Balukoff: Lanza ouster ‘endemic cronyism’

Balukoff announcement
A.J. Balukoff

Mike Lanza’s ouster from the state’s education task force effort is a sign of a broken, closed political process, Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff said Tuesday.

“That’s a sign of a broken, one-party system, of endemic cronyism—and it’s got to end,” Balukoff said in a campaign fundraising email.

Lanza, a driving force behind the repeal of state superintendent Tom Luna’s 2011 education laws, was one of 31 members of Otter’s education task force. The group completed its work last summer, but new groups have been assembled to build on the task force’s recommendations.

Mike Lanza
Mike Lanza

Lanza was pulled from one of these followup groups, weeks after joining Balukoff’s campaign as education adviser and spokesman.

Wrote Balukoff: “(Lanza is) experienced and passionate and I’m thrilled to have him on Team Balukoff.   Having served on more boards than I can count, I know that diversity in opinion only strengthens the board and the organization for which it serves. …

“Punishing Idahoans for having a difference of opinion or belonging to a different party is wrong and it promises that our government will continue to take place behind closed doors, with sweetheart deals, where the people of Idaho are disallowed from having a say.”

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