Diary

Walker's Stadium Problem

 Scott Walker is helping conservatives coalesce behind [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ].   Scott Walker has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to answering his past statements and positions on Common Core, amnesty, marriage and abortion.   There’s no way of escaping it and it’s just a matter of time before the vetting of these statements and positions will begin by various media outlets and statements from other potential candidates.  There’s a new issue for Governor Walker though.  Scott Walker’s latest move will hurt him in the general if he’s the nominee.  Scott Walker  proposed a budget that cuts $300 million in state aid to colleges/universities, but includes $200 million for a new NBA sports arena. 

So apparently Scott Walker can stand up to the unions but the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks is a different story.   If you listen to the vast majority of conservative media out there, this hasn’t even been brought up.   The desire to make nice within the conservative movement and get Scott Walker interviews outweighs the need to get the truth out.  Come on! Give me a break! Nobody’s record is perfect and this isn’t a deal breaker in choosing a nominee.  Fair enough, but the Democrats are preparing themselves to paint Scott Walker as a Crony Capitalist if he is the nominee.  “Nah!!!! That will never work.  Nobody Cares” said every consultant who didn’t think Obama’s Ohio ads painting Romney as a crony capitalist in Ohio very early on in the 2012 campaign.  Scott Walker has a big problem in Wisconsin with his own party with this as well.

…….has raised concerns from members of Walker’s own Republican Party, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity and the liberal group One Wisconsin Now.

Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), co-chair of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, has already said he believes the city and county should contribute to the arena plan. So does Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), who called the governor’s plan “a terrible idea.”

“I think it’s offensive to people in Brown County who voted in a referendum to raise taxes for Lambeau Field,” Cowles said. “I am totally unsold on taking future tax money to pay the bonds.”

“The governor’s proposal would divert these increased tax dollars, which are included in future revenue projections, away from taxpayers to the owners of the Bucks to help fund the Milwaukee arena,” Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) said last week.

It’s also no coincidence that very recently Barack Obama made a move that will be ending the use of governmentally issued tax-exempt bonds for sports stadiums and related forms of corporate welfare.   It’s a political move to set up a campaign commercial against Scott Walker if he becomes the nominee.  FROM REASON.COM

Courtesy of Alan Vanneman (read his blog here), comes word about a President Obama initiative that all libertarians can get behind: ending the use of governmentally issued tax-exempt bonds for sports stadiums and related forms of corporate welfare. From Politico:

Under current law, governments can use the proceeds from tax-exempt bonds for private activities, such stadium projects, unless more than 10 percent of the debt service comes from a private business, and more than 10 percent of the use of the facility is attributed to a private interest. Both have to be true for the exemption to be denied.

As part of its fiscal 2016 budget request, the Obama administration is proposing to change this dual test for sports facilities by focusing the exemption only on the question of how much the facility is used by a private interest.

“By removing the private payment test, tax-exempt governmental bond financing of sports facilities for professional sports teams would be eliminated,” according to the budget.

Wow! I can hear the “poo-poo-ers” right now reading this post!  The problem is, liberals and conservatives universally hate it when it comes to taxpayers footing the bill for a millionaire’s stadium.   It’s an issue that is going to get a lot of mileage if it plays itself out.  When you propose things that both liberals and conservatives despise you are in big trouble.  Even uber-liberal San Francisco stood up to this kind of Crony Capitalism.

In both 1987 and 1989 San Francisco residents rejected referendums to finance construction of a new stadium. Residents in neighboring Santa Clara and San Jose also rejected ballot measures for a new ballpark. The future of the Giants looked bleak in San Francisco as officials in Tampa were lobbying the team to move there. However, in January 1993 Peter Magowan purchased the Giants, keeping them in San Francisco. Two years later in 1995 the Giants announced plans to build a new ballpark in downtown San Francisco in the China Basin district. The ballpark was the first to be privately financed since the construction of Dodger Stadium. Construction began on December 11, 1997 and opened on April 11, 2000 when the Giants played the Los Angeles Dodgers. The ballpark was originally known as Pacific Bell Park when the telecommunications company purchased the naming rights for $50 million over 24 years. It has since been renamed SBC Park and now AT&T Park.

You will hear the same old song from politicians who are for this.  They talk about producing net tax revenue and the truth is none of these operations ever produce net tax revenue.  John Stossel from Fox News has been leading the charge on his weekend specials on Fox News in regard to the Stadium Funding boondoggle and uses Cleveland as the worst example.

Cleveland’s managers thought that funding gleaming new sports stadiums (which subsidize wealthy team owners) and other prestigious attractions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would revitalize their city.

Urban policy expert Joel Kotkin says, “This whole tendency to put what are scarce public funds into conventions centers and … ephemeral projects is delusional.”

But politicians claim that stadiums increase the number of jobs.

Not so, says J.C. Bradbury, author of “The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed.” “There’s a huge consensus among economists that there is no economic development benefit to having these stadiums,” he says.

The stadiums do create jobs for construction workers and some vendors. But “it’s a case of the seen and the unseen,” Bradbury says, alluding to the 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat. “It’s very easy to see a new stadium going up. … But what you don’t see is that something else didn’t get built across town. … It’s just transferring from one place to the other.

“People don’t bury their entertainment dollars in a coffee can in their backyard and then dig it up when a baseball team comes to town. They switch it from something else.”

Stadiums are among the more foolish of politicians’ boondoggles. There are only 81 home baseball games a year and 41 basketball games. How does that sustain a neighborhood economy?

If Scott Walker is fearless why won’t he tell the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks to go pound sand like he told the teacher’s unions?  There is too much at stake in this election and based on what I’m seeing at this very moment Scott Walker is not a safe bet.  As Hugh Hewitt has said before, “As the sayin goes, in politics, when you are explaining, you are losing.”

Right now at this moment there’s just too much that Scott Walker has to explain for and this stadium situation is another issue.   I’m tired of hearing about “well everyone’s record is not perfect”.   That line of thinking has turned into the rule and not the exception for Scott Walker defenders.  Right now [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] hasn’t had to explain his record.  That’s why I’m for [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and more and more conservatives are looking at Scott Walker and are liking [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ].