Americans for Prosperity express interest in Coralville election - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Americans for Prosperity express interest in Coralville election

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

An eastern Iowa municipal election has snagged the eyes of a national conservative political advocacy group.

Americans for Prosperity has gotten involved in Iowa politics for the last few years.

The Iowa chapter now has its sights on the City of Coralville. It says it's the city's debt that caught its attention.

"I find it very frustrating how a local municipal government has got a $280 million deficit," said Mark Lucas, AFP-Iowa Director.

Lucas said Coralville has the highest deficit per capita in the entire state of Iowa.

This concern with the city's debt apparently led to AFP's investigation of radio station KCJJ. The group claims it was looking for unethical behavior between the station and the city, such as a buyout deal that would only add to the deficit.

KCJJ owner Steve Soboroff said the group's tactics, however, have been questionable.

"They've been talking to my neighbors, investigating going up and down the street," Soboroff said. "I've been chased out of my neighborhood twice. I've had threatening letters."

He said it's more intimidation than a simply inquiry.

Lucas with AFP-Iowa denies that anyone with the organization would threaten the station. He said AFP is most concerned with policy -- not personalities.

AFP believes the way Coralville uses TIFs - tax increment financing - is diverting dollars away from things such as education, roads and bridges. Lucas also said a property tax increase would likely occur if nothing is done regarding the deficit.

Coralville Mayor Jim Fausett said citizens have never complained to him or the city about the debt. He said they are happy with the amenities provided and the lifestyle there.

Fausett will not be running for another term as Coralville mayor. The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5.

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