State Senator Dave Syverson helped write the gaming bill and used his local clout to steer the city of Rockford to approve just one casino developer. The investor group that won the city's approval has political and financial ties to Syverson.https://t.co/4atrrlgHVn
State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) went all in for a casino project that would directly benefit his business partner and top campaign donors.
Public records and communications obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Syverson was in close personal contact with local and county officials during the pivotal moments leading up to the city’s decisive vote to award the casino project to an investor group that included his friends, campaign donors and associates. […]
Syverson chafed at Mayor Tom McNamara’s insistence that city aldermen abstain from talking to anyone about gaming until the city rolled out its own presentation. […]
Syverson claims he complained to the Gaming Board and sought a ruling that would allow him to speak directly to the Rockford City Council, even as they were under a prohibition to speak to any lobbyists or agents of the casino operators. […]
On Saturday, September 28th, 2019, the local newspaper reported Mayor Tom McNamara wanted to send the Illinois Gaming Board multiple options, and rank them in order of preference, in order to have a backup plan in place.
“The mayor’s initial preference, and might have been his preference if we had three viable applicants, was to send more than one down so that we had backup if any of them did not make it,” Holzwarth said.
That weekend, ahead of a pivotal city council vote, Syverson used his state Senate letterhead and communications staff to lobby support for the city to select just a single developer, and urged the public to consider what he saw as disqualifying differences between his business partner’s bid and the other developers’ application, which he discounted as merely a “dream.”
The Syverson business partner referenced above is Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, whose wife Karen is a casino investor. There’s more, so click here.