Real estate tycoon Harlan Crow contributed almost all of the $1.8 million in the first quarter raised by a group seeking to overturn the Dallas City Council’s decision to issue up to $500 million of revenue bonds to finance a city-owned, downtown convention center hotel.
The report submitted by Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel for the period from Jan. 1 to March 31 showed about 99% of the contributions came from Anatole Partners III LLC, which Crow controls.
The anti-hotel group spent $1.4 million in the first quarter, mostly for advertisements and consulting fees.
Crow — whose family owns the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas — contributed $936,000 to the campaign in 2008.
Dallas residents will vote May 9 on a change to the city charter that would prohibit the city from financing, owning, or operating a hotel.
Vote No Dallas!, a pro-hotel organization led by Mayor Tom Leppert, reported it raised nearly $186,000 in the period. Expenses totaled $23,000.
Contributions to the pro-hotel group included $50,000 from the Dallas Citizens Council and $50,000 from the Dallas Regional Chamber.
Another pro-hotel group — Build the Hotel! Invest in Tomorrow’s Dallas — said it raised $85,000 and spent approximately $38,000. Most of the money came from oilman T. Boone Pickens, who contributed $50,000, and AMR, the parent company of Fort Worth-based American Airlines, which provided $25,000.
The city had planned to issue the debt for the hotel prior to the election but market conditions have prevented such a sale.