The Hot Beat


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“Vote Yes” rakes in dough, “Tea Party” no

Supporters of the local-option sales tax have raised $43,850 in their campaign to win a “yes” vote in the special election Tuesday.

According to paperwork filed with the Iowa Campaign and Ethics Disclosure Board, “Vote Yes for Our Neighbors” raised most of its money through local organizations and businesses.

The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce contributed $10,000 to the cause, the Plumbers, Steamfitters & Pipefitters Local 125 gave $8,000 and the Hawkeye Labor Council and Cedar Rapids Building Trades Council each gave $5,000.

Business have also come up big for the advocacy group. TrueNorth Companies ($2,500), Van Meter Industrial, Cedar Valley Steel, Bradley & Riley P.C., Transamerica Life Insurance Co. ($5,000) and Bergan, Paulsen & Company P.C. all gave gifts of more than $1,000.

“Any time you have strong union and strong business support on an issue, it’s something you need to take a good look at, because there might be something to it,” said Gary Ficken, co-leader of “Vote Yes.”

The group spent about half its money as of Thursday — mostly on TV and radio advertising, polling and consulting fees.

Cedar Rapids Tea Party, the group pushing for a “no” vote, has filed as an organization with the ethics board, but has not raised enough money to be required to report dollar figures.

“We’re well under the $750 mark, so it doesn’t apply to us,” said Tim Pugh, the group’s founder.

Filed under: Cedar Rapids City Council, County Government, Flood, , ,

One Response

  1. lobosolo says:

    i agree with Gary, anytime you have special interest groups pouring money into something. you need to look twice..

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