Steve Kant isn't paying me for this one: I just find it darned interesting. And since Lake County has no campaign finance reporting website (and isn't legally obliged to have one), I figure I'm the next best thing.
The big vote on the Interlakes Water Project District takes place tomorrow (Saturday, July 18) at 10 a.m. in the big tent in the Hillside Resort parking lot. I can't get my Al Franken one-man mobile uplink unit working, but I may bike over with my notepad and camera to observe local democracy in action.
Local campaigning has certainly been in action around Lakes Madison and Brant. Mr. Kant tells me one of his fellow opponents reports receiving four "Vote Yes" mailings in four days. Less than pleased with the paper in his mailbox, that opponent called district organizer Robert Todd and learned the "Vote Yes" committee is spending $6,000 on its campaign from $10,000 allocated last year by the Lake Madison Development Association for this purpose.
Kant reports that, for Web presence and a couple mailings, opponents have spent $300.89.
Now I'll note that the amount of money spent on ads and such is no indication of the merits of the arguments. You can read the $6,000 spent by district supporters as an indication of how important they think it is to create a governing and taxing entity to protect water quality in Lake County.
Then again, around here, successful county commission candidates can spend less than a thousand bucks on their campaigns. Gerry Lange spent less than $6,000 last year on his campaign and won a seat in the state legislature. A $6,000 campaign fund for a water project district involving just over 700 voters may also indicate the deep-pockets mindset of the organizers... a mindset that may carry over to determining the tax levy. Whatever the outcome, there are a number of Lake Herman residents who are relieved they won't have Lake Madison residents setting their tax levy.
p.s.: Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter his editorial toe in the water and urges his lake readers to vote yes on the water project district.
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