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SMART train tax foes raise $35k, proponents raise $332k

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  • 11/2 Santa Rosa Press
    Published Thursday, November 2, 2006, by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat Foes of SMART train tax raised $35,000 Late campaign report shows opponents generated
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2006
      Published Thursday, November 2, 2006, by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

      Foes of SMART train tax raised $35,000

      Late campaign report shows opponents generated only about 10% of
      money backers had

      By Kerry Benefield
      The Press Democrat

      Late-filed campaign disclosure statements show nearly a five-fold
      increase in contributions to the opponents of commuter rail in Marin
      and Sonoma counties, but the movement still trails the SMART train
      tax-measure forces by a wide margin.

      In statements that were filed after last week's deadline, Marin
      Citizens for Effective Transportation reported pulling in nearly
      $29,000 since the beginning of the year. Combined with $6,175 from
      Citizens Opposed to the SMART Train Tax, opponents have generated
      approximately $35,000.

      Proponents of Measure R have raised more than $332,000, according to
      the most recent campaign finance statements.

      Measure R will appear on Tuesday's ballot in both counties and would
      impose a quarter-cent sales tax to construct and operate Sonoma-
      Marin Area Rail Transit between Cloverdale and Larkspur. The tax
      would be collected in both counties, generating about $668 million
      over 20 years.

      Measure R requires a two-thirds majority in the two-county district
      to pass. It marks the first time both counties have voted as one

      Georgiana McCarty of San Rafael, treasurer of Marin Citizens for
      Effective Transportation, said she didn't expect her opposition
      group to be penalized for the late report.

      "I was late getting them done. I do them by hand," she said. "They
      weren't so late that I would be penalized."

      McCarty said she mailed the paperwork to Sonoma County on Tuesday.
      Officials in Marin County said paperwork was filed there Monday.

      The state Political Reform Act requires groups participating in
      multi-county races to file paperwork in the county with the largest
      number of registered voters, as well as the county where the group
      is headquartered.

      A $10-a-day late fee can be assessed. Failure to file can trigger a
      $5,000 fine.

      The deadline was Oct. 26, but a five-day grace period exists from
      the date voting officials send a warning letter. It was unclear late
      Wednesday whether Sonoma County officials had notified McCarty of
      the missed deadline.

      The largest contributor to Marin Citizens for Effective
      Transportation was Peter Palmer of San Rafael, who donated $10,000.
      The Marin Audubon Society contributed $6,980. Basia Crane of Ross,
      Grace Hughes of Larkspur, the Marin Conservation League and Robert
      Arnold of Palo Alto each gave $1,000.

      The group has spent more than $17,000 on mailers and $1,320 on a
      full-page newspaper ad, according to their report.

      [BATN: See also:

      SMART tax measure backers outspend opponents 12-1
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/32653 ]
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