Sunday, May 14, 2006
I, STADIUM: Part 5-Enter Sid "The Shill" Hartman, Or, Why Sid Hartman Is A Complete Dumbass
The poll results are based on a statewide telephone survey done May 11 and 12 with 725 Minnesotans selected at random. The basic question asked in the poll is do you think the teams, including the University of MN football Gophers, need a new stadium and if so, do you think public money - NEW TAXES - should be implemented in building the stadium(s). The response was a resounding "NO".
Other questions involved whether those polled felt one certain team deserved a taxpayer assisted stadium more than the other team.
Surprisingly, the Star Tribune did a decent job in what the poll asked by having the questions be pretty black and white, not much fudge factor.
Well, enter the Star Tribune's older-than-dirt sports writer, Sid "The Pohlad Shill" Hartman. Those outside the Twin Cities are likely unfamiliar with him and should consider themselves blessed.
Sid's column (see 1A below) today takes issue with the way the poll questions were phrased. Oh, that's so sad, Sid. I guess that's why you're not in charge of polling, because you would have gone into it with questions that would produce the result you want. That's not a poll, that's propaganda masked as a poll.
"Today's Star Tribune carried a Minnesota Poll with questions on how the public feels about using public tax money for the building of stadiums for the Twins, Vikings and Gopher football. The answers were mostly negative. I don't question the authenticity of the answers, but had I done the poll, I would have asked a few other questions, and maybe the answer would have been a lot more favorable towards all three stadiums, but especially for the Twins".
Tell us more Sid:
"The question I wish had been added is this one, and I believe the answer would have been favorable: 'If it looked like Major League Baseball and the Twins were going to leave this area unless a new stadium bill was passed, would you be in favor of limited public support from taxpayers? Also, if the Twins leave, do you realize there would be a loss of thousands of jobs, a loss of millions of dollars in sales tax and in state income tax paid by the Twins and visiting teams'?"
*Sid "This Shill For Pohlad" Hartman
Well, let's take a look at those two questions. To the first question I personally answer a resounding "NO". The reason why is that a Twins stadium is not at all a situation with "limited public support from taxpayers." The current proposal has the Twins paying one-third of the cost of the stadium and the other two-thirds being paid for by the taxpayers. That's not quite "limited public [taxpayer] support". Didn't do well in school with fractions, did you Sid? The Twins leave, boo-hoo, too bad, so sad. Which leads me into answering his second question: Your "loss of millions" scenario is a conclusion that is, at best - AT BEST - very speculative.
Completely lacking in his presented scenario is any type of feasibility study of new businesses and new jobs that would take the place of those that are lost. We have seen not only locally but nationwide, that it is more often than not, that new enterprises, new businesses and new jobs present themselves in areas where previous businesses and jobs were lost. A door closes, and a window of opportunity opens up. When the United States said good-bye to many manufacturing jobs those lost jobs were replaced by jobs in the technology sector. Surely you've heard of Microsoft, haven't you Sid?
Oddly absent from any mention, by you Sid, are the St. Paul Saints, who, one can correctly argue is not MLB, but is indeed a baseball team that receives wide, voluntary public support by their fans. No, they won't draw the sales tax revenue that the Twins draw, but then again the Saints aren't the same drain on taxpayers that the Twins are, are they Sid? But that's okay Sid, don't look to factoring in any other knowns or unknowns, simply present your narrow minded view because you are nothing but Pohlad Shill.
Let's move on to the "Great Shill Sid's Next Poll Question", shall we:
"The second question I would have added: 'How would you vote if you realized that if one or all three stadiums would mean thousands of new jobs, multiple millions spent for materials and income taxes for the workers? And how would you vote if you knew the addition of a baseball stadium downtown [Minneapolis] and 81 game dates would create big crowds and help solve the great amount of crime going on now in downtown Minneapolis.'?"
Gee, Sid, along with math, you didn't fare too well in civics or economics classes in school either, did you? What you describe in the first part of your question is pretty much nothing more than a transfer of wealth via taxation. I can counter your first question easily by saying that money will be saved by taxpayers by not being forced to contribute via taxation for stadiums for teams owned by billi-millionaires. Now, if the Twins and Viking organizations were investing all their own money and other private funds into the stadiums, you'd actually have made a lucid point. If the team owners and private sponsors were to fully fund their stadiums on their own, I'd be the first one leading the cheer that money spent for materials and income taxes for - actually from - the workers, would be a good idea. But the way the current stadium plan(s) is presented, again, it is nothing more than a transfer of wealth, with the myth that jobs will be created by spending at least two-thirds of the taxpayers money.
Just because tax revenue is taken from Group A and transferred to Group B, and Group B "builds something" with that money, doesn't necessarily mean a net-positive revenue is the end result. Geezuz you're a dumbass.
With regard to your solution to crime being "crowds", yeah, I guess that's why cities with crowds like New York, Chicago, Miami, Detroit and Los Angeles are virtually free of all crime, violent and non-violent alike. Even if your "crowds solve crime" scenario is correct, then please explain to all of us why then, over the last two decades, the city of Minneapolis has experienced so much crime?
Both the Twins and the Vikings have played in downtown Minnneapolis for twenty years! Are you trying to tell us that there hasn't been any crime in downtown Minneapolis since 1976? Sid, were you sober when you wrote "crowds control crime"? Go pitch your "crowds control crime" plan to the Minneapolis mayor and its police chief. Then write a future column on how well that plan is embraced. I'm guessing that's a column that you will never be able to publish. Geezuz you're a dumbass.
Finally, Sid plays the "Threat Card", the same card Pohlad used a few years ago with his cooked up contraction scheme with MLB Kommissar Bud Selig. Sid says, "I'm convinced the Pohlad family will sell the team after this year to outsiders who will care less about keeping the team in the Twin Cities."
Ahhhhhh, pulling out the blackmail and threat cards. Throw a tantrum, scream and kick like a child, take your baseball and go home. I imagine you somehow think the public responds favorably at being threatened? Oh, gee, Carl's gonna take his baseball and go home. Fine. Let him. Don't let the door hit you in the wheelchair on the way out, Carl.
Sid says his once a week radio program, which he claims is "a show with the top rating of any talk show in this area," (uh, that's not quite true and you know it), has callers supporting a Twins stadium at a rate of 90% favorable. Well, that's about as accurate as me purporting a poll by my family and friends giving President Bush an approval rating of 95%. Of course my family and friends are going to give Bush a high approval rating. We like him, we think he's doing a good job, but conducting a poll in that manner is by no means applicable or accurate in extrapolating its results and applying those results to a larger, statistical population.
I've heard how you cut short and hang up on callers who disagree with anything you say on your radio show, Sid. So don't go saying that the results from your callers who are 90% in favor of a new stadium are results that can be applied anywhere outside of your show. They can't. It's inaccurate, misleading and skewed beyond any measured deviancy of what a poll is supposed to be.
Sid ends his "Shilling For Pohlad" column with, "I guess the results of any poll are affected by what questions you ask and how you ask them." That's one thing Sid "The Shill" gets right. And if you had your way, Sid, you'd have had the poll set up with your end results already determined. It'd just be a matter of what questions and how they're asked for you to get desired and preconceived results that you already want, right? And let me guess, the results would be that 99.9% of those polled unanimously support public funding for new stadiums for billi-millionaires. Is that pretty much accurate, Sid? Are those the results you want to see? I think that pretty much gets me on base, which is more than I can say for your foul calls.
(1) The Minneapolis Star Tribune defaults to their free subscription page on direct links to stories. The URL for the poll information is: http://www.startribune.com/784/story/430934.html
(1A) The URL for Sid "The Shill" Hartman's column is http://www.startribune.com/507/story/430977.html
(2) The Star Tribune Home URL is: http://www.startribune.com/ - You may have to go to this URL and then find their stories from their front page. Don't worry, it's not hard.
Previous Posts on The Stadium Issue:
I, STADIUM Part 4: Enter "The LIAR"
I, STADIUM Part 3: Failed Arguments For Taxpayer Assisted Ballparks
I, STADIUM Part 2: Senate Bill S.F. 2297
Minnesota Twins Stadium: Why Should Carl Pohlad Pay His Fair Share?
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Lloydletta's Nooz And Comments
unless they go into an extended session, which is unlikely.
i will pay, out of pocket though, for a roadmap for Pohlad should he wish to leave town.
Thanks hls, I will take a look at your open letter to Selig. My guess is someone will have to read it to him LOL!
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