Here is a rarity in politics: A candidate running for office NOT asking for your money.
Randy Jensen, a middle school principal from American Falls, is asking supporters to give money to their schools instead of to his campaign in the four-way race for the superintendent of public instruction Republican nomination.
Schools will get some needed money, and donors can qualify for tax credits and deductions.
“Campaigns are a prolonged job interview,” Jensen said. “By asking you to donate to students and not to my campaign I am really asking you to join in my vision for the office of Idaho superintendent of public instruction. That vision is to do everything we possibly can to give Idaho students every advantage imaginable.”
Jensen said he is “going on the cheap” for his campaign. He says he has access to money and the move isn’t an acknowledgement that he is having difficulty raising dollars. But “I’m better at raising money for other people than myself,” he said.
He inquired about purchasing a widely circulated mailer covering Republican voters for his campaign and was told it would cost $30,000. His response: “Are you kidding me? Do you know what I could do at my school with $30,000?”
Few people are aware of the great tax advantage of donating to schools under the Idaho Education Tax Credit, Jensen said.
School donations of up to $1,000 for individuals and up to $2,000 for those filing jointly may qualify for a 50 percent tax credit, Jensen said. They could also be eligible for federal and state tax deductions.
“If we honestly look at the campaign process, leaflets, mailers, stickers and yard signs will get my name out there, but after November what help is a yard sign with my name on it to a student in Post Falls or Rexburg?” he said.