Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sports Team Owners Buy Politicians With Campaign Contributions

Do you have a chance? A quick review of Indiana's campaign finance database reveals that Jim Irsay and the Simon family have been making a whole lot of campaign contributions over the past decade. Various Simon family members made hundreds of contributions to state and legislative candidates and the political parties totalling well over $2 million. Jim Irsay has showered hundreds of state and legislative candidates and political parties with well over $300,000 in campaign contributions. That doesn't count the tens of thousands of dollars each of the families have contributed in Indianapolis' recent mayoral and city-county council races. The generosity of Irsay and the Simons towards your elected public officials have made them very generous in doling out public subsidies to the billionaire families' sports franchises. You see how it works?


Patriot Paul said...

Is there a source where we can find the itemized details of these contributions?

Gary R. Welsh said...

There is a searchable online database at the state Election Division's website.

M Theory said...

from FieldOfSchemes.org

Colts owner: Give Vikes a stadium or else

Apparently it's not enough for league commissioners to issue stadium threats on behalf of their teams; now opposing team owners are getting into the deal as well. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay made headlines yesterday by declaring that the Minnesota Vikings need a new stadium, stat:

"I think the key thing is, it is urgent," Colts owner Jim Irsay said of the Vikings' stadium need. "They simply can't remain in this facility. It's not possible."
Clearly Irsay knows something about move threats, but one would hope that given recent history, people would know to take them with an enormous grain of salt. The best part of Irsay's comments, though, came when he was asked whether the Vikings' owners could at least be expected to pay for a large chunk of the expected $1 billion cost:

"The Wilfs can't put $600 million into a stadium. That's never going to happen," Irsay said. "You'd never make it back in five lifetimes."
There you have it, sports fans: The Vikings owners want a new stadium even though it would bring in much less money than it would cost to build. With that out in the open, you'd figure it would be cheaper for all concerned for the state of Minnesota to just skip all the mucking about with steel and concrete and write the Vikes a check for however much they'd actually make from the new place in one lifetime. Unless maybe the Wilfs are worried about the stigma of admitting they're accepting help.