Posts tagged: ” Wayne Hoffman
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A conservative Idaho think tank's leader upset at his $155 speeding ticket is calling for the Legislature to hold hearings on the state's laws governing driving too fast. Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation doesn't like the rules governing excessive speeding, which he says were set by the courts. He thinks the Legislature should take up the matter. Hoffman was caught recently driving 73 miles per hour on a northern Idaho road where the limit is 55 miles per hour. Hoffman thinks the 1988 Legislature abandoned its constitutional role by leaving matters including the definition of excessive speeding up to the Idaho Supreme Court. In a guest editorial, Hoffman says he'll cut something out of his budget to pay the fine, but it won't be food for his kids.
In the wake of the Idaho's bitter debate over state school Superintendent Tom Luna's now-repealed school reform plan, the 2013 Legislature could discuss another education policy change that wasn't in Luna's package but could prove just as divisive: Tax credits to fund scholarships to private and religious schools, the AP reports. AP reporter John Miller writes that the proposal is similar to one introduced near the close of last year's session by Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, and is being pushed by Wayne Hoffman's Idaho Freedom Foundation; click below for Miller's full report.
Of all the odd things to find in my mailbox over the weekend, there was a letter from Gov. Butch Otter, addressed to Ben Ysursa, who happens to be Idaho's secretary of state, but at my address. Since it's a federal crime to open someone else's mail, I took the letter to Ysursa's office so he could open it, and he said he got one at his home as well. It was a membership pitch from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, asking people to send from $50 to $5,000 to become “charter members” of the group - and to send the money to Gov. Butch Otter, care of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
Ysursa said, “As you get into it, it's pretty clear it's not the state of Idaho that's doing this, it's the Freedom Foundation. I saw it and opened it up, and was able to discern that it was a membership drive letter for the Freedom Foundation.” Ysursa, who's in charge of enforcing campaign disclosure and lobbying reporting laws, said, “Over the years, Gov. Otter and other elected officials at times get asked to sign letters of endorsement for various interests. I don't see where it violates anything - it's just kind of a judgment call by the elected official.”
The foundation is listed on the back of the envelope with its P.O. box return address, but on the front of the envelope, the only return address, below Otter's signature, is, “C.L. 'Butch' Otter, Governor.” It also states, on the front of the envelope, “IMPORTANT OBAMACARE LAWSUIT UPDATE.” In the letter, Otter writes, “Last year we worked together to pass the Idaho Health Freedom Act, and I look forward to working with the Idaho Freedom Foundation in the future to ensure that we continue protecting liberty and the free market.” He adds, “I hope you will join the Idaho Freedom Foundation as a Charter Member and let your voice be heard.”
Wayne Hoffman, head of the Freedom Foundation, said the use of the governor's name - including on the donation form (“To: GOVERNOR BUTCH OTTER, Idaho Freedom Foundation, PO Box 2801”) and as the addressee, care of the Freedom Foundation, for donations people may send, is a “standard thing.” The Freedom Foundation did the same thing last year when it sent out a fundraising letter endorsed by former Idaho Sen. Steve Symms, Hoffman said. The foundation, which doesn't disclose its donors, is “probably up to 500 donors” at this point, Hoffman said. With the new mailing, which went to tens of thousands of people statewide, “I expect we'll generate thousands of new members.”
The donations won't actually go to Otter; they'll go to the Freedom Foundation. Hoffman said he doesn't consider the labeling misleading. “It's a very normal practice,” he said. “People understand that Butch is supporting our efforts and he's put his name behind a good organization that is supporting the principles that he's fought long and hard for.” Otter has no affiliation with the foundation, Hoffman said, other than that he donated a belt buckle at the group's annual banquet in May and he and Tom Luna received an award from the group for the “Students Come First” school reform initiative.
Jon Hanian, Otter's press secretary, said, “I can confirm that the governor did approve that letter.” The group asked because they share Otter's concern “over the issue of the health care mandate,” he said. “We read and approved the letter that went out. That was the extent of our involvement in it.”
As to how the letter made its way to my mailbox, Hoffman cited a database glitch.
Wayne Hoffman, head of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, discusses his disenchantment with the mainstream media and his role as a political activist in an article by AP reporter John Miller, in which Hoffman refuses to disclose how his group is funded; click below to read the full article. The article says, “Idaho conservatives say Hoffman is a rising leader of the GOP’s libertarian right.”