Friday, February 24, 2006

Obvious: Blazers bailout = political suicide

(Oddly, two consecutive posts indirectly related to sports -- which I have no interest in.) Who do the Blazers think they are? They are actually shopping for handouts from cash-strapped state and local governments. Paul Allen's company is begging for money from the governor, mayor, and even Metro (i.e. the garbage & convention center agency). During an election year (at least for the governor and some city council positions), politicians seem to be very careful to emphasize that they are NOT willing to subsidize an entertainment business that has a billionaire owner and bad-acting, over-paid millionaire players:
[City of Portland Mayor Tom Potter] said the financial condition of both the team and the city were discused. While the mayor indicated that the city could not afford to provide public support for the franchise, he added he was "looking at other options." --
Maybe some kind of Blazers arial tram?
"I think (a public-private partnership) is a nice way of asking for a subsidy," [Metro President David Bragdon] said. "I was pretty clear with them that would not be likely to be forthcoming from our agency." -- The Oregonian/
In other words, 'Are you crazy? Taxpayers subsidize Paul Allen's bad investment?'.
[Pat Egan, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's chief of staff]: "What would leave them with the impression that there are opportunities for public (financial) support at this moment in time -- I'm left at a loss." -- The Oregonian/
In response to speculation that the Blazers are disclosing their bad finances in a desperate plea for the public's support. The Blazers are even begging Multnomah County Chairwoman Diane Linn who already regrets an earlier Blazers incident in which she received national attention for repeatedly mispronouning the coach's name. Maybe the Blazers can hit-up Portland Public Schools while they at it.

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