|So ... we're all pissed off (and rightly so) about the AIG Failure Bonuses, and about Vikram Pandit's "Pimp My Citigroup Remodel (complete with subzero fridge) ... and the bonuses at Merrill Lynch before they got sucked up by B of A (Keith Olbermann demolished the new robber barons in a special commentary tonight. Here 'tis:
... But shouldn't we as citizens be just as upset when public money is essentially SHOVELED VIA WHEELBARROW INTO THE OUTSTRETCHED ARMS OF A WEALTHY BASEBALL TEAM OWNER whose team consistently ranks as one of the worst attended in Baseball?
So ... the Marlins stadium passed the Miami City Commission today, with Michelle Spence Jones providing the swing vote, after wrangling a bunch of concessions, including having the Marlins start a bunch of baseball academies and give $500,000 to local charities. There was also an intense lobbying effort aimed at the black community that involved the Marlins contracting with the Miami Chamber of Commerce and the NAACP to promise ... that ... the stadium ... in Little Havana ... will employ ... lots of black people ... but without actually using the words "black people..." ??? I confuse! The "no" votes were Marc Sarnoff, who has correctly pointed out to anyone who would listen that a $634 million stadium that the Marlins will control after they put in just $120 million unless the owner, Jeff Loria dies, sells the team, quits the business, or just flushes his puny share of the funding down the toilet, leaving the taxpayers holding the bag for all the inevitable overages ... okay that last part was hyperbole ... and Tomas Regalado. Joe Sanchez, Angel Gonzalez and the aforementioned Ms. Spence-Jones voted "yeah!"
Should this be an election issue? You bet. Will it? We'll see.
The next round of voting starts Monday at the County commission, which must also approve the deal for it to go forward.
Meanwhile, not everyone is against public funding for stadium construction. Case in point: the sports law professor. Others? Not so sanguine on the Marlins bailout.
Labels: bailouts, Florida, Florida Marlins, local politics, Major League Baseball, Miami