SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has the final say on which casino or casinos the city will negotiate with.
The 22News I-Team looked into whether any casino developers have given money to the mayor.
Casino developers, Ameristar, MGM and Penn National all hope to build a casino in Springfield.
Ameristar doesn't have any local partners.
MGM is working with Paul Picknelly, Tom Murphy and Fran Cataldo.
Penn National is working with Peter Picknelly.
The 22News I-Team went through hundreds of campaign contributions and found that Peter Picknelly was the mayor's largest individual donor in the past two years. To be clear, that doesn't mean that Penn National donated money.
Peter Picknelly, who is working with Penn National in the North End of the city has given the mayor $1500 in the past two years directly. Another $500 came from his wife. Picknelly is the Peter Pan Bus lines chairman and the co-founder of Opal Real Estate. Executives in those companies and their spouses donated another $1500 dollars collectively.
Now to MGM's local partners, Paul Picknelly and Tom Murphy have both donated $500 to the mayor's campaign in the past two years.
Neither Ameristar, Penn National or MGM has donated any money directly.
The 22News I-Team will continue to follow the money trail.
If you want to take a look yourself, all of the campaign contributions are public information on the Secretary of State's website.
Some casino companies with an eye on Western Massachusetts are big spenders during an election year. The 22News I-Team is working for you with where that money is going.
We wanted to show you how MGM, Penn National, Ameristar and Mohegan Sun are using their money in the political process.
According to opensecrets.org a website that tracks campaign contributions, MGM spent more than $480,000 this year on federal politics.
Some of that money went to PACS, parties or outside spending groups. As far as campaign contributions. MGM gave Mitt Romney more than $11,000 and President Obama more than $3400. Overall, MGM spent more money on Democrat candidates than Republican candidates.
Penn National used most of its contributions on PACS, parties or outside spending groups. It did make a $10,000 contribution to Mitt Romney. Overall, Penn National spent slightly more on Republicans than Democrats.
Ameristar and Mohegan Sun made very limited campaign contributions this year. Mohegan Sun spent $2200 and Ameristar spent $6000.