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Grabinski Campaign Consultant On Basis For Prop J Campaign Claim

(April 3, 2002) -- Asked to cite the basis for Mayoral candidate Ray Grabinski's inclusion of a claim in the city's official sample ballot that "Ray supported Prop J, which cut utility tax," Grabinski campaign consultant Larry Remer told that Mr. Grabinski told him he'd told his friends and others to vote for Prop J before the election.

"Ray said that in the period before the election, he told his friends to vote for Prop J, urged people to support Prop J and told me he voted for it on the ballot," Mr. Remer told us on April 2.

Mr. Remer also cited Councilman Grabinski's support for a failed September 1999 Council compromise (joined by three other Councilmembers) that would have halted a signature gathering campaign by LB fiscal reformer Norm Ryan for a measure seeking five years of one percent utility tax rate cuts. The compromise was for half percent utility tax rate cuts for four years, delaying one percent cuts to years five through seven,

When the Council compromise failed, Mr. Ryan continued his signature gathering to completion and then led Prop J to a near 70% victory in November, 2000.

We asked Mr. Remer how Councilman Grabinski's action at a June 20, 2000 Council meeting -- by which time Mr. Ryan's measure had already earned a place on the coming ballot -- in reagendizing the failed Council offer (that delayed over half the tax cut into years five through seven) was consistent with supporting Prop J (which delivered the entire five percent cut in five years).

Mr. Remer said the differences "sounded like a timing issue" to him. He added, "Once the June 2000 compromise failed, Ray supported Prop J because it was the only viable utility tax rate relief measure."

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