A nonprofit organization often affiliated with conservative political causes said Monday it is launching a social media campaign aimed at the city of Coralville’s finances.
The Iowa chapter of Americans for Prosperity said it will invest “considerable resources into Facebook and Twitter campaigns that will educate citizens on the actions of the Coralville city council and put pressure on council members to change course.”
The Gazette reported last week that Americans for Prosperity was getting involved in the Nov. 5 Coralville city election. The organization was founded with the financial support of billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who are known for championing conservative causes.
Mark Lucas, the group’s Iowa director, said they would not support or endorse specific candidates but would use phone banks and door-to-door campaigning to spread a message decrying Coralville’s high level of debt, its use of tax increment financing and its ownership stake in businesses, particularly in the Iowa River Landing district. Those are the same issues a few candidates are running on.
“Coralville is facing a debt crisis,” Lucas said in the news release. “How else can you explain their credit rating being downgraded by Moody’s Rating Service four times? If they do not change their ways they will turn into the Detroit of Iowa.”
Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection in July.
In an interview last week, Lucas declined to say how much Americans for Prosperity would spend in Coralville but predicted, “I don’t think anyone’s going to outspend me.”
Other people and organizations critical of how Coralville does business have become involved in the election, including by recruiting candidates and providing campaign support.
There are eight candidates for three Coralville City Council seats and four for mayor.