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Vision2 Battle in Tulsa is Greenbacks vs. Grassroots

Filed by KOSU News in State Impact.
November 1, 2012

Supporters of Tulsa’s Vision2 tax package have a lot more campaign cash than their opponents.

While Vision2 proponents have almost $600,000 on hand, anti-tax package team Citizens for a Better Vision have a war chest with about $11,000 in cash and in-kind donations, reports the Tulsa World‘s Brian Barber, who sifted through campaign finance reports filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.

“Here’s the thing: When you have a bad product, you end up having to throw a lot of marketing money behind it,” said Ronda Vuillemont-Smith of Citizens for a Better Vision.

Her group is mostly focusing on social media, yard signs, buttons and word of mouth to get its message out, Vuillemont-Smith said.

The anti-Vision2 group isn’t required to file a campaign finance report because it’s organized as a limited liability corporation. But the organization gave the Tulsa paper a financial report showing it had about $3,859.69 in cash donations.

Pro-Vision2 group Citizens for Tulsa County had raised $589,748.18 for its campaign, “with sizable donations coming from companies and organizations that would benefit from the passage of the tax proposal,” the World reports. $100,000 came from the Tulsa Metro Chamber; $37,500 came from American Airlines, and $40,000 came from the bankrupt airline’s employee unions.

The lion’s share of the $254 million in proposed Vision2 projects at the airport industrial complex is targeted for improvements to the city-owned facilities occupied by the airline’s maintenance facilities.

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