Cleveland Transformation Alliance
The Cleveland Teachers Union, via union president Shari Obrenski, has filed a second complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission alleging that the opposition group that's funded a campaign to defeat the CMSD levy failed to register as a PAC and failed to file the appropriate finance reports by the state's deadline.
A pre-General Election filing was required by PACs this year by Oct. 22, which the anti-Issue 68 cabal has apparently failed to do. (See the full filing below.)
While a pre-General Election filing report wouldn't illuminate the specific contributors, it would tell the public how much the group has raised and would specify its expenditures. Cleveland.com's Brent Larkin
in a recent column estimated that for the multiple mailers (9), online ad spot and website, the group might have raised and spent upward of $500,000.
The opposition group is organized under Cleveland's Future Fund LLC and has gone to great lengths to hide the identities of those running and funding the effort.
Crain's has reported in the past month that downtown property owners, including K&D's Doug Price, are thought to be involved.
Price is the only one so far to admit his participation.
"The levy is crazy," Price told Crain's
in one interview. "It's no surprise there is an anti-levy campaign. Business conditions are terrible, and it's a 30% increase in our taxes."
Other well-known downtown developers and land owners have been rumored as well, though they have flat-out dodged reporters' phone calls and messages to remain scot-free of public admonishment, letting the river of turmoil roll past them while promising to, in theory, help children. (Many of them have also been the beneficiaries of generous tax-incentive packages from the city of Cleveland.)
The Cleveland Teachers Union filed a separate ethics complaint with the state
last week against the opposition group.
CMSD CEO Eric Gordon has said that, should the levy renewal and increase fail, the district would be looking at staggering cuts, including closing more than two dozen schools and slashing millions of dollars in staff and extracurriculars.
The ethics complaint will likely go nowhere, at least in terms of unmasking those involved in the effort, but CTU is doing what it can.
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