TWIN FALLS • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave $200,000 to Idaho’s education reform fight. He was one of the largest single donors to the campaign.
Who else is putting into the battle over Propositions 1, 2 and 3?
According to campaign finance reports due Oct. 31, more than a million dollars that pay for Idaho campaign advertising come from out-of-state organizations and individuals. And Idaho billionaires are also getting in on the action.
‘Yes’ on Props 1, 2 and 3
Education Voters of Idaho, a pro-Propositions 1, 2, and 3 committee, revealed its donors after three weeks of fighting Secretary ofState Ben Ysursa.
Some of the biggest donors: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ($200,000), Wyoming billionaire Foster Friess ($5,000), Oregon retired oil tycoon John Bryan ($5,000), former ambassador to Uruguay Frank E.Baxter of California ($5,000), California investment manager William Oberndorf ($10,000) and DC-based Republican Governors Public Policy Committee ($50,000).
The committee had Idaho donors, too, including Albertsons heir Joseph Scott ($250,000), Clear Springs Foods from Buhl ($10,000), Simplot ($5,000) and Hagadone Hospitality Co. of Coeur d’Alene ($15,000).
Yes for Idaho Education received most of its support from in-state GOPpoliticos, most notably Idaho Falls billionaire Frank Vandersloot’s company Melaleuca. Melaleuca donated $541,000 in four installments between the dates of Oct. 12-27.
Other donors include GOPlegislators like Sens. Russ Fulcher and Patti Anne Lodge, as well as former Gov. Phil Batt.
Washington D.C.-based U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave $50,000.
Melaleuca and Natural Guardian, Inc. — another VanderSloot operation — also paid for hundreds of thousands in independent expenditures supporting Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Those expenditures included an insert in the Twin Falls Times-News. Between donations to Yes for Idaho Education and independent expenditures, VanderSloot has invested more than $1 million into supporting the education reforms.
‘No’ on Props 1, 2 and 3
Vote No on Propositions 1, 2, 3 received big money from the National Education Association — more than $1 million through multiple donations.
Though the majority of money for the campaign comes from the NEA, Vote No also reported more than 400 individual donors, most of whom live in Idaho and gave small dollar amounts. The donors live throughout the state.