Hank Paulson's son, that's who!
Direct from the Beaver's mouth:
Very soon, Portland will make a once-in-a-generation decision. We have an opportunity to create more than 600 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs, an opportunity to leverage at least $40 million in private investment, an opportunity to revitalize our city with millions in private investment and new sustainability-focused development, an opportunity to showcase Portland and Oregon to the nation and world by adding another major league team poised to flourish, and an opportunity for more than 1 million people every year to help build our economy and community. [...]
During tough economic times, some will question investing public resources in sports. But this is about far more than soccer or baseball. It's about putting people back to work now and economic development tomorrow. It's about leveraging at least $40 million of immediate private money. It's about creating new civic gathering places and public investments that enrich our quality of life. And it's about 1 million people each year, coming together, and building our economy and community.
God, I love that "leveraging" line, the go-to economic-multiplier jargon among slicktastic Left Coast politicos from Seattle to San Onofre. I mean, if Barack Obama gives me 10 bucks, that means the D.C. economy will "leverage" my 5 bucks when I buy one helluva $15 sandwich, right?
Well, at least my regionally confident Portland peeps aren't falling for this old wives' shaggy dog story, right? Cue the giant smacking sound of Oregonian columnist John Canzano's lips on Paulson Jr.'s posterior:
What kind of city does Portland want to become?
Some might think sports should not be a priority, particularly right now. That's a defensible, though short-sighted, position. But it's not defensible to shun the chance to land another professional franchise because of Paulson's lineage.
Because I've rubbed elbows with the men who own professional sports franchises. They're all wealthy. They're typically well-educated. They can be disconnected snobs who fail to relate to regular citizens. But I've never met an owner as grounded as Paulson.
Link via Free Andy Laroche via Matt Taibbi via Wonkette. Peruse through Reason's vast anti-stadium subsidy literature starting here. And luxuriate anew in Tim Cavanaugh's devastating critique of Paulson Sr.'s housing panic here.