Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Public is an old woman. Let her maunder and mumble.

Who said that? No fair Googling.
I'm under time constraints, so this will be quick.

The Washington Post reported on a poll on the front page of the Metro section showing that DC residents don't want public funds to pay for a ballpark.
The poll, conducted in June by the Service Employees International Union, which opposes the proposal, found that 70 percent of those surveyed oppose public funding, and more than half strongly oppose it.
Two things should hit you right off. This poll is two months old, and it was conducted by ballpark opponents. If this were a poll about a conventional political issue, those factors alone would be enough for most people to dismiss it. The fact that the Post thinks it merits the placement it got makes me worry about future coverage of the issue.
Generally, however, [the Mayor] is proposing to sell bonds to finance stadium construction and repay the debt -- at a rate of about $25 million a year -- through a combination of dedicated taxes, including sales taxes on stadium-related items such as parking, souvenirs and tickets, and a new tax on business.
Nobody's proposing taking any money from the orphanages to build this stadium, and I wonder how much the 70 percent would drop if people realized that. But it might not matter: the current City Council will remain, regardless of what happens in various reelection campaigns, until January 1, and Jack Evans has assured us repeatedly that he has the support to pass financing. The mayor could conceivably push this thing through without his constituents having a word to say about it. But I hope it doesn't come to that, and I'm sure Williams does too.

In other news, DC and NoVa people are both saying that a decision on the Expos could come in two or three weeks. The NoVa reps were no doubt speaking through a oujia board from beyond the grave, because the Loudoun bid is dead. Anyway, they're saying Labor Day. Given MLB's history with deadlines and the fact that there's no mention of the RICO suit, I continue to cherish my skepticism.

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