All 3 Idaho recall efforts fail; Luna, Toryanski, Ellsworth won't face voters Aug. 30

As expected, campaigns to recall Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, Boise GOP Sen. Mitch Toryanski and Boise GOP Rep. Julie Ellsworth fell well short of forcing elections Aug. 30.

Organizers will hold a news conference at the Capitol at 4 p.m. Monday and display the signed petitions, said Morgan Hill, who managed the Recall Tom Luna campaign. Petitions are due Monday. Hill said the recall campaign informed Secretary of State Ben Ysursa's office last week they would miss the mark.

Hill said petitioners began strong, but volunteer support waned. The group spent less than $20,000, most of it in-kind advertising, Hill said.

"For all three, we had a really good start, but when it came time to expend our efforts to put out the volume of work we needed to do, we didn't have enough volunteers or the finances. That's what led to the slow pacing in signature collection."

Said Luna in a written statement: "Students Come First has always been about reforming education so we can educate more students at a higher level with limited resources. Opponents of the laws have tried to make it personal. Reforming education has never been about me; it’s about giving our students more opportunities. Our focus and priority has been and will continue to be implementation of the laws."

Luna will appear on KBOI-670 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, filling in for host Nate Shelman.

Hill said organizers aren't done, however. They hope to form a non-partisan watchdog group built on the spadework done by volunteers.

Hill said the group had thought it had collected about 75,000 of the 158,000 voter signatures necessary to force a recall election on Luna. But after a recount Sunday, Hill put the number at about 50,000.

Organizers collected about 1,000 signatures against Toryanski and Ellsworth, Hill said, but needed 4,725. All three officials were targeted for support of Luna's education reforms.

Idaho's recall threshold is high, requiring signatures amounting to 20 percent of the registered voters in the November 2010 election.

The referendum process is easier, with the requirement at 6 percent, or 47,432. Organizers led by the Idaho Education Association and a new group, Idaho Parents and Teachers Together, successfully qualified three referendums for the November 2012 ballot to overturn the three Luna laws. With $75,000 contributed by the National Education Association, the referendum campaign employed paid signature gatherers.

Toryanski and Ellsworth did not reply to requests for comment by midday Monday.

The Idaho GOP organized to raise "emergency" gifts to fight the recalls should any of the three make the ballot. Idaho GOP Executive Director Jonathan Parker said the party will issue a statement at 5 p.m., after the official deadline for filing petitions passes.

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I can't stop you nor blame you for trying but now get focused!

You've got a long time to stick like glue, a marathon. Run steady, run smart.


Kevin Richert is scared of me for some stupid reason and I really don't care.

Scared of you?

I think most RATIONAL people are leery of nut jobs and lunatics............for good reason.

That would work better if you made more sense in FOOTBALL.


Kevin Richert is scared of me for some stupid reason and I really don't care.


Recall efforts are generally a waste of time, money and effort and this one turned out to be no different whatsoever. Sour grapes over and over and over.

No sour grapes . . .

simply a very strong statement that over 50,000 Idahoans are willing to put their name and address on paper in an effort to get this troll out of office - all grassroots, with no big money backing it up. Now that's saying something. Proud to be one of those 50,000-plus.

That paper is kindling at

That paper is kindling at this point - literally. It did not accomplish anywhere near its goal. So while your opinion is expressed with your signature on that napkin.....mine is expressed with the man still in office AND the legislation still on the books.

Good day for education in the State of Idaho.

Not so much kindling . . .

but legal, irrefutable evidence of the truth, by which I stand. I had no delusions of it actually succeeding, but my name stands, along with thousands upon thousands of other Idahoans who also stand - for our children, teachers and our great state.

By the way, you might want to shy away from your last tagline, as it outs you for the Luna you are.


The truth as YOU see it,

The truth as YOU see it, period. Your name stands with thousands (small minority) of others that failed to reach their goal, not something really to put on the mantle now is it?

You keep thinking in the past 15 years and the rest of us will head on into the future of education, OK? Time to leave the real heavy lifting to the big boys.

You support a liar?

Tom Luna’s comments from the 2010 voter guide, BEFORE the last

Tom Luna: Over the past four years, I’ve shown our investments in
education are significantly raising student achievement. The number of
Idaho’s schools reaching our high academic goals has increased from
26% to 62%. Only eight states now outscore Idaho 8th graders in math
nationwide. Our students consistently outperform students in surrounding
states on college readiness exams. It’s clear we’re on the right
track and heading in the right direction. I’m running to build on this

Good managers implement programs with a minimum of problems. Luna is a poor manager as well as a liar.

Jones, even if it means 50,000 people tried, it means nothing...

You fight for all of of us and if it doesn't work you accept, accept it for all of us.

Your names are no different than others. That is the way we believe in. You move on and do what you can, regardless of what other choose.

Now, those papers are but papers. They are retired.


Kevin Richert is scared of me for some stupid reason and I really don't care.

Of course it doesn't mean NOTHING . . .

The recall was never going to succeed. It was, however, going to make a statement, name by name, valid signature by valid signature. Recalls are not an every day, every year, every decade or every century occurrence. Luna's name will forever go down in history as being one of the most hated "politician" liars in Idaho history. That's good enough for me.

Now - as for the referenda - that's where we all have our work cut out for us. And I accept nothing. My kids' futures depend on it.

P.S. Although I, for one, appreciate most of your comments, and don't buy it for a second that you're some nut-job, you must be lucky not to live in the state I was born in (and will always stay in, and fight for). It must be nice to watch from the balcony seats.


If you reread the article it says almost 50,000 not more than 50,000.

Wasted effort?

Yes, about as much a wasted effort as voting. Idaho requires 20% of registered voters to sign a petition for recall. I wonder if many more than that even voted for this a$zwhole?

This group can't

even do their simple math correctly. All the more reason our education system needs an overhaul. They were off by 33%. Geez...Sunny...

"As expected, campaigns to recall.....fell short."

As expected? Really? All I've been reading was how these campaigns were going to blow the legislation and all these people right out of the water! Looks/sounds like the Statesman covering its own backside.

You're confused.

The recall, although admirable, was not expected to succeed. However, the referenda petitions brought in over 150% of their required signatures, putting the laws on the ballot in November 2012. Any questions?

Yes...Are you going to stop answering for both side as a leader?

Gets to be annoyibng.


Kevin Richert is scared of me for some stupid reason and I really don't care.

Only one side, FO.

Not sure what you're insinuating - it's just me, an accidental activist, neither leading nor following. And I'm sorry if I annoy you - that's disappointing - because I LIKE you.

Whoooa Big Fella

Don’t start rubbing your hands together and cackling maniacally yet. The referendums to over turn the laws come up in Novemeber 2012. That will be after 1 1/2 years of the the Luna laws. By then even the most apathetic voters should have some opinion on the matter. I'm guessing it doesn't bode well for old Weights and Measures.


Yeehaa... LOL what a shame... It is so funny that the
teachers could not even COUNT the signatures correctly.. it seems like maybe they are overpaid...

The teachers' union was

The teachers' union was behind the referenda effort, not the recall. It is my understanding that the recall didn't have nearly the monetary or volunteer support it needed to be even close to succeeding. We do not know the reason the count was off. Blaming teachers for not being able to count is cute, I suppose, but knowing how hard a few dedicated people worked, I just can't laugh this time.

I want to know exactly what is going to happen with the $$

that the candidates and the GOP raised as well aa any unspent dollars from the recall campaigns.

Paid people to collect

You gotta be kidding paying die hard citizens to collect signatures. So much for die hard dedicated volunteer efforts. Pot meet kettle.

I've never seen a story with

I've never seen a story with the name "Luna" in it fall off the Latest News section SO FAST as this one! LOL


I told you zealots that this recall was a waste of time and money. In fact, you enriched and emboldened the ones you wanted to recall. Congratulations. Willy

I have no idea who you might be and I've been here about 4 yrs!


Kevin Richert is scared of me for some stupid reason and I really don't care.