Dennis Kucinich held today his Congressional subcommittee “Gaming the Tax Code: Public Subsidies, Private Profits, and Big League Sports in New York” meeting on stadium rip-offs. As Neil deMause announced earlier, Assemblymember Richard Brodsky was there to put his “The House That You Built” report into the record.
The Westchester legislator made an interesting, full-disclosure kind of statement before he got down to summarizing the scams and frauds detailed in his report.
“I’m keenly aware,” Brodsky told the subcommittee, “that the policies of the federal government result in my state receiving over $80 billion dollars less than our taxpayers send to Washington, while most other states receive more than they send. The only reason for the Stadium deal that stands scrutiny is that any arrangement that returns tax dollars to New York remedies the unfairness of the current system. The fact that these public dollars flow to the Yankees, a private, hugely successful and wealthy corporation not located in New York is a disturbing fact, but I must in fairness note the interests of my state in a fairer distribution of federal money” (emphasis added).
We’re so used to thinking of the The Boss as a New York figure that we forget the Steinbrenner crime family is actually based in Tampa. And as Brodsky’s report states, “The Yankee employees do not seem to live in significant numbers in the community surrounding the Stadium, or in the City, or State. Whatever its physical location, Yankee Stadium has not been a major economic force in the lives of neighborhood residents.”