Sorry if this is brief and rough. I’ve got a kid to pick up at daycare.
Just Say No casino’s disclosure shows $750,050 raised from three sources: $600,000 from Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, $150,000 from Isle of Capri Waterloo and $50 from Laure Scharr of Marion. Those contributions are through Feb. 20, so if Riverside plans to pour in any more of the $1.5 million it planned to spend, it will happen in the final days.
On the spending side, Just Say No spent $727,977 through Feb. 22, including $492,500 for advertising by AKPD Message and Media based in Chicago. It’s a well-known Democratic firm that helped President Obama’s re-elect, as well as U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley.
You can look at Just Say No’s disclosure here. Please weigh in in you find other interesting stuff.
Vote Yes Linn County raised $1.5 million, all of it from the Cedar Rapids Development Group, an entity formed by local casino investors. There’s no breakdown on how much each individual investor contributed.
On the spending side, vote yes spent $1.483 million through Feb. 19, including $765,000 on advertising with Media Ad Ventures, a Virginia-based firm that works with Republican candidates, including John McCain and Gov. Terry Branstad. (Their website calls him “Tommy Branstad.”) Vote yes also spent $507,905 with Ad Track in Cedar Rapids and $132,00 with Campaign HQ in Brooklyn, Iowa. The campaign also owes $120,000 in outstanding bills, including $50,000 more for Ad Track and $45,000 to Alfano Communications for a TV ad.
You can peruse Vote Yes Linn County’s disclosure here. Same as above, if you find other tidbits.
So Vote Yes is outspending Just Say No two-to-one, on paper. But Riverside’s unspent cash could, and likely will, close that gap in the final days. And we won’t know until final numbers are filed, weeks after the vote.
Update — Breaking – Ella has been picked up from daycare.
Update II — Let the spin begin.
First, from Vote Yes Linn County:
With the first filing of campaign finance reports today, Vote Yes Linn County Treasurer Drew Skogman expressed confidence in the upcoming special election on Tuesday, March 5th.
Skogman indicated the new casino proposal is a dramatic improvement from previous plans. “The Vote Yes Linn County team of local business and labor leaders, neighbors and community leaders made a critical investment in ensuring voters of Linn County had all the facts and information they needed to make a smart decision this time,” added Skogman. “We spent what it took to make certain our message was heard loudly and clearly – This new casino will bring OUR county over 600 new local jobs, and over $224 million dollars in new pay and benefits for local workers, donations to local charities and new local tax revenues for Linn County.”
“Just Say No was bankrolled by OUTSIDE casino interests who requested to spend over $1.6 million to defeat our local efforts,” Skogman said. “This caused the Vote Yes campaign to spend a comparable amount which was significantly more than we originally planned. We were up against outside interests with millions of profits doing or saying ANYTHING to deceive, confuse and scare Linn County voters. We had to make sure local residents had the honest facts and could make their own truly informed decision about what was right for OUR community.”