Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Council Approves Stadium (preliminarily, of course)

So, as you may have noticed, I tried to watch the DC council meeting yesterday. After 3+ hours of jibber-jabbering though, I couldn't take anymore and went back to sticking bamboo shoots underneath my fingernails and watching "Son-in-Law". I would describe most of those 3 hours as:

- Councilman Fenty introduces an amendment that he knows won't pass
- Councilman Evans speaks against it, usually with the stirring argument that "It would break the deal with MLB". Then he quietly says "Yes, Emporer Selig. I'm doing it. " into his cufflink.
- Councilman Fenty says something like "but we're supposed to fix it if it's a bad deal, and this deal is horrible", except stretch that out for 8 minutes.
- Councilman Orange agrees with Councilman Evans and tries to get the amendment ruled "out of order", and for some reason keeps praising Councilwoman Cropp. I think he "likes her likes her".
- Councilman Graham talks about his unhealthy fixation with libraries
- Councilman Evans calls everyone against the plan a liar in a backhanded way, telling a bunch of half-truths to back it up. The irony is lost on him.
- Councilman Catania starts yelling at something, maybe a fly.
- Councilman Graham tries to ask a librarian out.

- Councilwoman Cropp states she's on both sides of the issue, then literally splits in two. Both Cropp1 and Cropp2 abstain from voting, however.
- Councilman Fenty gets exasperated, and his hand puppet screams "You know, Adam Smith? Wealth of Nations!? Read a book!!"
- Amendment fails.

Eventually they passed a bill that would allow them to consider new sites if costs rise above $630 million BEFORE building starts to take place. Of course pre-building costs can be configured around all they want so I doubt that it will ever hit that total (in fact it may not hit that total, period. But it probably will). Even then it's not the "must be chosen" as reported, it's a "must be found and we'll build there if both parties agree." MLB very likely won't agree to any change.

They tacked on other amendments. One makes them look at private financing. Again, it would have to get MLB approval to be part of the deal and MLB wants as much public funding as possible so they can then sell the team for the greatest profit. Another one cuts some of the community support measures. I'm torn on that. It seems they could, you know, cut costs elsewhere. Perhaps in the $630 million, I don't know. But then again this is just political, pork legislation there to get votes which I dislike.

It could still not pass the second reading, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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