Fremont’s illegal immigration vote: Campaign cash is haves vs have nots

Joe Jordan
|
Feb 07, 2014 9:25 AM
Fremont’s illegal immigration vote: Campaign cash is haves vs have nots

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Nearly four years after winning big at the polls, opponents of illegal immigration in Fremont who are facing a Tuesday re-vote find themselves on the short end of the campaign cash war.

Those backing a controversial city law tell Nebraska Watchdog they’ve come up with “about $6,000.”

At last count, those looking to overturn the anti-illegal immigration ordinance have raised $70,973.

Warning sign along U.S.-Mexico border.

Warning sign along U.S.-Mexico border.

In a 2010 special election, Fremonters voted 3,906 to 2,908 — 57 percent to 43 percent — to OK an ordinance which, among other things, prohibits landlords from renting to those in the country illegally. Tuesday’s vote solely targets the housing issue.

Much of the pro-immigration money is coming from two groups — Fremont Yes and Fremont Taxpayers for Jobs — from outside the Dodge County town of 26,000 and, according to state campaign records, includes contributions from:

  • Nebraska League of Municipalities: $15,000 — a late comer, this contribution is dated Jan.27.
  • Nebraska Appleseed Center: $9,099 — also in the last two weeks.
  • ACLU Nebraska: $9,354.

Fremont Beef — the scene of 17 arrests during a 2010 federal immigration crackdown described by authorities as an “enforcement action,” not a raid — has put in $10,000.

SAV-RX, a prescription drug firm in town, has also contributed $10,000.

As of Jan. 22, the groups reported spending at least $8,400 on radio and cable TV ads in the Fremont area, along with a $5,100 direct mail campaign.

The one organized group backing the ordinance and urging voters to vote no (against repeal) is Our Vote Should Count.

Asked by Nebraska Watchdog why they are being out-raised nearly 10-1, Treasurer Deanna Schlenz says  ”a lot of” those contributing to Our Vote Should Count just give $5 to $10.

Schlenz says the organization, which is running some radio ads, has sent its official financial report to the state; as of early Friday the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission had yet to receive the information.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org and listen to Joe every Monday morning at 7:40 on KFAB radio in Omaha.

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