The Pittsburgh Comet brings up the issue of sporting event tickets and politics once again, and once again I get pretty pissed off. I remember the issue from when the Mayor was first filling out the sheet that reported his debts and gifts that had been given to him. This was back maybe two, three years ago (it was a Rich Lord story, I am too lazy to chase it down once again). The Mayor I believe listed his mortgage, but not an outstanding line of credit for home improvements. He did not list any tickets for sporting events because they were all under $100, and so were under the reporting requirements. Except that they are not supposed to be over $250 cumulatively for the year, or they all need to be reported (actually, I believe they are just not supposed to be over $250 for the year, but let’s be generous here). Now there is the whole issue of the Mayor, the County Executive and the Governor going to the Super Bowl.
I think that Obama should step in, and have Congress pass a local ethics law that stadiums around the country should set up special politician seats. Not a box, not even very good seats (because they aren’t going to be paid for them). A seat for a Mayor and wife, for a Governor, for maybe City Council persons and maybe one other (County Executive?). Also maybe a couple of seats for visiting politicians (this probably wouldn’t work for the Super Bowl, BTW, where a stadium might have to bite the bullet and have seats for three sets of local politicians, plus maybe some for a visiting President and secret service). And that would be it. Have it this way all over the country. So if a sports franchise wanted to get an amphitheatre built with public money, they would have to influence the Governor or whomever the old fashioned way: money and possibly a championship game ball. Go Steelers.
I’ve started working on taxes again, so I will probably go back to posting less here. But hey, I am doing the work of the IRS, so the karma balances.