Sen. John McCain spoke with the media yesterday in Glendale and had some harsh words for the Goldwater Institute, the taxpayer watchdog group that scuttled Matthew Hulsizer’s purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes.
“Not to get into details, but when an organization like the Goldwater Institute, elected by nobody, representing nobody except maybe some very wealthy donors, makes a decision like they did and it’s harmful to the economy of state of Arizona, then I do weigh in,” he said.
“I’ve never seen such arrogance and frankly, Barry Goldwater would want them to change their name because Barry Goldwater believed in the responsibility with the elected representatives of the people, not an unelected group of fat cats like who’s at the Goldwater Institute.”
Never fails to amuse when politicians use the phrase “fat cats.” I always picture a bunch of cats wearing three-piece suits, smoking cigars and sipping brandy in leather chairs.
Anyway, McCain dropped the ceremonial puck before the Phoenix-Montreal game at Jobing.com Arena, where fans received a McCain bobblehead doll as part of “Military Heroes Night.”
In addition to ripping the Goldwater Institute, McCain also admitted time was running out on the league-owned Coyotes in Glendale.
“I don’t know (how long the sale process can continue), but the National Hockey League is not going to keep this franchise going forever,” he said. “That’s not their job. Their job is to oversee the NHL, not spend money on it. So I do have a certain sense of urgency.”
If there’s no new owner in place by the end of the season, it’s hard to picture a team in Arizona for 2012-13.
As the saga surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes and Matthew Hulsizer’s efforts to buy the team from the NHL continues on, tonight Coyotes fans get a dose of what could turn out to be franchise-saving news.
During tonight’s game against Chicago, Hulsizer spoke with Fox Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh to give an update on his efforts to acquire the team. His statements tonight made it clear that he’s stepping up his efforts in such a way that the government watchdog group Goldwater Institute may have to reconsider their threats to sue the City of Glendale.
Aaron Wood of Arizona Vibe Sports transcribed the interview to share the potentially good news from Hulsizer. Hulsizer explains how the revenue generated from parking will be handled so the gift clause that Goldwater Institute has focused on as the main issue in the deal will be satisfied.
“I’m on the record as saying that I should not move on the deal, I don’t feel like I should. It’s a free market. I’m signing up to take on losses that would otherwise be born by the Glendale and Arizona taxpayers. However, the deal needs to move forward. And when you look out 25, 30 years you know we want to do what’s in the best interest of Arizona and the best interest of Hockey fans and so… (pauses) We, on Friday, sent a letter to Goldwater to make it brain dead simple. We said ‘Look, we’re going to take the $100 million you get $25 million back. $75 million will guarantee it.’”
It’s a bold step and virtually a necessary one for Hulsizer to take. After all, with so much public money being thrown around in this deal, owning up to making sure the city doesn’t go totally broke in the matter has to be done. It’s always a curious issue when public money goes toward helping a sports franchise, but in the case of the Coyotes it’s a totally unique situation in which the city can suffer even more if the team goes.
As always with this story, it’s never quite over and settled. Goldwater will have their say about this new development and whether or not they sign off it seems to be the big problem. The threat of their litigation has everything to do with whether or not Hulsizer gets to have the bond sale necessary to create the funds to ensure his purchase of the team.
If Goldwater continues to raise a stink about this, their motives will come further into question as will what needs to be done to satisfy the gift clause. For what it’s worth, Senator John McCain and former Arizona Attorney General say that they believe this new deal does satisfy the issues at hand. So much legal mumbo-jumbo, so little time remaining on this situation.
Of course, this could all be avoided if Hulsizer would pony up the proper amount of money to keep public funds out of this situation. As it is, apparently a prospective owner with just the right amount of cash is good enough for now. We’ll see if that holds true before too long.