Not since 1934 had voters successfully used a ballot initiative to overturn a law in Idaho, but in 2012 we made history. In 2011, the Idaho legislature, controlled by a Republican super-majority, passed and the Governor signed three education-related laws, dubbed “Students Come First.” There was an initial public outcry in some quarters over the far-reaching laws which would have effectively gutted collective bargaining rights for teachers and imposed a costly requirement that laptop computers be purchased for high school students so they could take controversial online classes. Idaho was a state solidly in the Romney win-column, and with Mormons comprising 25% of the electorate in Idaho, we anticipated that Romney would well be deployed as a messenger for the other side.
The No on Props 1, 2 & 3 campaign engaged voters through an integrated media campaign reaching them on TV, radio, phones, in the mail and online.
We used local messengers – including teachers who were viewed very favorably – to talk with their neighbors and to appear in our TV ads. On Election Day we won big, handily defeating all three propositions in one of the reddest states in the country.