Linn casino campaigns have spent $2.2 million; casino investors, $1.48 million; two exisiting casinos. $.75 million

Rick Smith
Published: February 28 2013 | 3:26 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 12:06 pm in

CEDAR RAPIDS — The dueling pro-and-anti casino campaigns have spent $2.2 million in total to get their messages out before Tuesday’s vote on casino gaming in Linn County.

Vote Yes Linn County has reported spending $1,483,314 from $1,503,450 in contributions and Just Say No Casino has reported $727,977 in spending from $750,050 in contributions.

Both campaigns filed reports electronically with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board at the board’s deadline late Thursday, five days before the Tuesday vote.

The campaign disclosure reports bring no surprises in terms of the source of the campaign contributions, though they provide the first public glimpse into exactly how much the two campaigns say they are spending.

The 60-plus investors behind the proposed casino, who are doing business as Cedar Rapids Development Group LLC, are funding the Vote Yes Linn County campaign, and the two state-licensed casinos apt to lose business to a Cedar Rapids casino are funding the Just Say No Casino effort.

In that regard, Riverside Casino & Golf Resort has contributed $600,000 and the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo has contributed $150,000.

Both casinos earlier had reported to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that they were spending more than $100,000 on the Linn County referendum. The Riverside casino told the Racing and Gaming Commission that it was prepared to spend up to $1.5 million on the Linn County ballot measure.

The Vote Yes campaign also reports an additional $120,200 in unpaid bills.

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