Monday, June 27, 2011

Senator Herb Kohl, His Milwaukee Bucks, and Money

Over at Brew Hoop,Frank Madden looks at the Bucks borrowing habits and notes that Milwaukee borrowing from the NBA's loan facility has more to do with financing debt at favorable rates rather than the franchise being in dire financial straits.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Political contributions are one reason John Junker was fired

Fiesta Bowl investigators released a report which led to the Bowl firing CEO John Junker. Among the questionable expenditures are some political spending:

Employees told investigators that the bowl reimbursed 11 staffers for more than $40,000 in political donations under a system first described in a 2009 Arizona Republic report. If true, the reimbursements would be a violation of state and federal campaign finance laws as well as a potential violation of Internal Revenue Service regulations that bar non-profits from making political campaign contributions. The bowl's political activities, according to employees interviewed in the report, were directed toward public officials who could help the bowl maintain its position with favorable legislation and ward off unfriendly laws. Those activities extended to coordinating and hosting fundraisers for candidates, also a potential violation of IRS regulations for nonprofits, giving politicians free tickets and sending them on out-of-town football junkets with lobbyists.

There is also a ton of money for unnecessary services to Blue Steel Consulting, a security contractor owned by Lt. Aaron Brown. Brown has a full-time job in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office run by the controversial Joe Arpaio. Another Arpaio link: the perk-receiving politicians (who come from both parties) include Russell Pearce, the current Arizona State Senate president who previously served as Arpaio's second-in-command.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Who is Ken Lanci?

You may have heard about the fan suing the NFL over the lockout in a seemingly frivolous, attention-grabbing lawsuit. It turns out he's also a (so far) failed politician who spent at least $400,000 on an independent campaign to become Cuyahoga County executive. (Lanci finished third with 12% of the vote.) the ITalian-American, self-made millionaire in the printing industry takes umbrage at the notion that he has ties to organized crime, even though his brother was convicted for his part in a mob bombing and he has ties to several questionable individuals. Though he claims to be an independent and has donated to some Democrats, the website Plunderbund notes that Lanci donated $10,000 to the Mcain/Palin campaign in its waning days.

The dates on Lanci’s McCain-Palin contributions, 10/22/2008, and 11/03/2008, are telling. If you’re willing to flush $10,000 down the McCain Palin toilet in the last weeks before the election, after all of this, that makes you a borderline teabagger.

Monday, March 7, 2011

No Spygate appeal

The Supreme Court of the United States, without comment, chose not to reconsider the dismissal of a football fan's attempt at a class-action lawsuit.

Via Yahoo! Sports:

Carl Mayer, a lawyer in Princeton, N.J., known for filing legal actions against New Jersey politicians, is a New York Jets season ticket-holder. He wanted millions of dollars from the Patriots and Belichick, claiming they deceived customers by secretly videotaping Jets coaches’ in-game signals. His lawsuit claimed fans spent large sums to see games that were essentially rigged.

Mayer previously served as a lawyer for Ralph Nader in a lawsuit claiming that John Kerry and the Democratic Party used "groundless and abusive litigation" to knock Nader off the ballot in several states. He was also part of a lawsuit over whether or not US telephone companies violated consumer privacy by cooperating with the NSA.

Overall, the case seems rather silly, but it's a fun, little bit of grandstanding that makes fandom fun as long as no one is seriously disappointed that the case was dismissed.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Go Green!" Is Now a Double Entendre

As Booman notes, the brouhaha over President Obama praising Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for giving Michael Vick a second chance obscures the conversion about Lincoln Financial Field to self-generated renewable energy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First post

Just to have some real content, here's a list of sports-related experience and links for current US Senators, as mentioned in articles about them at Wikipedia.  Obviously, it's not an exhaustive list.

  • John McCain  (R-AZ) - lightweight boxer at the US Naval Academy
  • Mark Udall (D-CO) Avid outdoorsman who has climbed all 54 mountains in Colorado 14,000 feet or higher
  • Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Claimed a deferment from Vietnam due to football knee injury
  •  Jim Bunning (R-KY) Hall of Fame pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Los Angeles Dodgers
  • John Kerry (D-MA) Member of hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and fencing teams at Yale
  • Al Franken (D-MN) High school wrestler
  • Max Baucus (D-MT) Once completed a 50-mile ulta-marathon
  • Harry Reid (D-NV) Amateur boxer and high school football player
  • Richard Burr (R-NC) Lettered for two football seasons at Wake Forest University
  • Kent Conrad (D-ND) Married to Major League Baseball lobbyist Lucy Calautti
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR) Attended UC-Santa Barbera on a basketball scholarship before transferring to Stanford
  • Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) Coached basketball at an inner city Philadelphia school during his stint teaching 5th grade as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps
  • Jim Webb (D-VA) Boxer at the US Naval Academy
  • Joe Manchin (D-WV) Attended West Virginia on a football scholarship, but had his playing career ended by a practice injury
  • Herb Kohl (D-WI) Owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks
  • John Barasso (R-WY) Rodeo physician for the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association


I can't see how anyone is reading this yet, but this is a blog intending to look at the intersection of politics and sports.  Posting should be light while I get things started up and figure out how I want to do this.