Tuesday, January 6

Funding Getting Tight

The big story today – well, the big story after the Midwest-style snowstorms we’ve endured for the past two weeks – is Governor Christine Gregoire’s decision to parrot the budget cuts her opponent, Dino Rossi, advocated during the recent election.

Translation to Sonic supporters: No soup for you.

It’s not quite that dire, but when the liberal governor of a left-wing state calls for a quarter-million reduction in health care expenditures and skips pay raises for teachers, even an out-of-shape Danny Fortson could stretch to the conclusion that it will be extremely difficult to get any arena proposals through the legislature this session.

As Chris McGann quotes a Gregoire aide, “That November [economic] forecast kind of changed the game.” Which is to say, the governor was all for spending money on the stuff her constituents wanted, back when she felt she had the dough on hand.

Now that the state’s revenue forecast has dropped by nearly two billion bucks? Not so much.

In fact, it doesn’t take much of an analyst to see just how tough it’s going to be to get any money this year. The governor will tell you herself:

“The state must squeeze every ounce of value out of every taxpayer dollar while maintaining our priorities of protecting families and kids the best we can.”

The argument as to whether funding arenas pay for themselves or whether they are hopeless boondoggles that primarily benefit billionaires is for another day. The primary message you should get from these words is this: Opponents of any KeyArena proposal are going to have very easy sledding this coming year. When times are tough and budgets are being cut, even the most inept politician is savvy enough to realize that taking a stand against arenas and stadiums is an easy political win.

It would appear that the arena’s only hope is to be presented as a work project which would bring jobs in the short-term, and economic benefit in the long-term, which is what Brian Robinson at Save Our Sonics has been saying all along. Whether that message will gain traction in an icy legislative environment remains to be seen.

10 comments:

anonymous #12 said...

As Chris McGann quotes a Gregoire aide, “That November [economic] forecast kind of changed the game.” Which is to say, the governor was all for spending money on the stuff her constituents wanted, back when she felt she had the dough on hand.

Actually, she was just saying whatever it took to get re-elected at the time. She knew what was coming, the lying Bitch.

nuss said...

Lying b&t#@ - typical politician. Honestly, we're splitting hairs here.

Slick Watts said...

Geez #12, hate women much? I'm sure Dino would have been sooooo much better.

nosupeforyou said...

We diehard fans are still clinging to hope but the politicians, regular tax paying folks all have moved on...

Our fate was written the day fat lying bastard Nickels lied and sold us out...if we were going to lose the team in the end, we should've bled those OKC carpetbaggers dry until the lease expired..

ryan said...

Nosupe is right - I feel like there is still a small chance of something happening, but that the majority of people simply don't care. It's a byproduct of having only one decent team in the past decade.

anonymous #12 said...

Slick, does Nosupe calling Nickels a bastard mean that he/she is a man-hater? Why do some people freak out whenever the "bitch" word is used?

pg said...

I still can't get worked up in placing the blame for our Sonicslessness on Gregoire or Nickels. To me, my anger starts and ends with Schultz, Stern & Bennett.

While I'm bothered by Gregoire's post-election realization that all the stuff she said she'd do, she can't really do...it's not like she CAMPAIGNED on the idea that she'd bring the Sonics back, and that's not why people voted for her (and if that's why you voted against her, maybe some sense of priorities should be on your Christmas wish list for next year.)

THAT SAID...did anyone catch this article?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/sports/basketball/06thunder.html?em

It's a happy happy joy joy article on the OKC Thunder that glosses over the Seattle-side facts--and I think that still bothers me, because if this is what the NY Times presents as "the storyline"...that's the way the world thinks of what's true.

According to this article, Seattle is a small market town...barely any different than Oklahoma City. Seattle's basketball arena was a relic from 1967. Bennett bought the team, tried but couldn't get arena financing so he moved.

Galling to read, from the perspective of this side of the story--but history is written by the victors, isn't it?

And history's interest in the Sonics-become-Thunder story ends WELL before it gets into Gregoire's hands.

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