August 23rd, 2017

Just how utterly disgusting and duplicitous Plain Dealer editors Chris Quinn, Betsy Sullivan, and George Rodrigue are can be seen by what they fail to see, what they purposely refuse to see or what their prejudices tolerate them to ignore.

What they distort, however, costs us hundreds of millions of dollars.

Their incredible failure in their actions with the 20,000 signatures to insure the public a vote on a give-away of tens of millions of dollars to Dan Gilbert and Quicken Arena was made clear by some 13,000 signatures validated by the County Board of Elections.

They failed miserable at simply backing what we call democracy.

They bargained continually for the TAKERS instead of the CITIZENS.

Mayor Frank Jackson, County Executive Armond Budish and Cleveland Council President Kevin Kelley were emboldened by the newspaper’s look-the-other-way to give the finger to Cleveland voters on the Q issue.

They caved to the corporate rulers of Cleveland.

What goes unreported adds to the tragedy of poor government backed by poor journalism. It has become a Cleveland sickness.

The two charts below from County Records reveal what is being spent now from Cuyahoga County tax payers. One chart reveals that Quicken Arena has sucked up more than $20 million, year to date for items WE purchase for them.

Among the items is $9 million for the scoreboard system.

Another $4.3 million for video production.

Why are we subsidizing a billionaire owner and multi-millionaire ball players, while we allow children to live in lead brain-deadening housing; while we allow children to go hungry, while we allow Clevelanders to not be able to live in safe housing? And while we can’t give education to our children.

One reason: A shitty newspaper that doesn’t do its job. It allows the robbers to rob. And they do. With regularity.

The chart for Progressive Field, owned by the Dolans billionaire-family has spent $30 million of tax money on such items as a $15 million scoreboard.

My, we certainly need that for Cleveland citizens. How could they do without knowing the score with big, flashy ads? Like a kid’s game. Hell, take it out of the daily Cleveland family food budgets.

This is how your sin tax money is being spent.

In last Sunday’s Plain Dealer the newspaper printed a column by Michael DeAloia, described as a “tech czar.”

Crain’s Cleveland described him when he came here as:

So eager to be the city’s tech czar was Mr. DeAloia that he interviewed for the job on two rounds of hiring, finally winning the position two years ago under the administration of then-Mayor Jane Campbell.

In last week’s PD column DeAloia noted correctly that owning the sports facilities is “… a foolish arrangement given the precarious financial status of Cleveland.”

Although he failed to mention that Frank Jackson just gets his city to vote higher taxes, supposedly on suburbanites. No problem, Michael.

He noted rightly that the teams have “sweetheart” deals, as revealed in the charts and so many other ways. Ask Fred Nance of Squires law firm.

“These sports facilities need to be sold,” he wrote.

He said that the city could be “… sitting on more than a billion dollars in profit by selling these facilities.”

No, they’re paying a billion and more dollars. It’s all give, no take.

However, it would mean the Indians, Cavs and Browns would have to pay their own way. And why should they do that when we give it to them FREE.

It’s big business that we treat as a charity.

Not many business people would exchange FREE for PAYING.

Indeed, I have suggested that the city sell the sports venues for $1 to the team owners. Then we could put these facilities back on the property tax roles. Where they belong at $20 million a year in total taxes. They now escape this tax too.

170823 roldo chart small
Click on the graphic above to enlarge.

By Roldo Bartimole…


  1. Just to make clear the above two charts are top for Progressive Field and the final for Quicken Arena costs.

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image