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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 13, 2009 1:30 PM. The previous post in this blog was It has "linchpin" written all over it. The next post in this blog is When they ban blogs like this one.... Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

How much rent can Paulson afford to pay?

This morning I sent the City of Portland a public records request to see the financial statements of Shortstop LLC, Merritt Paulson, and related entities. I was half expecting to be told they were confidential, but surprisingly, I now get word that the city's never seen them:

Good morning –

We actually aren’t the proper addressee. Under our agreement with Merritt Paulson, we do not receive any financials. Therefore, you would need to contact Mr. Paulson directly at 503-553-5401.

Hope this helps, Laurel
Laurel Butman, Principal Management Analyst
Business Operations, Office of Management & Finance

Pretty amazing. When Paulson tells you how much he's making, or how much he's going to make, you're just supposed to take his word.

Comments (17)

Jack,

I know you are steamed about the whole MLS and PGE Park deal... But, why have you not started a converstation about where the Beavers will play in 2011? The future of pro baseball may be in limbo, but we are far from killing it.

Really? You tell me where it's going to be, then. If the city doesn't already own the land, it's going to be way too expensive a proposition. The two sites identified so far are out. Nobody's got a third, that I know of.

If Daddy and his pals ain't going to open the books to see where $13 Trillion (and counting) has gone to Wall Street, you wouldn't expect his kid to open the books either would you?

The MC site could still very well be in consideration. Just because the Vulcans and some vocal architects don't want the MC to get torn down, doesn't mean they have the final say. I have a hunch that there is a silent majority in town that either really wants a new ballpark there or just doesn't care about the fate of the MC. I would have attended the town hall session had my schedule permitted me. I have emailed City Hall several times on the subject, but get the same scripted response of "No". Why don't the baseball fans of Portland get up off the butts and do something to move this toward a realistic working solution?

Glad you asked, AAA. Why isn't a multi-use Civic Stadium the realistic solution?

The MC site could still very well be in consideration.

In Fireman Randy's mind, maybe. But between the architect Mafia and the Blazers, it ain't gonna happen. Plus, it's too small a site for a baseball park.

Allan - MLS requires that all new franchises joining the league need to have a soccer-specific stadium. This is not the discussion I am trying to have, though. For all intents and purposes, as conveyed by the Paulsons and our city "leaders", is that the MLS issue and AAA issue are seperate and need to be addressed seperate. Just trying to work within the scope of the terms that are being set forth. That is all.

This sounds an awful lot like those "stated income loans" that got us into this financial crisis in the first place.

Re Bog's comment:
"When Paulson tells you how much he's making, or how much he's going to make, you're just supposed to take his word."

Merritt's pater did the same thing with the federal bail-out plan.

The strategy of obtaining public funds from weak-minded local politicians like the Portland City Council, and then keeping the public in the dark about how the funds are going to be used, works well for maintaining dynastic wealth and influence...)

Jack,

One question you could ask the city is how much they are supplementing the pay of employees of Shortstop LLC? As you may remember, the city struck a deal the last time they remodeled the stadium and agreed to pay employees (ticket takers, ushers, etc.) a "living wage". The way it works is millionaire Paulson pays his employees minimum wage and the city makes up the difference, which is about $3 an hour as I understand.

Also, is this arrangment going to continue with the new plan?

Saltzman had as one of his conditions for the Lents stadium that that particular nonsense stop. But now that Lents is off the table, old Big Pipe Dan will probably go along with another 30 years of it. Hey, while we're up, how about a raise?

AAA -- my bad. When you said "realistic" I thought you meant "rational".

Banks sure don't give money to people they don't vet. Even if some of their recent past vetting processes have suspect.

Where the hell is the city auditor when it comes to stuff like this? Sleeping on the job? Perhaps the city auditor should answer as to why this information was not sought.

Sound fiduciary processes should be something any entity with a budget strives for.

zzzzzzzzzzz
sign on city hall
'Quiet Please, do not disturb'
New slogan:
Portland; The City That Sleeps

Why is the Portland City Council involved in trying to cut deals on major league sports stadiums? And not just working on such deals, but aggressively and belligerently pursuing them?

It's not the City Council's job to "figure out" where sports teams should play. Nor is it their job to "finance" it, or enter into the phony "public-private partnership" to accomplish it. It's not their job to attempt to get sports stadiums built, to site stadiums or sell them to local neighborhoods, or even spend one penny pf taxpayer money on such speculative pursuits.

Given that, why the heck would anybody assume that Leonard, Mayor Facebook, et al should be doing so?

Mind boggling.

^The strategy of obtaining public funds from weak-minded local politicians like the Portland City Council, and then keeping the public in the dark about how the funds are going to be used, works well for maintaining dynastic wealth and influence...)

Hey Dena you get this month's prize for hitting it out of the park.

Jack,

Please keep asking these questions! The fact that the city doesn't even have Paulson's financials is ridiculous at best.

While City Council might not be asking these really critical (and seemingly obvious) questions, I know that the media is following your blog closely. Hopefully they will reveal these idiotic missteps to the public until people realize that this whole effort is really a sham and a waste of money.

Charles


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