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WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 28, 2013, 06:35 PM

Pelican Rapids "Vote No" Leader Talk Of Town

Pelican Rapids, MN (WDAY TV) -- We're about a week away from Pelican Rapid's 21-poin- 9 million dollar school bond referendum vote.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Pelican Rapids, MN (WDAY TV) -- We're about a week away from Pelican Rapid's 21.9 million dollar school bond referendum vote.

People in town voting "yes" aren't happy, after learning where most of the "vote no" information is coming from- A consultant from Iowa, known for taking down referendums nationwide.

His name is Paul Dorr, a man who says his goal is to help with the demise of public schools.

His website says he specializes in "stopping tax increases and rolling back local government spending".

He's now the driving force behind the "vote no" group in Pelican Rapids.

Driving through town, vote yes signs line the streets...

Lori Erickson, Voting Yes: "It's important, it's common sense."

Standing proud in yards like Lori Erickson's, or Natalie Nehk across the way, who had to home-school her daughter.

Natalie Nehk, Voting Yes: "The school actually as a building was making her sick."

But as you begin to head to the outskirts of town, More and more vote no signs start to pop up.

David Hagen, Voting No: "It isn't really necessary."

With people just learning about the man actually behind the campaign.

Nehk: "I had never heard of him."

Paul Dorr - a consultant from Iowa, who has 11-home schooled children... and helped defeat numerous referendums like Pelican's

Hagen: "Probably nothing wrong with it."

He's been called the "kiss of death" for bond issues, and is now behind the vote no group called PR CARE, whose local ties refused to comment.

Erickson: "I am PR- I am Pelican Rapids,my kids are Pelican Rapids, my neighbors are Pelican Rapids, and we care. I don't see how they can say that they care, or that they are Pelican Rapids."

When we tried reaching out to Dorr....

"No Comment, thanks for calling"

Then dial tone.

But his group is spreading the word through the mailbox, reaching residents through postcards.

Erickson: "And it's full of facts that are not true."

People here voting yes say Dorr's misinformation is dividing the town in half, like this 33-million dollar number plastered all over the vote no signs.

Erickson: "It just seems to me like it's a money issue to them and that they don't have any kids in this town that they're really concerned about."

Hagen: "Whether they bring somebody in or select somebody local it doesn't really make much difference."

But yes voters say for a district that's already lost at the polls multiple times, it makes all the difference.

Erickson: "Why is he going so far from home and why is he so determined?"

Nehk: "Who gets their kicks from knocking people down? He doesn't care about Pelican. I'm sure he doesn't care about the other schools he's defeated also."

Dorr claims he has an 82 percent success rate, so only time will tell if his tactics will work here.

Pelican Rapids school district also has an outside consultant from Crystal, Minnesota, first hired to help pass a levy back in 2011.

Voters head to the polls November 5th.

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