Monday, May 31, 2010

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidy: Want to See for Yourself if Santa Clara Taxpayers are Really Protected under Measure J? - The Taxpayer Protections Myth

Dear Santa Clarans,

The Stadium Boosters trumpet their so-called "Ironclad Taxpayer Protections" in Measure J - but they are anything but. Please check your voter Sample Ballots for:

Section 2. Purposes and Findings, Part 2B2 Taxpayer Protections:

"An affiliate of the San Francisco 49ers....will also be required to pay operating expenses of the Stadium to the extent these expenses exceed the Stadium Authority's operating revenues."
Sounds good - if it were true.

As it turns out, the Term Sheet that the Stadium Boosters are using to pad Measure J states as follows, in Section 9.1:
"...49ers Stadium Company will have the right to reasonably identify the costs and expenses in the Annual Stadium Operating Budget that will be included in Reimbursable Expenses and, therefore, be subject to 49ers Stadium Company Reimbursement."
In other words: It's only reimbursable to the Stadium Authority if the San Francisco 49ers - alone - agree to reimburse it.

What kind of "ironclad" protection is that? Virtually none at all, if a "sick" Stadium Authority has no other recourse than to go back to the City of Santa Clara for more subsidies.

Add to this the $67,000,000 loss to our General Fund caused by the stadium subsidy from the RDA - and you simply do not have real "taxpayer protections."

For real taxpayer protection: Vote NO on Measure J.

Thanks and best regards,

Bill Bailey, Treasurer


Sunday, May 30, 2010

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidy: Want to See for Yourself if Santa Clara Taxpayers are Really Protected under Measure J? - The SCHOOLS Myth

Dear Santa Clarans,

It's time to dispel yet another myth from the 49ers and supporters of their massive $444 million stadium subsidy. Please examine your voters' Sample Ballots, and see this one under "Section 2. Purposes and Findings":

Section 2A4 - "Generate Community Funding"

The stadium's development generates money for schools? Sorry, but that is simply not the case - what the stadium's development really does is to divert RDA funds owed to our City's General Fund away from the City. The total loss to the City is $67,000,000, (Slide 48), as projected by City Staff last June 2nd.

The schools get only a third of that, by the way. This means that the City loses big time so that the school district can get only a pittance.

Please note: The San Francisco 49ers, and their stadium, contribute not one penny to Santa Clara's schools.

The five Stadium Boosters on our City Council can't back away from this: Note that they themselves approved the Term Sheet, along with the report above, on a 5-2 vote. Yet, now they're suddenly claiming
that they can shut off a stream of money owed by the RDA to the City and not lose any money.

That simply just defies logic.

We need that money. Our City's fiscal year is about to close with a budget deficit of about $15 million, and the City projects those budget deficits to continue through 2015 - and they don't even include the losses caused by the 49ers stadium subsidy.

In short, the tiny amount of "Community Funding" comes nowhere near offsetting those losses to our General Fund.

To protect our City's General Fund: We urge you to vote NO on Measure J next Tuesday, June 8th.

Best regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer


Saturday, May 29, 2010

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidy: Want to See for Yourself if Santa Clara Taxpayers are Really Protected under Measure J? - The JOBS Myth

Dear Santa Clarans,

As it turns out, your Sample Ballots for June 8th actually contain the real truth about Measure J. Over the next few days, we'll take some of the biggest whoppers from just the text of the City Code Language, and we'll see why they don't measure up to the claims of the Stadium Boosters:

Section 2A2 -"Create New Jobs":

What kind of jobs? Well, let's allow the 49ers their claim of 2,650 gameday jobs. However, the city's own consultants have been telling us for three years that the stadium will create only 515 full-time equivalent jobs - meaning that the 49ers are essentially promising stadium jobs that last only 50-70 days a year. Those jobs will have no benefits. No future. No bargaining-unit protection of any kind. They'll pay easily less than $10,000 per year.

Again: What kind of jobs? The stadium's construction jobs will disappear in about three years - while Santa Clara's agencies end up servicing the debt we owe on that job creation for forty years.

Stadium Boosters apparently expect us all to fall silent simply because they're using the word "jobs." Sorry, but we don't buy it - we say that Santa Clara's voters are entitled to take apart those "jobs" claims to expose how paltry that job creation really is.

Add to that the fact that very few Santa Clara residents will actually fill jobs in either of the two categories above (see Page 4) - and anyone would be entitled to ask, "Why are we spending so much for so little?"

Good question. The next time someone tries to silence you with the "jobs" buzzword, ask him, "How many? For how long? And how much do we have to pay in order to create them?"

Thank you for all of your support,

Bill Bailey, Treasurer


Thursday, May 27, 2010

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidy: How to Buy an Election

Dear Santa Clarans,

The San Francisco 49ers seem to be showing us just how an election can be bought - if one has the money. Our campaign finance reports were due at 5:00 pm today, and they revealed the following:

The 49ers Astroturf group has taken in a total of ***$3,647,780*** so far this year, virtually every penny of that from the San Francisco 49ers themselves.

Not one contribution from a single Santa Clara resident was itemized in any of their campaign statements, a stack that ran to scores of pages.

I declared a total of $16,362 in cash contributions to Santa Clara Plays Fair.

A total of $15,248 of that was contributed by Santa Clarans.

If the 49ers' millions were truly buying an element of truth for Santa Clarans, we could talk about it. However, they simply aren't - All we're getting is the same old glitz, buzz and hype, all designed to conceal the corporate welfare being paid to the 49ers and their owners.

None of the money that the 49ers are pouring into the Measure J con job makes a $444,000,000
subsidy a good deal for Santa Clara.

And that's all the more reason to keep speaking out, Santa Clarans.

"J" is for Jeopardy - On June 8th, please VOTE NO!

Thanks for all of your support,

Bill Bailey, Treasurer