An Idaho judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday to consider Secretary of State Ben Ysursa’s demand for a group supporting public schools chief Tom Luna’s education overhaul to disclose the identities of donors who financed campaign ads.
Ysursa wants Education Voters of Idaho to report who is behind $200,000 spent on broadcast ads by Nov. 2 – four days before the election. Fourth District Judge Deborah Bail is due to consider Ysursa’s motion for a temporary restraining order Friday in her Boise courtroom.
Ysursa argues EVI illegally aims to conceal its financiers’ identities, a violation of a law Idaho residents passed in 1974 to help make elections fairer.
Luna’s education changes limit union bargaining power, promote teacher merit pay, and require online classes and student laptop computers.
EVI contributed more than $200,000 to a related political action committee, Parents for Education Reform, for broadcast advertising meant to help save the overhaul. The two groups share leaders and identical addresses, and EVI was formed Aug. 16, in the midst of the campaign to save Luna’s overhaul.
But Education Voters of Idaho’s founders insist they created a 501(c)4 nonprofit corporation that’s shielded by federal law from identifying their donors to preserve their free-speech rights. (AP)