Marcos Breton thinks the Maloofs should fully fund the new arena. He holds up Peter Magowan and the San Francisco Giants as an example. He also builds a straw man, which I guess I'm going to have to burn to the ground:
Sacramento is a flood disaster waiting to happen -- no one disputes this. Yet precious time, energy and money, along with our collective attention as a community, are going to be focused on an arena?
A tax measure for downtown revitalization (presumably) and a new sports arena has nothing to do with Sacramento's levee issues. NOTHING. It's ridiculous to bring them up together, as no one is pushing/proposing a countywide tax measure to fix the levees (which is presumably a state and federal issue).
A giant statewide bond measure which will fund levee repairs and improvements is already on the November ballot, and it has pretty solid support around California. And it shows the right way to deal with intercounty and interregion problems - everyone pitches in. So if the measure passes in November, what better excuse will Breton come up with then? And when that problem gets fixed?
If you don't want the public to be asked to fund the arena, then just say so. Stop creating false excuses to play to man's base emotions/needs for shelter and security. It's bush.
Public co-funding of this arena is not going to cut anyone's services, hurt the levees, take money away from the roads or hospitals, damage Sacramento's school districts. It is a new tax. The only thing it will affect is individual consumers, who will have to pay another
50 25 cents for every $100 they spend. No one is proposing to shift funds from police, fire, public works, or parks to this new arena. Nothing the cities or county provide will get scrimped.
It's probably cliche to say, but I just want there to be a real debate on the issue instead of sensationalistic nosepicking and self-aggrandizement on both sides. No Maloof power plays, no Breton appeals to irrelevant fears. Just an honest debate, with the voters deciding whether this plan is worth it.
Of course, with columnists like this in the mix, there's no chance of that happening.
Update [2006-6-8 11:47:34 by TZ]: Whoops! Maybe Breton should read this story from The Bee's own David Whitney. Maybe next week we can find out what Breton's new reason for opposing the arena is! I'm sure it will change many times this summer and fall...