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Nationwide Arena/CBJ Finances Discussion II

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Old
05-21-2012, 04:39 PM
  #351
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Originally Posted by Cyclones Rock View Post
The corruption of the deal is to be expected from our ever increasingly corrupt government. The concern for Jackets fans would be for how iron clad the deal is relative to the Jackets being bound to Columbus. Based on the early returns, it doesn't engender much-if any-confidence. I'd hardly be shocked if there are sufficient loopholes to drive a few semi moving trucks (ala the Baltimore Colts) through the "contract".
Baltimore and Maryland basically goaded the Colts to try to move, then were shocked when their pathetic scheme (seizure of the team by claim of eminent domain) actually triggered the move. In the grand scheme of team/city, team/county, or team/state relationships that were handled by idiots on the government side, the Colts' 15-year fight for a stadium makes the current Glendale arrangements look competent.

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Oh thats why, I thought it might have something to do with the practicality, such as the price of jet fuel and needing a pilot's and driver's license to operate one. Good to know its dumb people's fault though
Consider the cailber of the average driver. Now consider how many truly stupid drivers there are. Now consider that every single person on the road was judged by an agent of the State of Ohio to be competent to operate a piece of machinery weighing between 1,500 and 4,000 pounds at high speeds.

And then we'd want them in the air instead? "Police believe that the woman who flew into power lines and knocked out electricity for half the city was applying makeup during her morning commute..."

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05-21-2012, 06:13 PM
  #352
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Originally Posted by Speedy Sanderson View Post
Maybe people will get upset at some point, but I don't hear anyone talking about the Arena deal or this latest issue (other than a few nutballs on the Dispatch online site). I agree that they should operate in public and be accountable to Franklin County residents, but there's sort of a malaise in Columbus about a lot of things, this issue included.
It isn't as if Columbus is alone.

These types of deals are shell games. They are intentionally set up so that it is heads they win and tails you lose.

They put this all together with the whole "hey, it's just the free casino money" mantra. They never pointed out that the casino money would have probably gone to cover the lost tax base elsewhere that has resulted as (1) property values have decreased and (2) incomes and sales have gone down. Or that, even setting aside that, there were probably other services that could have used an increase in their budget (police, fire) or other things that, given the choice, should have been a higher priority than bailing out a professional sports franchise.

I love hockey and I want to see the team stay in Columbus, but this sort of thing leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths.

Mike Priest hasn't apparently heard the old saying--pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. He just couldn't help himself and once again got too cute with the Arena deal. Now he's on the verge of another PR blunder. Let's keep in mind this is the same genius who tried to stick it to the tobacco, beer and liquor companies only to get humiliated in public when his machinations leaked in the Dispatch.

What do you expect from a guy whose prior job was as the guy running the McConnell's holding company, which is a fancy name for "tax avoidance company"?

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05-21-2012, 08:11 PM
  #353
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Originally Posted by KeithBWhittington View Post
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...ate-board.html

I can think of a million different ways this can go south.... Especially when you read this:

"Records kept by the secretary of state’s office show that CAM filed articles of organization on March 28 — the same day the facilities authority officially approved the purchase of the arena.

Priest was the only person to sign the articles. He was unavailable for comment late last week."
I don't get the big deal. What does this article even say? All it seems to say is that the management group 'could' be used to operate in private. There's nothing to indicate that it will. All it says is control of the arena is transferred to a board including the convention authority's executive director, Priest, and reps from Ohio State and Nationwide.....essentially the stakeholders.

Much ado about nothing.

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Originally Posted by Anisimovs AK View Post
Oh thats why, I thought it might have something to do with the practicality, such as the price of jet fuel and needing a pilot's and driver's license to operate one. Good to know its dumb people's fault though
It took you nearly two months to come up with this? it was, of course, tongue in cheek.. You know...a joke at the expense of the kooks who so often post on the dispatch site.


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05-22-2012, 07:36 AM
  #354
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Originally Posted by SuperGenius View Post
I don't get the big deal. What does this article even say? All it seems to say is that the management group 'could' be used to operate in private. There's nothing to indicate that it will. All it says is control of the arena is transferred to a board including the convention authority's executive director, Priest, and reps from Ohio State and Nationwide.....essentially the stakeholders.

Much ado about nothing.
I guess it all depends on your outlook on the situation right now. Maybe you're right and maybe nothing essentially changes, but Capn hit the nail on the head, something like this leaves a bad taste in people's mouths.

I've said time and time again that had the Arena issue actually gone to vote, I would have voted yes for public funds to be used.

"The group will operate in private, Jennison said, to allocate an estimated $250 million in casino-tax revenue that the city and county dedicated to the arena’s purchase and up-keep through 2039."

He goes on to say that the budget will be transparent though, well, we all know the budget already.

“It certainly doesn’t pass the smell test,” said John Raphael, who serves on the facilities-authority board. “We obviously need to have some discussions about this.”

I think Mr. Raphael is absolutely correct. This doesn't pass the "smell test", regardless of the intent. The Arena just went public and now Priest and these other three want to try and have their cake (the bailout) and eat it too (keep some semblence of private ownership of the arena).

Public funds saved the arena and now they want the public to have little to no say on how the arena is used...


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05-22-2012, 07:56 AM
  #355
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Here's the latest from the Dispatch:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...be-public.html

I think the idea that they'll be able to operate without public scrutiny will not fly. As has been said, even the hint of it is just another PR fiasco for Priest and the CBJ. Please, get some professionals in here to run this show who have some experience with dealing with the public. I'm not even talking about their hockey knowledge, this bunch doesn't know how to get out of it's own way in the public arena. It would be sadly funny if I didn't care so much for having the NHL in Columbus.

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05-22-2012, 08:15 AM
  #356
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Originally Posted by pete goegan View Post
Here's the latest from the Dispatch:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...be-public.html

I think the idea that they'll be able to operate without public scrutiny will not fly. As has been said, even the hint of it is just another PR fiasco for Priest and the CBJ. Please, get some professionals in here to run this show who have some experience with dealing with the public. I'm not even talking about their hockey knowledge, this bunch doesn't know how to get out of it's own way in the public arena. It would be sadly funny if I didn't care so much for having the NHL in Columbus.
I'm with you, pete. Honestly, I'm less concerned about the potentially private operation of that board (and believe me, I'm a firm supporter of Sunshine laws) than I am the display of tin-ear-edness.

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05-22-2012, 09:05 AM
  #357
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Originally Posted by pete goegan View Post
Here's the latest from the Dispatch:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...be-public.html

I think the idea that they'll be able to operate without public scrutiny will not fly. As has been said, even the hint of it is just another PR fiasco for Priest and the CBJ. Please, get some professionals in here to run this show who have some experience with dealing with the public. I'm not even talking about their hockey knowledge, this bunch doesn't know how to get out of it's own way in the public arena. It would be sadly funny if I didn't care so much for having the NHL in Columbus.
Well said, Pete.

It is pretty obvious what is going on here and it smells rotten. Once you ask for tax payer support, you give up a certain level of privacy and control. Particularly on matters of budget disclosure since ultimately it is public funds which are being used.

Mike Priest couldn't successfully operate the Arena's finances. That's why he went to OSU, the City and the County. Both OSU and the County know how to run facilities. I think there are reasons OSU should not be involved--notably that they have a conflict of interest due to their interest in the Schott. But the County is more than capable of owning and operating the Arena--they presently own Huntington Park, which is a first rate minor league baseball stadium.

Someone needs to do a public records request and find out what is really going on in all of this. Were the Mayor and others really caught unaware by this? Doesn't seem plausible to me. Why wasn't the Arena directly held by the County Commissioners (as Huntington Park is) in the first place instead of the Convention Authority? All of this just raises more and more questions.

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05-22-2012, 09:06 AM
  #358
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Originally Posted by pete goegan View Post
Here's the latest from the Dispatch:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stor...be-public.html

I think the idea that they'll be able to operate without public scrutiny will not fly. As has been said, even the hint of it is just another PR fiasco for Priest and the CBJ. Please, get some professionals in here to run this show who have some experience with dealing with the public. I'm not even talking about their hockey knowledge, this bunch doesn't know how to get out of it's own way in the public arena. It would be sadly funny if I didn't care so much for having the NHL in Columbus.
I guess what I don't really understand is why the CBJ are getting the 'blame' for this. Clearly, the board is also comprised of the director of the convention authority, a Nationwide rep, an OSU rep.

And the CBJ are evil? Honestly, if anyone looks bad, it's this Jennison guy.

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05-22-2012, 09:19 AM
  #359
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I guess what I don't really understand is why the CBJ are getting the 'blame' for this. Clearly, the board is also comprised of the director of the convention authority, a Nationwide rep, an OSU rep.

And the CBJ are evil? Honestly, if anyone looks bad, it's this Jennison guy.
FYI, Jennison is the Convention Authority's executive director.

I doubt that the Convention Authority came up with the idea to create an entity to control the Arena other than the Convention Authority. It would be an unnecessary expense for them and an added and unnecessary layer of bureaucracy. Which means one or more of the other parties came up with the idea.

Furthermore, by creating such an entity the Convention Authority has presumably already given up all control--unless the CA has a veto power, they can easily be outvoted by the other 3...all of whom have a pre-existing business relationship with respect to the Arena.

It isn't about being evil. It is about being wrong. It is not right to hand control of public funds right back to the same group of parties that came asking for public funds in the first place because they couldn't manage the Arena without losing tens of millions of dollars.

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05-22-2012, 09:37 AM
  #360
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Originally Posted by SuperGenius View Post
I guess what I don't really understand is why the CBJ are getting the 'blame' for this. Clearly, the board is also comprised of the director of the convention authority, a Nationwide rep, an OSU rep.

And the CBJ are evil? Honestly, if anyone looks bad, it's this Jennison guy.
Agree about Jennison, especially since other members of the authority seemed to not know anything about this. Still CBJ are going to bear the brunt - in this case, extra as Priest thus far is the only signee of the papers to create this board - and therefore should be extra cognizant of perception.

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05-22-2012, 09:45 AM
  #361
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Originally Posted by SuperGenius View Post
I guess what I don't really understand is why the CBJ are getting the 'blame' for this. Clearly, the board is also comprised of the director of the convention authority, a Nationwide rep, an OSU rep.

And the CBJ are evil? Honestly, if anyone looks bad, it's this Jennison guy.
I read the article and I couldn't even figure out if I was supposed to be outraged at something. I do know that I came out of it bored. I see nothing of any interest. It seems to be all political and I can't even figure out what everyone is bothered about. Seems like another excuse to bash Priest more than anything else. I'm not even sure anyone needs bashed.

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05-22-2012, 10:07 AM
  #362
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Originally Posted by SuperGenius View Post
I guess what I don't really understand is why the CBJ are getting the 'blame' for this. Clearly, the board is also comprised of the director of the convention authority, a Nationwide rep, an OSU rep.

And the CBJ are evil? Honestly, if anyone looks bad, it's this Jennison guy.
Ultimately, you will have the fringe people that blame the CBJ simply because they wanted no part of the bailout itself because the CBJ are the lone tenant. The fact that Priest is obviously the most visible cog in this wheel as well as the CBJ president makes its easy for some to cast blame at the feet of the organization itself.

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05-22-2012, 10:23 AM
  #363
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Hopefully, with this out in the open now, more people are starting to see what certain media members mean when they say that under Mike Priest the CBJ have lost several good individuals that were a credit to both the city and the organization.

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05-22-2012, 11:17 AM
  #364
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Originally Posted by KeithBWhittington View Post
Ultimately, you will have the fringe people that blame the CBJ simply because they wanted no part of the bailout itself because the CBJ are the lone tenant. The fact that Priest is obviously the most visible cog in this wheel as well as the CBJ president makes its easy for some to cast blame at the feet of the organization itself.
Let's back up for a second.

Mike Priest may be incompetent as a president of a hockey franchise. That's not surprising for a guy whose only prior sports experience is about 30 years ago playing football.

But, incompetent as he may be at that job, he's a sophisticated accountant and fully capable of reading and understanding legal documents. Beyond which, he no doubt had a cadre of high paid attorneys to read in more detail and give him the overview of the document and point out any issues. Given what happened when JHM didn't read the original lease, I'm sure this go 'round the Jackets didn't take any chances.

The proposition that Mike Priest didn't understand the purpose of the document he was signing doesn't pass the smell test. Particularly since he agreed to serve on the board for the CAM. Generally when one serves on a board certain questions come up like "so, what does this board do?" And "what type of time commitment is involved."

Jennison is just the bumbling idiot too dumb to keep his mouth shut when the press came calling. But a bumbling idiot like that also wasn't the person who got the bright idea to create the CAM in the first place.

I think all of the parties involved in the CAM need to come clean on why it was created. Because that is really what is at issue here.

As someone who has worked on transactions where part of the project was to be owned by a public body, I see no discernible reason for this structure other than to avoid public records law--most other vestiges of control could have easily been handled by reworking the lease or entering into a management contract, etc. As such, this was is a shameful overreach that really gained the Jackets very little in the long run and looks bad to the public, particularly at a time when that public is distrusting of public bailouts in the first place.

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05-22-2012, 11:43 AM
  #365
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This deal, like the one that brought the Jackets to Columbus, has all the hallmarks of a classic "Founding Fathers" backroom understanding where the principles understand that the deal can be changed at anytime to suit future financial, political, and public necessities. This effectively renders a lot of legal and sticky financial details irrelevant.

To put it in other terms, they made it work well enough for the time being.

I'm sure there will be some who think things like this don't really work this way. Alas....

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05-22-2012, 11:59 AM
  #366
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This deal, like the one that brought the Jackets to Columbus, has all the hallmarks of a classic "Founding Fathers" backroom understanding where the principles understand that the deal can be changed at anytime to suit future financial, political, and public necessities. This effectively renders a lot of legal and sticky financial details irrelevant.

To put it in other terms, they made it work well enough for the time being.

I'm sure there will be some who think things like this don't really work this way. Alas....
The problem, as illustrated with the original deal, is that some of the parties are playing by the old boy/handshake rules and some aren't. Nationwide in particular seems to always control the important documents and make sure it maintains leverage such that when the new deal is entered, they have all the power to cram down a favorable deal to them. The local government is all too willing to go along with whatever Nationwide wants.

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05-22-2012, 12:13 PM
  #367
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I think all of the parties involved in the CAM need to come clean on why it was created. Because that is really what is at issue here.
Do you really need an explanation? Should be fairly obvious. Nothing to see here. Moving on.

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05-22-2012, 12:59 PM
  #368
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I read the article and I couldn't even figure out if I was supposed to be outraged at something. I do know that I came out of it bored. I see nothing of any interest. It seems to be all political and I can't even figure out what everyone is bothered about. Seems like another excuse to bash Priest more than anything else. I'm not even sure anyone needs bashed.
That's kind of the same impression I got. It's certainly awkward, considering that the arena is currently one of the favorite political footballs around here, but I'm not seeing yet another reason to scream and shout and call for firings.

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05-22-2012, 01:03 PM
  #369
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Do you really need an explanation? Should be fairly obvious. Nothing to see here. Moving on.
Yes, I do. As long as I'm a taxpayer to Franklin County and the City of Columbus, I expect them to have open books and open records.

I'm also not sure how there is "nothing to see here." Seems to me there is plenty they don't want you to see, which is usally indicative that someone is trying to hide something. You don't go to the hassle to create a non-transparent organization if there's really nothing to see.

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05-22-2012, 01:51 PM
  #370
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Yes, I do. As long as I'm a taxpayer to Franklin County and the City of Columbus, I expect them to have open books and open records.

I'm also not sure how there is "nothing to see here." Seems to me there is plenty they don't want you to see, which is usally indicative that someone is trying to hide something. You don't go to the hassle to create a non-transparent organization if there's really nothing to see.
Because it's common in politics. Where you really surprised that they tried it? There is nothing to see here. They will fight over it. Once side will win. Some people will be upset. It's not usually indicative of anything. The moment you have "transparency", it's code for whatever political person is in power at the time will find something to twist and beat you over the head with for their own political gain. I'm not saying whether that information should be public or not. What I will say is that there will be little value from that information being public.

Franky I would prefer, if I was in their shoes, do not have the information public. One less thing to worry about, the people looking over your shoulders trying to "add value".

Franky, you being (or ever me) having access to the data means nothing to me. You'll just have something to ***** about if you are bored enough to even bother to find and read the information.

As I said, big f'ing deal. Nothing to see here. Making much out of nothing. As I said they will fight about it. The data will probably end up public. /yawn - You can't get much more boring than making a big deal out of that article.

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05-22-2012, 04:38 PM
  #371
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Because it's common in politics.
Wow, if that's the best you got, there's no point in discussing...well, pretty much anything.

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Outright bribery and thievery are common in politics Where you really surprised that they tried it?
Umm, no. Which is exactly why I said at the outset I wasn't a fan of the "public plan". There were two private actors capable of coming to an agreement on shared losses and there was never a true need for the government to be involved in the first place.

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I'm not saying whether that information should be public or not. What I will say is that there will be little value from that information being public.
The added value is that, if I so choose, I can inform myself. No, does me little good since I can't vote in Franklin County/Columbus, but to those who both pay taxes and vote, they can vote accordingly. The marketplace of ideas, as any other marketplace, only works when you have something approaching perfect information. The less information, the less close you are to a model of perfect information.

It is this lazy attitude that throws our hands up in the air and says "well, they're going to do whatever they want" that leads to statism and destroys democracy. At some point it is incumbent on citizens to both inform themselves and voice their objections. Otherwise, we are all complicit in the evil deeds done by "the politicians" and their bedfellows.

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05-22-2012, 04:54 PM
  #372
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This has Mayor Quimby all over it...

Helen Lovejoy: We demand you bring in a police chief who will enforce Prohibition!
Mayor Quimby: Demand? Who are you to demand? I run this city. You're just a bunch of low-income nobodies!
Aide: (into Quimby's ear) Uh, election in November. Election in November.
Mayor Quimby: What? Again? This stupid country!

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05-22-2012, 06:29 PM
  #373
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So, um... what does this all mean?

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05-22-2012, 07:42 PM
  #374
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So, um... what does this all mean?
For the long term security of the team in Columbus? Nothing, assuming Jr. decides he wants to keep financing this dog and pony show.

What it means is basically that Priest and three of his friends tried to push through a proposal that would give the four men private control of 250 million thats earmarked for a public facility.

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05-22-2012, 07:43 PM
  #375
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