Finding out how much money is being spent on this voucher campaign won't come until the end of the month when reports are due. Once again, Parents for Choice in Education (PCE) likely will complain about the money that Utah teachers, and teachers around the country, are putting into the opposition to Referendum 1.
And I will bet anyone in Utah $1 that the PCE finance report again shows that the majority of its expendable funds were donated by the "PCE Foundation" and "PCE, Inc." Both those entities clearly were created to obfuscate the REAL donors to the pro-voucher side. Neither foundations nor corporations making political expenditures are required by Utah law to reveal their donors.
It could well be that the All Children Matter operation out of Michigan is still funding PCE. Likely, even. But, since the ACM operation in Michigan is a corporation too, it can donate to its heart's content to the "PCE Foundation" and "PCE, Inc." and never leave a trace.
Or, it could be that ACM has its hands full right now. It got a little too clever when operating in Wisconsin in 2006 where the organization was found guilty of violating campaign finance laws. (You can read about it here if interested.)
Now, ACM's mother operation faces similar election law violations in Ohio where the Secretary of State is challenging ACM's convulted money laundering operation. (And, if you're interested in Ohio, you can read about ACM's troubles here.)
But then we just don't know if ACM's multi-millionaire donors are funding the pro-voucher effort in Utah. We do know at least one Utahn, Patrick Byrne, is investing some of his considerable fortune into PCE and its operations.
Mr. Byrne will be worth looking at and I relish the opportunity. Stay tuned!
P.S. If the Friedman Foundation also is expending money to persuade reluctant Utahns to support vouchers, does it have to register as a PIC? Glen Warchol noted this in today's Salt Lake City Tribune:
"The voucher discussion began with a slick promotional film, paid for by the Milton Friedman Foundation, that presented the voucher program as necessary to prepare Utah for an expected onslaught of 155,000 new students over the next five years."