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OKC Ford Center Vote: Supporters
and Opponents Gear Up for Fight (Mar 02, 2008)

Residents of Oklahoma City head to the polls tomorrow to decide whether to extend a one-cent sales tax due to expire at the end of the year for an additional twelve to fifteen months. If approved, it would fund $121 million of renovations to the Ford Center, in hopes of attracting the Seattle SuperSonics NBA basketball franchise.

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce has raised more than $113,000 for a media campaign telling people to Vote Yes on March 4th, and its garnered support from an impressive lineup of political notables including Mayor Mick Cornett, Governor Brad Henry, and former Governors David Boren, Frank Keating and George Nigh. Meanwhile, a less well-funded but highly dedicated group of city residents and activists is waging its own crusade, passing out lawn signs, holding press conferences and making countless telephone calls, urging voters to give the proposal the thumbs down.

Well hear tomorrow about some of the specific arguments used by each side, but today we go behind the scenes, where passions are running high. Tim Linville, Director of Marketing and Sales for the Ford Center, gives us a tour of the facility and explains why he thinks the improvements are necessary. And we pay a visit to the home of Wanda Jo Stapleton, a retired state lawmaker and 74-year-old grandmother who estimates shes spent 85 hours on the phone over the past few weeks asking voters to show their disapproval at the polls.

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