Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

As Solomon said, Christine Quinn really does know better

The direct giveaway to the Yankees (discussed here) was bad enough. But this blew my fucking mind.

The Yankees are apparently taking advantage of a clause in their lease with the city that allows "planning costs" of their new $1.3 billion stadium—groundbreaking for which could take place as soon as next week—to be deducted from the team's rent.
As a result, according to the city parks department, which oversees the teams' leases, from 2001 to 2005 the Yankees charged the city $15.97 million under the "planning cost" clause; the Mets, $20.2 million.
For starters, Yankees president Randy Levine (a former deputy mayor under Giuliani) and the team's chief operating officer, Lonn Trost—the two top Yankee officials working for passage of the stadium deal—received a combined $312,500 in city money in 2004. The Yankees' justification, according to the documents: The amount totaled 30 percent of Levine's annual salary and 20 percent of Trost's, representing the time each spent working on the stadium project.

Even more audaciously, the Yankees in 2004 charged the city $203,055.87 for the services of Powers and Company, the Albany-based lobbying firm headed by former Republican state chair Bill Powers. ... According to filings with the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying, Powers was hired by the Yankees to lobby the state senate and assembly and the governor's office for permission to use 25 acres of Bronx parkland and $70 million in state money for the stadium...

The city even apparently paid the Yankees to lobby the city itself. Another recipient of city money, via the Yankees, was the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, which, according to the New York City clerk's lobbyist database, has served as a registered lobbyist for both Tishman Speyer, the Yankees' project managers for the stadium, and the Yankees themselves.

Fuck Rudy Giuliani and his Yankee-humping. Fuck Mike Bloomberg for turning his head when he came into office, and fuck the Council for rubberstamping all of it.

And these people think we should trust them to get rid of term limits.


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