Bailouts Run in His Blood

Merritt Paulson is the 28 year old co-owner of the Portland Beavers, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres and he’s working very hard to try and bring an MLS franchise to the Portland area. In order to do that, he wants to renovate the stadium where the Beavers play and build a new stadium for them elsewhere in the city. Paulson is looking for $85 million from the city for renovations while he’s willing to pony up $40 million for the soccer franchise itself. MLS has promised the city a team by 2011 if they built a soccer-specific stadium, hence the renovations, but while some people are excited others, like Jody Wiser of Tax Fairness Oregon feel differently. “My personal feeling is if Merritt Paulson wants a team he should buy some land and build the stadium. That’s his job as a business owner. It’s not the job of the grocery store clerk.”

Meanwhile, the price tag keeps climbing. In September Paulson said it would take $75 million and today it’s 85. But for Paulson, son of current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (who is the other co-owner of the Beavers) the government’s money is seen as just another ATM for him to use. After all, if AIG and all of his dad’s cronies on Wall Street can get some government coin, why not him!

Don’t worry though, the new Mayor-Elect Sam Adams is on the scene and ready to help provide leadership; also, 2 kegs of the fall seasonal ale. Adams is firmly in Paulson’s corner, believing that he has the financial pedigree and that there is enough community interest for the city to figure out a way to work out the funding. Of course, the city is still paying off the debt from renovating the stadium only 7 years ago. But sure, why not give out some more cash. After all, the economy is ROBUST, particularly in the pacific northwest. Having learned from his daddy, (net worth approx. $700 million) Paulson has enlisted a cadre of lobbyists and influence peddlers to try and get his proposal approved. Methinks that instead of asking the city for the bailout, he could just invest his own actual money in the plans. Of course, that would mean he might have to actually spend all that money though so don’t hold your breath.

1 Response to “Bailouts Run in His Blood”

  1. November 30, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    If I, as a taxpayer, continue to be forced to foot the bill for every billionaire’s pipe dream, I deserve a lot more in compensation. I mean, when I think of the money I’ve put in to Citibank to keep them afloat, I should at least get some free tickets to the new park.

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