by Max Brantley
A Blog reader reports that pollsters are in the field on financing a minor league ballpark in Springdale. Sounds like the old no-new-taxes pitch. We'll just EXTEND a current bond issue to which taxes are pledge. See, that's no new tax. Even if just letting the millage/sales tax expire rather than pay a new ball park would save, oh, $50 million or so in expenses and interest.
Mind North Little Rock. New ballparks are swell. But $35 million or so, not counting land, is a lot of money. Does it really produce NEW revenue, over and above the huge expenditure? How much new revenue? You might decide -- we event might -- that a minor league team is a sufficent civic amenity to pay for it with taxes. Just don't believe anything is free. Here's our reader's note.
Just spent 5 minutes on the phone answering a surve about building a minor-league stadium here. Sounded like a push poll - e.g., "Would knowing that it would bring x mount of money for schools...........x number of jobs.....make you more or less likely to vote for it?" The current plan is extending a bond issue (no new taxes!), but, as much as I love minor league ball, it's just another instance of public money for private good. On the other hand, our Commander-in-Chief profited nicely from just such a deal..........
Note: A "push poll" is a term of art. This isn't a push poll. It is a poll to see how to frame questions to get the desired result. A push poll, in our understanding, is where you use the ruse of scientific poll to plant what you know to be false information. That is: Would you vote for Joe Blow if you knew he'd molested children? "