The donors being kept secret by Education Voters of Idaho — and the center of Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa’s lawsuit to force disclosure of their names — may not want to be identified for safety reasons, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot told Local News 8.
Education Voters of Idaho supports the Students Come First education reform.
VanderSloot is on record as the biggest contributor to the Yes for Idaho Education Committee. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that VanderSloot, a Mitt Romney supporter, is paying for TV commercials showing the presidential candidate criticizing the teachers union.
Still, VanderSloot is hesitant to pass judgment on any other campaign.
VanderSloot pointed out an incident last year when state school Superintendent Tom Luna’s tires got slashed following the release of the new education plan.
He said keeping donors’ names under wraps could be a way of maintaining safety, even though it may violate the Sunshine Law.
“I can imagine why some companies, some individuals, may not want to put up with the personal hassle and the attacks that they’ve received and will receive on behalf of what they believe,” said Vandersloot.
Ysursa is not giving interviews to the media regarding the lawsuit.
He did post a news release on his website stating that disclosure is an essential element of Idaho elections.
Vandersloot’s company, Melaleuca Inc., has fully disclosed contributions to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s YIE Committee.