November 17, 2011

Gov. Cecil Andrus

Gov. Cecil Andrus horseback riding

Marcia Franklin talks with four-term Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus and one of his former press secretaries, Chris Carlson. Carlson has written a book about his experiences working for the governor entitled Idaho's Greatest Governor.

The two discuss Andrus' personal and political philosophies, as well as what they consider the highlights of his career. The governor also weighs in on current political issues, such as the partisanship in Congress, President Obama's performance, the Occupy movement, wilderness designation and salmon recovery.

Cecil Andrus, a Democrat, began his political career in 1960 as a state senator from Orofino, ID. After three terms in the statehouse, he lost his first election for governor in 1966, but won an unprecedented four terms in 1970, 1974, 1986 and 1990, a record which still stands.

From 1977 to 1981, Andrus served as Secretary of the Interior under President Jimmy Carter, the first Idahoan to serve in a presidential cabinet. In that position, he was known for helping pass the Alaska Lands Act, which set aside more than 100 million acres of land in that state as wilderness, including the Arctic national Wildlife Refuge. In 1995, Andrus founded the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University. He is also of counsel to Gallatin Public Affairs, a research and lobbying group.

A Kellogg native and former reporter, Chris Carlson served as Andrus' press secretary for more than eight years, from 1972 to the end of Andrus' tenure at the Department of Interior. He served on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and as government affairs director for Kaiser Aluminum. Andrus and Carlson also worked together at Gallatin, of which Carlson is a co-founder. He is retired and lives in north Idaho.