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Con outspends pro in Eagle

Sarah Mausolf
smausolf@vaildaily.com
Eagle, CO Colorado
Vail Daily file photoEagle residents will vote Jan. 5 on a developer's plan to build the Eagle River Station retail/residential complex on the east end of town
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EAGLE – Opponents of Eagle River Station have outspent supporters of the project by almost $20,000, according to campaign finance reports two groups submitted Tuesday to the town of Eagle.

Smart Growth – Not Urban Sprawl – Vote No on Eagle River Station spent just under $34,000 on its campaign between Nov. 12 and Dec. 15, the report said.

From the other camp, Yes for Eagle’s Future spent just under $14,000 between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10, the report said.

Reports revealed little detail about who is funding the campaigns. The Smart Growth opposition group has received $35,000 in campaign contributions, all from Citizens For the Future of Eagle.

David Flaherty, a consultant for the Smart Growth campaign, declined to disclose details on who is funding Citizens for the Future of Eagle.

“We respect the privacy of our donors,” he said.

He would say that the contributors are people in the Eagle community. He said the funds do not come from a carpenters’ union, as one rumor claims.

When it comes to the cash behind these campaigns, some residents say questions linger about where it’s coming from.

“Who’s contributing to citizens for the Future of Eagle?” said Eagle resident Donna Spinelli, a proponent of Eagle River Station. “That should be public record. Why are they unwilling to divulge this? What do they have to hide?”

Jan Rosenthal Townsend, a spokeswoman for Citizens for the Future of Eagle, responded.

“My question back to them is why does it matter? It’s coming from a variety of sources and it’s coming in daily. We’re not asking them where every check is coming from.”

As far as supporters of Eagle River Station, Yes for Eagle’s Future has received $26,000 in campaign donations, all from Eagle Development Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We will happily acknowledge that it is RED Development that is financing the support campaign,” said Paul Witt, a spokesman for the developers of Eagle River Station. “It’s too bad that the Citizens for the Future of Eagle don’t offer the citizens of Eagle the same courtesy of saying where their money is coming from.”

Source of the money aside, the reports show that the opposition has spent more on its campaign from about the beginning of November to mid-December. Flaherty said the opposition wanted to get a complex message out to the public early on in the campaign.

“It’s harder for us to get our message out because we have an education job,” he said.

“Their message is more ‘jobs, revenue, claims of millions of dollars coming in,'” he said. “We on the other hand have to not only debunk what we feel are inaccuracies but also there are so many details about Eagle River Station, we can’t explain it all in the final week of the campaign.”

Witt had another take on it.

“I think that the opposition side is, in some ways, so desperate to get some of their message out that they are willing to spend a signficant amount of money, and I think a lot of our message and our support speaks for itself.”

Voters will decide on Jan. 5 whether Trinity RED Eagle Development can build a shopping center including a Target and 581 condos in Eagle.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.


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