Our relationship hasn't always been smooth-sailing, but it's been there. Good and bad.
Don't get me wrong, Governor Batt and I had far more positive experiences together than negative ones - during the years I was at the Capitol as a lobbyist.
I was honored when Governor Batt chose me to sit on his Indian Gaming Commission, chaired by then-Lt. Governor Butch Otter. We met for around a year and I made many friends with the Commission Members - from each of the Tribes and from industry across the state.
And there were tough times, too. It's just that the negative times seemed to have had much more profound intensity to them...often finding themselves on the front page of newspapers across the state of Idaho.
Phil Batt retired from politics and in time, I moved away from politics, too, towards more things involving social justice needs - working with housing ex-addicts and ex-inmates.
Then, a tragedy happened and Helen Chenoweth passed away. During a reception held in Helen's memory, Phil and I sat down together briefly at a small table and talked. We mended our relationship right then and there.
Later, when my oldest son, Nate, passed away, former Governor Batt was the very first person to send me a note - a most encouraging and tender note of grief.
I will never forget that. We needed that...and got it from Phil Batt.
Taking off my Labrador Press Secretary hat (for a second) and just looking at the badly damaged situation with the front-runner in the seat formerly held by Symms, Chenoweth and Sali - Idaho needs Phil Batt to speak up, once again.
Yes, I know that Phil has endorsed the front-runner in the 1st CD race, but we STILL need to hear his voice of reason.
What does Phil Batt think would best help the GOP in the middle of this final 10 day melt-down situation with the front-runner? Especially now.
I think that the Idaho GOP would benefit greatly from hearing his thoughts. All of us would benefit from it, too.