PDs and Sold-Out Politicians Backed Sordid Arena Deal
Dan Brady used to be a man of the people.
Now he’s servant of the anti-people. A stooge.
Fallen deeply for the Establishment he once made his reputation by opposing.
Nothing could be worse.
Here is his quiet spanking of civic protest of the Quicken Arena give-away:
“It’s become very clear that after listening to our friends who we like and who we agree with, that they have very little understanding of what the county presently does and how it spends its money,” Brady said at a meeting on the give-away of city AND county money to billionaire Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavilers.
Talk about spin.
Stomping on what little civic action there is in this town is an act of treachery.
I’ve written about Brady and his opposition to deals just like this one.
Here’s one 1989 situation under a headline: Brady bristles Forbes.
Dan Brady continues to be the single council member who directly questions the authority of Council President George Forbes. He does it in a rather quiet manner. Sometimes simply asking a question.
Forbes bristles each time.
Brady fought Forbes’s dictatorship.
I say this because now is the time for some strong political leadership. Brady, the County Council, toady County Executive Armond Budish, the hapless Kevin Kelley, City Council and the cringing corporate servant Mayor Frank Jackson fail so miserably.
Brady was admonishing his “friends” who challenge the sordid Quicken arena deal, one of the first truly citizen action’s—some 200 people at a Council meeting—to show that there may be some life civic left here. It was sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a group of church leaders.
Truly treated shabbily.
For Brady to toss dirt on them after all he’s seen (and even protested) in this town is truly an astounding change in his politics. It’s rotted.
I wonder if Brady, not a pol with a reputation for extra work, recognizes all the County has already done for the Cavs and Indians at Gateway. Likely a billion dollars in gifts and still counting. Or joining to make its operations property tax free. At City, Cleveland schools and County cost of $20 million in only this year. Forever free, remember Dan?
Maybe he equates the services to the poor to advantaging billionaire owners and millionaire ballplayers when he says the protesters don’t know what the county (a billion dollars in debt already) truly does. All-pervading thinking among bought politicians and sycophant editors equates services to the many poor to subsidies to the very few rich.
Maybe Brady, Budish and the rest don’t even know that on Jan. 15 this year, Cuyahoga County (they) paid $5,315,970.46 to bond holders on arena debt from 1994 overruns. It came from its general funds.
These hefty payments go from 1994 through 2023! Or those city admission taxes of $3,856,963 were diverted from the city and added in payments to bondholders this year AND another $1,460,954 went out of the excess bed tax revenues for the same purpose. All on Jan. 15, 2017.
And they need more!
Do they realize that well more than an extra $150 million has been paid for old arena bonds? So let’s put out more bonds for them. Hundreds of millions more.
Do they pay attention to anything of present and past servicing of billionaires?
This continues something neither County officials nor the Plain Dealer has reported. But why would you expect these con artists to do so? They bow to Power. (Sam Allard in the Scene shames the PDcoverage.)
Or that the arena hasn’t paid a penny in property taxes for its structure. Ever!
And since our pols have made the arena TAX EXEMPT, it never will pay a penny on this new construction. Can you get this deal?
Do you pay property taxes on your home or business? They don’t.
Dissing citizens is not new for the new Brady. At the session a year ago on the sin tax he sat there like a bump on a log while his predecessor as Council President Ellen Connally—another winner—regally limited citizens to five minute of comment at the meeting to discuss the then pending $260 million sin tax. Then the pair allowed Gateway and team executives the entire afternoon to work their propaganda on the tax’s need.
Inequity is built into the system.
The Plain Dealer doesn’t notice. Or doesn’t want to.
It editorially backs once again the theft of public dollars as it has since 1990. And has the nerve to end the editorial by telling us that it’s an “attractive deal to do so with no extra taxes from residents.” What Sullivan doesn’t say is that tax revenue of residents goes to help pay for 17 years. Admission taxes and bed taxes, both diverted to pay Gilbert’s bills No extra taxes? A pure lie.
Betsy Sullivan, editor of the PD‘s editorial pages, should be fired for failure to tell the truth. That won’t happen because those above her wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe she should have the courage to quit if this is what she directs.
The PD even used last Sunday’s letters column by placing two letters, top of the page, endorsing the rotted deal by Ohio representatives and city mayors to keep the campaign going. The letters could have come from the Cavs pr office and likely did.
It’s part of the PD campaign. Nothing new; perpetually ignorant. On purpose.
One used the pitch that it means money for us here since 48 percent of customers come from outside Cuyahoga County. They spend their money here! Isn’t that wonderful.
They forgot to tell us that residents of Cuyahoga County pay ALL the costs of sports facilities, so apparently they preferred not to notice these heavy costs but applaud that the money provides entertainment mostly from outside the County. Wealthy enough to afford Cavs games.
What it says is that the taxpayers of Cuyahoga County can afford to subsidize these big cost sports owners but can’t much afford the price of admission.
Of all the disgusting give-aways to sports enterprises in this town, this one stinks most. Because it is totally unnecessary.
This is really an addition to the arena, not an improvement. What it means, unfortunately, is that we are subsidizing improvements that will be essentially free. And that it will be used to draw business from other venues, including County subsidized facilities. Like the Hilton Hotel facilities and the convention center.
The letters from State Sen. Sandra Williams, Representative Janine Boyd, and Stephanie House, all Democrats, appear to have been ghost written by Cavs executive Len Komoroski and likely they were. Phony as are the Democratic politicians.
This is why so many have given up on Democrats. Because they’re bought and paid for. And it starts at this level. The best you can say about them is they are ignorant and apparently enjoy it.
The second letter—nicely placed atop a Sunday page by Sullivan’s reps—again sound like Komoroski, not anyone who has examined the situation. Or they read the propaganda of the PD and repeated it. It was signed by mayors Brad Sellers of Warrensville Heights, Earl Leiken of Shaker Heights and Parma’s Tim DeGeeter. Sad examples of mayors.
There’s another matter of deception. Fred Nance (Squire-Sanders boss) will do the bond counsel work. He’s the guy who gave Al Lerner the sweetest of deal on the football stadium, then went to work for the Browns. One hand washes the other.
Tim Offtermatt will suck up some bucks on the deal too. He just slipped over from chairman of Gateway to help with the arena bonds. At a price. As big a conflict as you can imagine. He’s been good at it.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Unfortunately, you can’t call it a crime.
But that’s what it is.
You need a book to detail all that’s wrong here. Please see my last piece for more information on details.