Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Bucks Arena Deal Stinks!!!

Just to put the Buck’s arena deal in perspective, and maybe in a new light for some, check out the article below and all the additional links. It ties up a lot of the loose ends. Appalling and almost surreal, Wisconsin isn’t just open for business, it’s being sold off to business with reckless disregard:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pushed Bucks arena deal while employing a Bucks owner-David Sirota and Andrew Perez of International Business Times: In the year leading up to the announcement of his presidential campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker championed a high-profile proposal to spend a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer money to help finance a new Milwaukee Bucks arena … One of those who stands to benefit from the controversial initiative is a longtime Walker donor and Republican financier who has just been appointed by the governor to head his presidential fundraising operation.

Real estate mogul Jon Hammes, who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and causes, is a prominent member of the investor group that owns Milwaukee’s NBA team. Last week CNN reported that he also will serve as the Walker campaign’s national finance co-chairman. Days after that appointment, Walker’s Republican allies in the Wisconsin state Senate backed the governor’s proposal to spend public funds on a new arena for the Bucks.

Hammes became one of the part owners of the Bucks in 2014. A little more than three months later, Walker unveiled his proposal to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on a new arena for the team.

Hammes’ financial interest in Walker’s arena subsidy package may not be limited to just his stake in the team. According to local news reports, his real estate firm also also bought parcels of downtown land near the location of the proposed new arena. Hammes’ firm also was contracted by the local chamber of commerce to evaluate new stadium proposals.
As much as I would like the Bucks to stay in Milwaukee, I can't get past the behind the scene schemes hatched to get this done, along with the eventual campaign cash Walker will get from this deal. The fact that this is all a political game for wealth and power has soured me on the whole deal. 

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