Friday, October 19, 2012

UPDATE: (KNOW THY ED REFORMER) Attorney for secretive pro-school reform group maintains it doesn't have to disclose donors - Eye On Boise - - Oct. 19, 2012

Attorney for secretive pro-school reform group maintains it doesn't have to disclose donors - Eye On Boise - - Oct. 19, 2012:

Group backing Idaho education changes wants to take back money to avoid disclosure

Education Voters of Idaho says it doesn't have to name its donors and criticizes Secretary of State Ben Ysursa.



A group promoting Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's education overhaul refused Friday to disclose its donors, instead suggesting it be allowed to take back its money.
Tom Luna, Idaho.jpgTom Luna, Idaho's superintendent of public instruction
Education Voters of Idaho's new lawyer, Christ Troupis, told Secretary of State Ben Ysursa that his client is a nonprofit organization that's exempt from campaign disclosure under federal law.
Still, Troupis says the group — created Aug. 16 amid the battle over Luna's overhaul — would take back its $200,000 contribution that went for TV commercials touting the education changes.
Troupis also went on the counterattack, saying Ysursa's efforts to secure the identities of Education Voters of Idaho's financiers were having a chilling effect on the group's free-speech rights.
"My client has ceased its lawful participation in constitutionally protected political activity based on those threats, and thus has already suffered irreparable and immediate harm," Troupis wrote. "At a critical time, Education Voters of Idaho has been completely removed from the public discourse on issues of Idaho education reform."
Luna's education reforms, passed by the 2011 Idaho Legislature to limit union bargaining power, promote teacher merit pay and require online classes and student 

Attorney for secretive pro-school reform group maintains it doesn’t have to disclose donors

Last week, the state of Idaho sent a letter to Education Voters of Idaho and its attorney, asking the secretive group to disclose the source of more than $200,000 donated to another group, Parents for Education Reform, to fund TV commercials that aired across the state supporting Propositions 1, 2 and 3 on the Idaho ballot - or show why it wasn't required to do so. The two groups share chairs, boards and the same address. Now, attorney Christ Troupis has sent a four-page letter back to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa contending that the newly formed EVI has no more duty to file campaign disclosures as a political committee than the Idaho Education Association or the National Education Association, both of which donated large sums to the No on Props 1, 2, 3 campaign.

In the letter, Troupis offers to have PFER refund the money back to EVI, but says EVI won't disclose its donors. “My client's First Amendment right to Freedom of Association and Freedom of Speech have been chilled and 

Just Like Michelle Rhee's Students first only BETTER

Astroturf lobbying refers to political organizations or campaigns that appear to be made up of grassroots activists but are actually organized and run by corporate interests seeking to further their own agendas. Such groups are often typified by innocent-sounding names that have been chosen specifically to disguise the group's true backers

Just Like Michelle Rhee's
 Students first Astroturf lobbying (only Better) 
Other Astroturf lobbying groups

Just Like Michelle Rhee's
 Students first Astroturf lobbying (only Better)