It’s been so many years since Julius Caesar or his astronomical minions came up with a pretty workable calendar. Sure, every four years or so we have to kick it a day, but it’s stood us in good stead for a lot of years. Now the Goldwater Institute has reinvented the Julian calendar without notification? We expect to see their argument in court once they figure out who is the right person to sue, probably because the extra day for Leap Year violates the “gift clause” in the state constitution.
Besides their reinvention of the calendar, Goldwater has also chose to reinvent basic mathematics! In their press release, unusually bereft of the amount of spin they normally offer when explaining yet another loss in court, maybe because their most talented spin doctors were busy spinning up the Supreme Court ruling for “ObamaCare” that day, they include an erroneous amount (unless they reinvented math):
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Dean Fink ruled Thursday that Glendale, Ariz.’s $425 million arena management agreement with the potential buyer of the Phoenix Coyotes did not violate the City requirement to competitive bid contracts over $50,000.
As Ronald Reagan used to say “Welp, there you go again!” It’s the same $425 million number they keep parroting to explain the arena lease deal in one sentence, with the obvious intent to mislead the public. A less polite way of saying it is they continue to lie about the extent and expenses of the arena lease deal.
The lease management fees, paid over TWENTY YEARS (not mentioned anywhere in the above inflammatory statement) to the Jamison group buying the team totals $300 million. Beyond that, CoG is liable for a capital improvements fund of $24 million over TWENTY YEARS to maintain and improve the building that the City would still own. Okay, a reasonable person would exclude that amount because it’s for capital improvements on one’s own property, but for the sake of argument let’s add it in so Goldwater has a fighting chance in this math free-for-all. That brings us to a total, over TWENTY YEARS of $324 million, still a far cry from $425 million. We won’t even subtract the rent money that the Coyotes pay back to Glendale (about $14 million) plus the tax on the rent plus the fee for each ticket sold (about $3 per ticket in a roughly 17,000 seat arena). We’ll ignore all of that money that should be subtracted from the total Glendale is paying. We will also ignore that an important part of the Coyotes-Jamison business plan is to purchase the arena well before the 20 year mark, making all of the contracted expenses for CoG disappear overnight. Gone. So, where is the other $101 million, Goldwater?
We believe Goldwater is now evaluating the PARKING at Jobing.com arena to be worth $101 million. This EXACT number was a bone of contention raised by Goldwater when they scoffed at that valuation during the negotiations with the Hulsizer group to buy the Coyotes. So, did they have a change of mind and decide Glendale was correct in their valuation? Or, is that simply a convenient way to jack up the number that people will hear and retain in their brain as “$425 million for HOCKEY?!!?”. You decide, I’ve made up my mind.
Pat Myself On The Back
In an earlier snotty post of mine, I forwarded my opinion that Glendale should use, as their defense against the “competitive bid” argument from Goldwater, that arena management is, indeed, a “professional service” and thus is exempt from the competitive bidding requirements per the city charter. Lo and behold, that’s why Judge Fink ruled against Goldwater in this case. (Click here to read) Here’s what Goldwater said:
In contrast to prior case law in similar lawsuits, the court denied the Institute’s request on the basis that arena management constitutes a “professional service,” which is exempt from competitive bidding requirements.
Yeah, see, I told you so! Take that, Carrie!
But, I Digress
Yes, I distracted myself again, sorry this stuff gets me worked up and I wanted to take a minute to congratulate myself on my geniusness. What about the calendar?
The regulations for petitioning for a referendum permit 30 days from the date of the original vote to collect the necessary number of Glendale registered voter signatures, which are a percentage of the number that voted in the prior general election. In this case the number is about 1900 voters and the petitions would have to be turned in to city hall no later than close of business on July 9, 2012. The math is spelled out clearly, and the vote was on June 8. Because July 8 falls on a Sunday, the petitioners get an extra day.
In the same press release, Goldwater spins up the time machine and states:
Opponents of the arena management deal have until July 16 to submit roughly 1,800 signatures.
Now, we won’t quibble with their math again, the truth of the matter is they need between 1,800 and 1,900 signatures, probably more like 2,300 to allow for some signatures to be rejected when they are inspected by the appropriate parties. But, their date math is simply wrong, did they forget to carry a 1 or something? Goldwater offerred the following explanation when queried by an ace report with initials “DZ” via ther Twitter feed (@GoldwaterInst):
@dave_zorn 30 days to collect signatures & city clerk didn’t let people start collecting signatures until June 15.
I found that interesting! I buy the “Never On Sunday” argument so eloquently argued by Melina Mercouri those many years ago, so I understand the last statement. I’m confused as to where they got the extra week, though.
Goldwater stated that the City Clerk (in Glendale) didn’t have the paperwork that the citizens needed to start the process until June 15. I have had the pleasure of dealing with that very office, and have found them efficient and friendly, so I was curious as to why they would ”lose” papers or stonewall Joe when he visited the office. So, I decided to contact the City Clerk’s oiffice.
During a weekly Tea Party meeting at Denny’s featuring Glendale mayoral candidate Jerry Weiers (the brother of whom, interestingly, also appears on the rolls of the City Clerk requesting a petition just recently, but that’s another story), Joe Cobb mentioned that the Secretary of State had assured him that their group had until July 16 to turn in their signatures and get the referendum on the November ballot. Personally, I don’t believe that statement although it’s possible his Goldwater attorney assured him of the date.
They assure me that the statement Goldwater made through their Twitter feed is completely false. It’s hard to do some creative math on that, it’s pretty much true or false, on or off, do or do not (as Yoda says). I went further and requested the petition request themselves and a few other things of interest, more documents but not close to the THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND that Goldwater has gotten from the same clerk’s office.
Turns out that Joe Cobb requested the petition forms (civil cognescenti would say “pulled the papers”) on June 15, 2012 with his receipt (click here) stamped 02:51 PM. So what, you say, that’s exactly what Goldwater said and you’re saying they’re being loose with the facts. True, but in the time before AND after Joe picked up his petition, there were FIVE other people pulling referendum packets between May 25 and June 18. There are maybe four people working in the City Clerk’s office, they would know if Joe Cobb came in and they are certain he never even showed up. Nor did Ken Jones.
Then, after the court date on June 19 when Joe and Ken were, in their opinion I suppose, given permission to file the papers that Joe had picked up four days earlier, they finally filed the paperwork so they could begin collecting signatures on June 20 (click here), five days after Joe had picked up the necessary “stuff”. Maybe they took the extra time to set up their “PAC”? (click here) Nah, took us about an hour to do that. Does that sound like a guy in a hurry? It doesn’t to us, either.
So the veiled threat by Goldwater on their web page and through their Twitter feed is toothless. It’s easy to prove that their argument and statements are completely false, so one would assume that if they filed any sort of action against CoG or anybody else in an attempt to push the date back to July 16, it would be a nuisance lawsuit with no merit and they would be chastised by the court accordingly. But, I’m no judge or lawyer, I’m just a working stiff.
We hope that, come July 9, nobody shows up at Glendale City Hall with signed petitions. We hope that, while we wish no ill will personally to either man, Ken Jones and Joe Cobb don’t appear with whatever signatures they have until July 19, 2012.
Keep the faith, Coyotes brothers and sisters, and keep punching until the other guy goes down.