THIS ARTICLE WAS REJECTED BY EXAMINER AS BEING TOO MUCH OF AN OPINION. I’M POSTING IT HERE IN MY BLOG FOR YOU TO DECIDE FOR YOURSELF IF IT’S OPINION – OR FACT.
You’ve heard of a “Banana Republic”? I nominate Idaho as a “Potato Republic”.
According to the source of all knowledge, Mr. Wikipedia, a “Banana Republic” is “…is a politically unstable country that economically depends upon the exports of a limited resource and features a classed society — a large, impoverished working class and a ruling plutocracy, the rich élites of business, politics, and the military. In practice, a banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by the collusion between the State and favored monopolies, whereby the profits derived from private exploitation of public lands is private property, and the debts incurred are public responsibility. “
Substitute the word ‘country’ with the word ‘state’ and you have Idaho.
One of the “ruling class” of this potato republic is Tom Luna. Luna is pushing through legislation that will require every high school student to have a laptop (which will be provided for with state money purchased from a technology provider that is a substantial donor to Luna). One of Luna’s biggest contributors is K12; it’s K12 that stands to benefit financially once Luna is done screwing the teachers.
A sure fired way to track down corruption is to “follow the money”. Here’s where the money trail to Luna originates (Note 1)
1993 Thomas J. Wilford becomes President of Alscott
1995-2003 Wilford President of J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation
1999 VA-based K12 founded by former U.S. Secretary of Ed. Bill Bennett
1999-2001 Wilford a Director of Albertson’s Inc.
2002 Idaho Virtual Academy created in cooperation with K12
Nov Wilford becomes a Director of K12
2003 Wilford becomes CEO of J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation
2004 Wilford becomes a Director of IDACORP
Wilford becomes a Director of Idaho Power, an IDACORP subsidiary
2005 J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation give grants to several charter schools, including Idaho Virtual Academy
2006 08/10 Maryland-based Connections Academy contributes $500 to Luna’s campaign
09/29 K12 donates $5,000 to Luna’s campaign
12/19 K12 donates $891.29 to help retire Luna’s Primary ’06 debt
12/19 K12 donates $4108.71 toward Luna’s Primary 2010 fund
2007 Wilford’s total compensation from K12 for 2007: $354
2008 Wilford’s total compensation from K12 for 2008: $28,578
2009 Wilford’s total compensation from K12 for 2009: $55,829
2010 04/30 TN-based Education Networks of America contributes $1,000 to Luna’s Campaign
05/11 PA-based Apangea Learning donates $1,000 to Luna’s campaign
07/02 Education Networks of America contributes $1,500 to Luna’s campaign
07/26 Wilford sells 5,000 shares of K12 stock; retains at least 3,041 shares Wilford donates $250 to Luna’s campaign
09/20 Apangea Learning donates $2,500 to Luna’s campaign
09/28 AZ-based Apollo Group donates $2,500 to Luna’s campaign
10/20 K12, whose curriculum is used by the Idaho Virtual Academy (largest Idaho online public charter school), donates $25,000 to Idahoans for Choice in Education. Almost immediately Idahoans for Choice gives $25,000 to Arizona firm for broadcast advertising and production in an independent campaign supporting Luna’s re-election
12/16 Wilford ceases to be a Director of K12; not clear whether he is still a stockholder. Wilford’s total compensation from K12 for 2010: $107,114
2011 01/29 J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation takes out ad in Idaho Statesman supporting Tom Luna’s education plan
Note 1: This list was published in Ridenbaugh Press/Northwest and written by Randy Stapilus