Idaho politics: Group says it has the signatures to force referendum on Luna laws (UPDATED, 5:35 p.m.)

UPDATED, 5:35 p.m., with Luna statement.

The group seeking a referendum on State Superintendent Tom Luna's "Students Come First" laws say they have enough signatures to force a November 2012 vote on the three laws.

Organizers say they will continue seeking signatures, however, before turning in petitions to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa's office on June 6.

Organizers are required to collect signatures from 47,432 Idahoans in order to place the referenda on the statewide ballot.

Said Luna Wednesday afternoon: "We knew the referendum was a possibility, but I remain confident that a majority of Idahoans support education reform in Idaho."

Here's the group's news release:

Idaho citizens are eager to have a chance to vote on the three education laws passed by the Idaho Legislature. That's the message sent by more than 48,000 citizens who have signed each of the three petitions to put the laws to referendum votes next year.

"We are announcing today that we have passed 47,432 verified signatures for each of the three petitions," said Mike Lanza, chair of Idahoans for Responsible Education Reform. The parent-led committee initiated the petition drives on April 8 and the Idaho Education Association joined the coalition a week later.

"We're still collecting signatures because we know that many Idahoans still want to sign the three petitions," Lanza added. "We know that people don't want to see the larger class sizes, layoffs and unfunded technology mandates that these laws are already causing."

"Our members have joined with parents and other working Idahoans to collect these signatures in just 40 days," said IEA President Sherri Wood. "Unfortunately, we won't have a chance to vote on the laws until November 2012, but by then, Idahoans will have seen ample evidence on just how damaging these laws are."

County clerks offices across Idaho continue to verify signatures. Organizers will deliver the petitions to the Secretary of State's office in Boise on Monday, June 6. The petitions will not be officially qualified until the Secretary of State's office reviews them.

And here, in full, is Luna's response:

We knew the referendum was a possibility, but I remain confident that a majority of Idahoans support education reform in Idaho. Repealing these laws would mean a return to the status quo, where the hands of local school boards are tied, educators receive tenure, the state distributes retirement bonuses, every teacher is paid the exact same, staffing decisions are made solely based on seniority, and classrooms remain stuck in the 20th century. This isn’t the answer to the challenges we face in education today. The burden of proof should be on those who want to defend the status quo, not on those who want to change it.

1306366518 Idaho politics: Group says it has the signatures to force referendum on Luna laws (UPDATED, 5:35 p.m.) Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


There were some who doubted this could be done!! What about the RECALL LUNA petition?

Either Tom Luna has no

Either Tom Luna has no debate experience or he has forgotten the basic rule. The burden of proof lies with those suggesting change not with the status quo. So, Tom accept the burden and provide the proof that your plan will solve all of these problems you perceive

If nothing else, can we get rid of "Students Come First"

And replace it with "Outside Corporate Interests Come First"? Or "Luna Comes First"? There is nothing in the way the State is managing education that has added benefit for Students. That's a fact.


Teachers and unions come first.

Oh, is that Tom Luna's new

Oh, is that Tom Luna's new slogan? Awesome!

At least they live in Idaho...and not the Caymans.

Gives the state some chance to get that money back.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Its about time

Congrats on getting the signatures for the referendum, hopefully you will get enough recall signatures too. I want to see the recall of Tom Luna and the referendum get beat down in the voting booths to finally shut people up, of course, then i suppose it will be appealed to some court where you may be able to find some judge who will side with the alleged "Will of the people".

Whatever it takes...

It happened in NJ, it can happen here!

Recall Luna doesn't go on the Ballot

His replacement will be appointed by our ill--ustrious tight jeans contestant, whiskey laced tobaccie chewing gov -- let's hope he finds someone more experienced and qualified than Josh Tewalt with a high school education and 3 DUI's into leadership at the IDOC...but I have no confidence that will happen. Give me a break Statesman -- can't post the word "l - u -- s --t .... what the heck.

Recall and courts

Yeh, it's too bad we live in a democratic republic with laws. Just because Luna acted like a dictator, does not mean he cannot be VOTED out.

The pace picked up after Meridian levy failure

The swarms around petition gathering stations in Eagle last weekend indicate that the pace picked up after the Tea Party got the vote out to end Meridian's history of support for better education for students.

These yahoos do nothing but complain...

they will continue to complain when our kids aren't educated "enough" to take care of them in their old age...the complaining never ends with these rw freak fringe groups.

Perhaps you haven't received the word......

the Fed Govt is going to take care of everyone in their old age. Care will be funded from "Govt money" - no problem!


Hurdle 1 cleared! :)

Well Done!

Congratulations to all who tirelessly carried these petitions, and all of you who sought them out to sign. Idahoans who care about education - we will prevail.

Who'd a thunk it?

I'm on record for believing they wouldn't get enough signatures. So maybe I have to eat some crow here but I still think Idahoans will not cowtow to the teacher's union defending an old model that puts Americans at a competitive disadvantage. . If I'm wrong, so be it but education reform is sorely needed in Idaho and Luna is on the right side of this issue, including web-learning and removing collective bargaining arrangements that stifle innovation. I'm still willing to bet that IF this comes to a vote, that Luna wins and the IEA is once again handed it's a#!.

Help me out here

Why is education reform "sorely needed"? Reading an earlier article today about Idaho ranking 50th in the nation in education spending, people were quick to point out how well we are doing with such little funding. Ironically, it was those same people who seem to support Luna. So if we're doing so well with so little, it wouldn't really seem like reform is necessary.

So where is your evidence

So where is your evidence that more online courses and giving a lot of money to laptop companies and private online education firms back EAst is going to give Idaho a greater competitive advantage? You are right that 2012 will be a tough year for these votes because of the high turnout, but by then Idaho schools will be a lot worse off, giving these referendums a real chance.

" then Idaho schools will be a lot worse off...."

So, your strategy is to make sure things are so miserable for schools, kids, and parents during the next year that parents will just throw in the towel and vote your way -- class act you guys -- a page right out of the Cloward and Piven playbook. Overwhelm the system!!

No, that was Luna's strategy.

I'm worried seem unable to follow the conversation and have forgot who's who. Time to join the Teaparty where delusion and dementia is welcomed.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

I think it might be you who has forgotten who's who.....

I'm one of those citizens whose vote you need. Oh, wait - maybe you don't need our vote - you decide.

We need your vote? Why kid yourself, you only vote one way.

By the way, what's a tet, and why does it need a pilot?

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

If I have to explain......

you wouldn't understand.

VIETNAM WAR, Holiday BATTLE. Time-Life DVDs. Sheesh.


If you could handle the truth, you wouldn't be spoiling our social hour right now.

I was wondering if that was what Tet meant in this context...

Or if he accidently put e instead of i when signing up. Thought maybe there was a career as a wet-nurse in tet's past.
The age would explain the grouchiness, but I would assume a pilot would offer more intelligent responses than this one does. Heck, even a ground-pounding jarhead like me usually brings more to the table.
Shouldn't assume I guess...

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Remember who you are talking

Remember who you are talking to. Do you really think we will intentionally make things miserable for "schools, kids, parents," and ourselves? I suppose there might be some teachers who would do this, but most of us entered this profession because we care so much about kids. Why do you think there was no state-wide walkout while these "reform" laws were being debated? The truth is that will do our jobs not matter what because we want our students to excel.

Why was there no state-wide walkout?

Because the public would have killed you at the polls and in every election and legislative proposal for years out into the future. No walkout - probably the only smart thing you've done.

how is this reform?

How are Luna and Otter on the right side of education reform? Before spouting out the tea party line, rwad the bills and study the issues. There is nothing in these bills that has been proven to help education. The only two things that affect education are merit pay and online education. There has been numerous studies comparing states with merit pay with those that don't. These have shown similar, if not better, results in states without merit pay. Other studies have show better educational performance with classroom teachers than with online courses. The only thing these bills do is punish the teachers union and reward Luna's campaign contributors.


Yes, you are wrong. Reform can be accomplished with all parties involved. A politician with an on-line degree in Weights and Measures is not the person I trust to make reform. Business models have not worked in other states, no matter how much money was thrown at them. Luna's idea came from cronies in on-line businesses who see a chance for Idaho money. We can have reform, but let's invite the informed and involved to the table.

Just getting this far is a real victory for all Idahoans!

The next steps will be even better for Idaho students.
Go Majority!!!


wow, that was fast.

I belive the parents & IEA

I belive the parents & IEA paid perople to gather them, paid per each one. That's why so many so fast perhaps?

actually, I was asking

and apparently the volunteer people were doing so well that they didn't use the paid people

No, that's not true

It was a volunteer effort. Just listening to people, they seem legitimately upset with Luna and his laws. I was quite surprised at the numbers.

I did it for free. I'm

I did it for free. I'm pretty sure the people gathering with me were also volunteers.

I wish we were paid! Let's

I wish we were paid! Let's see, I gathered 200 signatures, $5 a signature would have been nice, especially if it came from the Koch Brothers!

I wonder how many people signed these petitions more than once..

34-1801A. Petition. The following shall be substantially the form of petition for any law proposed by the initiative: WARNING It is a felony for anyone to sign any initiative or referendum petition with any name other than his own, or to knowingly sign his name more than once for the measure, or to sign such petition when he is not a qualified elector.

Cite evidence:

that anybody signed these petitions more than once.

These recall efforts have gone beyond the basic requirements in terms of requirements and standards.

I really loved it last week when my rw step-dad read the Luna statement warning teachers and drove all the way to Boise to sign the recall petitions in order to make his opinion change known. He voted for Luna twice but now cannot wait to vote in his recall election and against Lunacy "reforms". I never thought I'd see the day...

What proof is there that they have enough signatures?

Seeing as how their number has not been verified and confirmed by the SOS, this announcment seems premature...Also another question will be is how many people signed petitions who were not registered, and therefore unqualified to sign the petitions.

The signatures have been

The signatures have been verified by the county clerks, and all 48,000 are registered voters. Sorry.

I worked as a volunteer to gather signatures.

Another volunteer and I were instructed to first ask if the person who wanted to sign was a registered voter. Next we were to ask them which county they live in, making sure that they signed the correct petition. Everything was very much by the book, and for the first fifteen minutes, the coordinator stayed close by to make sure we were doing it right. Why would we want to go to all the work of getting signatures, only to have them thrown out?

And, by the way, I'm very glad the NEA and IEA have experts to help in this endeavor. That's why I pay my dues!

The signatures are verified by the county clerks.

which includes, among many other things, checking for multiple signings. Are you serious?

The article clearly states

The article clearly states that these are "verified" signatures. Verified by the county clerks first, and now they will be submitted to the SOS.


"County clerks offices across Idaho continue to verify signatures. Organizers will deliver the petitions to the Secretary of State's office in Boise on Monday, June 6. The petitions will not be officially qualified until the Secretary of State's office reviews them."

It clearly states that the counties are continuing to verify the signatures, which will still need to be verified by the Secreatary of State. I don't doubt that they will get 48K worth of signatures, I again say that this announcement is premature.

Don't like

democracy much, do you? Someone who loves democracy should love that the people get to vote. If the people of Idaho love your education reform so much, you should be cheering on that we get to make our voices heard. Unless, of course, you actually feel that we might have had enough of your right wing garbage.

I work on the campaign. We

I work on the campaign. We have 48,000 VERIFIED signatures, we are just gathering more to prove there is even more opposition to the laws.

Give it up already Bailey

The buck stops at the county clerk. They not only verify each and every signature, they certify, as officers of the court, each petition. The Secretary of State will not be re-verifying the signatures - only counting the certifications - if that. They clerks will continue to verify all of the petitions they have yet to verify, which will likely keep them busy through the deadline - the end of next week. The clerks have been keeping track of each signature they have verified - and today announced that the goal had not only been reached, but overrun. By the time they're done next week, they will have certainly verified far, far more than the required amount of signatures.

I have first-hand knowledge of this - from inquiries made to the Ada County Clerk and the Secretary of State's office. Perhaps you would like to call these people, ask them your questions, and then report back - rather than make sideways interpretations and uninformed arguments.

Tom is that you?

Tom er.... Bailey shouldn't you be out vandalizing your own truck again?

The 48,000 signatures have

The 48,000 signatures have already been verified by the county clerks who make sure people are not counted twice. Sorry.


please visit and sign this petition too. click on signing locations to find a place near you to sign. you can also print a copy of the petition and sign it, get your friends to sign, get it notarized and mail it to:
The Committee to Recall Tom Luna
PO Box 5186
Boise, ID 83705