Is video gambling wrong for Forest Park?

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By Nona Tepper

If you haven't heard, the Forest Park Review is fact-checking every campaign flier this election season, in an effort to inform voters. Keep in touch: ntepper@wjinc.com or jill@oakpark.com

Flier Name: "Is video gambling wrong for Forest Park?"

Specs: 8-by-11, glossy, two-sided

Submitted to the Forest Park Review: Nov. 5

This flier compares funds and expenditures between the Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming and Let Forest Park Grow-Vote No ballot initiative committees:

1)    The left side of the flier lists the donations and expenditures of Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming, which was established in December 2016 to promote a vote on video gaming.

"Funds to Date: $16,717" NO COMMENT

Kristin McCoy, treasurer for Let Forest Park Vote, said the group has raised more since its last filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections on Sept. 30, when it then reported a total of $14,224 raised since its creation in December 2016. McCoy said she put the numbers together for this flier around the second week of October.

When the Review checked Let Forest Park Vote's GoFundMe on Nov. 5, that page also had another $7,189 listed. The Review is not going to comment on statements where it doesn't have updated information.

"Lawyer/ Legal Fees: $10,944" TRUE

This is how much the group has spent on legal fees to attorney Ed Mullen and the U.S. Legal Support Chicago, according to filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

"Average Expenditure: $162" NO COMMENT

McCoy said the group has spent money on Facebook ads since its last report with the Illinois State Board of Elections on Sept. 30, which then listed six expenditures totaling $11,141. The Review is not going to comment on statements where it doesn't have updated information.

"Average Donation: $143" NO COMMENT

McCoy said the group has received more donations since its last filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections on Sept. 30, when it then reported raising a total of $14,224 since its creation. She said she put the numbers together for this flier around the second week of October.

When the Review checked Let Forest Park Vote's GoFundMe on Nov.5, that page also had another $7,189 listed. The Review is not going to comment on statements where it doesn't have updated information.

"100% Donations from Citizens" MOSTLY TRUE

Every donation listed on the Illinois State Board of Elections filings is from individuals. That said, if there have been more donations made since the last filing on Sept. 30, the Review cannot say for whether all donations received are from citizens.

2)    The right side of the flier lists funds from Let Forest Park Grow-Vote No, which was established Aug. 22 to support the practice of video gaming in Forest Park.

"Funds to date: $63,700" FALSE

Let Forest Park Grow has so far raised $66,200 in funds, according to the most recent filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections on Nov. 5. McCoy was perhaps using an old number when the group put together this flier- she said she put the numbers together for this flier around the second week of October.

"Lawyer/Legal Fees: $0 *No legal fees reported by PAC" TRUE

No legal fees have been reported on any filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections. Let Forest Park Grow did not immediately respond to an inquiry about how much it has spent on legal fees.

"Average Expenditure: $6,954" TRUE

Let Forest Park Grow's average expenditure was $6,954, according to its most recent filing with the state board of elections on Nov. 5.

"Average Donation: $9,100" FALSE

The group's average donation is $7,300 according to its most recent filing with the state board of elections on Nov. 5. McCoy was perhaps using an old number when the group put together this flier- she said she put the numbers together for this flier around the second week of October.

SENT BY: Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming, which is a ballot initiative committee created in December 2016 to support a vote on gambling in Forest Park.

Resident Jordan Kuehn is listed as its chairman. Its headquarters is 7301 W. 25th St. in North Riverside, which is a UPS store.

The group reported $2,739 in its most recent quarterly earnings report to the Illinois State Board of Elections on Oct. 15, with the majority of funds appearing to come from residents.

CONTACT: ntepper@wjnc.com

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