Jeff Flake Quiet on Cubs Stadium in Mesa

Today’s Phoenix Business Journal ran the following article by Mike Sunnucks:

U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Mesa, has been quick throughout his tenure to oppose federal subsidies and special incentives. But the East Valley congressman is keeping mum on state and local proposals within his district to build a new Cactus League ballpark in Mesa for the Chicago Cubs.

The Legislature is considering a plan to impose 8 percent ticket fees on all Cactus League games and $1 Maricopa County rental car tax to help pay for the Cubs stadium. In addition, the city of Mesa will ask its voters to approve bonds and new spending for the $86 million project.

Proposed Cubs Site
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, the Arizona Diamondbacks and other Cactus League teams oppose the ticket fee idea. Instead, Gordon and D-backs officials would like to see special tax districts created around spring training ballparks and in downtown Phoenix to capture and dedicate sales tax revenue toward those areas, and perhaps bond against future expected revenue.

The Cubs have threatened to move to the Grapefruit League in Florida unless a new ballpark is built here by 2013.

Flake is not taking a stance either on the ticket fees or the tax district idea to help pay for a new stadium.

“We’re going to hold off on commenting for now,” said Flake spokesman Matthew Specht.

The city of Mesa is a prime backer of the ticket fee and car rental tax increase to keep the Cubs from moving.

A bill that would impose ticket fees and the car rental tax has been approved by committees in the Arizona House of Representatives. House Bill 2736 is not yet scheduled for a full House vote.

“This is budget week, and the Cactus League bill is on hold for this week,” said House Majority Leader John McComish, R-Ahwatukee.


Comments

  1. What’s the point of this story? Are they hoping people are too stupid to know that Congressmen don’t vote in the state legislature?

    Why does Flake have to “weigh in” on this issue? It’s not his job to get involved in every state, county and municipal decision. He has his hands full where he’s at.

    Sounds like someone tried to get Flake to side with them and he hasn’t done it yet. Hmmm…

  2. Travis:

    Jeff Flake is being called to account because he has made a career for himself as a spokesman against “crony capitalism” and “corporate welfare”

    He is now being asked to do a “Jim Bunning” i.e. “Walk the G.O.P. Campaign Talk”

    Stay tuned and see how the paid shills respond!

    And let the “hacks” pay heed!

  3. Apart from that, the more we read about this $1 tax on rental cars, the $86 mil bond to be stuck to taxpayers, the madder we get.

    The ONLY thing that is appropriate is the 8% TAX on the TICKETS. It would affect ONLY the population that actually goes to the games. Everything ELSE is a subsidy – forcing those who can’t afford tickets or aren’t interested – ie non-users.

    But LO! The Cactus League perceives that would make the tickets too EXPENSIVE and would CHASE AWAY fans – a SUICIDAL marketing idea in a soft economy when people are cutting back on luxuries.

  4. Uncle Dave says

    If Flake had a vote in this matter, I would care about his opinion. Call me when this bill gets to Congress.

  5. Since when do we consult our Federal electeds on pending legislation that they have nothing to do with?

  6. Sean and Uncle Dave:

    When the politician in question makes a career out of opposing inappropriate spending and “sweetheart” deals between gov’t and entrepreneurs!

    This would be a great opportunity for Jeff to comment on situations he constantly criticizes, particularly in his own backyard!

    No, he doesn’t vote on the matter, but you can be sure he’s in close contact with those who do!

    Let him speak up!

  7. ……………………………
    “Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, the Arizona Diamondbacks and other Cactus League teams oppose the ticket fee idea. Instead, Gordon and D-backs officials would like to see special tax districts created around spring training ballparks and in downtown Phoenix to capture and dedicate sales tax revenue toward those areas, and perhaps bond against future expected revenue.”
    ……………………

    Took a while to let that all sink in. A captive population that gets the priviledge of being overtaxed so other people can drive in and watch ball games at cheaper ticket prices.
    …………………

    “The Cubs have threatened to move to the Grapefruit League in Florida unless a new ballpark is built here by 2013.”
    ……….

    Not actually used to this League business, but frankly if the Cubs are too imperious for the local facilities and prefer the “Grapefruit League,” let them.

    “Fruitcake” is the attitude. They haven’t noticed the economy? The job losses? The housing foreclosures?

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