The latest Students Come First ad: Melaleuca as bad cop

Melaleuca Inc. took out another full-page ad in the Statesman Sunday -- again suggesting that the teachers' union is jeopardizing $38 million in teacher bonuses by opposing state superintendent Tom Luna's Students Come First education laws.

A couple of things jump out in the ad (which I don't have in electronic form, but you can see for yourself on page 6 of Sunday's Insight section):

* The ad says the $38 million in bonuses are mired in legal uncertainty -- even though the bonuses were funded by the 2012 Legislature. The question is in the timing, as the ad accurately notes: Voters will decide on the three laws Nov. 6, districts will get the bonus payments on Nov. 15, election results will be certified on Nov. 21, and districts must pay out bonuses by Dec. 15. The ad does not note that Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, a Republican and the state's go-to source on election law, has said that the bonuses can be awarded as planned on Nov. 15, since the merit pay law will be on the books no matter how voters decide on the Nov. 6 referendums. Luna, a Republican, has sought a legal opinion.

But in the ad, Melaleuca makes a none-too-subtle pitch, especially to teachers: Ratify the merit-pay law and the uncertainty goes away. "Teachers deserve to be paid based on merit and results in addition to their regular salaries. Not only this year! But every year! A 'yes' vote on Proposition 2 (the merit-pay law) leaves nothing in question. With a 'yes' vote, deserving teachers will receive their bonuses now and in the future. That is how it should be."

You can't accuse Melaleuca of being coy here.

* The Melaleuca ad again trots out an old claim: that Luna was the victim of union thuggery during his campaign to get his bills through the 2011 Legislature. The ad features a large photo of Luna's vandalized truck, and says this of the debate during the 2011 session. "In typical union style, it got ugly!"

Fairly clear insinuation. The facts are, the vandalism case was never solved and no one was cited.

All in all, in this ad Melaleuca plays bad cop role on Luna's behalf.

Here's a link to our Sunday editorial on the merit pay issue.

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Some one please get to the

Some one please get to the bottom of why Luna withdrew the police report. If the vandalism was due to a kid's conflict with his daughter he should apologize to all the teachers.


I know you are unbiased and are not sponsoring any political candidate....

But I was wondering why all the 100% anti-Republican stuff?

Are the Democrats just that good? Have the Democrats done any wrong in the past 6 years?

How come Idaho is doing so well v other dem states?


how many D's are there to even screw up? I'm afraid there aren't enough in office for any of them to be reported on.

not like anything said in this aricle didn't happen, though.

I do wish the truck vandalism thing would be cleared up though. If no one was busted, then it seems pretty much slander of an entire profession to claim time and time again teachers did it-

Didn't it turn out a neighborhood kid did it, anyway?

In typical VanderSloot style...

The man is ugly. And quite the thug, all by himself.

It's rather a shame the Statesman's not in a position to tell him to go buy his own newspaper if he wants to run his screeds.

To be completely honest, the editors tell what is sent at/to...


None of it seems to be worth a darn to us sometimes but it isn't made up, nor could it be.

When you publish what you are sent, you get more.

There are really only four regions of Idaho with strong journalistic endeavors that get press across the state and region:

Idaho Falls

and here.

Much the same for television.

You couldn't afford to start up a newspaper like this nor a TV station like the 50+ year old institutions in some markets in the state and nearby states. Not even Frank Vandersloot. Markets are depressed and both licensing and purchase of broadcasting outlets take legal firepower Frank wouldn't want to mess with.

Why bother? Use those available to spread your message dirt cheap. Can you begin to blame him or anybody? How is that wrong, other than your opinion of the message or the messenger?


You fry wants with that?

i'm sorry, foreignoregonian...

but did you just post a coherant message?

don't say that, he has a reputation to uphold gets him invites to parties, 1-nighters, etc....where he can be "special" (the holiday season is upon us)

"Delusions of Relevance"...the Idaho disease

I'm sorry, you are woefully inaccurate in your description.

Your broad swipe at the citizens of the state I was born in and lived in through age 12 is also improper. I was welcomed back for some of 1992 when I was temporarily homeless and found a new place to live in.

I hope you can come to terms with your views and find a new resolution of peace, both within and without.


You fry wants with that?

Methinks that...

Perhaps he's back on his meds?