Syverson promoted casino project backed by his business partner, major campaign donors

Syverson promoted casino project backed by his business partner, major campaign donors


((JENNIFER)) THREE COMPANIES COMPETED FOR A CHANCE TO BUILD AND OPERATE THE CASINO PROJECT IN ROCKFORD — BUT THE CITY ONLY APPROVED ONE COMPANY FOR THE JOB. ((PAUL)) OUR INVESTIGATION REVEALS THAT COMPANY HAS FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL TIES TO A STATE SENATOR WHO HELPED WRITE THE GAMING BILL. W-C-I-A 3’s CAPITOL BUREAU CHIEF MARK MAXWELL HAS BEEN DIGGING INTO THIS PROCESS FOR WEEKS. MARK — THE DEVELOPERS WHO LOST SAY… SENATOR DAVE SYVERSON WAS LOBBYING LOCAL OFFICIALS TO HELP HIS FRIENDS. ((MARK)) THE LIST OF INVESTORS IN THE ROCKFORD CASINO IS A ‘WHO’S WHO’ IN LOCAL ROCKFORD POLITICS. SEVERAL OF THEM ARE SENATOR DAVE SYVERSON’S CAMPAIGN DONORS, INCLUDING THE OWNER OF THE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WHO APPLIED TO BUILD THE CASINO. ANOTHER IS THE SPOUSE OF SYVERSON’S BUSINESS PARTNER, RICK NIELSEN. SO WHEN SYVERSON STARTED SPEAKING OUT IN PUBLIC, CRITICIZING THE TWO COMPANIES WHO LOST OUT, AND REACHING OUT DIRECTLY TO LOCAL COUNTY OFFICIALS URGING THEM TO BACK THE WINNING BID, SOME PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY RAISED CONCERNS. MARK MAXWELL: “Some people interpreted that as maybe a state senator putting his thumb on the scale there in favor of your friend Rick Nielsen?” DAVE SYVERSON: “Yeah, well certainly it was in favor of supporting this application. Yes, I certainly knew more about this situation, and so I weighed in on my support. The decision is still made by the city council and by the mayor. I certainly both as a public citizen and also as a Senator, am very familiar with the rules and weighed in on what I thought was going to be best for the city.” AND WHAT SENATOR SYVERSON THOUGHT WAS BEST FOR THE CITY — ALSO HAPPENED TO BE BEST FOR HIS BUSINESS PARTNER AND MAJOR CAMPAIGN DONORS. SYVERSON IS IN BUSINESS WITH RICK NIELSEN THROUGH THE STOCKHOLM INN. THEY SHARE INTEREST IN THAT COMPANY. ((MARK)) ANOTHER BIG PLAYER IN THAT DEAL — IAN LINNABARY. HE’S AN ATTORNEY FOR LAW FIRM THAT REPRESENTED HARD ROCK. AND HE’S A POWERFUL REPUBLICAN — WHO SITS ON THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. HE AND SYVERSON BOTH PRESSURED LOCAL COUNTY OFFICIALS TO SPEAK OUT IN FAVOR OF THIS PROJECT, AND ARGUED AGAINST THE COMPETITION. LINNABARY ACKNOWLEDGES HE HAD A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. SYVERSON INSISTS — HE WAS ADVOCATING — NOT LOBBYING — BECAUSE HE WASN’T DIRECTLY PAID. HE BELIEVED HE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO KEEP HIS INSIGHTS TO HIMSELF. TONIGHT AT TEN, WE’LL HEAR FROM THE COMPETITION — AND ELECTED OFFICIALS — WHO THINK HE SHOULD HAVE. THANKS MARK ((ROSCOE)) HOUSE DEMOCRATS SAY THE PRESIDENT ABUSED THE POWER OF HIS OFFICE, WHAT THEY SAY HE DID AS THEY UNVEILED TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST DONALD TRUMP. ((PAUL)) ALSO TONIGHT — “This year

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