Otter campaign manager raises $200k to back Idaho Props 1, 2 & 3, election officials scrutinizing non-disclosure

Debbie Field, Gov. Butch Otter's former drug czar and two-time campaign manager, has raised $200,350 from a single source and spent it on broadcast ads supporting Propositions 1, 2 and 3, also known as "Students Come First" and "The Luna Laws."

Field heads a new group, Parents for Education Reform, which filed its Sunshine report Tuesday, a day before the deadline for finance reports covering the period May 26 to Sept. 30. The new political action committee's treasurer is Cordell Chigbrow, who also is Otter's treasurer.

All but $32 of the $200,350 raised was paid to Sandler-Innocenzi Inc., for broadcast advertising, which includes radio, TV and internet spots. Sandler-Innocenzi is based in Arlington, Va., and received the $200,318 payment Sept. 25. Sandler-Innocenzi calls itself "one of the country's leading full-service Republican political advertising firms."

The entire $200,350 came from Education Voters of Idaho, a group that shares the same Boise post office box with Field's group. Education Voters of Idaho has not yet filed a Sunshine report. Field referred me to John Foster, a former spokesman for former Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick.

Foster said the group won't be filing a campaign finance report to disclose where the $200,350 came from. "We are a non-profit, 501(c)4 under the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. We don't have to disclose."

Foster is a consultant to Parents for Education Reform, which is affiliated with Education Voters of Idaho.

Asked whether the group was exempt from Idaho's Sunshine law, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst said, "We have been in discussions with Education Voters of Idaho about proper disclosure. It is currently under legal review."

Said Foster: "We have been working with the secretary of state's office from the beginning in good faith."

Reports also have not yet been filed by the leading proponent of the education laws, YES for Idaho Education. Neither have the known opponents of the propositions, Vote No on Propositions 1, 2, 3 and Idaho Republicans for Our Schools.

Field represented Southeast Boise in the Legislature for a dozen years and chaired the House Judiciary Committee. During Otter's first governor's race in 2006, Field focused on Otter and neglected her own contest, losing by 175 votes to Democrat Branden Durst.

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1349911586 Otter campaign manager raises $200k to back Idaho Props 1, 2 & 3, election officials scrutinizing non-disclosure Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho, where the sun don't shine

You would think this upstanding citizens who want to spend hundreds of thousands of $ in Virginia would be proud to be known for their support of the Luna-cy.

Teachers' union has no valid arguments...only attacks

The teachers' unions are so against this that one must ask a simple question: Why? Why oppose pay-for-performance when the IEA worked with Idaho's Dept of Ed to craft it?

Why oppose mobile computing devices?

Why oppose elimination of tenure?

Why oppose limiting collective bargaining to just pay and benefits?

Why claim that class size, school supplies and student safety are what teacher's include in their contracts?

Maybe you should take a moment to see the truth for yourselves:

The Boise School District's Master Contract with the Boise Education Assn reveals the truth. There isn't anything in there about class size, school supplies or student safety.

Instead, it's all about the union including requiring the District compensate the union for the union president's pay and/or hold a position for them when their term is over.

That's burdening taxpayers and it has absolutely nothing to do with providing a better education for our students.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!!




I think you would support anything that would be Republican driven. Let's help you out just a bit:

You: Why oppose mobile computing devices? -- As a tax payer I don't want mobile computing devices in the hands of a 16 year old. Also, do you want taxpayers to pay for a system that is not proven? Sounds real fiscal to me, Mater. Also, computers exist at schools and it is proven that do exist. Schools are not an archaic hideaway with cobwebs in its corners. I wish someone like you would go into a school to find out.

You: Why oppose elimination of tenure? Tenure does not exist in the Idaho Public Education for grades K-12. How come you don't get this... never mind, have to keep on the repeating the GOP memo that saying the same thing over and over so you believe it to be true. 127 teachers fired last year. So much for the "we can't fire anyone." Repeat, "No tenure exists for K-12."

You: Why oppose limiting collective bargaining to just pay and benefits? Safety standards, class size, expanding days on or off. Why not have power to the people. In Nampa, they can't even pay subs, so they will have anyone that is available watch the class to make sure no one is misbehaving, not teach.

You: Why claim that class size, school supplies and student safety are what teacher's include in their contracts? Put 45 kids in one class and then I think you will have an answer.

You: That's burdening taxpayers and it has absolutely nothing to do with providing a better education for our students. -- Please show me the proof that that Luna's Laws will provide a better education. Let me answer that, you can't because it doesn't exist.

Since the State of Idaho has taken over funding of Education in 2006 (property tax vs sales tax), out state government has done everything to undercut education continually and blame "union thugs" aka your 10 years old son's/daughter's teacher.

We keep raising our taxes to pay for education and we will continue to do so if this Luna Laws pas/ses, but we will give the State of Idaho top wealthy donors more tax breaks.

Say NO to Luna's Laws!

Education is an investment NOT a cost!

This is from some middle aged business owner that wants an educated society.

Union myths debunked 101

Wow, a whole 127 teachers fired last year, huh?

Let's put that into perspective. If 13,000 teachers are union members and that's only 67% of the teachers in Idaho, what is the percentage of teachers fired?

Answer: 0.5%

Tenure DID exist in Idaho until this year. A 3-year probationary period followed by automatically renewed contracts IS TENURE BY EVERY DEFINITION!!!

The mobile computing devices are for both high school students and their teachers. They aren't for the K-9 students or didn't you realize that?!?

Limiting collective bargaining to pay and benefits is where it should have been limited from the get-go.

Adding 2 - 3 students per class bringing the total to 35 or less is still way less than 45 students per class. So, no, teachers don't need to even negotiate class size, school supplies or student safety as they never have in the past!

This is all about the teachers' unions whining about stuff that doesn't even matter. 45 kids per class. No one is proposing that and you know it. Exaggeration and lies are the only tools the unions have.

Education is a cost to taxpayers. And no one in their right mind considers wasteful spending an investment...except the teachers' unions.

Why should Idaho taxpayers fund the teachers' union president's job? We shouldn't! No justification whatsoever. They aren't actively teaching AND they aren't an investment.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!


It gets TIRESOME (see I can type in caps as well) to consistently correct you. The amount fired is fired. The additional teachers almost double that left or they would be forced to leave (read between the lines, fired). The others left for "personal reasons."

Tenure usually refers to life tenure which means you can't be fired without just cause. A continual contact is a three basis and be chosen not to be renewed. It is by meaning a different word. This is not a word association game, go play that with your other minions.

Your stats are funny, just adding 2-3 students per class. Funny thing is that LUNA'S STATS INCLUDED NURSES, COUNSELORS, PRINCIPALS, VICE-PRINCIPALS and any other person that has a teaching certificate into their calculations. Funny, they don't teach in a classroom setting. Ask Luna why he included the above mentioned professionals into his lame calculations when they are not in a classroom. Why is he??? Because, he wants to improve the look and not use real numbers.

Tell the Microns, the Simplots of the Treasure Valley that education is not an investment. They as a business want educated people. If we didn't, they wouldn't be here.

Taxpayers pay teachers and most teachers pay to be part of a union and some don't. To connect the dots that now taxpayers are paying unions is being intellectually dishonest. A taxpayer pays a peace officer that is usually part of union, so by your logic we pay that union as well. People have a choice to be part of union. Your logic is flawed, but that isn't unusual.

Time to change from conservative radio and listen to classical are too party oriented and mad at everything, everyone that is not on your side.

Luna, Towm8tr, FeelMore (whatever)...

Funny, but I noticed that Luna's most powerful sounding voice at the Boise City Club debate was when he was attacking the educators' union (which is made up of Idaho teachers). There was disdain bordering on hate, just like I hear in the posts by the same personas listed above.

It is significant because all three (really?) are putting their eggs in the basket that assumes GOP members hate the unions. While this might be true in some cases, most Idaho citizens actually KNOW Idaho teachers and know that they are not the real problem. The problem is more widespread than a single scapegoat, though one might think otherwise listening to these guys.

I have worked in two schools with diametrically different sets of parents. Those schools with parents who were involved have higher achieving students REGARDLESS the quality of their teachers. Both schools had excellent teachers, yet their test scores didn't indicate that. We also know that parents who send their kids to charter schools tend to be far more involved with their kids education, thus...

The unions, despite (all) your attacks are not the blame--that's too simple minded. Those are our teachers you're attacking. How about attacking state funding. They are putting the onus on local taxpayers to pick up the bill that they are not willing to fund. How about spreading the blame where it belongs...?

Simple Mind

Do you really think that everything the BEA negotiates with the District ends up in the Master Contract? The BEA works with the district to implement all kinds of policies like class size, the number of aides required with special needs students, classroom safety, student/teacher contact hours, etc. Those things do not end up in the Master Contract. You have no idea what you are talking about.

That's so ridiculous it's funny!!

Let me get this straight: You're saying the union negotiates stuff not in the contract?

That is such a stretch to be beyond reality!!

Excuse me while I put on my chest waders. The bs is getting pretty deep in here.

"Class sizes, school supplies and student safety are in the non-existent, unsigned, contract."

Puhlease...that's so far-fetched it's pathetic.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

What a load of crud

There is one and only one issue for the supporters of these propositions; union busting.

A simple question

Since it is obvious that you have a fear of unions. My question is why don't you fear undisclosed money more? Why is it that? I for one question any group that is unwilling to tell where it's funding came from. To blindly move forward with hate is what gave us the Holocaust, enjoy!

Mater, give it up.

You can't seriously say that the teachers' union has no valid arguments. They have the arguments - you just don't agree with them.

An essential objection to the Luna Laws is that they were enacted over the strenuous objections of teachers. Not just the teachers' union, but teachers in general. If improving education is the goal, why ignore teachers' views? Dumb. Really dumb.

And, you continue ranting about the Boise District contract, without mentioning that the Boise District opposes the Luna Laws. How the he11 do you explain that, and ignore it?

Vote NO. Can't make progress in public education by stomping on teachers.

Talk about

money I'd like to follow down the rabbit hole and see where it came from.

Then go to

The Idaho Secretary of State's website and look up the so called non-profit corp called "Education Voters of Idaho, Inc.
One of the directors, Mark Dunham, definitely has a conflict of interest in my opinion.

Not the first time,

The former American Federation of Teachers President put it bluntly: “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” It appears that the IEA feels the same way.

another dunce

Albert Shanker said no such thing. White-wing myth out of Mississippi repeated by chumps.

Sure of that are you Chump?

Are you also a member of the Young Socialists League, same as Shanker?

Albert Shanker also said "It is time to admit that public education operates like a planned
economy. It's a bureaucratic system where everybody's role is spelled
out in advance, and there are few incentives for innovation and
productivity. It's not a surprise when a school system doesn't improve.
It more resembles a Communist economy than our own market economy."

Wrong again

The IEA has never been affiliated in any way with the American Federation of Teachers. Try to make your arguments relevant, although I realize that has never been a priority for knee-jerks.

Let's hide and watch

to see what choice position she gets appointed to next! I could guess, but I'd much rather let it be a surprise. She's certainly on an errand, because if the Props go down, Butch baby is going down as well. It's no secret Field and her ilk can come up with big money to support this. After all, it's ALL about the money. Shoot 250k is barely party favors for Mr. Melaleuca! Right? And then there are the for profit education companies just sweating it out in the wings. Surely they would be more than happy to pony up. But what about me. I'm a mom of an 8th grader who attends public schools and I want her teachers to be treated with respect, valued as professionals, her administrators to be fair minded, her school board to be right minded and in it solely for the well being of the students. I think if brains were dynamite, Luna wouldn't have enough to blow his nose.

Have you decided to refuse your SCF bonus yet?

C'mon, don't play both sides of the fence on this one!

When are you going to decline that SCF bonus? You don't need it because you already have a laptop, correct?

Up to $8,000 in annual bonuses, doesn't interest you, correct? So don't accept the bonus. Show everyone you oppose the SCF laws--including that > $2,000 bonus you're about to receive!!!

Just as I thought. You don't have the wherewithall to decline it. Too self-serving to do that.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!!

That "bonus" is a sad

That "bonus" is a sad attempt to make up for not paying teachers what they are OWED! Pay has been frozen for four years in the BSD. And to top that off, money is being diverted from teacher's paychecks to pay for something that will fail miserably, and isn't wanted anyway!

You're owed nothing and you know it...

Entitlement mentality alert!

Hey, read the contract. It details the pay. Starting at over $33,000 up to $58,000+.

It's only because you believe you're entitled to more money that you make that assertion.

Guess what? Tax revenues were down the past several years. The Idaho Constitution requires a balanced budget. The legislature did its job by cutting where it had to. Get over it because those in the private sector have been hit just as hard.

Still, one must wonder, why should the Boise School District pay the salary of the union president? Why should their term count towards retirement? See, that's the old entitlement mentality trying to milk the taxpayers' teets.

You aren't owed anything! It's your mentality that breeds a mediocre teacher whose job security hinges on tenure. You're merely looking to cruise into retirement on the taxpayers' backs.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

Like and likewise!

Like and likewise!

not so fast

saluki, Albert Shanker never said what you attribute to him.

Shankers legacy

He wised up on his later years,
"His overall legacy has been praised by a wide range of education officials, including New York City's Chancellor Joel Klein, who told The Huffington Post in a statement:

"He expressed a vision for reform almost 20 years ago that is today cutting edge - professionalizing teaching through real accountability, rewarding success, consequences for non-performance; bringing charters, choice and competition so that we can focus on great schools, not the label on a school; and using technology to transform the way we instruct children. I hope his visionary words are fully embraced."

Guess the "word" hasn't the IEA Union bosses and shills yet.

Rewarding success?

Individual or group success? Competition among teachers or schools? Either will promote collaboration, I'm sure (sarc). Great schools or schools with both great teachers and parents?

Does technology not exsist in schools today? Surely it must, and great teachers are already (and have) embrassed this mode of teaching (long before this assault began by those seemingly living in the dark ages began). The sad part is that schools are so far ahead of this conversation it's a joke to those of us who have to endure the stupidity of its content. It's like hearing someone from the eighties say, "You need to live in the now."

We are already there. Where have you been?

Join the 21st Century,,,

...that you're advocating and we have long embraced

The worls ended in 1980 you mad fool.


You fry wants with that?

Dollar crashing anyway....soon only

survival will matter....

Wont be dollars for anything....

Vote to get economy and dollar back....

Good, then vote for state

Good, then vote for state dollars instead of local tax levies (which will be a yearly thing otherwise).

I don't care about all that...

Whatever happen to Julie Osa(spelling)? She and the late Tina Marostica would at least slow dance with me now and then and Julie was a Basque angel to me.

THAT matters to me, Ugs.


You fry wants with that?

Don't understand why you didn't pick 'Chicken Little' as a

nom de plume.

"For you the blind who once could see, the bell tolls for thee." Neil Peart

Republican Mafia

If these groups were truly proud of what they were doing they would fully disclose who they are. Even they know what they are doing is sleezy. Weren't Little Chigbrow and Pappa Chigbrow in some very un-ethical behaviour in just the past couple of years where Pappa got canned from the Tax Commission partly for steering business to his son's accounting firm?

Still wondering why Nonini deep sixed the Cronin legislation

Still wondering why Nonini deep sixed the Cronin legislation that would have protected Idaho Citizens by creating transparency when dealing with the troubled For-profit education industry.

How much did the out-of-state For-profit education companies pay Idaho Legislators and political appointees who blitzkrieged last session’s “education reform” through the process without input from key stakeholders (e.g. teachers, parents, students).

Why did Idaho legislators defund public education forcing Boise School District residents to stand in the gap via the 57 Million dollar levy?

Was “education reform” in Idaho home grown with input from stakeholders in Idaho? Or was it driven by out-of –state lobbyists and out-of-state For-profit education companies?

Abramoff: "Fire up the jet baby, we're going to El Paso!!" Mike Scanlon: "I want all their MONEY!!!" Email interchange between Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon, February 6, 2002

Who Is Guarding The Hen House?

With all this rhetoric on pay for performance, there was an article the other day about the amount of cheating that is going on nationally, so that student scores look good. How much is the State going to pay for monitoring the system. And what are they going to do to give incentive for a clean system. Where will this cost come from? Same problem in private enterprise.

The Hen House?

Good points....

I am a right-winged conservative but am not sure where anything is heading anymore....getting ready to trade dollars for silver and milk for vodka....

The problem with Government programs is that they usually create their own monsters....Do Private Schools have these same issues?

Private school problems

My sister teaches at a Catholic High School in the Bay Area and their biggest problem is the $ millions of dollars they had to pay to students that were molested by "The Brothers".

Obviously you have missed the numerous public

teachers sleeping around with students these days too, in the USA....

How many silent $millions for those settlements?

Why did you just report this problem from some Private Schools? Were you unaware that that went on in some Public Schools too....

Why does the hen house need guarding?

No honest teacher is going to cheat the system. On the other hand, a tenured teacher who suddenly has to teach to standards might feel threatened by their inability to meet those standards.

Still, the same article mentioned the ability to check whether or not scores were ever changed after-the-fact. That was the biggest indicator of cheating and it's a fairly simple way to catch it.

The incentive for a clean system is to fire those that cheat. Won't cost a thing to get rid of them under SCF.

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2 & 3!!!

I am undecided on props 1,2,3....

What I would like to read is an honest pro and con on props 1,2,3....I keep reading the hype and hysteraria....

I wouldnt mind reading a pro and con statements from two separate Teachers on props 1,2,3....

Can a person vote yes on one of them and no on the other two? If so, which ones?

Yes, you will vote

Yes, you will vote separately on propositions 1, 2 and 3. So you can split your vote. I am a parent and for the life of me cannot understand why any rational person would vote yes on Proposition 3, the laptops bill. That proposition has already caused property taxes to go up all over the state as Luna pillaged all the money from the education budget to pay for thecomputers and in return local municipalities passed levies so that funding in the schools would not be slashed. It takes a huge amount of control away from local school districts and puts it in the hands of "big government," ie Luna and the state Department of Education. It puts kids in huge clases being taught through online courses, which have never been proven to increase the quality of education.

Pendleton....Thanks, that was a good

answer and I will definitely vote no on prop 3 and also tell my wife about it too....

The laptop idea has always bothered me and I didnt know where it fit in the props....I believe this type of stuff can be done thru 'big' screens in the classrooms, and at home without 'free' laptops via cable tv and internets....

so Ugly is voting no on #3....

However, I wouldnt mind reading a defense from the pro 3 side, albeit it wont change my mind on 3....I never have liked the laptop idea....

Not so fast, ugly

There are thousands of articles on the internet, pro and con, on laptop instruction, yet you are going to take the word of an anonymous person who confirmed your admittedly uninformed suspicion?

"Mooresville’s Shining Example (It’s Not Just About the Laptops)" - New York Times, 2-12-2012.

You can also find articles in the NYT that are critical of laptop programs. As with any innovation, some school districts have been more successful than others, but this trend in education is not going to be reversed. There are over 200 articles on the Department of Education (federal) website. There are dozens of articles published by universities. Laptop instruction has been around since 1999 and is continuing to expand. The article I cited will give you an idea of the level of interest that exists among educators and school administrators.

Being an informed voter is a lot of work, but you can do it.

Bytheway....I wasnt just looking here for info on

props 1,2,3....I have read the 'letters-to-editor' and other stuff....I live in Eastern Idaho have read the ads by Vander Sloot....

Yes, laptops are used by others but that doesnt mean that the Luna system is the same....I was refering to the pro and con of prop 3 and laptops here in Idaho only....what is your take?

If laptops are so positive by the Department of Education (federal) website, then why is it so negative here by the Teachers in Idaho? I am not against laptops inside the school system itself, I just have had issues seeing the positive outcome with all students receiving a 'free' laptop and not knowing what this all students leave the laptops in school, or do they use them at home and at school? What happens with theft, breakdowns, or broken computers from horse-play?

Ill read your references....


TowM8r = FeelMore = Spam

You post in the blogs as TowM8r and elsewhere on the Statesman web site as FeelMore. You've admitted that you do. What you have taken to doing lately is simply cutting and pasting off-topic diatribes about unions no matter what the subject of the article might be. Your posts here are a case in point. Within minutes of the article being posted, you are attempting to change the subject. Your hand-waving and misdirection are no longer working. In fact, all they do is provide further evidence that you are a paid shill for the Yes for Idaho Education campaign.

It's getting tiresome. Your posts are cut-and-paste spam. They should be flagged as abusive and removed by the moderators.


Because you don't feel the love?

What a maroon!


You fry wants with that?

JamesGatz....Im not speaking for the other guy, just like your

honest opinion why Props 1,2,3 are bad....are all of them bad?

I am a Republican but am undecided on this issue....I like some or many parts of it, but dont like the laptop idea....I feel this could be better done through desk-tops, the internet, and even at home on an education cable channel....

Merit pay?

A tale of two teachers... #1 is the best teacher at a low performing school. This teacher is amazing in all facets of education but chooses to ply her skills at a lower socio economic school that does not meet AYP. Thus, the entire school's teachers receive no performance benefits. Despite being a great educator, this teacher, like the others at her school both good and bad, will receive no pay for performance money under the Luna Laws. #2 is a below average teacher with students that regularly do poorly on state and district exams. However, this teacher works at a high performing school so she, along with the others at her school will receive pay for performance benefits. Merit pay should award the best teachers, not just those that work at the best schools. Prop 2 is NOT the solution. FURTHER I defy you to find ANY teacher in this valley that supports Prop 2 as written. This dog won't hunt and anyone that thinks it will is PAINFULLY ignorant of the realities of public education.

ALSO anyone that thinks that having 35 7th graders in a classroom is reasonable has obviously never stepped foot into such a classroom. I have. And it's not easy.

For the record, I like Prop 1. Bad teachers are an embarrasment to the profession. I do not support the union, although I do respect them because they are teachers. I do not think putting lap tops in the hands of students will improve any educational performance. Give me 35 kids that have parents that will hold them accountable and I don't need any bells and whistles.

I buy groceries. But I don't pretend to have the knowledge to run a grocery store. I have a bank account, but have no business telling my bank how to do business or to whom loans should be made. Therefore, education reform should have more input from those in the trenches. Having laws shoved down our throats, especially those so poorly thought out is not the way to go about creating meaningful reform.

How many PFP bonuses are there under SCF?

Only one of the three applies to the entire school. But, you already knew that.

I love this "trust teachers...they know what they're doing" mentality. If that were true, why do they even need a union at all?

Vote Yes on Props 1, 2, & 3!!!


Just curious....

Why do you think prop 3 is good? How will prop 3 better education? Can a better solution for prop 3 be done, other than the laptops?