08/19/04 Certainly not Party Labels!
As someone who recycles paper, coke cans, plastic and
even cat food cans, I certainly qualify as an environmentalist. Granted, I
am an environmentalist with a small "e", but I'm a certified tree hugger and my
leaves stay on my lawn all Winter and get moved to my back yard for compost in
the Spring. Just trying to establish my credentials despite my partisan
connection to the Republican Party.
Environmentalists have done everything but form a human chain across our Sewer
Trough to prevent Our Mayor's Trinity Project. Everyone assumes most
environmentalists are Democrats, but look who have been leading the charge to
create an environmental disaster that most of us will live to see? Laura
Miller, Ed Oakley and Martin Frost.
As a Republican, I have been feeling so smug watching those three Democrats just
shaft people who support them, but this week Republican Senator Kay Bailey
Hutchinson and Republican Governor Rick Perry jumped right in there to divert
taxpayer funds to a project that not only is a pending disaster but one that
barely got 50% support from Dallas voters -- certainly no mandate.
Not sure you would want to address
this issue with your readers.
As someone who has served with
Mission Arlington to help the poor in Arlington, I was disappointed
when the city rejected a mass transportation
Now, with Mayor
Cluck claiming huge economic benefit and thousands of new jobs, the
city is pushing hard for voters to approve this
new "Jones Tax".
My question is:
How are the people who
will get the thousands of new
promised jobs going to get to work without a
mass transit system?
Still, more high profile Democrats have promoted the Trinity Project than
After all, it was good old Democrat Con Jerk who
pulled off a second questionable election victory in less than 6 months.
That was back before Laura Miller got swapped for a Stepford Wife who takes instruction from her husband.
The 1998 Laura Miller opposed the Trinity Project, but to the 2004 version of
Laura Miller the Trinity Project is the reason for her existence.
Trinity Reality Check -
There is no funding for the Woodall
Rogers String Thing to Singleton.
It's not in the
Transportation Funding Bill, nor are state or local funds available.
Without it, the Trinity Tollway cannot proceed.
So, there is no urgency to fund the I-30
or I-35 bridges to accommodate a highway that's not there.
Someone at the Budget Office has
figured this out. The local press has not. If
they have, they darn sure are keeping quiet about it.
It's not exactly "d?a vu" all over again, but here we are watching Arlington
taxpayers face the same assault by the sports mafia and the greedy politicians
they have coerced to sell a false promise to voters. They will get the
same empty promises of economic development and lowered homeowner taxes and
smooth streets and green parks and diminished crime -- all just because a new
sports stadium is heading their way.
Guess all that empty landscape around the Ball Park is only visible to people
who don't live in Arlington.
Hey, they pulled it off in Dallas. The sports mafia had promised Reunion
would change the dynamics Downtown, but it didn't. Reunion and its lack of
development were sitting right there for us to point to as proof these play pens
do not deliver, but just enough voters played "deaf, mute and blind" for the
sports mafia to prevail. That, and all the "walk around money" Con Jerk's
Large White Shadow and Kathy Neely spread around.
Seeing the scale Grandpa Jones is trying to fleece Arlington taxpayers, Tommy
Hicks, Ross, Jr. and Con Jerk may have done us a favor by stealing the 1998
arena election. Not only are we too broke to compete with Arlington, the lopsided
agreement then City MisManager John Ware wrote for his future employer (Tom
Hicks) has a
non-compete clause that actually protects us from the folly that is about to
For a city facing a $17 million budget shortfall, their mayor and council are
using a strange logic to justify spending $635 million to increase
their tax base. To a simple person like me, it looks like they don't have
$635 million to spare over 30 years ($21 million a year). Oh, yeah -- the
stadium is going to be an economic boom for them.
Funny, Texas Stadium is right at 30 years old, and I don't see much development
around it, unless you count the office/warehouse properties nearby.
Grandpa Jones' stadium will technically be owned by the city, so there's
no property tax revenue from it. He gets to keep the revenue and charge an
extra tax on tickets and parking.
What's that phrase? If you have to
ask the price, you can't afford the ticket!
I'm telling you -- I'm beginning to have warm feelings of gratitude toward Con
Jerk and his two billionaire buddies. It's sort of like
enduring a rape by one guy to avoid a gang rape.
This stadium deal could get very interesting before it gets built.
Arlington will use its eminent domain rights (like Dallas did for Hicks and
Perot) to steal some land from its rightful owners to give to Grandpa Jerry
Jones. Even if it's not happening to Dallas property owners this time,
taking a citizen's property this way
is still so very wrong.
Many of these land thefts are done under the guise of economic
development. In Hurst, most of a stable single-family neighborhood was
wiped out to expand a shopping center -- A SHOPPING CENTER! People who had
lived in their homes 30 years, raised their families there -- had to vacate and
start over so a shopping center could expand.
basis for these land thefts has been a Michigan case that has just been
ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court.
Rights In Broad Ruling
By DEAN STARKMAN Staff
Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
August 2, 2004; Page A6
In a decision with wide
implications for property rights nationally, the Michigan Supreme Court
ruled that the state and local governments may not
take property from one private owner and give it to another purely for the
purpose of economic development.
The 7-0 decision handed down Friday
night overturns a landmark 1981 case in which the same court allowed the
city of Detroit to take 1,000 homes and 600 businesses to make way for a
General Motors Corp. plant. The
earlier case, called Poletown
after the neighborhood that was condemned, was
widely cited by state courts around the country in cases that vastly
expanded local governments' power to take private property for public
Poletown in order to vindicate
our constitution, protect the people's property rights and preserve the
legitimacy of the judicial branch as the expositor, not creator, of
fundamental law," the court wrote.
Dana Berliner, a lawyer for Institute
for Justice, a Washington-based property-rights law firm that filed a brief
in the case, said she expects the decision to have broad impact, since other
state courts have long relied on
Poletown to uphold condemnations. Now they can no longer do so
and may revisit the question altogether, as the Michigan high court did, she
... warned in a friend-of-the-court brief that a reversal of
Poletown would "impose
new constitutional restraints on takings that could destroy the public's
ability to take property where necessary to achieve
Mark Zausmer, a lawyer for Wayne County, said the
ruling will restrict cities' powers to spur their local economies, making
some projects "impossible because an individual owner can simply decide that
he doesn't want to sell."...
On Friday, the court resoundingly sided with property
owners. In its 85-page ruling, the court said it rejected the principle that
"a private entity's pursuit of profit was a 'public use' for constitutional
takings purposes simply because one entity's profit maximization contributed
to the health of the general economy."
Boys and Girls, this is a huge
deal. Even if Arlington technically owns the land and the stadium, this mess
could be tied up in court for a long time by an impacted property owner who may
not want his land stolen and given to Grandpa Jones. Same thing could
happen if the vote fails and Dallas gets targeted by that Arkansas gang again.
Mark Davis of WBAP says he hates public money financing these stadiums, but
"everyone is doing it" so "it's stupid to oppose it."
What happened to fighting for a just cause even when things are stacked against
All my smart friends say Arlington voters will support the stadium tax in
November. They may be right, but Arlington is not as big as Dallas and vote fraud
is a little harder to conceal in a city of that size. Arlington voters
have been turning down bond packages year after year since they supported the
Arlington's share for stadium: $648 million
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Posted on Wed, Aug. 18, 2004
Once interest costs are factored in,
Arlington's tab for a new Cowboys stadium will nearly equal the total price
of the $650 million retractable-roof structure.
... The taxes are:
? A 0.5 percent sales tax.
? A 2 percent hotel-occupancy tax.
? A 5 percent car-rental tax.
? A 10 percent ticket tax.
? A $3 parking tax.
... Anne Van Praagh, an analyst at Moody's
Investors Service. ... "What we've seen in
stadiums across the country, particularly in areas where there's a
concentration of wealth and a willingness to pay for expensive tickets, the
average prices do go up, and the average attendee isn't always
representative of the average family in the United States,"
... The Houston Sports Authority, which recently
built three new stadiums, assumed 3 percent growth every year for 30 years
in its various tax revenues. Because that assumption was too optimistic, the
authority recently had to sell more bonds to help service its debt.
... For the city's half of the construction cost,
its three taxes are expected to generate an average of about $19.5 million a
year. Arlington also expects to get just over $2 million annually from the
Cowboys through rent, and up to $500,000 a year from any naming-rights deal.
... The largest portion of the city's annual
contribution to the stadium -- $19.6 million, or 89 percent -- would come
from the sales tax. ...
TV reporters are stating the
stadium will cost Arlington families each an additional $200-$250 annually for
30 years. Pretty steep for some family that will never be able to afford
to attend a game in Jonestown.
Who knows what's going to happen? Some people are locked into a serf
mentality and believe their masters know more than they and
do as they are told by those in control.
It is clear that the party label of those in control
doesn't matter. For most elected officials, it's not about ideology, it's
about power and control. Grandpa Jones may well win this one
THOSE WITH THE GOLD RULE.