'Yes' on Idaho Props 1, 2, 3 looks to have financial advantage in final days

Proponents of Superintendent Tom Luna's K-12 reforms appear to have the upper hand in the final days of the campaign, based on the latest campaign finance filings in the Secretary of State's office.

Proponents reported an additional $153,469 in spending, while opponents reported just $8,153. Those figures come from
48-hour notices of contributions over $1,000
filed since Thursday morning. Notification must be made within 48 hours of receipt in the final 16 days of the campaign, so opponents may have new filings today or Tuesday that could change the arithmetic.

But as of Monday morning, proponents appear to be closing the funding gap a bit. Proponents have reported fundraising of $2,769,929. Opponents have reported $3,571,378, with $616,239 from the Idaho Education Association and $2,816,436 from the National Education Association.

Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot, the major benefactor of the "Yes" campaign, gave $150,569 more to save Superintendent Tom Luna's "Students Come First" laws.

Consequently, anyone watching football, as I did, over the weekend saw plenty of ads backing Propositions 1, 2 and 3. VanderSloot has vowed to counter union money opposing the K-12 reform laws. To date, he has reported giving $1,594,145.

VanderSloot told me this Monday morning: "We have spent far more than we originally anticipated. When we learned that the 501(c) 4 funds had been tied up by the Secretary of State, others were not in position to step forward to carry the ball so felt we had to. I don't know what the exact final number will be. But we're pretty much at the end of the ball game."

VanderSloot was referring to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa's suing a new nonprofit group that led to last week's disclosure by the group, Education Voters of Idaho, that it had raised $641,160 to support the propositions.

The Canyon County Republican Central Committee also reported spending $2,900 on an independent effort to support the laws Friday.

Opponents' new filings since I last checked on Thursday morning, increased just $8,153, with $4,710 from the Idaho Education Association, $1,800 from the National Education Association and $1,643 from the Pocatello Education Association.

Melaleuca and another VanderSloot company, Natural Guardian, filed 48-hour notices for its independent expenditures that were time-stamped 5:19 p.m. Friday, totaling $111,588. Another $38,981 was reported as an in-kind contribution by Melaleuca to Yes for Idaho Education.

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That is not true, Mr. VanderSloot

Those funds were not tied up by the Secretary of State in any way. EVI was free to spend the money. They simply had to report like every other PAC.

Well, some of these people

Well, some of these people think teachers are thugs and criminals, so I guess it follows that the secretary of state would be arbitrarily "tying things up". Meanwhile, Butch Otter and his wife are in Sun Valley soliciting donations from billionare out of state politicians. I don't hear that getting complained about. (I'm not complaining about it myself- just pointing out that it might be worth considering since Ben Ysursa was just doing his job).

Don't confuse the union with the teachers. They're not the same

In the immortal words of Frank VanderSloot:

“I have a great deal of respect for Idaho teachers. I had some wonderful teachers in my youth. Great teachers change lives! Some teachers have said that when people criticize the union, the union is really the teachers. I don’t believe that. The teachers I know are not dishonest. The teachers I know would never misrepresent the truth to the degree that the union ads do about the Propositions. The teachers I know would not be trying to misinform the public. Unfortunately, the teachers have been misinformed by their own union. Make no mistake. The teachers are not the union. In some ways, the teachers are victims of the union."

Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/10/30/idahopolitics/vandersloot_ups_his_ante_1millionplus_battle_with_teachers_union#storylink=cpy

Save a union victim!

Another way to say it is this:


'Clearly the union placed the welfare of its membership above that of the students, so it's somewhat misleading that it calls itself an "education association."'

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

Right on Tow

I too feel that this is not about teachers. I know several teachers and all three voted YES on all three propositions. It's about unions who turn the money they take from teachers and use it against the taxpayers. Most of us want to support good education and unions have no place there. The Boise School District probably disagrees with me.

I voted Yes, YES, & Yes

Tow, did you get another

Tow, did you get another sign on name? I noticed the caps on YES and little YES statement at the end. Also, the reference to BSD. You're busted:)

Not Towmater

I used all caps on 2 because I feel strongly about it. Also, I still can't see how a computer can hurt anything, everywhere you see kids they're on a smart phone these days.

Forty years ago I used to say we needed to put a fence around Boise to keep newcomers out. Now I feel the fence should be there to keep them in. BSD is too far gone.

No I'm Not 'M8r

I voted Yes, YES, & Yes

I'm sorry- I shouldn't have

I'm sorry- I shouldn't have said that.

Respectfully, I don't think a computer would "hurt anything" either- if they were free. However, they come with a 180 million dollar price tag. They mandate online classs which means parents won't have a choice whether their kids take those classs or not.

You are just lying, the vast

You are just lying, the vast percentage of teachers are voting no.

Essence of the opposition campaign

In an interview with Dan Popkey published on February 27, 2011, Sheri Wood, who was then the IEA executive director, said the decision to run hard against Luna for a second term was made "the day Luna was elected the first time."

In other words, the IEA started fighting against Luna and anything he proposed before he was even sworn into office back in 2007. When they claim that Luna excluded teachers in developing school reform, they refuse to admit they are the ones who created an inhospitable environment for working with them.

"Our members are adamant that the person who leads our public schools should be an educator. They told us we have to have somebody run against Luna. He's not an educator. He doesn't understand what we're doing out here."

So in 2010, they ran the guy with a Ph.D in education, spent $182,000 on Olson's campaign, and Luna trounced him by garnering about 62% of the vote, more votes than Otter received for governor. To this day Olson is the poster boy for what the IEA stands for - faux elitism rooted in pedantic self-importance and a disdain for the Idaho electorate's wisdom in choosing a businessman over an educator to manage their education tax dollars. And to this day, the IEA is engaged in a political vendetta against Luna over something as superficial as a college diploma while they exhibit all the characteristics of a blue collar union.

Having failed to defeat Luna in the voting booth, having failed to stop the reform laws from being passed by the legislature, having failed to have the laws overturned by the Idaho Supreme Court, The No campaign is a last-ditch effort to get revenge.

Stop the hate. Vote yes, yes, and yes!

Well said!

Sums it up nicely!

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

Here's the problem though.

Here's the problem though. When you criticize the teacher, you aren't necessarily criticizing the teachers union because all teachers are not in the union. However- when you criticize the teacher's union, you are most certainly criticizing teachers (or other school personnel like janitors and lunch workers) because that is who belongs to the teachers union.

You can't criticize the teachers union and say you aren't criticizing teachers. That is who makes up the union. It just makes it more politically palatable. Unfortunately, it also makes it inaccurate.

If you're going to invoke Idaho teachers, how about the fact that the vast majority are against these props? Even those ones who aren't in unions.

I'm not on here to defend the union's mission statement wording. Even if they said "we are an organization that makes sure teachers get paid enough" these props would still get my no vote.

You Have My Ear Chris208

Tell me why kids should not get a computer.


I'll tell you why students should not get computers. Tech support in schools are stretched thin and have no funding or staff available to figure out how to deal with the nightmare of keeping these computers updated, charged, fixed, etc. Besides, the wave is iPads(tablets), not computers. Sadly, laptops are fast becoming obsolete and almost useless in schools. Walk into a school once and figure it out!

Laptop vs. iPad

I was reading a tech blog yesterday in which a number of commenters observed that the iPad is great for casual computing (i.e. posting on Facebook, playing games or surfing the internet), but if you are actually doing work on your computer, you need a keyboard, that the laptop is still the tool of choice by businesses as evidenced by who is buying iPads. Assuming we expect students to actually do schoolwork using a computer, I would say the Technology Task Force knew what it was doing when it chose laptops over tablets.

Tablets were always cheaper at Bi-Mart in my day.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

thank you for asking

Kids should not get laptops funded by taxpayers because:

1) It is an inappropriate use of tax dollars. I have a fundamental problem with paying out of my middle class tax dollars for every child, including the rich ones who have nicer laptops than the laws will buy, new laptops.

2) There isn't a 180 million dollar surplus sitting around, which means it is coming out of education somehow (or perhaps cutting other areas- neither is good). I think teachers can better prepare kids for college, trade school, and the workplace far better than an online class could.

3) Kids with a single parent or two working parents will be at a disadvantage because they will get less parental help with homework.

4) Kids with parents who are less involved in their education are the ones who need good teachers the most. Most teachers will tell you that the kids with rich and/or educated parents are almost always good students. The kids who really can see a change are the ones who need teachers. (For this reason I also object to merit pay because there is less incentive for working in poorer districts)

5) On a personal level, I find the idea of every kid in the state being mandated to take an online class on the exact same laptop that the government paid for to be really distasteful. It seems somewhat totalitarian or something- that is my own view and you can take it or leave it:)

Thank you for asking. I really appreciate it when people want to actually dialogue, and I apologize again that I said you were Towmater:)

Thanks Chris208

I appreciate your time. I think you make good points and hopefully someone who has yet to vote will use them. The state could have rolled it out better, it might have been received more openly, the teachers need to have a roll in the process and it has to start someplace and soon. My union feelings come from my work experience with a union and all too often they stood in the way of progress/production. Terrible abuse (attendance, service, waste, attitude) of resources were protected by the union and its representatives. If you are a teacher, Chris208, good luck with this issue.

Best to you as well:) I can

Best to you as well:) I can see how having personal union experience might inform your views. Take care!

You have to wonder...

Why someone is willing for fork over $1.5 MILLION to support these laws. He is a businessman...I just can't believe he doesn't expect to see some financial benefit down the road from this.

Invested in K-12, Inc. is he?

Nope...just committed

Just as committed as the foolish teachers forking over their jack to the UNION. Frank has lots of money...he just feels strongly about this issue. I think it is funny there is always the assumption that there has to be an end game.

That's coming from the union...

They don't want to debate on the issues. If they can detract or spread fear, uncertainty and doubt, they'll do it at all costs.

The level of dishonesty coming from the union crowd is at an all-time high. Whatever the union boss says, they follow.

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

If you want to debate on

If you want to debate on issues, why won't you answer the question that has been posed to you several times about merit pay?

Do you think every teacher at North deserves twice the bonus of every teacher at West?


Are you someone associated with North or West?

That's the question I have right now

Nope, but it is a great

Nope, but it is a great question that was asked several times on a different blog and ignored. I am curious if towmater is capable of answering it. I don't live in the BSD at all. It is a great representation of the reality of merit pay though so I would really like someone to answer it. Which you haven't done either.

North vs. West

If North is doing a better job than West, by all means give the teachers at North a bigger bonus.

When student X does well on a test, and student Y does poorly, do you think student Y should receive the same grade as student X?

If he cheated as well as the other, YES!


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

Nope, but we're talking

Nope, but we're talking about individuals in your analogy so it doesn't work. A better question would be:

Do you think that if your A student went to a school where the class average was a C that he should get a C as well? While a C student from a B school got a B? That is a more appropriate analogy and I think you know what the answer is.

In all seriousness though, thank you for answering. I disagree with you because I think if school A has more parental involvement than B, teachers at B might be wonderful but unable to compete. (Research shows this time and again). I think gives less incentive to teach at poorer schools.

Reply to Chris208

Your analogy reminds me of a real life experience. When my oldest son entered 1st grade, he already knew how to read and write - writing in the sense of being able to use letters of the alphabet to form words he was familiar with seeing and using. Yet everyday he brought home papers with big red letters stamped across the top of them. YOU CAN DO BETTER!! I looked over his papers carefully and recognized that most of the work he was doing consisted of kindergarten exercises such as writing the alphabet, comparing shapes and sizes, identifying primary colors, etc. His penmanship was outstanding, so how could he have done a better job writing the alphabet? As the weeks went by, the work became a little more challenging if you think fill-in-the-blank and circle-the-right-answer exercises are challenging. I didn't say anything, but just saved all of his papers in a folder to take with me to my very first parent-teacher conference. After the teacher told me my son was meeting all expections to a high degree, I opened the folder and asked her to explain what it was she thought he could do better. I think these are pretty much her exact words: "Well, you see, I grade according to ability, and Brian has the ability of a 3rd grader." Oh, I see, he circled the right answer, but he did not form the circles as perfectly as a 3rd grader would. Geesh! Towards the end of the school year, this same woman who was unmarried and had no children and who had been teaching for 8 years somehow became a foster parent for one of her students, a little girl who was also a star pupil in her class and perhaps even smarter than my son. At my last parent-teacher conference of the year she confessed to me that she never had any idea how challenging it is to be a parent, how difficult it is to get children to eat their veggies and go to bed at a certain time.

So,you see, Chris, it is very possible that the teachers at the B school in your analogy are not wonderful teachers but just B-grade teachers. Using your criteria, the elementary school my oldest child attended (right here in Boise, Idaho) was at best a C school, and it showed in the milquetoast of a prinipal and the quality of the faculty. The library was a converted broom closet containing maybe a hundred used books donated by the PTA. I don't remember a single teacher that my son or his sister had in that school who I would define as excellent. They were not awful either. Just mediocre.

Luna laws

You can thank an organization called ALEC for out of state interest in Idaho's education laws. ALEC wants to inflitrate every state capitol with people and money to bring about their way of government. Please look at the site: alecexposed.org for more information.

What Motivates VanderSloot

First, toss out the notion that education has anything to do with it. If you're the CEO of a company selling overpriced, off-brand cleaning products through multilevel marketing, an educated populace is the LAST thing you need. Trained cadres of semi-skilled monkeys, maybe, but not an educated populace.

No, it isn't education reform that appears to motivate Mr. VanderSloot. What motivates Mr. VanderSloot can be found in a speech he gave on March 30, 2011, at the second annual Mayor's Business Day in Idaho Falls, particularly in the eerie thematic resemblance that speech bears to the "Powell Memo" (aka the "Powell Manifesto"), written by Louis Powell two months before being nominated by Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court, a memo addressed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Forty years before the Mayor's Business Day, Powell sounded an alarm that VanderSloot echoed in Idaho Falls: "The American economic system is under broad attack . . . .The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic . . . . The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians . . . . Perhaps the single most effective antagonist of American business is Ralph Nader, who — thanks largely to the media — has become a legend in his own time and an idol of millions of Americans."

Powell's call to arms? Business must organize. It must organize, and it must then seek not just influence over government, but power within government. Ultimately, business must obtain the power that comes only from government.

From Commies to campuses to Ralph Nader to "The Greening of America" to the need for deregulation of business and for tax incentives and pro-business governance without shame or apology, Powell traces a curious route that resonated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and in many ways delivered us to where we find ourselves now. Mr. VanderSloot is a little late in arriving at the spot he finds himself, and I'm sure that the Waltons and the Koch brothers and Mitt Romney regard him as a quaint, but useful throwback to a less-sophisticated time. But he still strikes me as a very dangerous man.

See for yourself.

Vandersloot's speech in Idaho Falls, with an analysis:


The Powell Memo: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/powell_memo_lewis/

Bill Moyers on the Powell Memo:


Please set your political

Please set your political views aside for this vote and consider each prop. Ben Ysursa, who was demonized by the yes side, is a republican. Michael Bloomberg, who donated to the yes side, is a liberal (or at least I am assuming, since he has endorsed President Obama). Voting on party lines doesn't really apply here. You don't have to love every union in the united states to vote no on these props.

All you union haters- remember that you don't have to vote yes on all the props. I do realize a lot of you aren't going to change your mind on the first one, but you can still consider the second two. I highly recommend you do so. If you're voting yes on 3, you should probably stop referring to yourself as a conservative. And you definitely should stop calling Obama a socialist. If making every child in the state take the exact same class on the exact same laptop paid for the government with no parental choice doesn't sound socialist I don't know what is. It sure isn't any less socialist than Obamacare.


"Please set your political views aside....." How would you libs say it, "that's rich?" "All you union haters...." "Stop calling Obama a socialist." "....you should stop referring to yourself as a conservative." Maybe you should put your political views aside. It's posts like yours that have convinced me to vote YES. Nice job.

I'm not a liberal at all.

I'm not a liberal at all. And whether or not you personally are calling people socialist is irrelevant. A lot of people who call Obama a socialist are for these laws. I was merely illustrating that if you perceive Obama as a socialist, you might think about prop 3 because of its nature.

I should have said, put your party affiliations aside. It is impossible to set politics aside I think. That was my mistake in wording. I actually don't have a party affiliation because I think it is too simplistic and that people should vote on this issues.

Your tone indicates to me that you were voting yes long before I posted that:)

See...assuming will get you in trouble...

Bloomberg is technically Independent, but has gone both ways, depending on what he thinks is right.

Obviously, he feels strongly about YES being what people choose. You probably should know what you're posting before you actually post. Obviously you have been reading one sided material.

I said assuming because it

I said assuming because it is unclear. Like Bloomberg, I don't affiliate myself with either party and decide on the issues. He did endorse Obama though, so he must be relatively liberal (note I said liberal, not democrat). I pointed that out because the vandersloot fliers are always talking about "liberal" unions. Prop YES has now been backed by a liberal, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Nanny Bloomberg is the

Nanny Bloomberg is the "elected" head of the New York City schools and is well aware of how the teachers' union is the primary obstacle to education reform in his city and across the country. He appointed a noneducator as chancellor of the NYC schools, which has earned him the animosity of the teachers' union locally, state, and nationally. Even liberals like Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel in Chicago have had it with the teachers' unions.

Well, I guess I can't

Well, I guess I can't disagree with much of what you said. Bloomberg is liberal, therefore the yes side is being backed by liberals. I rest my case.

This is a great comment,

This is a great comment, thank you.

Chris208, what do you call

Chris208, what do you call making every student read the same textbook paid for by the government? What choice are parents given if they don't like the textbooks selected? See how silly your argument is? Not only is it silly, but it is erroneous to claim every child has to take the exact same online class.

That is a great point

That is a great point actually. I should have elaborated. Obviously, kids have to take the same subjects to graduate. But the individual teachers and individual students will discuss these subjects and come to their own conclusions. Every experience will be unique as every teacher is unique- and they can tailor it to their specific students and demographics as far as making the material meaningful. (For example, in a politics class, a teacher in Boise might make different applications to every day-life than a teacher in Moscow). The ability to for kids to interpret and apply what they learn is limited when they are taking the same classs.

Which brings me to my next point- you're saying they don't take the same classs? I think you're mistaken. But it's lose/lose regardless. If they can just randomly pick what class they take, then they aren't cutting teachers (which is good) but spending 180 million EXTRA, (which is bad). If they are cutting teaching jobs, than we have class discussions and the subsequent critical thinking opportunities taken away.

Like I said- the last thing on my "list" was a personal opinion. In my personal opinion, they idea of a bureaucratic mandate that all kids have the taxpayers buy them the same laptop and have the same interaction-less teacher is something I don't like. It offends my sense of what the proper role of government is, and I think having the government purchase laptops for kids is step in the wrong direction. You are free to disagree, obviously.

All you Luna haters don't

All you Luna haters don't have to vote no on all or any of the props. You don't have to like Luna to recognize that our 20th century school model is inadquate for teaching children born in our technology-driven Information Age unless your highest goal for your children and grandchildren is to see them employed in $7-$10/hour jobs. Even my stepson who works as a residential construction foreman uses a laptop everyday to retrieve or input information and make calculations. His laptop is as indispensible to his job as his nailbag. Yet in the Idaho Voters' Pamphlet the No Campaign referred to laptops as "unproven technology." What planet do these people live on?

So using a computer is somehow superior?

They have been highly integrated into public education for YEARS, starting on a tiny basis in the 1970s!

Are you a Van Winkle? Are you just making it up? How long did you think about that reply?

Signed, 1978 Early School User.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

The thing is, kids already

The thing is, kids already know how to USE laptops. That isn't the issue. If your child wants to go to college, (and certainly if he or she wants to go to law school, med school, or a PhD program) they will have FAR more to gain from being challenged by their teachers. If the problem is "kids in rural districts" I think people would be more receptive to tech grants on an individual basis. Even then however, I would be very much against mandating online classs.

College of Idaho tried the laptop thing, and it failed miserably. Only in their case, the kids were older and the taxpayers weren't buying the laptops. Even that didn't work.

Props 123

Looks like ALEC won according to this headline.

just sayin

Proving once again that wealth can buy the popular vote, regardless of the merits or majority opinion. Misters VandeSloot and Luna and the rest of the Republican (as opposed to republican, as in a form of government) machine had to make this a union busting issue to prevail, they would fail miserably on the merits.
Speaking of Republicans, why are we even having to discuss this? Is this just the inevitable result of the constitutional failure of our legislature to fund education, or is it just a great opportunity to union bust.
By defunding education, healthcare and social security, they could afford another war and further pad their wallets.

Uhh, the votes haven't been

Uhh, the votes haven't been counted yet. The no side has a great chance of winning.

Teachers' union not in this fight for better education

They're in it solely to keep stealing taxpayers' money and using it for political advocacy.

Why is allowing high school students to earn college credits a bad thing? It isn't.

Why is allowing parents to have input on teacher performance a bad thing? It isn't.

Why is paying teachers bonuses for their performance a bad thing? It isn't.

Why is giving the control back to elected school boards instead of the teachers' union a bad thing? It isn't.

Why are the local and national teachers' unions fighting education reform? Because they lose power and control over school boards. Control that results in taxpayers' money funding union activities such as those spelled out in the Boise School District Master Contract with the Boise Education Assn.

Judge for yourselves: http://school.boiseschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/2386916/File/human%20resources/documents/master.pdf

"Official delegates of the Association will be granted up to two (2) days of paid leave to attend the Delegate Assembly of the Idaho Education Association. In addition, the Association may send representatives to other local, state, or national conferences or onother business pertinent to Association affairs. These representatives may be excused with pay, upon Association request, and with District approval. The Association shall give ten (10) days prior notice to the Superintendent or designee, except in extenuating circum-stances."

Why are taxpayers paying teachers to attend union meetings?

"The Association president shall be allowed a leave of absence for his/her term of office with salary and benefits to be paid by the Association for the time that the president is released from teaching duties. The District shall reimburse the Association the cost of salary and benefits of a first year teacher (B.A., 1.0 experience). Said leave of absence shall count towards retirement and all other purposes of the Master Contract. All rights of renewable contract status, retirement, accrued sick leave, salary schedule placement and other benefits provided herein shall be preserved and available to the Association President in the event he/she chooses to return to the District as a professional employee at the conclusion of his or her term of office. If the Association President chooses to return from his or her leave of absence, he/she shall be assigned to a position at the same school, the same teaching field, if available, as that which he/she held before becoming the Association president."

Why are Idaho taxpayers funding the union president's job?
Did voters know the Boise School District pays teachers from your tax dollars to attend union activities?

What does the Idaho Education Assn's Delegate Assembly do with taxpayers' money during their 2-day "Delegate Assembly" retreat?


"Delegates voted Friday afternoon to back the referendum campaigns to overturn the harmful Luna laws, and many teachers fanned out across Boise that evening to begin collecting signatures."

Why, they're stealing taxpayers' money to become political activists!!! Shouldn't the union fund its own political activities? Not if they can do it on taxpayers' dime they won't.

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

I like you only answer the

I like that you only answer the questions you ask yourself. And even then the answer doesn't explain a single thing.

What are your questions?

I like how you came back with a nothing post to address a post that actually had value, and not drivel

are you mad because you just

Are you mad because you just realized you're a closet liberal who is voting for a socialist prop that will take parental choice away? I'm sorry- I can't resist teasing.

Would you like to answer my question about merit pay? That was actually the question I was referring to in my earlier post. Neither of you will answer it. So I guess in this case, "no answer is your answer."