Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ain't technology great?

Thankfully we don't have to rely on The Dallas Morning News for our, well, er, news about the Trinity River Corridor. Through the wonderful technology of the paper's own blog, readers are taking the newspaper to task for failing to report on the trucks that will be allowed on the tollroad according to various reports. Jim Schutze reported last week at Unfair Park that The Allen Group, which is developing the inland port, has donated $50,ooo to the Vote No effort.

Apparently the DMN was partially shamed into sort of reporting it. In an unrelated story about Mayor Leppert's retire my campaign debt fundraiser on page 2B, reporter Dave Levinthal writes that one of the "top named sponsors" of the bash is "The Allen Group, developers of Dallas' southern sector inland port and a top donor to pro-Trinity River Corridor toll road efforts" (emphasis mine).

I do have to give props to the editors of the Viewpoints page for printing a guest column from Sharon Boyd of Vote Yes which points out that the 50,000-90,000 voters who signed the petition are the mayor's constituents, and that these numbers should not be ignored. That is more people than voted for Leppert or the original 1998 Trinity River Corridor project.

2 comments:

Ann said...

The News actually reported the Allen donation before Schutze did. IJS.



'Save the Trinity' group leads rival in fundraising

6:13 PM CDT on Monday, October 8, 2007

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News
dlevinthal@dallasnews.com

The Vote No! Save the Trinity organization enjoys about nine times as much money as its opposition with less than a month remaining before voters decide the fate of the Trinity River road project.

Vote No!, which supports building a high-speed toll road within the Trinity River's levee walls, raised more than $472,000 and spent more than $150,000 through Sept. 27, according to campaign finance reports the group intends to file with Dallas City Hall.

In contrast, TrinityVote, which led a successful petition drive earlier this year to prompt a Nov. 6 referendum on the toll road's location, raised more than $103,600 and spent just under $65,000, according to its campaign finance report.

But TrinityVote, which fashions itself as a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving a planned Trinity park from toll road encroachment, received about twice the number of individual contributions to its campaign than Vote No!, though TrinityVote's contributions were significantly smaller in value.

Vote No! reported about $322,000 cash remaining, compared with TrinityVote's nearly $36,000. TrinityVote also lists outstanding loans of more than $96,000 on its report.

The cash discrepancy is not surprising in that hundreds of wealthy Dallas businesspeople have thrown their support behind Vote No!, with about two dozen donating between $100 and $5,000 to the organization and several business interests contributing in the five- or six-figure range, up to the Dallas Citizens Council's $200,000.

Businessman Mitch Hart, former Dallas City Council member Lois Finkelman, developer Richard C. Strauss and former TXU Corp. executives David Biegler and Erle Nye are among $5,000-level contributors to Vote No!

"This gives us the opportunity to explain a very confusing issue to people," said Carol Reed, a political consultant who's running Vote No!'s day-to-day operations. "And while it's always nice to have the advantage of having resources, if your message isn't right, it won't matter. But we have a strong message that people are behind."

TrinityVote's top contributor this reporting period is outdoor advertising businessman Steve Millwee, who contributed $25,000. Most of TrinityVote's donations range between $25 and $250.

TrinityVote leader and Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt has long said she expected her group would be outspent.

"But if you look at our contributions, we have a remarkable range of people throughout the city supporting us. It's not just a small group of people with a vested financial interest," Ms. Hunt said. "They have a very narrow base of support. We believe the people of Dallas are behind us, and I feel very positive about that."

Ms. Reed said Vote No! would continue to distribute tens of thousands of mailers to prospective voters, begin radio advertisements soon, and ultimately, produce TV advertisements.

Ms. Hunt wouldn't say whether TrinityVote would produce mass advertising pieces, but she said she felt comfortable her organization will have enough money to run a winning campaign.


VOTE NO! SAVE THE TRINITY TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Dallas Citizens Council $200,000
Thompson & Knight law firm $50,000
Allen Development of Texas $50,000
JPI Multifamily Investments $25,000
Commercial Metals Co. $25,000

TRINITYVOTE TOP CONTRIBUTORS
Steve Millwee $25,000
Dallas Sierra Club $5,000
Ann Drumm $5,000
Tom Lardner $5,000
Wesley Pool $5,000

SOURCE: Vote No! Save the Trinity and TrinityVote campaign finance filings

FINANCING THE TRINITY ROAD FIGHT

The organizations fighting over the fate of Dallas' Trinity River Corridor project on Monday released campaign finance reports detailing their cash flow.

Organization Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand Outstanding loans

Vote No! Save the Trinity $472,074 $150,037 $322,036 0

TrinityVote $103,651 $64,849 $35,806 $96,600

SOURCE: Vote NO! Save the Trinity and TrinityVote campaign finance filings
NOTE: Reports are through Sept. 27.

Brian said...

Ann,

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea nissan maxima!

Fair enough, the news listed the Allen Group in their story. Unfortunately they didn't do the reporting to explain why The Allen Group might be investing in the Vote No campaign - they need the road for the a truck route from the inland port. The News isn't even asking the question.

As far as I know they still haven't ran a news story that mentions that trucks will be allowed on the road. That should be a front page piece.