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June 18, 2008

Working Families Party against welfare for new professional sports facilities (except for Ratner's?)

WFPLogo.gif Atlantic Yards Report, As groups lobby against tax-exempt bonds for sports facilities, is WFP hamstrung by ACORN's AY deal?

One of these letters is not like the other one [hint, the one signed by Atlantic Yards supporter, ACORN NY Director, and Co-Chair of the Working Families Party Bertha Lewis].

There seems to be a consensus among good-government and neighborhood activist groups that tax-exempt bonding for sports facilities, as keyed to the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) deals crafted for the new Yankees and Mets stadiums, and planned for the Atlantic Yards arena, is bad public policy. The loss to the federal treasury often benefits sports team owners more than the public at large.

That's why two letters issues yesterday said very much the same thing--but with a curious discrepancy that suggests that the housing group ACORN's role in the Atlantic Yards project may have hamstrung the Working Families Party from explicitly criticizing tax-exempt bonds for the AY arena.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, Bertha Lewis, WFP Target Steinbrenner's Corporate Welfare With No Mention of Ratner's

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform now, aka ACORN, the key group supporting Forest City Ratner's arena and skyscraper proposal known as Atlantic Yards, is, of course, also a key player in the Working Families Party (WFP). Today the WFP has sent out an email signed by ACORN's Bertha Lewis (with a "take action" link to a letter to Mayor Bloomberg) reprimanding the Administration for going to bat for the Yankees in their attempt to get more triple tax exempt bond financing.
Are they suggesting that what is bad for one billionaire—Steinbrenner—is fine for the other billionaire, ACORN's partner Bruce Ratner? It appears so. Or at least they don't want to draw attention to Ratner's corporate sports welfare while shining the light on Steinbrenner's.

Posted by lumi at June 18, 2008 5:38 AM