Reclaim Idaho’s Luke Mayville claims ignorance as to why I filed a complaint for the apparent undeclared contribution of signatures, worth $500,000, Reclaim received. To find the answer, one only has to go as far as Mayville’s own statements.
“To collect … the needed signatures … ~27,000 —Reclaim Idaho will use paid signature gatherers through the Fairness Project” Luke Mayville, Sandpoint Reader 3/22/2018
“the Fairness Project was one of many partners in the effort to expand Medicaid in Idaho,” Luke Mayville, CDA Press 4/9/2019
Reclaim Idaho’s “grassroots” Proposition 2 signature gathering campaign failed to gather the required number of signatures to get Proposition 2 on the ballot. Reclaim had to rely on a professional company, Fieldworks LLC to collect the badly needed signatures. For this effort, Fieldworks was paid ~$500,000 by The Fairness Project PAC which in turn is the brain child of a California SEIU-UHW Union leader. This outside dark money was critical to putting Proposition 2 on the ballot.
On July 6, 2018 the Daily Kos reported that Reclaim Idaho delivered all 70,000 petition signatures to the State Capitol.
“Luke Mayville, and (others), officially delivered petition signatures Friday morning to put Medicaid expansion on this fall’s ballot.” “They turned in over 70,000 signatures, easily surpassing the required 56,192.”
Idaho code 67-6602© defines a “contribution” as including “anything of value”. Reclaim says they did not receive any cash from the Fairness Project. They received $500,000 worth of signatures.
Idaho law does allow for the $500,000 to go unreported IF it is an “Independent Expenditure”. Idaho code 67-6602(i):
“Independent expenditure” means any expenditure … that is not made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request of a suggestion of, a … political committee supporting … a measure.”
But there was cooperation, consultation, requests, and consent between the “partners” Reclaim Idaho and The Fairness Project. SEIU-UHW meeting minutes from June 15, 2018 show Reclaim Idaho’s Executive Director, Rebecca Schroeder went to San Jose, California, and met with The Fairness Project’s founder to make the case for Proposition 2. Also, The Fairness Project’s website states:
“The Fairness Project worked with local partners in Idaho to pass a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.”
Mayville calls the Fairness Project a “partner”. How can you be a partner without any cooperation, or consultation, or consent, or suggestions, or requests between partners? You can’t.
The facts are clear, Reclaim requested assistance from the Fairness Project to gather signatures. That assistance was given in the amount of ~$500,000 spent with Fieldworks LLC who collected ~27,000 signatures and delivered those $500,000 worth of signatures to Reclaim who then delivered all the signatures to the Secretary of State.
Why didn’t Reclaim simply report the $500,000 in kind donation? Probably because if it was widely known that 80% of the costs to collect signatures were paid by a Washington, D.C., progressive organization, the “successful grassroots effort” narrative would be exposed as a lie.
I have made a written request to the State Elections Director, Lisa Power, as to why they do not consider Reclaim to be in violation. If Mr. Mayville has found a loophole to slither through then that loophole needs to be closed.
The Initiative is a right reserved for Idaho residents to use. It is not intended for out of state interests to exploit.
Why would a Washington DC political action committee run by a California union boss spend half a million dollars on Idaho’s Proposition 2? Don’t you deserve to know what they want?