A Des Moines man has lost his bid to force a public vote on whether Polk County taxpayers should help finance the Iowa Events Center. Frank Bowers failed to get the number of petition signatures necessary to get a referendum. He filed a lawsuit, saying the petition process was unconstitutional and biased against urban counties. The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected all Bowers’ arguments, citing the petition drive in Scott County that did garner enough signatures and force a vote on local financing for a “Vision Iowa” project. Bowers was at the statehouse today to get the Supreme Court’s opinion. He says ironically, the court used the argument that they came very close to meeting the statue, so it must be okay.Polk County officials say Bowers’ lawsuit delayed the project, and raising the price tag for the Iowa Events Center. Bowers says his suit did accomplish something as it has raised awareness of the issue and people may pay more attention to the election of county officials.Bowers says this lawsuit may eventually spur a change in Iowa law.
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