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The Braves new ballpark becomes fodder for a Tea Party vs. Establishment GOP political battle

May 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Image (1) braves%20logo.gif for post 3603

It’s primary day down in Georgia, and in the Atlanta suburbs north of town, there is a primary battle for a state legislative seat which pits a Tea Party guy against an establishment, business-backed GOP candidate. The odd twist: it’s the establishment guy challenging the Tea Partier. Usually it’s the other way around. The twist which make this germane to HBT: one of the issues is the deal Cobb County made with the Braves to move them out of downtown Atlanta and into a new ballpark.

The entire story, along with the arguments from each side about the merits of giving taxpayer money to the Braves can be read over at Nathaniel Rakich’s excellent Baseball Ballot blog. For our purposes, know that for all of you guys who like to call me a flaming pinko, I have at least one thing in common with the Tea Party guy:

“So what I would say to the Atlanta Braves is, ‘We would love to have you. You, just like any other business, you take out your loan. You build your stadium. You buy your land. You make your investment. You take the risk, and you keep all the profits,'” Gregory said. “We don’t need to be putting or socializing the risk on the backs of taxpayers. It really is legal plunder, corporate welfare, corporatism, whatever you want to call it. The taxpayers don’t need to fund private business.”

Gregory said he would love to have a water park in his backyard, but understands the government is not going to give him the money to build one.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Of course, if I lived in the district I’d be totally willing to vote for his pro-stadium deal opponent given that this Gregory cat is insane on just about every issue I care about. You can’t go very far in life being a single-issue voter as it is, but being a single-issue voter on stuff like ballpark financing is bound to lead you into trouble eventually. I rant about it here, but when you see the tradeoffs you make in picking a candidate based on that stuff I’m a bit more measured about it all.

Politics, man. They’re rather complicated. Someone should talk about this more.

  1. Joe Vecchio - May 20, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Like I keep saying, I hope the “good people” of Cobb County get soaked on this deal. They’ve been one of the biggest moocher counties in the country, living high off of Federal tax money in the form of building war planes even the Pentagon doesn’t want, and that’s saying a lot. No one deserves it more, frankly.

    And again I feel the need to ask when ax handle day will be at the future Lester Maddox Field.

    • SocraticGadfly - May 20, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Most red states get back more money from the feds than they send to DC. That said, I too agree with Craig. You want taxpayer help, give the city/county/state a cut of money back. Baseball stadiums are bad enough. Basketball and hockey are worse, with smaller crowds and half as many games. Football, of course, is the worst. And, it’s the most socialistic as a pro sport.

  2. renaado - May 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    “Tea party”???

    Damn, need to drink more capuccino for this…

    • mckludge - May 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      Like most Tea Party and Libertarian folks, this guy makes sense for about 2 or 3 minutes. Then he keeps talking…

      • yahmule - May 20, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        I’m going to steal this a lot.

  3. musketmaniac - May 20, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    this sounds more like McDonald’s ice coffee.

  4. chip56 - May 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Except that Gregory’s comparison of the Braves (or any MLB team) to other businesses is apples and oranges. If Cobb County sold the land to a bank or hardware store or something else like that, it’s not going to have the same positive economic impact on the rest of the community that a baseball team would have. Local restaurants, bars and shops will see an uptick in foot traffic (at least on game days) etc. You can’t say that about a bank or store.

    In a sense the public funding could be looked at as a sharing of future profits generated by the team.

    For what it’s worth – I’m not in favor of public funding, just pointing out that his comparison doesn’t work.

    • tolbuck - May 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      So that is why you don’t other businesses around stores like Wal-Mart, Target, or Home Depot. They don’t generate an uptick in traffic around the area.

      Oh, wait.

      • chip56 - May 20, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        Right – but the Atlanta Braves won’t be putting small businesses out of business when they move to the area the way a Wal-Mart, Target or Home Depot tend to do with their “mom & pop” competition.

    • mkd - May 20, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Except that every time anyone studies this exact issue they find that “positive economic impact” is practically nonexistent.

      • chip56 - May 20, 2014 at 4:56 PM

        usually because so much of the funding that would count as profit is going back to the ball club.

      • paperlions - May 20, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        No, always because people only have so much income to spend on entertainment, and if they spend more money on baseball, then they spend less money on other things….oh, and NONE of the money spent on baseball stays local…..oh, and because in these deals they always give huge tax breaks to the teams, foregoing millions in future property taxes that would be paid by anyone else that owned the land.

  5. anxovies - May 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    The Koch brothers reap millions in government subsidies for Georgia-Pacific and their oil and shipping industries. The taxpayers pay for logging roads and bridges so that GP may harvest trees and have provideed subsidies for ethanol production to Flint Hills Resources. Thier old man was Stalin’s best buddy and helped develop the Soviet petroleum industry in the 1920s and 1930s. Why can’t the Atlanta baseball fans reap a few bennies?

    • tolbuck - May 20, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Or how about getting rid of the subsidies entirely? Why should my tax dollars go to subsidize some billionaire’s business, on in this case his play thing?

      • paperlions - May 20, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        I feel compelled to note that anxovies was being sarcastic and facetious.

    • simon94022 - May 20, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      What I love about 21st century American politics is that the same people who (rightly) point out the stupidity of Fox News and talk radio turn around and rant about the Koch Brothers as the locus of evil in the world.

      Everybody seems to get their news filtered through one or two narrow-minded conspiratorial outlets. It’s just a different set of filters depending on whether you’re on the left or the right.

      • normcash - May 20, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        Actually, your “plague on both their houses” approach doesn’t work in this case. People
        who recognize Fox News for the ideological bilge that it is and right-wing talk radio (is there any other kind?) for the reactionary conduit it is are highly consistent in criticizing
        the Koch brothers for bank rolling the kind of extremist candidates Fox and talk radio push. And their hypocrisy in taking all kinds of taxpayer funded benefits while railing against “the welfare state” is both accurate and fair game.

      • brkviking - May 20, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Case and point below, oh noes Koch Brothers. They’re are in favor of gay marriage, drug war reform, and pro-choice, they surely suck at controlling the GOP and FOX. Next time you watch a PBS or walk through a museum exhibit of evolution, you might be surprised by a major donor.

  6. Carl Hancock - May 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    I still think Atlanta should tell the Braves they can’t claim they’re the Atlanta Braves anymore once they move. Force them to go by the Cobb County Braves which has a nice minor league ring to it.

    • SocraticGadfly - May 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      The Braves would ultimately try to pull a fast one, just like Arte Moreno, and you’d get: The Atlanta Braves of Cobb County or other nuttiness.

  7. sc101071 - May 20, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    I’m a Democrat. I don’t like the Tea Party. I am from Atlanta.

    That said, I feel this way on a lot of things like regions cannibalizing themselves by giving huge tax breaks to companies to lure business to their state. MS recently passed a law that says that you cannot unionize in the state. They are simply saying that they intend to earn jobs by making their labor force the lowest bidder. It’s sad.

    I’m glad the Braves are building the new facility. And, I’m in DeKalb County, so it’s not really my tax dollars for the bulk of it. Atlanta has blame itself in the greed they exhibit over the parking lots to the detriment of the team and the surrounding neighborhoods.

  8. mtr75 - May 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Wow, I agree with a Teatard on something.

  9. Dogsweat - May 20, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    What a way to start in Bread Gobbling County.

  10. sfm073 - May 21, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    What does the Koch brothers social views have to do with their other political views? I’m supposed to just accept the fact that these two guys are spending millions of dollars on advertisement that is blatantly lying to the America public because I agree with them on evolution?

  11. jimmyt - May 21, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    The sophomoric name calling by so called liberals never ceases to amuse.

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