Will cash determine the outcome of the hotel referendum?

In what is probalby not much of a shock to anyone who watches television or receives mail, the no-hotel people apparently have spent about $2.7 million trying to convince Dallas residents to vote against the hotel. Also no surprise, especially since the pro-hotel people have been telling us this since the beginning, virtually all of the money has been donated by Harlan Crow, who owns the Anatole Hotel. This information was reported on the DMN’s city hall blog by Dave Levinthal.

Meanwhile, the pro-hotel people spent about $60,000 (and raised about $270,000) during the same period. Mayor Tom Leppert told the News that "we went out and raised the money from a broad collection of people who support the hotel – and that’s different than one person writing a check."

The DMN blog post says the "broad colleciton of people" Leppert is describing includes American Airlines, T. Boone Pickens, Boka Powell (an architectural and design firm), real estate developer Craig Hall, the Dallas Regional Chamber and the Dallas Citizens Council — these groups apparently contributed about $220,000 of the $270,000.

So far, the expenditures seem to be roughly mirroring that last big referendum in Dallas: the one about the Trinity project. I can’t lay my hands on the final figures for that imbroglio right now, but the expenditure ratio for and against was a similar mismatch, with the better-funded side winning that one.


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