Columnist Todd Dorman believes that both supporters and opponents of the upcoming Linn County casino referendum should fully disclose their campaign finance records — even though they’re not legally obligated to do so.
“The warring factions in the Cedar Rapids casino fight do agree on something,” Dorman wrote in a column titled “Show us the money now.” “Neither side plans to release any campaign finance information until it’s absolutely legally necessary. That’s 4:30 p.m.on Feb. 28, just days before the March 5 countywide referendum vote. And that report won’t cover any contributions or spending in the last 10 furious days.
“It’s a lousy way to run a democracy,” Dorman adds. “State laws should be changed. Voters deserve to know early and often who is paying for pricey efforts to win their votes. We’re tired of guessing games.
“But there’s nothing in those campaign finance laws that says campaigns can’t release finance reports at any time they please. They could show voters today. Instead, they’ll dump the goods just before a vote and hope the lateness of the hour mutes the splash.”
What do you think? Should both sides in the casino referendum fully disclose their campaign finances — ahead of the Feb. 28 legal deadline?