Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot told me earlier this week that he would invest "tens of thousands" of dollars in new ads supporting Superintendent Tom Luna's 2011 education reforms. He's done better than that.
"Melaleuca's donating hither and yon," VanderSloot said. "We're trying to level the playing field."
When opponents of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 reported raising $1.3 million from Idaho and national teachers unions as of Sept. 30,
VanderSloot promised to get more aggressively involved. As of Sept. 30, VanderSloot had given $165,000 to proponents and also has been spending $20,000 a week on full-page newspaper ads statewide.
His new effort is focused on TV and radio advertising. In 48-hour filings with the Secretary of State Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Melaleuca and Natural Guardian LLC, a company owned by VanderSloot, reported spending $118,101. Of that, $116,255 was for ads at stations across Idaho, including about $48,000 in the Boise TV market. Another $1,846 was spend on ad production.
At least some of the ads feature GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney knocking unions for opposing reforms, though the Romney audio came from a speech he made in April in support of retaining Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during a recall campaign. Earlier, VanderSloot gave $1 million to a Super PAC supporting Romney.
You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.