Friday, April 15, 2011

Referendum to Overturn Luna Ed Reforms Launched

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM

The first Idahoans to sign the petition to hold a referendum on Tom Lunas education reforms.
  • Josh Gross
  • The first Idahoans to sign the petition to hold a referendum on Tom Luna's education reforms.
Speaking to a tax day rally of roughly 50 people at the Idaho Statehouse today, Idaho Education Association member Dick Chilcote dropped the bomb.

"Right now, over 550 members of members of the IEA are meeting at the Convention Center to formally launch the referendum drive to overturn the Luna laws," said Chilcote. "I have the first copies of it hot off the press, and you will all get to be the first who sign."

While touching on education, the rally's previous speakers cast a wide net, offering scathing condemnations of supply-side economics, corporate influence in politics and tax policy, and the steadily widening wealth gap.

"We have eight years of failed policies to prove that tax breaks to millionaires don't create jobs," said Adrienne Evans, executive director of United Vision for Idaho. She had people holding signs representing income brackets stand on the Capitol steps to visually represent the wealth gap. When she asked the crowd if those who'd made their fortunes off the backs of American workers ought to pay their fair share, their answer was an emphatic, "yes."

"The only thing I like about the Tea Party is their righteous anger," said Troy Ingraham, a member of the American Postal Worker's Union and rally organizer. "[Sen. Mike] Crapo says he wants to have an adult conversation with us, as if our ideas are childish. I've been waiting to have an adult conversation with him for years."

But the moment Chilcote announced the referendum, things came into sharp focus. A giant cheer went through the modest crowd, and more than a dozen people ignored the next speaker, Boise Democrat Rep. Brian Cronin, to rush to the table and sign their names to the petition.

"We could potentially have all 13,000 members of the IEA out there across the state as soon as next week," said Chilcote. "They're going to be hosting special events, going door to door, whatever it takes. We're shooting for a minimum of 60,000 signatures."

"You better find them, or they'll find you," Chilcote told the crowd.

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