Oh, how the other half lives!
By “other half,” I don’t mean “the wealthy.” They’re as honest as any other group. No, I’m talking about those with their hands on the levers of government power . . . along with their subsidy-seeking cronies.
Mayor Kevin Johnson, an all-star in the National Basketball Association before becoming a politician, is splurging nearly $300 million tax dollars — roughly the city’s entire yearly budget — to build the owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings a brand new arena.
People objected, with 23,000 citizens signing petitions to put this lavish subsidy to a vote. Yesterday, a judge ruled that the measure would be kept off the ballot: errors in the wording of the petition “disqualified” it.
In a prepared sore-winner statement, Mayor Johnson called the petitioners “outsiders” who “have tried to undermine the right of Sacramento to control the destiny of our Kings, our downtown and our future.”
Johnson doesn’t mean the right “of the people” to control. He means his right to dictate for Sacramento even against the will of the majority.
The leader of one group working against a public vote on the arena giveaway attacked local businessman Chris Rufer, charging that “Rufer’s funding . . . is supporting STOP’s effort to steal 4,000 jobs, steal a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform downtown and makes him an accomplice in Seattle’s attempt to steal the Kings.”
Who’s stealing? Those spending their own money so people can vote? Or those blocking a vote so they can spend other people’s money?
“I’m against subsidy, period. It’s simply a moral argument,” Rufer explains. “If it was a subsidy for a fish pond, I’d be against it.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.