Vision2 opponents push to defeat measure with far less cash
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
10/31/12 at 6:12 AM
Read more about the proposal and the status of Vision 2025 projects.
Although backers of Vision2 have nearly $600,000 for their campaign, the organization against the proposed tax package is mounting its effort with just more than $11,000 in cash and in-kind donations.
"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.
"That's what they've done. But to be quite honest, I don't think it's going to work for them."
Her group is mostly focusing on social media, yard signs, buttons and word of mouth to get its message out, Vuillemont-Smith said.
Midnight Monday night was the campaign financial report filing deadline with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.
Citizens for a Better Vision didn't formally file a report with the commission because it organized as a limited liability corporation, which commission Executive Director Marilyn Hughes said precludes it from having to file a report as long as it is spending money from its treasury fund.
The anti-Vision2 organization voluntarily released a financial report to the Tulsa World, however.
"We're all about transparency," Vuillemont-Smith said.
The report shows $3,859.69 in cash donations, with amounts of $200 or more coming from five people.
They were: Bonnie Latshaw, $500; Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel, $400; Tom Culver and Scott McEachin, $250 each; and Vuillemont-Smith, $200.
The money has been used to buy signs and bumper stickers, with $882.25 cash on hand as of Tuesday.
The report also lists several in-kind donations, including Vuillemont-Smith's contribution of $624.58 through the purchase of buttons and Facebook advertising and promos.
Her mother, Nedra Babcock, paid $1,500 for a newspaper ad.
Tulsa County Republican Party Chairman J.B. Alexander bought $200 worth of signs, and Mark Nagle paid $5,000 for radio spots.
The Tulsa World received an early copy of Citizens for Tulsa County's report last week and reported the results.
The pro-Vision2 group 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.
For example, American Airlines donated $37,500, and one of its employee unions chipped in $40,000.
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.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber's job-creation initiative, Tulsa Futures Inc., donated $100,000 to the pro-campaign.
Chamber officials have spearheaded the package.
Original Print Headline: Vision2 opponents spending less
Brian Barber 918-581-8322