Remembering Governor Cecil Andrus

Cecil Andrus, Idaho’s longest serving governor and a former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, died Thursday, a day before his 86th birthday. He is being remembered in Idaho and across the country as a shrewd leader who fought throughout his career to protect the majestic public lands he held dear.

Next Friday, September 1, at 8 PM, the Idaho Reports Special: Remembering Governor Cecil Andrus takes a retrospective look at Andrus’ impact on the leaders and landscapes of the American West. The Idaho Reports team will explore Andrus’ legacy, what about his personality made Andrus one of Idaho’s most notable modern politicians, and whether there are political lessons to learn from his successes as Idaho’s longest serving governor and the first Interior Secretary appointed from the Gem State. The special draws upon archival footage of Andrus, interviews with Andrus’ friends and political contemporaries, and a pundits discussion.

Remembering Governor Cecil Andrus: A look back at his legacy in the West

Earlier in the week, on Monday, August 28, IdahoPTV’s Plus Channel encores three original productions featuring Cecil Andrus.

Outdoor Idaho: Beyond the White Clouds (August 28 at 7/6 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel) takes an hourlong look at the three new wilderness areas in the center of Idaho — the White Clouds, the Hemingway-Boulders, and the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness — to tell the fascinating 50-year story of how the threat of an open-pit molybdenum mine eventually led to a unanimous vote for Wilderness in Congress.

Host and executive producer Bruce Reichert says, “In 2016 we conducted what we think was Andrus’ last full-length interview, for our Outdoor Idaho show Beyond the White Clouds. We had to stop several times, as passersby stopped to yell, ‘Hi, Cece!’ and he would compliment them on their fine dog. At times like that, it was easy to forget that he had been Interior Secretary of the United States, a four-term governor of the state of Idaho, and a man who helped preserve the landscape of the White Clouds and the Sawtooths.”

Following Beyond the White Clouds, Marcia Franklin interviews Andrus over a span of 17 years in two back-to-back Dialogue episodes from 1994 and 2011 (August 28 at 8/7 and 8:30/7:30 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel). The 2011 conversation is continued at IdahoPTV On Demand in a Dialogue Extra.

Producer and host Marcia Franklin says, “To cover Governor Andrus — which I started doing in 1989 — was to receive free lessons in politics, in an era when that meant working across the aisle to get things done. But it also meant hard bargains, including taking care of business within the party, something Andrus wasn’t afraid to do. You could always count on an answer from the governor, even if that was a very direct, ‘Now you don’t think I’m really going to answer that question, do you, Marcia?’ … Despite that apparent bark, I found Governor Andrus to be a gracious, warm man who was passionate about our state, his family, and the people he served.”

Also available on IdahoPTV On Demand are 1996 and 1998 Dialogue interviews with Andrus conducted by producer and co-host Joan Cartan-Hansen.

Cartan-Hansen, whose mother was an early supporter and long-time friend of the governor, met Andrus when she was a young girl. “He has loomed large in my life as a man of honor with a sense of humor,” says Cartan-Hansen. “He knew every line of the budget and had a special way of making people feel at ease. Yet, he was a shrewd politician, one you did not cross without consequences. He is a man I admire and care about. He will always be, for me, The Governor.”

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