BOISE – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Joe Scott, the grandson of Joe Albertson, are listed as supporters of a nonprofit group that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the TV ad campaign supporting the education reform laws that will be on the ballot as Propositions 1, 2, and 3.
Fourth District Judge Mike Wetherell ruled Monday that Education Voters of Idaho (EVI) is required to disclose campaign finance activity under Idaho's Sunshine act. He gave them until 3 p.m. today to reveal the names of the donors.
EVI released the list of donors to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa just minutes before the deadline.
Contributions to EVI totaled around $641,000. The two biggest contributors are Bloomberg and Scott, who donated $200,000 and $250,000, respectively.
EVI bought the TV ads, but maintained they were not a political committee with disclosure obligations.
Secretary of State Ben Ysursa won a lawsuit challenging the group's contention.
The attorney for EVI says they could have appealed the judge's decision and tied this up in court for another few weeks without having to reveal the names, but decided to act in good faith and release the names.
The group is still deciding whether it will appeal the decision in court.
Ysursa calls this a victory for Idaho's citizens, saying "This is all about getting information to the voters. Let them decide whether they think any of these contributions, big, large, small, have any affect on how they want to vote or anything like that."
The list of names should help voters make a more informed decision at the polls next week. Click here to view the full list.
As of the filing, EVI has a cash balance of $398,504. Most of the money spent, $200,350 went to an organization called Parents for Education Reform, another Political Action Committee in favor of Propositions 1, 2 and 3.