Idaho's campaign finance deadline came and went Wednesday without any word on who funded a statewide TV ad campaign in favor of controversial school reform measures - and backers say they don't plan to disclose their donors. Former state Rep. Debbie Field, the former two-time campaign manager for Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, said potential donors to the campaigns backing the reform laws are being told they have two avenues: Donate to the official “Yes for Education” campaign, which means their contributions will be reported; or give anonymously through two new groups she's chairing.
Field said she believes people have been intimidated by unions on the school reform issue, and the groups provide an avenue “for people who really wanted to give, but didn't want to go through the intimidation.” She said, “They will give if they feel like they can give anonymously to a place that will support education, but they don't want to be maligned.” The arrangement is currently under legal review at the Idaho Secretary of State's office, opponents of the measures decried it as a front for mischief and called the intimidation claim “preposterous.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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