So Vote Yes Linn County has dispatched a list of
59 58 investors in a potential Cedar Rapids casino. Many familiar names.
Here's the press release:
STRONG SUPPORT FOR LINN COUNTY CASINO
Local Business People Endorse Project
(Cedar Rapids) Nearly 60 local business people are announcing their support and investment in the Linn County Casino. The group of local investors wants the community to know they’re proud to be a part of the project which will bring over 600 new jobs to Linn County.
“The investors in this casino are local people and have strong ties to Linn County. They’re local business people who want the best for Linn County” said Steve Gray. “This project means over 600 new jobs, millions in charitable donations, millions in tax revenue and more customers for local businesses. We are supporting the casino and encouraging others in Linn County to do the same.”
Citizens supporting and investing in the Linn County Casino include:
Frederick M. Haumesser
Steve C. King
William C. Knapp, LC
Jo Ann Skogman
Vote Yes spokeswoman Marcia Rogers says this is most, but not all, of the investors. A small number, "under 10," declined to be named, citing dealings and relationships with folks lined up in opposition to the casino. She couldn't tell me whether the unnamed investors are major or lesser investors in the project.
Some big, familiar local movers and shakers are on the list, along with some less familiar, at least to me. William C. Knapp LC is a major Des Moines real estate company, whose family owners have been prominent players in Democratic politics over the years. Now joining forces with some well-known Republicans, such as John Smith.
Any surprises? Reactions? Make you more or less likely to vote yes/no? This was just released, so we may need some time to digest it.
UPDATE -- Investor Drew Skogman said this afternoon that he and Steve Gray are the only investors with stakes in the project larger than 5 percent. He confirmed Rogers' estimate of the number of unnamed investors.
And, as you might expect, opponents aren't satisfied with the release of the list.
From Just Say No Casino's press release:
Voters deserve all the details
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Scott Stines, Just Say No Casino coalition member, released the following statement in response to a partial list of investors released today by casino proponents:
“Yesterday, Steve Gray and his investors released a document that was four months old. Today, they’re releasing a list that may have existed for just as long. Why are they waiting until the last minute to release this vital information? Because the people of Linn County are demanding answers. Unfortunately, this list is incomplete. Just like all the communication that has come from casino investors, it doesn’t give us the whole story.
“It’s time for Steve Gray to come clean and give us specifics. Where does he want to build this casino? Who will he hire to operate it? Will he pledge to reimburse taxpayers for all the costs associated with its construction?
“We’ve said all along that the more people know about this plan, the less they’ll like. Yesterday, it was revealed that the agreement that casino backers made with the Linn County Gaming Association was unfair to the nonprofit, unfair to the community, and guarantees that the community will receive the bare minimum. What else is Steve Gray hiding?”