Posted: 9:54 am Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

A race that could turn on the Atlanta Braves’ move to Cobb County 

By Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 At least one of Cobb County’s GOP primary contests could turn on the deal that lured professional baseball out of Atlanta – and it doesn’t involve any of the county commissioners who voted for the Braves incentive package.

State Rep. Charles Gregory of Kennesaw, a libertarian-minded Republican who has figured big in recent gun legislation, is facing a tough challenge from business-backed Bert Reeves, a Marietta attorney.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogIn the days after the Cobb County Commission sprung its news about the Atlanta Braves, Gregory was critical of the use of public funds. He repeated himself at a recent forum. From the Marietta Daily Journal:

Gregory said in a free market, everyone votes on whether a product or service is useful every time they make a purchase.

“So what I would say to the Atlanta Braves is, ‘We would love to have you. You, just like any other business, you take out your loan. You build your stadium. You buy your land. You make your investment. You take the risk, and you keep all the profits,’” Gregory said. “We don’t need to be putting or socializing the risk on the backs of taxpayers. It really is legal plunder, corporate welfare, corporatism, whatever you want to call it. The taxpayers don’t need to fund private business.”

… [WSB Radio’s Pete] Combs turned to Reeves to comment on the question.

“One of the key differences between Mr. Gregory and myself is his absolute point of view about the complete exclusion of government involved in private enterprise,” Reeves said. “He and I disagree, and I believe there are certain partnerships that certainly provide economic growth and jobs, and that’s what I’m all about.”

To that particular point, Gregory is also being targeted by a new, independent committee, the Georgia Coalition for Job Creation that we understand is being bank-rolled by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta.

gregorymailerThis flyer has begun arriving in Kennesaw mail boxes, accusing Gregory of pursing a “liberal” agenda with votes against drug tests for food stamp recipients, legislation to prohibit government officials from advocating for Medicaid expansion, and support for a fellow Republican who introduced an ill-written  bill that would have removed loitering prohibitions against sex offenders.

We do not think liberals would agree that the last item is on their to-do list. Click here to examine the whole thing.

The coalition is targeting a dozen or so state legislative races, Republican and Democrat,  in an effort “to elect leaders who have demonstrated a willingness to fight to grow jobs and expand economic opportunity for all Georgians,” according to its website.

Which races we don’t know — except that the business group has also placed itself opposite state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, by supporting GOP challenger Nancy Stasinis of St. Marys.

***

With this Twitter message below, the U.S. Senate campaign of David Perdue acknowledged late Monday that the candidate has never voted in a general GOP primary in Georgia:

votingrecord
Spokesman Derrick Dickey explained this morning that Perdue lived in Tennessee in 2008, and voted in that state’s GOP presidential primary – making moot rival Jack Kingston’s comment from Sunday’s APC/GPB debate: “You did not even vote for Saxby Chambliss.”

Perdue also cast a ballot in the 2012 Georgia GOP presidential primary, but not in the general primary that summer.

Dickey said Perdue has never been shy about calling himself a Republican, and pointed to an Insider post from Monday, which named Perdue as one of two GOP candidates in the contest whose TV ads identify them as Republican.

***

We climbed aboard David Perdue’s fancy RV over the weekend as he launched his statewide tour. This is the result.

***

Paul Broun on Monday accused GOP rival Jack Kingston of being a closet immigration reformist.

The Athens congressman took issue with what he called an “ultimatum” from Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who told House Republicans that if they didn’t pass an immigration bill this year, they needn’t bother running a GOP presidential candidate in 2016.

Kingston, Broun pointed out, has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber and so: “must either accept the embrace of the U.S. Chamber and their top priority of passing immigration reform or publicly denounce both.

“When you walk through a barn, you’re bound to get something on your boots,” Broun said.

***

Former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk is going after former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr and state Rep. Ed Lindsey in the GOP 11th Congressional District primary with a mailer that has Barr crying foul.

Loudermilk mailer clipBarr was a friend of Eric Holder before Holder became the Attorney General conservatives love to hate. Barr even wrote a nice recommendation letter for Holder in 2009. Loudermilk quotes from this letter in the mail piece, including:

“In the best of times, Eric Holder would be an excellent choice to serve as Attorney General. However, in these times of tremendous international and domestic turmoil, in which the line between military operations and law enforcement actions has become blurred to the point our precious civil liberties are at great risk, the choice of Mr. Holder could not be timelier or more crucial.”

Barr pointed out that he has since recanted his support for Holder. From a 2013 column on Townhall.com:

“Eric Holder was a man of high reputation when he was sworn in as our nation’s 82nd Attorney General in February 2009. However,the unraveling of credibility that has stretched to the highest reaches of the once-vaunted Department of Justice, has now so weakened Holder that resignation is the only honorable and timely option.”

Barr’s son and campaign manager Derek Barr said the mailer is “full of half-truths and distortions.” Loudermilk consultant Dan McLagan sent a rather McLagan-esque reply to our Jeremy Redmon:

“If it’s full of ‘half truths and distortions,’ I want to know what they are since this was written by Bob Barr himself and he should be held accountable if he was not telling the truth about his man-crush on Eric Holder.

“Oh, you can quote me on all of that — even this last part about quoting me.”

Also, the attached mailer was sent to Barr’s house — addressed to his wife.

***

Gov. Nathan Deal sounds pretty confident that a House-Senate deal on a bill to authorize the Port of Savannah deepening is the last hurdle facing the project. Said Deal:

“I believe we’re going to hear in the next week or two that the conference committee report will be passed and then the president will sign. That must be the last technical objection they could possibly think of. Now we must make sure the federal government lives up to its obligation.”

It could come at an opportune time. The earliest it could head to President Barack Obama’s desk is next week. Just in time for the May 20 primary.

***

Atlanta Democratic Rep. John Lewis says Georgia’s only representative on the special committee to investigate the Benghazi attack should be booted for mixing campaigning and investigating. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a Coweta County Republican, is one of the leaders of House Republicans’ campaign arm — a group that has taken heat for fundraising off of Benghazi.

Lewis said Westmoreland himself is mixing Benghazi and campaigning since he spoke about the investigation during a GOP meeting in his district. Said Lewis in a prepared statement:

“Based on his comments this weekend at a political meeting, it seems Rep. Lynn Westmoreland will work to enable House Republicans to further politicize a supposedly sober investigation in an effort to rally the rightwing base.  His participation on such a committee is as inappropriate as it is revealing. 

“I am calling on Rep. Westmoreland to step down from the Select Committee on Benghazi immediately.”

It may surprise you to learn that Westmoreland is not following Lewis’ advice. Said spokeswoman Leigh Claffey:

“Congressman Westmoreland’s role on the Benghazi Select Committee is a reflection of his hard work on both the House Intelligence Committee and his informal working group. He, along with the other committee members and Chairman [Trey] Gowdy, have said the only mission of this committee is to find the facts, that’s it.”

House Democrats, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out if they will participate in the committee at all.

***

This morning, Judge Michael Boggs and six other Georgians face a committee hearing to see if their federal judge nominations move forward. Boggs, whose conservative record in the state House, is under a microscope from the Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee.

Here’s our take from last week. The Huffington Post has the latest rundown of the increasing heat from the left on Senate Democrats to block Boggs that includes this gem of a quote from Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, to the Tom Joyner Morning Show:

“I’m telling you, there’s something rotten in this cotton,” Scott said during the interview. “It’s stinking and it’s a foul odor that’s coming out of that Senate.”

***

The Georgia Life Alliance, an anti-abortion group meant to counter the influence of Georgia Right to Life, is out with the results of its candidate questionnaire for state House and state Senate races. The buzz around its formation was that GLA would come to Karen Handel’s aid in the U.S. Senate race, but that has not been the case so far.

***

“Mrs. Robinson you can seduce me now.”

With those words, Gov. Nathan Deal’s resident communications strategist (and snark master) Brian Robinson popped the question yesterday to his longtime girlfriend.

Congrats to both of them.

***

The Washington Post is reporting a red-blue divide when it comes to hospital patients – and income — in the U.S.:

The Hospital Corporation of America, which has facilities in 20 states, reported a big gap in Medicaid and uninsured admissions between expansion and non-expansion states.

In the four states it operates where Medicaid expanded under the ACA, the company saw a 22.3 percent growth in Medicaid admissions, compared to a 1.3 percent decline in non-expansion states.

The company also had a 29 percent decline in uninsured admissions in the expansion states, while non-expansion states experienced 5.9 percent growth in uninsured admissions, chief financial officer William Rutherford said.

***

In a letter to Atlanta school board chairman Courtney English, state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, has demanded to know who is putting up cash to pad the salary of Meria Carstarphen, the new superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. In part:

It is my understanding from media reports that it is your intent to receive donations from the business community to pay for the transition of the new superintendent. It is my further understanding that you do not plan to release the names and organizations that donate money to the transition. I am very concerned with any such lack of transparency on the part of the Atlanta Public Schools regarding the identities and amounts of money donated to the superintendent’s transition.

I will remind you that APS entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2011 with the Attorney General’s office over APS’ violation of the state’s Open Meetings and Open Records laws. For APS to continue a pattern which prevents the public and media from knowing information about the school system’s activities is very disconcerting. The people and organizations who make donations could very well expect control over APS’ policies.

Therefore, please consider this letter a formal Freedom of Information request. I want information regarding donations for the superintendent transition made to APS including the names of donors-individuals and organizations, amounts of donations and the date of donations. You should not try to bypass the law by passing the funds through a third party. I expect the information I have requested for the original donors. If you have not solicited funds yet I would like to know so that I may submit another FOI request, if necessary.

***

Just in case you’d planned on a trip to Brazil for the World Cup, a word from the Washington Post:

Rio police have compiled a list of tips on navigating the city’s violence, including asking tourists to refrain from screaming if someone robs them.

 

67 comments
RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Rio police have compiled a list of tips on navigating the city’s violence, including asking tourists to refrain from screaming if someone robs them.


Tips are a good idea, what are the tips for Atlanta and Chicago? 

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

Well..I tried, but I can't do it anymore.  I tried to play the conservative by pretending the Braves move would benefit Cobb County...but it probably won't (sorry MoFaux for causing any distress, just disregard everything I said earlier). 


Years ago Noll and Zimbalist published a book entitled Sports, Jobs, and Taxes that examines the efficacy of public financing for sports facilities. Not much has changed since the publication, but it would be interesting if Brookings would put together an update.
Update or not, the conclusions are clear: private sports teams do not have the resources to build the types of stadiums expected of major league sports teams. In that sense, they rely on public funds. On the flip side, the funding public is almost always on the losing side of the deal because they never really make their money back. Some, like Camden Yards, are able to because of the unique geography. But usually the counties/cities offer tax breaks to the incoming teams and surrounding businesses which itself undermines their ability to recoup the investment (that is right, tax cuts reduce tax revenue).  
Nevertheless, there is a public goods increase in the sense that property values do increase when teams and their stadiums open.  So, while Cobb County will spend $230million on the stadium and will probably only get $100million or so back from tax revenues over the next 10 years, the People of the county can probably expect an aggregate property value increase of several hundred million dollars.  This is not money that will make it into the tax coffers, it is value being added to property (and no, it will not be enough to generate property tax revenues at levels that will cover the cost of the stadium). 
The only redeeming quality of the Braves proposal is the entertainment complex...but that will still not be adequate for the county to recoup their investment.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Kingston's ads are just goofy, he must be targeting kids or at least he treats potential voters that way.

honested
honested

crazy loudermilk or bobbar, nothing like living in a District with no reasonable choice.

DannyX
DannyX

Public stadiums used to be a good investment for taxpayers, but not anymore.   Atlanta-Fulton County stadium was built for two teams, baseball and football, which was very common 30 years ago.  Now the teams want separate facilities that are loaded with revenue enhancing restaurants, suites, and other goodies.  Not only do these new stadiums cost way more, the teams that occupy them are demanding cheap rents and all of the revenue streams like parking.

Teams owners were not necessarily super rich or part of a mega corporation like they are now, they were mostly family owned. Nor did they reap millions and millions of dollars in tv revenue.  Now we have  owners worth billions demanding taxpayer investment with little or no return to the public.

Publicly funded stadiums are now a big rip-off for the taxpayers.  What gets me is places like Cobb County that are filled with "Taxed Enough Already" types are going along with it.

honested
honested

Why should perdue be expected to vote?


It isn't like he has had to comprehend all the variables and the impact on society of his actions in any of his numerous previous jobs.

Andy123
Andy123

The median age of someone who watches baseball is 57yo and getting older/dying by the day, so who in their right mind in Cobb County thinks the Braves are a great 30 year investment worth 100's of millions of dollars?  This is as stupid as making a 30 year $300 million commitment to a golf course. 

Jke
Jke

Sen Vincent Fort.  At least there is some comic relief today.        

Watsuie007
Watsuie007

No is it not a good deal for Atlanta or the area taxpayers.  I think the clandistine move to Cobb County in the dead of night was a ruse to get in a whiter neighborhood that is not serviced by Marta.   There are no hostile Braves fans, except in the mind of linuxfanatic.  Granted, many of us do not entirely and blindly agree with the Braves management, but that is not hostility, just smart common sense.      If the Cobb County location is so great, then change the name to Cobb Braves and be done with it.  All I can say, is I will not be attending as I like Marta transportation to the games and traffic is already way too bad in Cobb County for me to venture over to that area to see a game.  

I think the taxpayers of Cobb are getting a rip-off, unless they get a portion of the profits to offset the investment. 

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

I support the Braves moving to Cobb. It will benefit Cobb, benefit the Braves, it will keep the Braves' hostile fan base out of the city that they love to hate and bash to no end, it will give the city an opportunity to replace it with a growing, thriving Atlanta institution that actually wants to invest in downtown/south of I-20, and it reduces traffic for those of us ITP on the downtown connector for those 60-80 home games. I do not see a downside. At first, the revenue loss from the Braves (about $100 million a year) was a negative, but the economic impact of the GSU expansion - and GSU becoming a major urban research university - and the redevelopment of that area that would have never happened so long as the Braves and their hostile fans were carpetbagging the area more than makes up for it.


I repeat: it is a good deal for Atlanta. A good deal for the Braves. And a good deal for Cobb. There is no point in denying it or opposing it. I remember when this deal was first announced, the GHSA stated that they were interested in moving their high school state championship games to the Ted now that the Braves were no longer there. Well Georgia State putting their athletics facilities down there will make it even more suitable for those types of events, and increase GSU's exposure to high school students from all over the state, helping make it a Georgia university instead of merely an Atlanta one. 


And Cobb County? Well they get to be on national TV dozens of times a year via Braves games. Will be wonderful for their image. And their fans will get an experience that they can actually enjoy instead of one that they are, let us say, ideologically committed to opposing. (But please, Braves fans, once you guys are safely in Cobb, please acknowledge that the next crime committed against a Braves fan while attending a Braves game will be the first. There will be no need to continue to claim that the area is unsafe, especially after both GSU and major developers immediately swooped down to bid on that area before your new team had even finalized the deal to get out of town. If that was a run-down crime-ridden area, GSU wouldn't bid on it, and certainly those private developers would not have anything to do with it either). 


Yeah, it stinks that Cobb has to pay $370 million, but remember that the Braves got their last two stadiums from Atlanta FOR FREE without having to pay a dime. So folks like Gregory should consider themselves lucky: they are getting a much better deal than Atlanta ever did out of the Braves, or for that matter out of the Falcons when the Smith family ran the Falcons (they got to play in the old Atlanta-Fulton stadium without contributing a dime to its construction just like the Braves, then they demanded that the Georgia Dome be constructed for them with no cost whatsoever or else they would move the team to Jacksonville). 


Seriously, the folks who are bashing the city have no idea what the Braves (who have threatened to move to Gwinnett for decades BTW) and Falcons put them through. Glad that the Falcons now have a good owner, the Braves get to go be someone else's challenge, and Braves fans who passionately hate coming inside I-285 now no longer have to.


It is time to let this issue die and stop reporting on it, unless that is you are reporting on its progress (and the progress of the Falcons stadium and the GSU complex). Or better yet, you can drop the Braves coverage altogether (save the sports page that is). After all, Cobb County has a newspaper you know! Let them cover it.

Manman
Manman

Westmoreland is quite possibly the dumbest person in Congress, and that's saying something.

Eric100
Eric100

This whole thing is so crooked it's sickening. Any politician that can be linked to this deal should be sent to jail. There was no disclosure or sunlight shined on any aspect of this back room political deal. These people have clearly shown they are not even remotely fit to "lead". The lack of leadership in this country is sickening. 

DS
DS

non-expansion states experienced 5.9 percent growth in uninsured admissions.

Yikes! Indigent care costs are going to drive some hospitals in non-expansion states, like Georgia, into bankruptcy.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Cobb Co Braves,  will BJ still strike out ?

NWGAL
NWGAL

If I were a Cobb County resident, what I would worry about is not necessarily the initial outlay of tax money. It would be how long the Braves would stay in the stadium, how long the county has to recoup those investments. As they have demonstrated, the Braves like shiny new stadiums. Will they follow the Walmart model - gaining tax incentives and zone variances and then move rather than renovate?

DontTread
DontTread

"The taxpayers don’t need to fund private business"


In this case, absolutely correct.  The only time taxpayer funding should be involved is when something is both critical to the future security of the country and cost-prohibitive for private business to do on its own.  Moving the Braves to Cobb County doesn't pass either criteria.


Bob Barr should have known better than to support Eric Holder for any position (never mind Attorney General) in the first place.


It's only a matter of time before Atlanta police tell tourists not to scream if (when) they get robbed.

mdhenshaw
mdhenshaw

@DannyX I don't think that public stadiums have ever been a good deal for taxpayers.

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@DannyX  

Eh, then be consistent and oppose the $250 million that will be paid for the football stadium downtown. The Tea Partying southern strategy suburbanites love the Cobb stadium but hate the downtown one. The urban left-liberals love - or at least like - the downtown stadium, hate the Cobb one, and would have been willing to see the city pay hundreds of millions to keep the Braves downtown. 


You have to either oppose both or support both. I think that both are good for their respective cities and fanbases and wish both of them good luck. I just wish that the good suburbanites and conservatives that were trashing Arthur Blank and the city over the football stadium but are now thrilled to be getting the Braves for even more public money than the city is going to spend would follow suit. So far, none of them have. What a pity ...

honested
honested

@DannyX  

Agreed!

The notion there is some 'collective responsibility' to provide the team owners with some public financed palace so their overpaid employees can play a kids game in perfect weather is well beyond absurd!

mdhenshaw
mdhenshaw

@Andy123 The median age of someone who watches TV is getting older. That doesn't factor online/mobile/etc. I watch baseball through online sources. Baseball isn't going to disappear anytime soon.

honested
honested

@Watsuie007  

I agree the with the 'whiter neighborhood' idea.....

Which is why the 'Cobb County Crackers' is most fitting.

Andy123
Andy123

@Watsuie007

As soon as Cobb swings majority minority, which is sooner than later, MARTA is coming to Cobb just like its coming to Gwinnett. 

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@Watsuie007  

1. It was not clandestine at all. It was a routine business move. The Colts moving from Baltimore to Indianapolis was clandestine.

2.  "a ruse to get in a whiter neighborhood that is not serviced by Marta"
You forget that black Atlanta stopped following the Braves almost 2 decades ago, when guys like Deion Sanders and David Justice moved on. Not just the Braves, black support of baseball in general has declined precipitously, just as has the number of non-Hispanic black players. If blacks were still attending games like blacks did in the 70s, 80s and even early 90s levels, the Braves would not have moved. Also, the Braves actually did want better public transportation service FROM MARTA and the city. They were even talking about a maglev train to the stadium in case the Cobb deal fell through. But the city didn't even add the Braves stadium to the streetcar line. That is ONE AREA where the city did drop the ball.

3. Yes, there are plenty of hostile fans who attend the games, get out of there as fast as they can and gripe about the entire experience. Unlike Falcons, Hawks and Georgia Tech fans who actually like the city and hang out a bit and mingle before and after the games. If the fans don't like the city and the area, let them go someplace where they can enjoy themselves. Remember: they are not captives and hostages. They are paying customers. Let them get their money's worth!

4. Cobb is getting this on better terms than Atlanta was stuck with for the last 3 stadiums (the Ted, Atlanta-Fulton, the Georgia Dome). And this is typical of the terms that pro teams are able to "extract" from the suburbs.

5. Cobb Braves? Why not. It would far more accurately reflect the mindset of the vast majority of the fanbase that wants nothing to do with the actual Atlanta.

6. The Braves bring in $100 million a year. Even though technically the county won't be "paid back" until 2046 (if then) for this $370 million, in terms of raw economic impact this deal will pay for itself in 4 years.

7. "All I can say, is I will not be attending as I like Marta transportation to the games and traffic is already way too bad in Cobb County for me to venture over to that area to see a game." Hate to inform you this but this stadium isn't being built for you in the first place. It is being built to accommodate a fanbase that is 75% located in the northern suburbs. (I can actually make a case that the site should have been further north, more accessible to north Cobb, north Gwinnett, Forsyth and Cherokee!) But no big deal. The massive construction boom going on right now in downtown and midtown Atlanta - which GSU will soon add to - is not for the suburbanites either, just like the Beltline and the streetcar isn't.


Bottom line: if the metro area is going to be balkanized anyway, why not just do it right? This is a major step in that direction, one that will kill off the failed "regionalism" thing for good, so why not let it die?

MoFaux
MoFaux

@linuxfanatic  It is probably a good deal for Atlanta, but not for Cobb County.  Also, non-Cobb residents will very likely be called upon to (without being asked, mind you) cough up some taxes (federal, state, or both) to be used to make some transportation improvements in the area.  And if not, then you better bet that this deal will make Cobb look even more stupid.  They're already coughing up a half milllion (90k Cobb, the rest federal, or "the rest of us") to study transit (bus).  That's just a study.  Then, there's the bridge over I-285, which will eat up more of our federal dollars and probably some state dollars as well.  This will, in turn, take highway funding away from other, more deserving projects, that weren't manufactured to appease a millionaire.  We're all supposed to just bend over, and just say thanks?  No thanks.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@linuxfanatic  

I repeat: it is a good deal for Atlanta. A good deal for the Braves. And a good deal for Cobb.

Not intended to be a factual statement.

NWGAL
NWGAL

I suggest renaming the team Cobblers. Peach Cobblers.

Eric100
Eric100

@NWGAL  Well you are absolutely correct. The trend is that these team owners and billionaires cant be satisfied with a stadium for any longer than 10 years. Then we have to get into more skybox building to satisfy the one percent patrons on the backs of the man in the street fan via personal seat licenses, increased ticket prices to the point that they are no longer affordable, increase concessions prices, parking prices, but most importantly taxes on Cobb residents to keep the golden goose laying eggs for the billionaire owners and their political pawns. 


Folks its just vomit provoking when you look at how we are being robbed. 

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@DontTread  


This is simply the funding of a private business.  The public will reap huge rewards from this. That is part of the reason the team even spoke to the county in the first place.  

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@mdhenshaw @DannyX  


They are usually good for the tax payers, bad for the local government.


I posted extensively above on this.  Taxpayers will see boosts to their property values, but Cobb county will not make its money back.

honested
honested

@linuxfanatic @DannyX 

Where on earth did you pull the idea from that the 'left' supported the arthur blank taxraid stadium?

MoFaux
MoFaux

@linuxfanatic You are wrong.  The vast majority of people of ALL political spectrums opposed BOTH new stadiums.  Where have you been?

DannyX
DannyX

@linuxfanatic, I have been very consistent and opposed BOTH deals.  In fact most all of the "urban left liberals" around here voiced opposition to the Falcons deal and the Braves deal.  Its those on the right that have been the hypocrites.

Andy123
Andy123

@mdhenshaw @Andy123

It's not going anywhere anytime soon, but it is beginning to circle the toilet just like the PGA is.  It will take 10 or 15 years but already the stands in most markets are nowhere near capacity and TV ratings have stunk for years.  With the rapid rise of Hispanics both in Cobb County and nationwide, I think I'd be gambling on a much cheaper soccer team and stadium. 

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@honested @Watsuie007 


Again, that is not fair. The Braves are moving to one of the most diverse areas in Cobb first of all. Second, if black Atlanta hadn't stopped supporting the Braves (they still go to Hawks and Falcons games mind you even though the tickets are more expensive) the Braves would not be moving. Black Atlanta rejected the Braves for almost 20 years before the Braves rejected them. Please do not forget that.

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@Andy123 @Watsuie007 

It won't even take that long. Cobb would have had a pro-MARTA board of commissioners as soon as the next election, because the board chairman, Tim Lee, is pro-MARTA (even though is is a GOPer). But Cobb racially gerrymandered their district lines in order to keep Cobb down to 1 Democrat instead of 2 (in fairness the second Democrat to Lisa Cupid probably would have been a white Democrat, a Roy Barnes type). They won't be able to do that next time around, when they will have 2 and possibly 3 Democrats on the Cobb Commission. 

MoFaux
MoFaux

@linuxfanatic @Watsuie007  "The Braves bring in $100 million a year. Even though technically the county won't be "paid back" until 2046 (if then) for this $370 million, in terms of raw economic impact this deal will pay for itself in 4 years."


This statement makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  How does Joe Six Pack from Cobb County's tax dollars helping a random business owner that he'll never know turn a larger profit help him at all?  Define "raw economic impact" and "return on investment".  You'll notice a gaping difference between the two.  "Economic impact" is but a tool used to fool gullible tax payers.

honested
honested

@linuxfanatic @Watsuie007 

Their 'money's worth' happens between the first and last pitch.

Then it is best they get back to the 'villes' lest they find out how inaccurate their misperceptions of life ITP really is!

linuxfanatic
linuxfanatic

@Eric100 @NWGAL 

The Braves are contractually obligated to stay in that stadium until 2046. Once I found that out, that ended my last reason for opposition to the move.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@Andy123 @MoFaux  The protest will have to wait for the voting booth, I'm afraid.  Likely, as usual, we each have to decide which is the "lesser of two evils".  We all lose in that choice.  To Reed's credit though, you know as well as I do that no politician in America would have been such a hardliner Libertarian to let two long-standing sports teams leave the city/state.  At least, no one that I can think of.  Now, I would have let the door smack them on their way out of town, even as much as I love both teams (Georgia Peach here).

Andy123
Andy123

@MoFaux

This is very true.  Funny how Cobb, The City of ATL and Kasim have selective hearing.  

So where's the protest?  The lefties are ticked off about the Medicaid issue for the poor, yet Kasim alone has $400-$500 MILLION to spend on a stadium.   Think of all the poor in his city who could go to the Dr AND get a GED and a VoTech certificate for that kind of money.   

Kevin745757575
Kevin745757575

@Andy123  Yeah, because there are clearly no Hispanic baseball fans.  Have you ever seen a Hispanic player?  Didn't think so.  And Cobb County isn't one of the premier communities in the entire nation for youth baseball, either.


/sarcasm off

MoFaux
MoFaux

@honested @linuxfanatic @Watsuie007  It's beyond the scope of his capability to argue lucidly.  It's much easier to not respond than to lower one's pride/ego enough to admit that they are wrong, even in an anonymous blog.


Having said that, I do think sports teams provide value to a city...but that doesn't mean they should receive public monies.

honested
honested

@linuxfanatic @honested@Watsuie007 

How so?

I don't believe in wasting a penny of taxpayer funding to support a 'private' entity that is not even required to follow existing tax or anti-trust law and provides NO REAL VALUE.

How is that 'beyond the scope'?

honested
honested

@linuxfanatic @honested@Watsuie007 

As someone who has been to maybe 3 braves games in my entire life (and even fewer football or basketball games) I personally would have preferred they move to Birmingham or Chattanooga so other areas could debate the value of wasting taxpayer funds to pay wealthy people to play a kids game.

honested
honested

@MoFaux @linuxfanatic@Watsuie007 

If 'the braves bring in 100 million a year' and the taxpayers are funding the palace, then a LARGE portion of that 100 mil should go directly to paying for the palace.

How on earth did things get so out-of-balance to make such an absurdity seem even vaguely palatable?