Education Voters of Idaho complied with a court order Wednesday afternoon and reported raising $641,160 since its formation in August. The disclosure frees the group to spend $392,500 it had banked as of Oct. 21.
The top contributors are Joe Scott, a longtime backer of school reform, who gave $250,000; and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave $200,000 and was among the first three contributors. The next largest contribution -- $50,000 -- came from the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee.
Bloomberg has clashed with teachers unions, who have spent more than $2.5 million in leading the opposition to Propositions 1, 2 and 3 on Tuesday's ballot.
Scott, a grandson of the grocery-store founder, did not respond to my request for comment last week. He chairs the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, a major supporter of school reform efforts. Scott has been a large investor in K12 Inc., an online education company. The foundation ran full-page newspaper ads in support of Idaho School Superintendent Tom Luna's "Students Come First" reforms last year -- the laws subject to repeal Tuesday.
Bloomberg's spokeswoman did not reply to my email Tuesday, but the mayor obviously has more important matters on his mind.
On Monday, 4th District Judge Mike Wetherell ordered the group to disclose under Idaho's Sunshine law, giving EVI until 3 p.m. today. Spending reported by EVI includes an already disclosed $200,350 for broadcast ads by an affiliated group, Parents for Education Reform, and polling and consulting in support of the propositions backed by Luna and Gov. Butch Otter. EVI had argued it was exempt from the law.
Wetherell's order barred EVI from raising or spending money until it filed Sunshine reports. EVI's lawyer had originally said the group would appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court. But by late Tuesday, EVI said it would comply. Now, EVI can reactivate in the final days of what polls show to be a tight contest. EVI was sued by Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who said failure to disclose would "eviscerate" the Sunshine law.
Other contributors include Foster Friess of Jackson, Wyo., ($25,000), Hagadone Hospitality ($15,000); John Bryan of Lake Oswego, Ore., Clear Springs Foods, Idaho Forest Group, Intermountain Gas and M3 Eagle ($10,000 each); Larry Williams of Boise ($7,500); Frank Baxter of Los Angeles, Farmers Group Inc. of Los Angeles; John Fisher of San Francisco, William and Susan Oberndorf of San Francisco, the J.R. Simplot Co. and 13D Research of the Virgin Islands ($5,000 each); Premier Technology and U.S. Ecology ($2,500 each); John Fery of Boise, Ed Johnson of Wilder and Kevin Settles of Boise ($2,000 each); Harry Bettis of Emmett ($1,500), and GSA Direct of Boise, a company owned by partners who consulted on behalf of the Dynamis waste-to-energy project ($1,000).
The first three contributions came Sept. 18, about a month after the group's Aug. 16 formation. The three Sept. 18 donors were Bloomberg, the GOP governors group and Friess, a key donor to Rick Santorum's presidential campaign.
On Sept. 19, M3 Eagle, the developer of a large planned community north of Eagle, contributed. Scott's check arrived Sept. 21.
The read the full reports -- for the periods ending Sept. 30, Oct. 21 and a 48-hour notice -- click here.