005-533 on Oct 19, 2005

    Voted YES on limiting attorney's fees in class action lawsuits.

    Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Amends the Federal judicial code to specify the calculation of contingent and other attorney's fees in proposed class action settlements that provide for the award of coupons to class members. Allows class members to refuse compliance with settlement agreements or consent decrees absent notice. Prohibits a Federal district court from approving:
    1. a proposed coupon settlement absent a finding that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate;
    2. a proposed settlement involving payments to class counsel that would result in a net monetary loss to class members, absent a finding that the loss is substantially outweighed by nonmonetary benefits; or
    3. a proposed settlement that provides greater sums to some class members solely because they are closer geographically to the court.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley [R, IA]; Bill S.5 ; vote number 2005-038 on Feb 17, 2005

    Voted YES on restricting frivolous lawsuits.

    Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2004: Amends the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to:
    1. require courts to impose sanctions on attorneys, law firms, or parties who file frivolous lawsuits (currently, sanctions are discretionary);
    2. disallow the withdrawal or correction of pleadings to avoid sanctions;
    3. require courts to award parties prevailing on motions reasonable expenses and attorney's fees, if warranted;
    4. authorize courts to impose sanctions that include reimbursement of a party's reasonable litigation costs in connection with frivolous lawsuits; and
    5. make the discovery phase of litigation subject to sanctions.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Lamar Smith [R, TX-21]; Bill H.R.4571 ; vote number 2004-450 on Sep 14, 2004

    Voted NO on campaign finance reform banning soft-money contributions.

    Shays-Meehan Campaign Finance Overhaul: Vote to pass a bill that would ban soft money contributions to national political parties but permit up to $10,000 in soft money contributions to state and local parties to help with voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. The bill would stop issue ads from targeting specific candidates within 30 days of the primary or 60 days of the general election. Additionally, the bill would raise the individual contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000 per election for House and Senate candidates, both of which would be indexed for inflation.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Shays, R-CT, and Meehan D-MA; Bill HR 2356 ; vote number 2002-34 on Feb 14, 2002

    Voted YES on banning soft money donations to national political parties.

    Support a ban on soft money donations to national political parties but allow up to $10,000 in soft-money donations to state and local parties for voter registration and get-out-the vote activity.
    Bill HR 2356 ; vote number 2001-228 on Jul 12, 2001

    Other governors on Government Reform: Butch Otter on other issues:

    ID Senatorial:
    Jim Risch
    Larry LaRocco
    Michael Crapo
    Nels Mitchell

    Election 2013:
    NJ-R: Chris Christie (won)
    NJ-D: Barbara Buono (lost)
    VA-R: Bob McDonnell(Retiring)
    VA-R: Ken Cuccinelli (lost)
    VA-D: Terry McAuliffe (won)

    Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
    AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
    AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
    AZ: Riggs(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(I)
    CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
    CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
    CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
    FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D)
    GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D)
    HI: Abercrombie(D) vs.Aiona(R)
    IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hoefling(R) vs.Hatch(D)
    MA: Coakley(D) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D) vs.Baker(R)
    ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
    MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
    NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
    NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D) vs.Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.)
    OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
    PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
    Up for re-election 2014:
    AK-R: Sean Parnell
    AL-R: Robert Bentley
    CA-D: Jerry Brown
    CO-D: John Hickenlooper
    CT-D: Dan Malloy
    FL-R: Rick Scott
    GA-R: Nathan Deal
    HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
    IA-R: Terry Branstad
    ID-R: Butch Otter
    IL-D: Pat Quinn
    KS-R: Sam Brownback
    ME-R: Paul LePage
    MI-R: Rick Snyder
    MN-D: Mark Dayton
    NH-D: Maggie Hassan
    NM-R: Susana Martinez
    NV-R: Brian Sandoval
    NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
    OH-R: John Kasich
    OK-R: Mary Fallin
    OR-D: John Kitzhaber
    PA-R: Tom Corbett
    SC-R: Nikki Haley
    SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
    TN-R: Bill Haslam
    VT-D: Peter Shumlin
    WI-R: Scott Walker
    WY-R: Matt Mead
    Abortion
    Budget/Economy
    Civil Rights
    Corporations
    Crime
    Drugs
    Education
    Energy/Oil
    Environment
    Families/Children
    Foreign Policy
    Free Trade
    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Immigration
    Infrastructure/Technology
    Jobs
    Local Issues
    Principles/Values
    Social Security
    Tax Reform
    War/Iraq/Mideast
    Welfare/Poverty

    Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
    AR-D: Mike Beebe
    AZ-R: Jan Brewer
    MA-D: Deval Patrick
    MD-D: Martin O'Malley
    RI-I: Linc Chafee
    TX-R: Rick Perry


    Contact info:
    Fax number:
    208-334-2100

    Page last updated: Jul 10, 2014