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Is it me or is there always some kind of ‘special election’ going on in Cedar Rapids, Iowa?

The last time it was the Local Option Sales Tax Extension for ten years.  The time before that the Local Option Sales Tax for twenty years, and before that the Local Option Sales Tax

I voted in favor of the first Local Option Sales Tax but after seeing the money go for things that tax money should have already covered, instead of gong for what the taxpayers intended for it to be used for, rebuilding flood damaged homes, property tax relief, and property acquisitions. I worked closely with the opposition to defeat the extension. 

What do the ‘Vote Yes Linn County‘ campaign and the ‘Vote Yes Local Option Sales Tax‘  have in common?  Backers, supporters, people who are good at going out and getting signatures on a petition but have no skill at all at getting people to vote or to care enough to vote.  

Ninety percent of the information about the investors has been disclosed.  The location of the casino has been revealed and if the voters will allow it, a casino will be built in the flood zone on the west bank in Downtown Cedar Rapids.

The most compelling argument the “Vote Yes Casino” has made is that the opposition is funded by outside casinos who just “don’t want us to have our own casino”.

One thing is for certain.  People like to gamble and they will travel great distances to do so. The other casinos have made it difficult for the grassroots opposition in this election. In my opinion., the grassroots opposition, that has beat the last two Local Option Sales Tax elections with very little money, is split in this election. 

Even  the moral arguments surrounding gambling are being argued. Would another casino saturate the state or would it cause the outside casinos to fold?  Perhaps it would create payout through competition we won’t know until the election is over and the Racing and Gaming Commission goes over the license.  

If I were the gambling type, and I am not, I would bet that the casino proposal will pass in Linn County given the argument and resistance coming from outside casinos. 

The  land the investors propose was purchased  through the “voluntary property acquisition” with Community Development Block Grant money after the 2008 flood.  Seems convenient to me that nearly the whole west bank was wiped clean to make way for the “Preferred Plan” and that the plan could include a casino. 

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To visit the website describing how the city property was purchased click here: http://crgis.cedar-rapids.org/CR-Progress/FlexViewer/index.html 

Even if the casino measure is passed it still has to go up against another barrier at the state level.  For me, it’s just another way for the government to partner up with the local elites to profit off of the people. On the surface, it sounds like it might be a good idea, but the devil is in the details.  If the casino measure doesn’t pass it won’t be the end of the world for Cedar Rapids but it might put an end to the special elections, at least for a  while.

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