Financial Disclosure Reports Detail LOST, 21-Only Support

By Adam Carros, News Director

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Campaign financial disclosure forms are revealing more about who is paying for all those yard signs in two controversial ballot issues in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

On Tuesday, voters in the Cedar Rapids metro block will decide whether to extend a one-cent local option sales tax. The tax was initially passed for flood recovery efforts. Now, Cedar Rapids wants to use the tax for road repairs. Fairfax, Hiawatha, Robins and Marion plan to use it for a combination of public projects and property tax relief.

The Fix the Streets campaign is pushing to pass the tax. It has raised $103,000 as of the October 31st filing deadline. Most of that money has come from construction companies that stand to benefit from more road repair projects. Other Cedar Rapids businesses and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance are also among the donors.

That is in stark contrast to the "Get the Facts CR" group against the tax extension. It has raised $1,616 so far, all of it coming from 23 individual donors.

Also on Tuesday, Iowa City voters will decide whether to repeal the city's 21-only law, which bans those under age 21 from most bars after 10 pm. A 'Yes' vote would repeal the law while a 'No' vote is to keep it.

The group wanting to repeal the law is paid for entirely by bar owners. The "Young Adults for Equality and Safety" has collected $6,900 from owners of Iowa City bars and entertainment venues. The owners of the Union Bar contributed $4,900 of that.

The group campaigning to keep the 21-only law has raised $12,205, as of Friday's filing. That money has come entirely from individual donors. University of Iowa Vice President for Student Affairs, Tom Rocklin, made the biggest donation of $2,500. Developer Marc Moen, Iowa City mayor Matt Hayek, city council members Connie Champion and Rick Dobyns are also among the donors to the campaign supporting the current law.
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