Friends of BTC raise more than $34,500 in campaign contributions for referendum

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Nick Crow
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

JANESVILLE—A finance report filed by Friends of Blackhawk Technical College with the Rock County Clerk's Office on Monday shows the campaign group has raised more than $34,500 to promote the college's operational referendum.

The referendum will appear on the Tuesday, Aug. 12, primary ballot. It asks voters to give permission to the college to exceed the school's operational levy limit by $4 million annually, permanently.

Friends of BTC exists "to raise needed funds and conduct the campaign," according to the group's website. The college cannot use its money to campaign for the referendum.

The group has employed "an intense direct-mail effort, media and other methods to get those likely to vote in support of the referendum out to vote" and has reached out to current students, alumni, advisory committee members, vendors, contractors and local businesses to solicit support, according to the website.

According to the campaign finance report, the group raised $350 from individual donations and $34,250 in other income and commercial loans. It spent $17,078.08 in gross expenditures leaving it with a cash balance of $17,521.92.

Top expenditures for the group included $6,000 for campaign consulting, $5,053.08 for direct mailings, $4,800 for billboard advertisements and $1,200 for its web presence, according to the website.

The referendum is the first of its kind for technical colleges in the state. Its goal is to boost the school's operational levy, which would cover increases in educational opportunities, educational support, revenue generation, economic stability and campus safety, according to the website.

Previously, schools only asked for capital improvement funding during referendums that paid for specific projects.

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