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Re: “If the Q Deal Was So Good for Cleveland, Why Didn't Dan Gilbert Find a Way to Make It Work?

Does anyone else consider it a tad...quaint...that the unraveling of this deal is being blamed on "outside agitators" seeking to enbarrass Hizzonor Mayor Frank Jackson?...Not that it's not possible; many, many Clevelanders know that standing up to The Oligarchs (which means doing anything other than pledging eternal fealty to The Next Deal, Whatever It Is) has not been a viable career path for well over a decade...But responsible reporters who've covered the issue exhaustively saw no evidence of said alleged outside agitation (at least not since union organizers and later civil rights activists were tarred as such by the forebears of the current generation of Men Behind The Curtain)...Besides, it IS equally reasonable to attribute the issue's defeat to some energized activists who have grown tired of bending over for the culture of casual corruption which has distinguished The Cleveland Way for the better part of two decades...Nothin' against the Cavs...Nothin' against the Q, even...PLENTY against rent-seeking "civic leaders" whose rejoinder to observations of corruption is that nobody broke any laws...Arguably the most egregious corruption is engaged in by guys in real nice suits with thousand dollar an hour lawyers, plenty of cash, and a cadre of elected officials who'll do whatever monkey dance their funders call for...especially after they've been absolved of any other civic responsibility by being assured that they're not breaking any laws...THAT'S what we aspire to for our elected officials?...That their actions not specifically violate any laws?...

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by sputteringwithoutrage on 08/30/2017 at 12:58 AM

Re: “The Essential Q Deal Reading List

And congrats to SCENE...and to you, Sam, for your sharp-eyed, smart and relentlessly objective reporting on this issue...

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by sputteringwithoutrage on 08/28/2017 at 9:40 PM

Re: “The Q Deal is Officially Dead

This is not about the Cavs, or even about the Q...It's about power...This renovation was the latest exercise in "rent seeking (using public funds to enrich private individuals)" to take place, virtually unchallenged, in the past dozen years...Back in 2000, or thereabouts, County voters rejected a proposal to build a new convention center by a margin better than 60/40...During the Campbell Administration, a similar referendum was pulled when research demonstrated that it would lose 70/30...

THEN the casino robber barons hijacked democracy with their statewide casino referendum, and the heads of the major Chambers Of Commerce across the state on the case to make sure the referendum passed...THEN, having figured out how to use the ballot box to fleece taxpayers, they found an unvoted means to raise the sales tax to give the oligarchs the cash flow they wanted to build a convention center/ med mart / hotel which the voters had soundly rejected, because...they had the power to do so...and because they figured out how to buy off or intimidate anybody who so much as asked a question...

This disgraceful strategy has become a civic template: the beneficiaries of the proposed public largesse put up a few million to grease the wheels of politics to get a 50-fold return on their "investment"...Irrespective of the possible merits of the issue (and, in my opinion, the merits are paper-thin), it's about damn time some group of organized folks stood up and said "NO!"...Power is never granted...It is taken...It would be good if this exercise in democratic defiance launched a real civic dialogue about the value of this sort of public larceny..And the "civic-mindedness"of the oligarchs and their enablers on the staffs of the community's ever-metastasizing non-profit "economic development" organizations...

14 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by sputteringwithoutrage on 08/28/2017 at 9:27 PM

Re: “Weary Polensek Grills Council, But November Q Deal Referendum Unlikely

The Men Behind The Curtain will most assuredly be willing to come up with the funds for a special election in the dead of winter...After all, the cost represents less than one percent of the $80 million they wish to siphon off the local tax base (in addition, of course, to sin tax receipts) for Mr. Gilbert's Personal Xanadu...an amount that can easily be recovered through the inevitable cost overruns for the project...

And they NEED a special election...The way they plan to get Frank Jackson re-elected is to pump up voter turnout in the African-American community for the November election...These are precisely the same folks who are currently most likely to oppose the Q deal...Placing the issue on the November ballot thus presents them with a problem: an open election might not yield the results they want...A special election in February or March would make it MUCH easier to suppress turnout and manipulate the process...

(I must admit, though...to read of Council members' sudden interest in the cost to taxpayers, given their utter capitulation to the oligarchs, seems as quaint as it is unintentionally ironic...to me, anyway)...

Posted by sputteringwithoutrage on 08/21/2017 at 4:41 PM

Re: “Decoding the Cleveland Prestige Machine

Well done, Sam!...It is in the interests of our local civic oligarchs to hide behind this kind of Potemkin Village happy-talk as a means to distract from...or justify...their continuing campaign to rape local taxpayers in order to build the toys that make the Men Behind The Curtain richer, at the expense of those who can't afford to play with those toys...I was at Progressive Field a couple nights ago for the first time in awhile, and VERY noticeable are the newer design elements intended to keep "us" separated from "them."...That sort of segregation by income is at the center of the strategy for our local economic development "leaders." Cleveland is beginning, more and more, to resemble a third-world country which is dependent on tourism: a gleaming playground for those of means, surrounded by urban human devastation which our more affluent residents quickly drive through or around because it's all so...unpleasant...

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by sputteringwithoutrage on 05/17/2017 at 3:44 PM

Re: “Q Deal Negotiators Are Fudging Numbers — Again — And This Time it's Serious

This is Cleveland... Facts don't matter...What matters is the oligarchs' cash flow...and their power to eat the taxpayers' lunch...and the glee with which they will say anything and do anything to achieve their ends...And DARE serious people to question them...

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by sputteringwithoutrage on 04/05/2017 at 2:48 PM

Re: “In Pittsburgh, City Leaders Reject Public Financing for Heinz Field Upgrades

I observed during the depths of the Mike White kleptocracy (enabled and supported by chief consigliere Fred Nance, coincidentally) that, just as communities across the country were seeking ways to link up to the rest of the world, The City Of Cleveland's "leaders" seemed intent on closing the city in on itself, and systematically ignoring any evidence which suggested that Cuyahoga County was not at the center of the universe. I think it was to avoid stories just such as this...We don't WANT to be bothered by the experiences of other communities...We don't WANT to know what other cities are doing successfully that we can't figure out...We don't WANT to know that other communities might actually have civic, corporate and political leadership which is not awash in self-dealing and corruption...What does it matter what other cities do? They're not Cleveland, and casual corruption, craven corporate self-dealing, and civic thuggery are how we do things here...Pay no attention to what happens elsewhere...

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by sputteringwithoutrage on 03/03/2017 at 7:05 PM

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