Price tag for Riverview battle: $1.9 million - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Price tag for Riverview battle: $1.9 million

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Posted: Friday, June 17, 2005 10:34 am | Updated: 9:23 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Nearly $2 million was spent by the Riverview at Dobson campaigns, with project supporters spending nearly three times as much as the opposition.

The "Yes on Riverview" side spent $1,430,862 in a campaign exclusively funded by the project’s developers, Kimco Developers and De Rito Partners Development, according to the post-election campaign finance report filed Thursday.

The "No on Riverview" side spent $488,062 during the campaign almost exclusively funded by Harkins Theatres owner Dan Harkins, the postelection report shows. Total combined spending was $1,918,924, with the majority of the money spent on advertisements, signs, mailers, polling and consultants.

The No campaign gave $5,348 to Chad Groscost, son of former Arizona Speaker of the House Jeff Groscost, for a survey and to maintain campaign signs. Jeff Groscost funded Valley Business Owners’ referendum drive in November that forced the issue onto the ballot.

The Riverview at Dobson project and its estimated $80 million incentive package was approved May 17 with 56 percent of the vote, paving the way for a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Cinemark movie theater, Wal-Mart Supercenter, other "big-box" retailers, a business park and auto dealerships.

In other campaign filings due Thursday, District 6 City Council candidate Scott Somers reported $840, including $370 from Mary Jo Vecchiarelli, the wife of Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker, and $100 from East Valley Partnership president Roc Arnett.

District 5 Councilman Rex Griswold raised $950 during the latest period, including $200 apiece from Buckhorn Baths co-founder Alice Sliger and McDuffy’s Sports Bar and Restaurant owner Roger Egan. Griswold has $16,222 in the bank, including a $350 donation from Vecchiarelli in March.

Griswold and Somers are the only two candidates who have officially declared their intention to run in the March 14 election. District 4 Councilman Kyle Jones and District 6 Councilwoman Janie Thom have each said they likely will run again.

The post-election campaign finance report was for the period of April 28 through June 6.

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