Almost 98 percent of the Idaho Education Association's political contributions this year went to Democrats - and that has some Idaho Republicans angry.
House Speaker Tom Boyd, R-Genesee, blasted the teachers union at a recent regional conference in Lewiston and suggested he picked state Rep. R. L. Davis, R-Rexburg, as the House Education Committee chairman in order to send a message to the organization. The union has been critical of Davis for his lack of support for teachers issues in the six years he's served on the committee.But Democrats and union leaders note the education lobby has supported 22 moderate Republicans, including Boyd. The organization supported about 66 Democrats and issued no endorsement in 38 races.
Much of the IEA money went to heavily contested state Senate races. The union contends the money was necessary to counter the fund-raising advantage Republicans tend to enjoy from business interests.