Recall Tom Luna Press Conference Final Statement
Today we gather here with our supporters to complete one of the most historic and bold campaigns that Idaho has ever seen. At the beginning of the 2011 legislative session, Tom Luna designed and launched one of the most damaging pieces of legislation to date. Not only did he force the Students Come First law through, but he did so in spite of the voice of the public who came out in an overwhelming majority against the Luna Plan. His re-election campaign did not reflect transparency in the democratic process. He gave no insight to his intended reform.
The committee to recall Tom Luna started as a grass roots effort. It’s built up entirely of a citizen collaboration seeking to restore political accountability. Our intentions have been to protect our students, teachers, public schools, and the ideals of a transparent democracy. Like myself, many of our committee members and volunteers are concerned citizens, not only teachers or parents. We are people who recognize the serious consequences of Tom Luna’s reckless leadership. We have never been financed by any union, political party, special interests groups, business, or corporate entity.
With the little resources we’ve had, we were able to obtain a third of the signatures necessary for the Luna recall; about 50,000. Although we previously reported a number of 75,000 signatures to the public, we have located a miscalculation in our petition numbers earlier this week. We have gone back to recount and correct that error. Regardless, through a non-partisan campaign, built up of many GOP supporters, we were able to get more people engaged in the political process. As of now we have reports of nearly 3,000 newly registered voters in the Treasure Valley alone, and we are expecting more numbers to come in from around the state. Of the thousands of people we registered statewide, many of them will be first time voters. Others are people who have not been recently involved and are now reemerging into the political process.
Our teams of extremely dedicated and talented volunteers have done a great job by returning the voice back to the people of Idaho. The Idaho GOP and their attempt to fight and silence the people’s voice through the Recall Protection Fund are sure to celebrate this as their technical victory, but Idaho will never be the same because of what we were able to accomplish. Due to this new level of engagement from Idaho citizens, we plan to utilize this statewide network we’ve built to create the first ever and truly non-partisan watch dog organization. It would be irresponsible to shy away from this high level of public enthusiasm. This is an ideal opportunity to keep the people of Idaho engaged in the political process and demand continued accountability and transparency in our elected officials. We thank everyone who has tirelessly worked on this campaign; for giving up their valuable time, ideas, and financial support. We can all be proud standing together knowing the contributions made in order to restore political accountability in Idaho. Today let us all hope and promise those contributions will continue.
Morgan Hill Jr