BOISE -- More than $1.6 million has been spent campaigning for -- and against -- Idaho's controversial education reforms in 2012. The laws are scheduled for a voter recall on Election Day November 6, 2012.
At least one political analyst says the laws seem to be overshadowing other races in the upcoming election.
Dr. Jim Weatherby is the former director of the Public Policy Center at Boise State University. Weatherby says the laws are the major issue in Idaho. This is, as far as I'm concerned, the major issue in Idaho, Weatherby told KTVB. It dwarfs, on the ballot, all other races.
That major issue includes propositions 1, 2, and 3 of the s the Students Come First education reforms. Weatherby says more than $1.5 million has already been spent on campaigns for and against the propositions.
The largest amount of money raised so far has been by the opposition -- with the committee Vote No on Proposition 1, 2, 3 pulling in more than $1.3 million. More than $1 million of that money came from the National Education Association (NEA), a national teachers union.
The National Education Association, obviously, is very interested, in terms of what they would view as union-busting measures, said Weatherby.
Those seven-figures eclipse any of the latest Idaho Congressional campaign totals, as of late June, which ranged from $37,000 to $970,000 at that time.
The proponents of the laws, Yes for Idaho Education, Parents for Education Reform, and Idaho Republicans for our Schools raised more than $370,000. The biggest chunk of that ($50,000) came from Melaleuca, who's CEO has been financing print ads for props 1, 2, and 3.
We've seen these page-length newspaper ads running throughout state, said Weatherby.
The large majority of the money (again, more than $1.6 million) spent for both campaigns has gone to advertising agencies, and media specialists. In addition, there could still be more checks written.
No one's telling us, are they? What the polling is showing, and how close these measures are? said Weatherby. There could be still a lot of money gathered and spent.
As much money has been spent on campaigns for, and against, these ballot measures, Weatherby says they still are dwarfed by the tribal gaming measure of 2002. He says just the proponents spent $3.4 million dollars on their effort.
If you want to look at the financing totals for these or any campaigns, you can click here.