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Posts tagged: Mike Wetherell

Trib: Cheers For Judge Wetherell

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune offers “cheers … to Fourth District Judge Mike Wetherell of Boise. Wetherell's ruling Monday compelled Education Voters of Idaho to cough up where it got $641,000 to promote the Luna laws. It also went a long way toward discouraging similar impropriety in the future.Before EVI disclosed it had collected $200,000 from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and $250,000 from Albertsons heir Joe Scott, EVI was thumbing its nose at the 1974 voter-passed Sunshine Initiative.EVI's leaders — former state Rep. Debbie Field, R-Boise, and former congressional staffer John Foster — argued their status as a 501(c)(4) trumped any obligation to disclose. Even if Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa's lawsuit ultimately prevailed, it looked as if EVI might run out the clock — and delay disclosure until after the election/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Supporters of the Luna Laws propositions have made a big deal in flyers re: a $1M contribution from the National Education Association in direct-mail flyers. Yet they have received $1.3M from Frank Vandersloot & tried their darndest to hide financial contributions to Education Voters of Idaho. Hypocrites?

Judge: Pull Back Secrecy Curtain

With just a week to go in Idaho’s most dramatic campaign of 2012, 4th District Judge Mike Wetherell moved to end the mystery surrounding a new interest group that wants to keep its donor list secret. Education Voters of Idaho fought to suppress who gave $200,350 spent to convince voters to approve Superintendent Tom Luna’s education reforms in Propositions 1, 2 and 3 on Tuesday’s ballot. Though he wouldn’t fit in anyone’s bicycle basket, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is playing Toto, grabbing the screen shrouding the donors and yanking. Wetherell granted Ysursa’s motion for disclosure less than three hours after hearing oral arguments Monday. “Voters are entitled to know who is standing behind the curtain,” Wetherell wrote/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has the attempt by Education Voters of Idaho to keep contributors secret hurt its cause?

Read more here:

Judge To EVI: Cough Up The Names

A secretive group that underwrote more than $200,000 in TV campaign commercials in favor of three Idaho school reform ballot measures must disclose its donors by Wednesday, a 4th District judge ruled this afternoon. Judge Mike Wetherell (pictured) ordered Education Voters of Idaho to disclose its donors by 3 p.m. this Wednesday, Halloween. The group must “file all required further reports when required or face sanctions,” the judge wrote. Wrote Wetherell, “A failure by the Defendants to follow the requirements of the Sunshine Initiative is in violation of the rights of Idaho citizens as provided by law, and a failure to grant injunctive relief at this time would permit the law to be violated with impunity and would result in irreparable harm to the voters of Idaho whose rights under the Sunshine Initiative the Secretary of State is charged with protecting.” You can read his 19-page decision here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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