Campaign finance roundup (4.29.24 edition)

With only 22 days until the May primaries, campaign contributions and spending are picking up quickly.

So between now and May 21, we will highlight some of the newsiest activity at this blog.

Payback on tax credit bill?

Heavily funded by advocates for private education, an Idaho group has poured $59,467.85 into a handful of GOP legislative primaries.

The Idaho Federation for Children PAC is supporting three Republican incumbents facing contested primaries: Sens. Chuck Winder of Boise and Julie VanOrden of Pingree, and Rep. Wendy Horman of Idaho Falls.

The PAC is also opposing three House Republicans: Rick Cheatum of Pocatello; Melissa Durrant of Kuna; and Kenny Wroten of Nampa. The three lawmakers proved to be crucial swing votes on March 12, when the House Revenue and Taxation Committee rejected a bill to create $50 million in tax credits and grants for private school tuition.

Horman was one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

The Idaho Federation for Children PAC lists a Columbia, Md., mailing address. Its sole funding source — so far — is the Virginia-based “Victory Fund” of the American Federation for Children, a Dallas, Texas, group that ardently supports tax credits or other vehicles that divert public dollars into private schools.

Outside group targets Foreman

A third-party group calling itself Idaho Deserves Better appears to have one main target: hardline Republican Sen. Dan Foreman of Viola.

And the group has a single prominent donor: Gabriella Green, the wife of University of Idaho President C. Scott Green. Green gave the group $25,000 on April 7.

Idaho Deserves Better has spent $18,558.83 on advertising against Foreman, who represents Latah County.

Foreman faces Kendrick Republican Robert Blair in the primary.

IEA’s PAC weighs in against House leader

The Idaho Education Association has been relatively quiet in the primaries.

But its Political Action Committee for Education gave $1,000 to Marisa Stevens Keith of Boise, who is challenging House Majority Leader Jason Monks of Meridian in the primary.

It appears to be PACE’s first contribution of 2024. In September, the PAC gave $500 to Senate Education Committee Chairman Dave Lent, R-Idaho Falls.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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