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April 13, 2011
McCain Backs Crony Capitalist Coyote Boondoggle
Posted by Dave Blount at April 13, 2011 7:47 AM
So far there has been exactly one good thing about Barack Hussein Obama's election: at least John McCain isn't president. A tale of corrupt crony capitalism from his home state:
Taxes provided $346 million of the $455 million cost of the huge (up to 72,200 seats) retractable-roof NFL stadium where the Arizona Cardinals will play 10 times this season, if there is a season. (The NFL is having labor problems.) But Glendale (population 253,000) has a more immediate problem with its hockey team, the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.
After the team entered bankruptcy in 2009, the NHL bought it for $140 million and has lost at least $30 million operating it. It might decamp to Winnipeg, Manitoba. This would enable Glendale, which spent $180 million on the hockey arena, to cut its losses. Glendale, however, not wanting its eight-year-old arena to sit vacant, wants to sell up to $116 million of municipal bonds so that it can give $100 million to a wealthy Chicago businessman to help him buy the team.
Furthermore, Glendale would pay the new owner an additional $97 million under a contract, awarded without competitive bidding, to manage the arena through the 2014 season.
Fortunately we have the Goldwater Institute, a think tank dedicated to the limited-government principles on which our country was founded, to defend the taxpayer from being bled dry on behalf of an unwatched hockey team with friends in high places. Noting that the Coyote shenanigans violate the Arizona constitution, it has threatened to bring suit.
The response from municipal Big Government:
So the city is threatening to sue the institute, which warned bond rating agencies and others about its possible constitutional suit. Glendale correctly says that the suit will add a risk premium to its cost of borrowing.
But before the institute announced its intentions, Moody's, the credit rating agency, responded to Glendale's idea of taking on another $116 million in debt by lowering the city's rating. Its debt is already triple the median for comparable cities. Darcy Olsen, the institute's president and CEO, notes that if questioning a government's behavior can generate "a retaliatory lawsuit by a legion of government attorneys, then journalists, bloggers and regular citizens across the state are all at risk."
Exactly. The idea is to intimidate the public into silently tolerating wasteful corruption.
McMaverick weighs in on the shameless looting of Glendale taxpayers:
John McCain, who holds the Senate seat once occupied by Barry Goldwater but does not hold Goldwater's views about governmental minimalism, calls the institute's actions "disgraceful" and "basically blackmailing": "It's not their role to decide whether the Coyotes should stay (here) or not."
Nothing grates on the ears like hearing a member of the corrupt crony capitalist establishment denouncing principled patriots as "disgraceful."
Put this on a national scale, replace the Coyotes with bailed-out leeches like GM and Goldman Sachs, and you have Obamunism — or as it might be called if McCain had prevailed, McCainunism.
Since he didn't prevail, we get to listen to these inspiring words:
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that "unless we enact draconian measures," America is headed for a "fiscal meltdown."
"We are at a critical juncture in American history that unless we enact draconian measures, then the results are very obvious, and that is a fiscal meltdown. No country can borrow 40 cents out of every dollar it spends — even the largest and most powerful nation in the world. No nation can continue on that track. So, tough medicine is required," McCain said during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
McCain said the United States faces a fiscal situation similar to Greece, Spain and Ireland.
And Glendale, Arizona. Getting back to McStain's backyard:
Warren Meyer of Forbes.com calculates that Glendale's new plan would bring the city's spending to almost $400 million on a team valued at $134 million — a team that has lost money in each of its 15 years here.
Fiscal sanity starts at home.
On tips from Varla, Byron, and G. Fox.