The No Casinos in Sedgwick County group, led by attorney Mark Kahrs, waged a smart, well-organized, effective campaignthat was a model of community grassroots organizing. It’s also interesting to note that the gaming measures weren’t defeated by social conservatives alone. The broad "no" coalition included liberal churches, too, as well as secular business interests and average citizens.
Moreover, the prevailing wisdom was that a large turnout would help the "yes" vote, but it didn’t happen. That seems to indicate that a lot of Wichitans who initially leaned toward a "yes" vote (70 percent of voters, according to an April poll) were swayed to change their position by the "no" campaign.
The "yes" campaign, by contrast, seemed to be going through the motions. No one was out front, not even Phil Ruffin, who spent more than $800,000 on this lackluster campaign. You could say he didn’t get his money’s worth.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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