Thursday, August 31, 2006

After Thirty Years, Senator Hatch Still Doesn't Get It

He still thinks it's all about him. Senator Orrin Hatch told the Tribune he was still raising money to combat any future negative attacks. Senator Orrin Hatch is a man who has spent his entire career building up the Washington D.C. political money machine but never learned what it really means to be a U.S. Senator.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thank You, Pete Ashdown

Thank you for never uttering the words "this is how the game is played" but instead showing us what a campaign SHOULD be. How a candidate SHOULD raise money, how a candidate SHOULD communicate with constituents and for showing the openness and accessability that should be standard at all levels of government. Utah has a lot to be proud of in your campaign. In Washington D.C., you will finally give us represenatation that is not afraid to uphold values that run counter to the status quo.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Might And Right

Those in the pay of Senator Orrin Hatch point to the Senator's riches as validation of the Senator's continued career. Senator Hatch is obviously a good Senator because he has all the money and power. Might makes right. Sound reasonable? Is that truly compatible with "Utah's values"? What about Utah's history? Did might make right every time Joseph Smith was arrested and imprisoned on ridiculous charges? Did might make right when he was assasinated? Did might make right when Mormons were mobbed and driven through multiple states? Senator Orrin Hatch may survive November, but his generation of politics is on its last leg.

More On The Money

Pete Ashdown has enough personal wealth to close the cash gap with Senator Orrin Hatch. But he doesn't. Because he's NOT Senator Orrin Hatch. Nor is he anything like those who insulate the Senator from the public, who smugly point to his riches as some sort of validation. Riches, I should add, accumulated on the backs of Utahns. So why doesn't Pete Ashdown cut himself a check? Because he understands the dangerous game of men like Senator Orrin Hatch. And he will play no part in it. The mere presence of Pete in this race is a triumph for Utahns. There is a new generation moving into the scene. Old men like Senator Hatch use millions to stay in as long as they can, but they will be forced to the side to make way for openness, communication, and the triumph of innovation.

Raising Money

Candidates raise money so they can communicate with constituents. It is supposed to enhance our democracy. Honorable candidates like Pete Ashdown understand that the need to communicate should drive the need for money. Senator Orrin Hatch sees it differently. I don't know what is more disturbing, that Senator Hatch doesn't campaign and instead uses money raised to enrich personal friends and hoard for himself or that he is so brazen about it, knowing that in the end he can just say "what are you going to do? Vote for a Democrat?" Utah, show Senator Hatch that you are not his to push around. That you are not his blank check. Show him you have your self- respect and Vote for a man with real honor.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm In The Wrong Line Of Work

Senator Orrin Hatch is paying Senator Bob Bennetts son $2,500 per month to manage the lamest campaign site in the world. They don't even update the journal anymore. Everything is the same as it was months ago. Money makes the incumbent Under the radar: One Christensen company's sole purpose is to keep the senator in office

The Definition

The Third Avenue has an amazing quote from Albert Einstein: "The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I read that and immediately remembered Utah is poised to give Senator Orrin Hatch a sixth chance.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Love

Lavarr Webb mentioned SLC Councilman Dave Buhler has hired Love Communications to put a face on his Mayoral campaign. I have two thoughts on this. 1. After what has happened with RSL, I'm amazed anyone is still calling Tom Love. Could Buhler's campaign be any more dead than it already is? 2. Josh Ewing is apparently already supporting Jenny Wilson. So I guess it won't be him on the job.

Man Of Honor

Senator Orrin Hatch won't bother campaigning, but he will raise cold cash during President Bush's visit. If he has any honor at all, Senator Hatch will walk out of his fundraiser and cut a check to LaVar Christensen for the full amount raised. We all know the Senator is at the end of his career. What happens to his money? This race couldn't provide more striking contrasts. Read why Pete Ashdown is a candidate with real honor

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Of Politicians And Planets

New rules have booted Pluto off the planet list. A planet now "has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." In related news,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Deconstructing Doug Robinson

From Doug Robinson's article: "For months, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon vowed he wouldn't spend public money on Dave Checketts' soccer stadium" FALSE. Mayor Corroon always said he would approve the right deal. He never discounted the use of public money. "Corroon turns down the stadium project because he says he is protecting the public interest and doesn't want to use public money for it." FALSE. See above. "Corroon, still enjoying his new popularity, repeats that he will listen to any funding plan as long as it is the people's will." FALSE. Mayor Corroon always said that he would approve a deal that made sense for SLCo. He never put a "people's will" qualifier on any plan. "On Aug. 12, Corroon takes the bait like a hungry bass." FALSE. RSL and others asked Mayor Peter Corroon to present to them a plan that would be acceptable to the county. This he did August 11.

Is This It?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Senator Hatch Won't Remember Your Name In The Morning

Senator Orrin Hatch doesn't remember making a certain statement about terrorism. It seems like he's not remembering a lot of things lately. Or maybe he's using the Nancy Workman "I'm incompetent but not in a dangerous way, more like a loveable town drunk sort of way" defense. Senator Hatch makes stuff up because he figures Utahns won't understand what he's saying. If they do, he figures no one will call him on it. If he is called out, then he runs and hides, sending out his people to "clarify", which is a fancy D.C. way of shoring up a lie with an even more blatant lie that is somehow less of a lie because the Senator isn't saying it, he is just hiding behind the skirt of the person he paid to say it. Utah, respect yourselves more than Senator Hatch respects you. Vote for a real man.

The Dark Side Of Utah Politics

When Utah's politicians spend their entire careers trading on their membership in the LDS Church, and posing for cameras at general conference. but have no problem bearing false witness lying using their position to enrich family members stealing Hooray for Utah's values!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Let's Name The Stadium

Tonight on Nightside, we'll be naming the new soccer stadium. If you have any name suggestions, leave them here. We'll take all serious and tongue- in- cheek name ideas. SLCSpin has gathered quite a few already, but there is room for more. Listen tonight for a selection of the best new stadium names.

It's Time For A Vacation... Er, I Mean A Convention

I would like to propose a blogger convention at Charley Foster's new house.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Let's Name The Stadium

So we have an interesting list of names so far. "The Fortress" "The People's Stadium" "Boondoggle Field" "Checketts' Legacy Field" "Jenny Wilson Caved Stadium" "Taxpayer's Green" "Dolan's Downs" "The Tahitian Noni American Freedom Stadium of Values and Family" Obviously, some are more serious than others. Surely there are more out there.

Fruit Salad

I just watched Pee Wee Herman marry a bowl of fruit salad during a pajama party at his playhouse. That is what kids were watching in 1986. Any more questions about the rising generation?

A Name For The Stadium

I'm ready to start a collection to give the stadium a proper name. Let's raise a million dollars and name the stadium ourselves. "The Fortress"

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Governor's Ambition

Pignanelli/Webb asked why Governor Huntsman endorsed Senator McCain for President. Many people's first thought was that Governor Huntsman was looking for a cabinet position. But consider The Governor knows that the cabinet will not advance his career. It lasts a few years max, and comes with little long- term political clout. Governor Huntsman wants Senator Hatch's job. He can be Senator Huntsman until he dies. Or until he does what Senator Hatch tried but failed to do... find the next rung on the ladder.

Street Buzz

Sunday's Pignanelli/Webb discusses the "street buzz" around the upcoming special session. Well, there is no street buzz. It's about taxes. No one is talking about it. But if they were, I bet the street buzz would be something along the lines of "this special session is simply a gift to lawmakers facing re- election".

Disclosure

The Salt Lake Tribune blogs have opened a new world of reporting. This then this

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Deal!

KSL Nightside just reported that a deal has been struck to build the stadium in Sandy. Groundbreaking is at 10am and David Beckham is supposed to perform the honorary shovel thing. Update: Groundbreaking is at 12 noon.

Putting It To Bed?

So the day ends with a deal extremely close. In the past 48 hours, the entire political leadership, both Republican and Democrat, have come together to find a solution. Tomorrow evening, Rice Eccles stadium will be completely full of bodies. If Dave Checketts walks away from Salt Lake City, 1. He doesn't deserve this team 2. He should be institutionalized

Stadium

If you read SLCSpin, you know the stadium negotiations have been all over the place. Heather May at the Tribune just posted the most current deal may be unraveling. I suppose that means RSL is going to make another counter offer. Tonight on Nightside, Mayor Rocky Anderson talked about a 10am groundbreaking but that is looking less and less likely he also accused the County Mayor's office of making last minute changes to an approved plan before sending it to RSL, thus rendering it unacceptable. My own sources indicate the plan before RSL right now is the exact plan the County Council, Mayor's office, and financial advisors signed off on. So tonight, the RSL has the reigns.

Groundbreaking

A stadium groundbreaking has been tentatively scheduled for 10am tomorrow morning. This according to Mayor Rocky Anderson as heard on Nightside.

Statement By Mayor Peter Corroon

August 11, 2006 6:00 p.m. Today, with the endorsement of key members of the Salt Lake County Council, Salt Lake County has presented a proposal that I hope will satisfy REAL Salt Lake, The City of Sandy and the State of Utah. At this time we have received no response from REAL. When I came into office I wanted to change politics as usual: No more sweetheart deals and backroom bargaining; I promised less partisanship and politics and an open, honest, and ethical government based on planning not politics I feel Salt Lake County has been more than open about this process. We’ve also been clear about what we believe is feasible. I We see the county as a facilitator and leader. If there’s a way we can find common ground and common good, then it’s worth our time. Over the months, now year, of discussion, we always maintained that we’d consider any plan that benefits taxpayers. With that in mind, yesterday, Thursday, I proposed a plan that was countered by the team. Today, we came in with a proposal that satisfies the concerns of many members of the County Council, the Mayor’s Office and our financial advisors. We believe it is a good deal for our citizens. In general the plan includes contributions amounting to $15.8 million dollars from the county plus the relocation of the planned South Towne Parking lot across the street for use by both South Towne and the stadium. In return, nearly $27.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions from the team through parking revenue, ticket revenue, youth soccer and other promotions. The specifics of the plan are these: The County will provide $20 million for parking and related improvements including land and infrastructure. Salt Lake County will own the property and improvements for which these funds are used. The County will lease the parking garage at fair market value to REAL for stadium-related events. The County will issue a bond up to $10 million in 2010 and another $10 million in 2015 utilizing Transient Room Tax revenue as the payment source; it will cost OUR property taxpayers absolutely nothing. REAL shall provide 50-cents per ticket for all non-concert, stadium related events. REAL will make a $7.5 million dollar cash contribution to the Salt Lake City soccer complex approved by voters in 2003…and ensures that if it develops a soccer academy, it will be in Salt Lake County. REAL shall contribute $1 million each year in in-kind tourism promotion (details later). REAL will guarantee to Salt Lake County it will maintain its headquarters and play its games here for at least 30 years. Should REAL go out of business, it shall be liable to Salt Lake County for repayment of $10 million. As is common with most public-private partnerships, we’re asking REAL to develop relationships with youth and host annual charity events. As with all of our new government buildings, REAL commits to make the new stadium LEED – certified (LEED=Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Salt Lake County will contribute NO money for land for the stadium, hotel or broadcast studio. Over the past 24 hours I have met with the Governor, legislative leaders, Dave Checketts, the County’s financial advisors, my fiscal staff and members of the county council. After crunching the numbers and getting input from Council members, this was the proposal we offered to REAL. I believe it is a plan that is feasible AND protects the interests of the citizens of Salt Lake County.

Crazy Few Days

It's been a crazy few days. The stadium news was changing minute to minute. It seems to be over, and that's good. I know everyone is going to try and pretend like stadium is all roses and beautiful music, but I hope we retain memory of what happened I hope we remember the fumblings of Dave Checketts the petty underhandedness of Speaker Greg Curtis and the grandstanding of Mayor Rocky Anderson. After all, we didn't land in this place by accident. So it would be a disservice to our community if we all forgot what brought us here.

It's All About Mayor Corroon

The plan reported by the Tribune is a plan put forward by SLCo Mayor Peter Corroon. All that remains is for the plan to be approved by RSL. That should happen soon.

Taking Credit

Mayor Rocky Anderson is busy taking credit for the soccer stadium. That is horseshit. He his hoping 1) the public doesn't understand what happened the past few months 2) the principles involved have too much class to call him on it

There's A Deal!

Rumor is Real Salt Lake has reached a deal to build its stadium in Sandy. They'll announce later today.

RSL v. Real Madrid Section 34 Row 3

I have two seats available on the third row. As many of you probably realize, this will provide a great view of the Real Madrid bench. Interested in one or both? SLCSpin at gmail.com.

And Finally

16 Minutes Of Infamy For A...

15 Minutes Of Infamy For An Unsuspecting Little League Coach

RSL v. Real Madrid Section 34 Row 3

I have two seats available on the third row. As many of you probably realize, this will provide a great view of the Real Madrid bench. Interested in one or both? SLCSpin at gmail.com.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Another (DOA?) Plan For RSL

Tonight, Governor Huntsman huddled with RSL/Gov officials after the Real Madrid reception. It was the second of two come- to- Jesus meetings held, the first being at the Salt Lake City offices. Basically, everyone is scrambling to find a solution. If Dave Checketts sells this team in the face of such political and public support just because it's taking a while to find a solution, he should be institutionalized. He needs to realized the political play RSL made has created a very difficult political reality that needs to be dealt with, but that is still very pro- RSL. Mayor Rocky Anderson had a Sandy stadium plan to present, but it requires more public money than the failed Councilman Hatch plan, so I think we can safely say that if the Hatch plan was voted down, Mayor Anderson's plan is DOA. Here are the basics of Mayor Rocky Anderson's plan: 1. RSL puts $7.5 million to soccer/ baseball complex in SLC and operate soccer academy at the complex. 2. SLCo bonds for $23 million for land, infrastructure, and parking 3. SLCo bonds $10 million in 2011 and again in 2015 and give money to RSL 4. SLCO retains ownership of whatever is bought or built with bond money and leases to RSL for $1.00/year 5. Sandy RDA contributes $12 million 6. Stadium is LEED- certified 7. RSL must use ArtTix 8. RSL keeps RSL event parking revenues, SLCo keeps non RSL parking 9. RSL gives 500 tickets to every regular season game to school children who achieve reading goals 10. RSL gives 50 tickets to each game to students who sign up for library cards and check out two or more books 11. RSL players and staff read with students at 10 county schools 12. RSL will sponsor annual charity events that will include a charity run and evening benefit concert 13. RSL contributes $1 million/year of in- kind tourism promotion

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Okay, Here's The Story

After all that's been said about the stadium so far, this is what I just put together for Nightside. 1. TRT is off the table completely. Everyone has been trying to find that magic balance between TRT and private funds. That's over. Next month, expect the Legislature in special session to (among other things) redirect the TRT from the Sandy stadium and into an airport Traxx line. 2. Sandy City is trying to go it alone. They will try and give RSL the subsidy they need to get their project rolling. Right now, Sandy doesn't seem to have the resources to do it. Look for Mayor Tom Dolan to approach the City Council about raising taxes. Also, look for the Legislature to further tweak RDA rules for the third time to help out Sandy. Prediction: This week, RSL will announce they have found a way to build in Sandy. Maybe they'll even have Beckham break ground. Problem: The announcement will be premature at best. There is still a lot of distance to be travelled if Sandy is going to do this alone. Though they will announce this week, RSL is by no means out of the woods. (of course, the land in U.C. is still free)

Dance With The Devil

This week, Real Salt Lake and Sandy will announce a deal to build the stadium. The amazing thing about this is that RSL was delivered the Downtown stadium of Dave Checketts dreams. Despite being RSL's professed dream location and requiring less public money than Sandy RSL had to turn it down. Dean Howes sold out our team to SLCo's devils, and they always collect.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Herrin Twins

I've spent all day refreshing this page. An incredible story.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Few Things

First, the Downtown proposal I mentioned is not the fairpark. It is a separate plan to put the stadium at a Downtown location using less public money. Second, the idea that counties can spend TRT as they wish is a complete joke. House Speaker Greg Curtis made it quite clear that he will stand in the way of TRT going to a Downtown stadium. IF public money is to be used, it can ONLY be used in Sandy. Some of it has to do with knee- jerk pettiness and overall immaturity re: now lame- duck Mayor Rocky Anderson some of it is simply the most base of all political maneuvers, using influence to give favors to fellow politicians. The better, cheaper plan is ignored to make way for an albatross of an idea held afloat only by the inflated egos of Utah's worst politicians.

Foul!

RSL owner Dave Checketts said publicly he is entertaining all options for his team's stadium. Fibber. Real Salt Lake was recently presented with an option for a Downtown stadium that included property, and would use less tax money than the Sandy option. But Dave Checketts is afraid that if he doesn't build in Sandy, Speaker Greg Curtis will rip public funding from underneath him. So even though Downtown is available to him wrapped up in a nice little bow, Checketts continues to slather makeup on the Sandy pig.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Someone Needs To Just Say It

How many ways can we talk about Mike Leavitt's family's finances before we use the words Money Laundering

Dave Checketts Left His Spine In New York

Sandy has been in frantic meetings with RSL trying to resurrect the worst idea ever Even with all of the great options out there, and multiple teams working toward solutions, spineless Dave Checketts has decided it's Sandy or another state. Why the sudden cold feet? He's afraid of House Speaker Greg Curtis. Checketts doesn't know the secret: The Speaker is all bark.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Senator Orrin Hatch: Slumping Through The Motions

I asked Dave Hansen of Senator Orrin Hatch's campaign if the Senator planned on participating in Pete Ashdown's debate idea. I was told that the Senator would not be participating because his August campaign schedule was already worked out, that he had many campaign events, so he would not be participating. I asked if I could have a copy of his campaign schedule for August. I was told I could not have a copy because his schedule was not completely worked out yet, When I pressed, he insisted what he meant to say is there was a lot of flexibility in the Senator's August schedule. So I asked if there was so much flexibility in the Senator's schedule, perhaps he could find a convenient time for one or two debates. I was told the Senator would not participate in any August debates because the campaign season didn't begin until after Labor Day. Hmm.