Fourth District Judge Deborah Bail will hold a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday on Secretary of State Ben Ysursa's lawsuit which seeks a court order requiring disclosure of the source or sources of over $200,000 spent to back Propositions 1, 2 & 3.
Ysursa on Monday sued Education Voters of Idaho and its directors, Debbie Field, Phil Reberger and Mark Dunham, which formed in August. The group gave $200,350 to an affiliate, Parents for Education Reform. All but $32 was spent on broadcast ads supporting the propositions on school reform.
Education Voters of Idaho says it will fight Ysursa's quest for disclosure, arguing that federal tax law and the First Amendment trump Idaho's Sunshine law, which requires political committees to report contributions of $50 and over.
Ysursa's lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctions that would force disclosure. He has said it's important the contributor(s) identity become public before the Nov. 6 election. The hearing will be held at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise.
Though he has not gone to court with the Idaho Education Association and National Education Association, Ysursa has asked both groups to disclose the source of $280,000 and $1.06 million, respectively. IEA and NEA contributed all but about $36,000 raised by the "No" campaign. Both groups say membership dues are the source, but have not itemized who gave or named any contributors over the $50 threshold.
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