Hoffman: Idaho education referenda campaign will mimic Wisconsin recall

Political observers have gotten considerable mileage on the question of what the failed Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election portends for Idaho politics.

Here's a take from Wayne Hoffman, head of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative lobbying group. His prediction: Expect a similar fight over retaining the Students Comes First education overhaul laws, which will appear on the November ballot.

From Hoffman's weekly column: "Some of the messages tried in Wisconsin will also be attempted here — all in an effort to return Idaho’s education system to a status quo that empowers labor unions and puts their interests ahead of schoolchildren ....

"In the months leading up to the November election in Idaho, education reform opponents will hurl all sorts of interesting allegations regarding education reform, all in an attempt to retain power at the expense of student achievement."

Hoffman's group supports keeping the three education laws on the books.

The Hoffman column:

The failed multimillion dollar campaign to boot Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office is on its way to Idaho. We don’t know what form it will take, but you can imagine that some of the messages tried in Wisconsin will also be attempted here — all in an effort to return Idaho’s education system to a status quo that empowers labor unions and puts their interests ahead of schoolchildren.

The labor unions don’t like that Idaho’s education reforms are allowing excellent teachers to be recognized and rewarded for their great work, is creating heightened transparency in the union negotiation process, has restored the power of elected school boards and now provides a means for school districts and their students to take advantage of technological innovation.

Opponents, chiefly the Idaho Education Association, want things returned to the way they used to be, and they’re determined to get Idaho voters to reject three measures that will be on the November ballot.

Unfortunately for Idaho’s education reform opponents, but fortunately for Idaho students and their parents, the messages in Wisconsin fell flat. TV ads meant to invoke voter anger didn’t deliver.

My favorite TV ad features a series of protagonists charging that Gov. Walker has destroyed Wisconsin’s public education system: “Scott Walker,” the ad begins, “you can’t improve our schools when you cut $800 million from education, increase classes sizes (with) 3,000 fewer educators in our state.”

Wisconsin voters, like those in Idaho, are smarter than that.

Here’s the message from another TV campaign: “Governor Walker’s counted you out … He destroyed workers’ rights, then Wisconsin jobs. Now, if you’re not earning equal pay for equal work, it’s harder to fight back.”

Another flop.

Still another: “In Wisconsin, we have a tradition of working together, but Scott Walker ignored that by eliminating collective bargaining, taking away 50 years of workers’ rights.”

One ad tried a mash-up between Walker’s administration and that of President Nixon’s during Watergate scandal.
“What did Scott Walker know and when did he know it?” MSNBC commentator Ed Schultz asks in an ad that draws on black and white news clips featuring Walter Cronkite.

The McClatchy-Tribune News Service says some $80 million was spent on the recall election, more than double previous records for that state. And despite all of that money and all of that messaging, the campaign to undo Walker’s reforms fell short.

In the months leading up to the November election in Idaho, education reform opponents will hurl all sorts of interesting allegations regarding education reform, all in an attempt to retain power at the expense of student achievement.

It’s important to remember why education reform is important: Idaho’s schoolchildren deserve the very best education system we can offer. They deserve a system that puts the interest of students first, which means the retention of the best teachers, the best technology and empowered, accountable school boards.

Today, because of education reform, parents can be assured that in Idaho’s school system, the students come first. Students can be assured that they’ll be using 21st century technology and 21st innovative learning methods. Teachers can be assured they’ll be rewarded for hard work. Taxpayers can be assured they’re getting the best bang for their buck. And if voters heed Wisconsin’s lead and uphold Idaho education reforms with three yes votes, it will continue to stay that way.

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Who cares what Hoffman has to say?

Since there are no new ideas or analogies from any Republican, these comments from Hoffman were probably on last week's "Clip Articles For Conservative Bloggers" website.

Yada, yada, yada

Apparently, K.R. cares.

Apparently, K.R. cares. There's a peculiar tension between these two men that is more fun to observe than what either of them has to say.

As for your comment about new ideas, what new ideas have Democrats put forth in the last 70 years?

No new ideas from the Democrats

But, the Republicans have had lots of new ideas;

Lower taxes during a time of war (two, three if you want to include the abject failure that is the War on Drugs)

Deficits are OK under Republican leadership, but not Democratic.

Teachers (not the students or their parents) are the source of our under-achieving education system.

Privatize the support systems for the military (better yet, give the juiciest contracts to the company that paid the sitting VP the entire time he was in office).

Torture is not OK if THEY do it, but it's OK if we do.

Pledge to never raise taxes and refuse to compromise with the foreign-born interloper in the White House.

Even though lack of banking regulation led to the near total collapse of our economy, cut banking regulations even more.

The backbone and engine of our economy is the wealthiest class, not the consuming middle class.

Call me old fashion, but I think these new ideas from the Republicans have the value of a bunch of mouse droppings.

Gee Kevin, are you now a

Gee Kevin, are you now a press agent for Wayne Hoffman and whatever press release the pro-Luna side spews out? How about some balanced coverage here?

The new Idaho Decider has spoken

I guess Wayne Hoffman is now the Idaho Decider. Right, Kevin?