Casino Campaigns Make Final Push Ahead of Referendum Vote
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The pressure is on to talk to as many Linn County Voters as possible.
Volunteers with both campaigns can't find enough time in the day. The strategy is to keep working up until the very last moment.
"I've been here since 9:00 a.m. this morning,” Joni Scotter, a Vote Yes Volunteer, said.
Scotter said she doesn't mind sitting in the campaign office and talking to strangers on the phone to secure some "yes" votes.
Ellen Stines, on the other hand, knows the importance of getting out of the Vote No campaign office.
“It's like, you’ve got to get out there and talk to as many people as possible,” Stines said.
As part of the final push to get out the vote, many also received a pre-recorded call on Friday from the vote no campaign. Some KCRG viewers called upset about the message.
Here's a portion of that message: "Instead of choosing a project that divides the county, you can choose an attraction that unites us. On Tuesday, join me and vote no for a casino."
The Vote No campaign said the call was meant to inform voters of the new water park plan. On Friday, Riverside CEO Dan Kehl announced that he's promising to build a year-round, indoor water park on the same land casino investors want, if voters turn down the referendum.
"Well, a lot of people are just tired of hearing about this issue, they don't want to hear any more about a casino, whether they are for it or against it," Vote No Spokesperson Todd Henderson said. "But it's that way with any election."
The vote yes campaign said the calls were a surprise and that they were poor taste.
"I think they expect some automated calls the weekend of an election to remind you to go and vote -- people don't expect this kind of phone call to still be happening," Vote Yes Spokesperson Marcia Rogers said.
With this intense issue, volunteers like Scotter and Steins can finally take a long break once the referendum vote is over.
Both campaigns have dozens of volunteers at work. Many of them said they think Tuesday's vote will be very close.
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