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Bush's baseball team

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This is an old article about how Bush used his influence to take people's land under eminent domain. This article was written when he still owned a piece of the team. Excerpts; link below.

"George W. Bush loves baseball. And why not? After all, baseball has been very good to the governor. When it comes to power, the governor is a true triple-threat. Consider his record: (1) His initial baseball investment of $600,000 carries the current potential of a 2,500 percent return. (2) Through savvy P.R. and political maneuvering, he and his partners have persuaded a city and the state to directly subsidize a facility for their business. (3) Not content with taxpayer subsidies, he and his fellow owners have also successfully used the power of government to take land from other private citizens so it could be used for their own private purposes."

"Since he took to the stump three and a half years ago to run for governor, Bush has railed against "big government." On the very first day of his campaign, November 8, 1993, Bush told supporters in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas that "the best way to allocate resources in our society is through the market place. Not through a governing elite, not through red tape and over-regulation, not through some central bureaucracy."

But through the Arlington stadium deal, Bush, who owns 1.8 percent of the Rangers, has been personally enriched by using the "governing elite" and the "central bureaucracy" not only to confiscate land for private purposes, but to get a huge public subsidy for a stadium that generates profits for himself and the Texas Rangers. Though Bush’s present ownership percentage of the team is relatively small, the asset represents a large part of his personal wealth; moreover, Bush’s deal with the team includes a provision that will almost certainly multiply his future ownership interest to 11 percent.

Briefly, here’s what happened on the Ballpark deal. Bush and his partners in the Rangers convinced Arlington officials to:

• Pass a half cent sales tax to pay for 70 percent of the stadium;

• Use the government’s powers of eminent domain to condemn land the Rangers couldn’t or didn’t want to buy on the open market;

• Give the Rangers control over what happens in and around the stadium;

• Allow the Rangers to buy the stadium (which cost $191 million to construct) for just $60 million;

Finally, after twelve years as the sole occupant and primary beneficiary of the stadium project, the Rangers, a privately owned business, can take title to the most expensive stadium ever built in Texas for the $60 million worth of rent and upkeep they will have already paid the city."


http://www.mollyivins.com/showMisc.asp?FileName=970509_f1.htm
 

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