Thursday, July 14, 2016

Right-wing billionaire wants taxpayer funds to move Raiders

Would you believe that Sheldon Adelson - one of the richest people in America - wants a $750 million handout to move the NFL's Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas?

In the immortal words of Shadoe Stevens: It boggles the mind, it mindles the bog!

Adelson - a major contributor to right-wing causes who has fought against legalizing medical marijuana - is joining up with Raiders owner Mark Davis to try to get a taxpayer subsidy from the state of Nevada to build a new stadium in Las Vegas. If the $750 million gimme is approved, it would be the largest taxpayer handout for a sports venue ever.

I guess Adelson needs his money, because he plans to donate $100 million to Donald Trump's floundering presidential campaign. He also recently purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal - though that probably made no difference in the newspaper's content, considering the Review-Journal was a far-right rag to begin with.

Nevada now has one of the worst-performing public school systems in America - largely because school uniforms are more common there than elsewhere, and because the state gives unconstitutional handouts to private schools. Nevada also has one of the worst crime rates, since the state won't spend money fighting crime. The state also subsidizes corporations by having no corporate tax. Nevada won't lift a finger to fight crime or fund public schools, but it can throw taxpayer money around by funding major football teams, private schools, and other big corporations?

After the Rams left St. Louis even after getting a new taxpayer-funded stadium - and with the Cincinnati Bengals threatening to move to London even after getting their new venue - we ought to be marching in the streets with burning pitchforks over this. But nope - because the self-appointed Really Serious People don't want that.

Meanwhile, baseball's Atlanta Braves are robbing taxpayers too. Cobb County used taxpayer funds to build a new stadium for them - then the Braves got local officials to pass an ordinance making it illegal for nearby residents to let fans park at their homes. This forces fans to pay huge parking fees to the stadium.