The Boise lobbying firm that includes Phil Reberger, a board member of a group that says it won't disclose where it got $200,350 to advocate for Propositions 1, 2 and 3, no longer represents Apple Inc.
Passage of Proposition 3 will put laptops in the hands of every Idaho high school student. Apple is a leading supplier of schoolhouse laptops.
Sullivan Reberger Eiguren President Pat Sullivan phoned this morning to say that Apple paid the firm for one month of work and then ended the relationship.
"We only represented them until early September," Sullivan said. Sullivan Reberger Eiguren still represents iSchool Campus, a Park City, Utah, "smart school technology company," and the Idaho School Boards Association, which has endorsed Proposition 1 but is neutral on Props 2 and 3.
Sullivan said the firm inadvertently delayed filing a termination report with the Idaho Secretary of State's office until Friday, after I wrote about how the firm bought lunch for 10 guests of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna at last week's City Club of Boise forum on the propositions.
Yesterday, I blogged about a new group, Education Voters of Idaho, that is backing the propositions but won't disclose its list of contributors. Reberger is a director of Education Voters of Idaho and I noted that Apple was a client of the firm. A story that ran in today's print edition repeated that the firm lobbies for Apple.
That, Sullivan said, prompted his call this morning. He said Apple was a client from early August to early September.
"They asked for some strategic information and paid us for one month," Sullivan said. "They just didn't want to build a retainer relationship."
According to the Secretary of State, the firm's partner Roy Eiguren represented Apple to both the legislative and executive branches from Aug. 6 to Oct. 5, when termination papers were filed.
Sullivan declined to say what Apple paid for a month's worth of advice. "Nice try, though," he said.
On Oct. 3, Sullivan Reberger Eiguren paid $250 for a table at the City Club debate between Luna and Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise. Luna, the author of the laws subject to voter approval or disapproval Nov. 6, at first said he didn't have a problem with the lobbyists' generosity, but after I posted a story, Luna's spokeswoman said Luna had decided to reimburse the firm.
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