Hey, remember a couple of weeks ago when the Redskins and the state of Virginia announced that the team would move its training camp to Richmond beginning in 2013?
Well, it seems that some people are a little upset about that. And by "some people," we mean Virginia legislators.
To the AP Wires!
Republicans and Democrats grilled senior administration officials for an hour Monday. The lawmakers asked repeatedly and without success that they validate claims that the wealthy team would leave its massive Loudoun County headquarters and training facility.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Lacey Putney said McDonnell knew the legislature opposed the Redskins' incentives. Yet, Putney says the governor proceeded anyway without ever notifying him or other senior lawmakers.
The case against the deal can be pithily summed up in this article at Reason by Richmond Times-Dispatch writer A. Barton Hinkle.
The Old Dominion will give the Skins $4 million; Loudoun County (home to the team's headquarters) will give them another $2 million, and Richmond will kick in $400,000. All this for "the third-richest sports franchise on the planet behind British soccer giant Manchester United and the Dallas Cowboys," as Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro noted a week ago.
Spending tax money in order to collect more of it is the dubious rationale of those who have been in government too long. As for the economic benefits of sports subsidies, they are hugely overblown-as a library full of studies from sources as ideologically diverse as the Cato Institute and the Brookings Institution can attest.
On a scale of zero to 10, with zero representing zero and 10 representing metaphysical certitude, we're still sure the move to Richmond happens. But this wouldn't be the Redskins if it didn't come with controversy and a dollop of bad PR.