Red, White & Blue
VanderSloot, unions up ante in ed overhaul fight
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Eastern Idaho Republican businessman Frank VanderSloot has now spent more than $1 million to help support public schools chief Tom Luna's education overhaul survive the Nov. 6 vote.
VanderSloot hopes his money, most coming from his direct-marketing company Melaleuca, is an antidote to efforts financed by the National Education Association and its state affiliate.
According to Tuesday's campaign-finance reports, they've bankrolled TV commercials and other advertising against the education changes in excess of $2 million.
VanderSloot's TV ads have sought to portray those fighting the education changes as simply seeking to protect union power.
Luna's 2011-passed laws limit teachers' collective bargaining rights, require online classes and mandate laptops for ninth-graders, a program due to cost Idaho $180 million over eight years.
Luna's foes contend that will take money from teachers.