Freedom Center lobbying for capital money
UPDATE: Freedom Center spokesman Paul Bernish said Jason Gloyd's letter is off base.
Bernish says the center is not lobbying legislators for state capital support at tonight's reception.
"We weren’t even going to talk about the state capital bill," Bernish said.
Bernish said the Freedom Center engages in outreach events frequently to update people on
what’s going on there. The event at State Street consultants' Columbus offices is just one of them, he said.
A copy of the invitation is here:
The event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and coincides with the Freedom Center's efforts to secure nearly $3.8 million in state capital construction money this year.
The Cincinnati center received $2 million in the last capital budget in 2006.
State legislators have just begun reviewing requests. About $100 million in local requests will likely be approved this spring for parks, museums, stadiums and other community projects sponsored by individual legislators.
State Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Republican from Mount Lookout, who vigorously opposed the Freedom Center's last capital budget request, has written fellow legislators to encourage them to vote down this year's request.
Jason Gloyd, chairman of the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending & Taxes (COAST), wrote state legislators here about tonight's reception featuring Freedom Center CEO Donald W. Murphy and board co-chairman John Pepper, who is former chairman of Procter & Gamble.
The Freedom Center, which opened in August 2004, is dedicated to recognizing the fight to end slavery in the United States. The center offers interactive educational programs to promote an understanding of slavery and resistance movements.
The center's new request includes $1.5 million for exhibit renovations, $1.4 million to move its main entrance and $850,000 in state construction money promised in 1999.
In 2006, Pepper said the $2 million capital appropriation was a small part of the seven-year plan for building the Freedom Center, more than $60 million of which was funded privately.
The Freedom Center previously received more than $12 million from the state, of $15 million requested when it was built.
The plan all along was to have taxpayers finance 40 percent, or about $41 million of the center's $110 million construction.