It’s time to start throwing elbows at Howard Schultz

The Sonics have sent an ultimatum to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels: agree to a $220 million Key Arena expansion this month, or the NBA team will start looking to move elsewhere.

Under the terms of the Sonic’s proposal, the team would pay $18.3 million towards construction — less than 9 percent of the costs — plus $1 million a year in rent on a 20-year lease. In return, the Sonics would take over management of Key Arena, and keep all revenue from all events. But don’t you worry, the city would still own Key Arena… and be financially responsible for all major maintenance projects.

Such a deal.

Now personally, I really couldn’t give a shit whether the Sonics stay or leave, though I understand if these sentiments place me in the minority. But I’m pretty damn sure a majority of Seattlites share my disgust at the thought of billionaire Starbucks Chairman and Sonics owner Howard Schultz holding taxpayers hostage at a time we face so many other pressing needs.

Still, I’m nothing if not a consensus builder, and so I’d like to suggest a revenue proposal that not only satisfies the coffee mogul’s greedy demands, but also satisfies my own insatiate sense of irony: a Latte Tax.

Yes, what better way to finance a new arena whose primary purpose is to make a very rich man even richer, than to tax the business that made him so awfully damn rich in the first place? And what could be more delicious than a Marble Mocha Macchiato, than the spectacle of Schultz’s Sonics spending millions of Schultz’s dollars to convince voters to levy a tax on Schultz’s ubiquitous Starbucks?

Now I know what you’re thinking… voters already rejected Initiative 77’s Latte Tax back in 2003. But this Latte Tax would keep a professional basketball franchise in Seattle, whereas I-77’s Latte Tax only funded desperately needed preschool for low-income families, and really… who the fuck cares about them? It’s all about priorities.

What would it cost? Well, back in 2003 I-77’s sponsors estimated a 10-cent per shot tax would raise $7 million a year. The Sonics had previously backed a 20-year revenue package that would have provided $176 million for new construction plus $75 million to guarantee the bonds, so I figure a 20-cent per shot tax should more than cover the costs over 20 years.

We can quibble over the details — whether we’d need a higher or lower rate, or whether to extend the tax to drip coffee, beans and specialty items — but as long as Schultz is intent on reaming the citizens of Seattle, it only seems fair that voters ream his core business in return. And if he objects to a Latte Tax, well then, he’s free to follow through on his ultimatum… though I’m not so sure Schultz really wants to be remembered as the man who moved the beloved Sonics out of Seattle.

Basketball is a contact sport… but then, so is politics. Perhaps if city officials start throwing a few elbows, Schultz might be persuaded to negotiate a realistic deal.

That’s Nick for you… always looking for the pony. As for me, I’m wondering if I can get the city to pay to remodel my kitchen?


  1. 3

    uptown spews:

    Doesn’t our other billionaire have a team in Portland that might be looking for a new home?

    Actually I would like to see us upgrade our hockey to a NHL team. A friend of mine was pointing out that overall attendance for the entire league for the 2005-2006 season was at almost 92% capacity. Any other hockey fans out there?

  2. 4

    Richard Pope spews:

    Actually, the tax bailout of the Sonics wouldn’t be so bad if only the liberal Democrats in Seattle have to pay for it. It would be a travesty if taxpayers in the rest of King County, or in the state as a whole, have to subsidize the liberal Democrat billionaire Howar Schultz.

  3. 5

    DamnageD spews:

    To the Sonics and Storm,

    Don’t let the door hit ya where the lord split ya!

    …and take the coffee crybaby with ya!

  4. 7

    thor spews:

    I want to keep the Sonics in Seattle. I give a rip about the team even though I don’t go to games very much. When I was a kid the Sonics helped lighten up the dreary dark days of winter. Seattle is not being held hostage by the team. The City leadership is divided and the Mayor is gutless on this subject. Times are good in Seattle right now. The City’s revenues are way up. The Sonics and the Storm are valuable things in the lives of this region’s youth and health of the Queen Anne neighborhood.

    I don’t get the Starbuck’s bashing either. It is one of the most progressive large companies I am aware of and a retail model – especially for their retial employees.

    The Sonics and Seattle need to sort this out and keep the team in the City.

  5. 10

    Hillary [JCH]Clinton spews:

    The price of full service high octane gas reaches $4.049 dollars per gallon Thursday, April 20, 2006, at a gas station in Beverly Hills, Calif. Oil prices held steady near record highs Thursday after weekly data showed a drop in U.S. gasoline. This is good because Beverly Hills is loaded with liberal Democrats who do not support nuclear power, wind power off Kennedyland, any new refineries, or drilling in ANWR, Alaska, in the Gulf of Mexico, or off California. Many libs hope gas goes even higher, although many Democrat libs fly in private Gulfstreams [G4 and G5s] and ride in V8 limos. “This is Bushes fault” said Democrat Hyme Lowenstein!! “Yes, Bush is at fault!” said “Babs” Goldberg!!…………………………………………………………………..[hehe, JCH]

    Hyme Lowenstein…………”Babs” Goldberg………..Goldy, and relation????????????????????????

  6. 11

    ArtFart spews:

    I might miss the Storm a little, but you know, it feels kinda like the Sonics really went away a few years ago.

    Schultz has it all backwards: Most of us would think that to increase sales, you improve the product. What he and Walker have done to the Sonics is analogous to having Starbuck’s water down their coffee.

    Tell you what, Howie…you hire some talented players and a decent coach, and start making the games more interesting to watch than nap time at a retirement center, and maybe even start winning a few of them, and attract enough of us common folk to put butts in the seats you already have…..THEN come talking to us about making room for more of us, not to mention you oh-so-pampered rich-ass buddies.

  7. 12

    headless lucy spews:

    A little off topic, but: If a communist country has the words “democratic” and “republic” in their name , does that make them the political Doppelganger of the “socialist” Nazis?

    I sure hope Tom Wolfe reads this blog. What a lightweight asshole he turned out to be!

  8. 13

    Rick spews:

    Sonics offer: $18.3 million
    Key Arena renovation cost: $220 million
    Watching a rich whiny liberal beat the crap out of the hand-wringing liberal mayor of Seattle: Priceless

  9. 14

    Steve spews:

    Dear Seattle Sonics,

    In response for your request for the people and the city of Seattle to just hand over all of our money, we say to you the following:

    “Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good lord split ya”.


    And take your crappy, nasty, burnt $5 coffee with you!

  10. 15

    Voter Advocate spews:

    San Francisco let the Warriors go to Oakland many years ago. Seattle should do the same, they aren’t a much better team.

  11. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In Washington D.C., I’m sure President Hu appreciated it when President Huh? called him the “president of the Republic of China,” i.e., of Taiwan.

  12. 17

    Richard Pope spews:

    The main parcel for the Mariners baseball stadium is currently assessed for a value of $478,728,500:

    There are several other parcels of land associated with the Mariners stadium, totalling perhaps $10 million in assessed value, but I will leave them out of the calculation for the sake of simplicity.

    Since it is owned by the Washington State Major League Baseball Public Facilities District, it pays no property taxes. The Mariners lease the stadium for a measly rent of approximately $1 million per year.

    If we simply GAVE the stadium to the Mariners, they would have to pay property taxes of $4.61 million per year, at the $9.63 per $1,000 property tax rate imposed in Seattle.

  13. 18

    Richard Pope spews:

    The Seahawks football stadium is currently assessed for a value of $374,727,600:

    Since it is owned by the Washington State Public Stadium Authority, it pays no property taxes. The Seahawks lease the stadium for a measly rent of approximately $1 million per year.

    If we simply GAVE the stadium to the Seahawks, they would have to pay property taxes of $3.61 million per year, at the $9.63 per $1,000 property tax rate imposed in Seattle.

  14. 19

    rmdSeaBos spews:

    dan savage wrote about having the county ? or state? pay for him to have a house during one of the stadium debates.

    maybe you and dan can get welfare … as long as you are millionaires or billionaires!

    this is Amerika after all, land of the free from responsibility for the rich and powerful.


  15. 20

    momus spews:


    Once again you prove what an absolute limp wristed old woman you are.

    Here’s a newsflash, Seattle needs the Sonics a hell of a lot more than the Sonics need Seattle.

    Hopefully, we’ll see a new Arena being built in Bellevue, or even better, moving them team out of King County altogether.

    Hmmm the Tacoma Sonics? I have a feeling Tacoma would ove that revenue.

  16. 21

    Erik spews:

    This is an issue everyone can get behind and refuse to be extorted for millions.

    They want millions in public money and then want to totally control the facility. Unbelievable.

    Maye this is an issue all of the Washington bloggers on both sides can get behind.

  17. 22

    Puddybud spews:

    Rabbit Pellet: If you look like Charles Bronson, yous one ugly mofo! Now Charlie could act, though, more than we can say for your blogging personality!

    BTW Pellet without looking on the Internet, what was Bronson’s real name?

  18. 23

    johnd spews:

    Lets be fair to small business. If we have a latte tax, it should only be on coffee sold in chains that have say, more than 100 shops in the state.

  19. 24

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    I read something a while ago that Paul Allen has an unrealized holding gain on the Seahawks of $600M. That is, if he sold them today, he’d gain $600M over what he paid for them.

    If that’s true, would it be reasonable to ask one of the wealthiest men in the world to pay back the taxpayers for that fucking stadium we built for him so he could make all that money?

  20. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Howie — don’t let the door hit your ass on your way out! Oh, and by the way, I LIKE your stock!!!

  21. 26

    Undercover Brother spews:

    i don’t think anyone outside the city would care if this club moves to the ‘burbs.

    but in a few years the business community around the centre will start to decline and the SODO will pick up.

    this will be a wash in a town like Seattle

  22. 27

    Richard Pope spews:

    MTR @ 79

    Most of the “value” of the Seahawks comes from the fact that they have a nice $400 million stadium to play in and don’t have to pay anything significant to do so.

  23. 28

    Janet S spews:

    This will put Nickels in a very uncomfortable spot. On the one hand, he has his rich buddies he likes to pal around with. On the other, he has voters that don’t want to pay for the rich men’s toys. What to do?

    If the Sonics were producing a product that someone wanted at an affordable price, there wouldn’t be this problem. The players are overpaid and underperform. Who cares if they leave?

  24. 29

    right-where-I-want-to-be spews:

    Goldy, you’re not in a bar, how about making a point without the profanity. It adds nothing, but a commentary on your character.

  25. 30

    dave. spews:

    corporate welfare, pure and simple. can’t blame them for trying, considering this city’s track record, but i say to hell with grown men playing with their balls. especially considering they’d ditch us without looking back, if they were offered a bigger salary. piss on ‘em.

    now, if the leagues went back to TRUE local representation, where the players actually grew up and lived in their team’s hometown (or at least within a couple hundred miles depending on the population spread and distance to nearest franchise), maybe. maybe. hire local people to make the stupid shirts and caps. pay ‘em a decent wage. then, maybe.

    actually, no. i could really give a rat’s ass about sports, the teams and their fans. they treat all of us like chumps. no different than televangelists.

    seattle sports can suck it. buhbye.

  26. 31

    Hillary [JCH]Clinton spews:

    Congressman Jim McDermott (Moonbat-WA), who traveled to Baghdad to support Saddam Hussein just before the Iraq War, will have his own jihadi on staff—Mustafa Khalfi, editor-in-chief of the Moroccan newspaper At-Tajdid, who has received a prestigious Fulbright fellowship to take a course at Johns Hopkins University, and a scholarship at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Fulbright’s Terror Supporter………………………………………………………………………….. [Gee, What a surprse. Democrats: domestic terrorists.]

  27. 32

    Mayor Greg Nickels spews:

    Dear kerrizor,

    Thank you for your letter. I have commissioned a 12-person blue ribbon panel to study the question (at a cost to the taxpayers of about $2.4 million). I will get back to you later about their findings. In the meantime, I invite you to come to City Hall, sit in the waiting area of my office and enjoy a complimentary Starbucks latte.


    Mayor Greg Nickels

  28. 34

    sgmmac spews:

    Don’t we pay around 10 cents tax on each cigarette? Why the fuck didn’t you think of this tax before and furthermore why do the voters get to vote on it. I didn’t get to vote on the damn cigarette taxes.

    Bring on the sin taxes, I am sick and tired of my sins being taxed, I want everyfuckingbody to feel the pain!

  29. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “The whole thing with the Mariners just boils my blood, to the point where I swore I would never voluntarily step foot in the Mariner’s stadium. Commentby Larry the Urbanite— 4/20/06@ 11:19 am”

    That’s funny — that was exactly my reaction, too! Like you, I’ve set foot in the place only once, and involuntarily. I didn’t get dragged there by my boss (I don’t have a boss), but by Mrs. Rabbit.

  30. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Richard Poop @14

    Taxing working class coffee drinkers to build a sports palace for a billionaire sounds like a REPUBLICAN project, R.P. The redneck crowd usually goes big for tax-financed yahoo facilities.

  31. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “Wow…what a day this is. For the first time EVER, Goldy and I agree. Maybe I’m getting through…. Commentby Mark The Redneck— 4/20/06@ 11:07 am”

    So typical of Mark the Megalomaniac … the rest of us think maybe Goldy is getting through to YOU. Hey Redneck, if you want to “get through” to Goldy — pay the $100 you owe him.

  32. 40

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “Finally, something we can all agree on. No tax money for sports magnates. Commentby Larry the Urbanite— 4/20/06@ 11:19 am”

    It’s a small step for manking, and an even smaller step for Mark the Welsher’s mind. Now if we could just get him to agree on no tax money for Republican wars, Republican corruption, or Republican cronies.

  33. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “I like profanity. I think it’s keen. But I’ve spent the better part of a decade working in a BAR where people of dubious moral character say ‘fuck’ alot, so what do I know? Commentby EmmaLou— 4/20/06@ 10:53 am”

    EmmaLou, what matters is not whether you say “fuck” a lot, but whether you fuck a lot. The world needs more bunnies!!!

  34. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Momus Pompous Assus @18

    “Here’s a newsflash, Seattle needs the Sonics a hell of a lot more than the Sonics need Seattle.” Commentby momus— 4/20/06@ 11:54 am

    Really? How’s that? Because it provides 10 people with seven-figure jobs? Who would otherwise be flipping burgers? Hey Momus, if you think keeping the Sonics is worth $200 million, why don’t you put up the $200 million. The rest of Seattle will love you.

  35. 43

    Robert spews:

    What bugs me is I’ve been in the Suites at Key Arena and they seem pretty damn nice to regular guy me. Unfortunately each of the Billionaire’s who own Sports Teams think they must have something better than the next Billionaire. Its a race to the top – funded by the taxpayers.

  36. 46

    Anonymous spews:

    Goldy – Schultz is now in freefall. Continuing his whiny, threatening behavior, he announced yesterday that he has already secured a “blank check” from another city (not in Washington State) wanting the team,, and that he’ll cash it if Seattle doesn’t give him what he wants. But when invited – in 6 different phone calls – by KUOW’s Weekday to elaborate, no one at Sonics HQ would respond. The way I see it, Schultz is lying through his teeth about that so-called “blank check”. And he ought to be confronted about it. He’s already blown it with Seattle, he knows it, and now he’s using empty threats. Even Nickels seemed sick of the whole thing when interviewed yesterday. I guess if Schultz and Walker lose Nickels, that’s it. (And let’s not forget about Walker, after all. He’s the stupid schmuck who made Schultz the face of the Sonics.)

  37. 47

    kerrizor spews:

    Dear Mayor Nickels,

    Let this letter be your official notice that I demand $220 from the city of Seattle or I will relocate to some more hospitable locale.



  38. 48

    Richard Pope spews:

    MTR @ 83

    We can’t make Paul Allen pay us back. If we could, I think we should. I would have never given the stadium away in the first place. At most, we should have used our eminent domain powers to condemn land for the stadium, sold the land to Allen for what we paid for it, and let him build a stadium at his own expense.

  39. 49

    EmmaLou spews:

    I like profanity. I think it’s keen. But I’ve spent the better part of a decade working in a BAR where people of dubious moral character say ‘fuck’ alot, so what do I know?

  40. 50

    Mayor Greg Nickels spews:

    Dear kerrizor,

    I have just been handed the report from the panel and regret to inform you that the City of Seattle has chosen not to meet your demands. Part of this stems from the “incident” involving the pants in Pioneer Square (but we’ll keep that between us).

    There is a silver lining. Because the panel was able to complete its review so promptly, the cost to the taxpayers was only $2.2 million. Due to the unexpected $200,000 surplus, the City of Seattle is prepared to offer you a free Greyhound ticket to your choice of Portland, Spokane or Deming. The balance of the funds will go toward an air hockey table for the Mayor’s office and a really bitchen’ kegger here next Saturday.

    Please stop by my office today or tomorrow to pick up your ticket. Ask for Karen.

    Good luck in your new city!


    Mayor Greg Nickels

  41. 51

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Wow…what a day this is. For the first time EVER, Goldy and I agree. Maybe I’m getting through….

    Pro sports teams are out of control with their hands out to the taxpayers. Point the sonics to the door and tell them to use it. And no, we DON’T want them in Bellevue. Just head out of town fellas.

    But us taxpayers don’t really get a vote on stuff like this. Mrs. Gregoire can just act like an arrogant elite librul and declare an “emergency” like Gov. Locke did with the Mariners. Open season on wallets after that…

  42. 52

    Marianne Bichsel, Communications Director spews:

    For Immediate Release


    The Mayor’s Office for the City of Seattle is pleased to announce that the veteran leadership and sharp fiscal mind of Mayor Greg Nickels has led to the savings of $200,000 in the city budget. While those funds have been repurposed for morale-boosting of city staff, we just wanted to make it sound like we’re watching every tax dollar. Aww, heck. I can’t do this any more. Why didn’t I listen to my mother when she said I should go into veterinary medicine? That’d be simple. Either Fluffy lives or dies. Yeah… but then you’ve got the whole “do we have a right to spay/neuter pets?” Do they have reproductive rights? What position do I take on interspecies relationships — dogs and cats living together outside the marital union? I give up. I’m taking that damn bus ticket Greg promised kerrizor and heading to Portland to “ride the [public transit] rails.”

    Greg, I quit!

  43. 53

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Finally, something we can all agree on. No tax money for sports magnates. The whole thing with the Mariners just boils my blood, to the point where I swore I would never voluntarily step foot in the Mariner’s stadium. (And I haven’t. I was forced to go by my boss once, to suck up to a client. That’s right, I’m in the oldest profession…I’m a consultant!) And note what happened there: The public gave them the money then they sold the name of the field to an insurance company! We can expect more of the same here, I reckon. Screw ‘em, let the mega rich eat cake.

  44. 54

    Richard Pope spews:

    And you wouldn’t have sports stars making such ridiculous multi-million salaries and owners making such incredible profits — because some of the money would actually have to be used for PAYING FOR THE STADIUM!

  45. 55

    For the Clueless spews:

    The whole NBA is in a death spiral. People I knew back in the late eighties were saying they were bored to tears with the NBA. College basketball is much more interesting to watch and March madness has become the perfect warm up to baseball season.

    Nope this dog doesn’t hunt. Times change. Thanks for the memories.

  46. 56

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    It’s still premature to conclude who’s beating the crap out of whom, but Nickels has proven many times he’s neither a wimp nor a pushover.

  47. 57

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Not a bad idea, Richard, considering some players make enough to build their own arena.

  48. 58

    momus spews:


    Your ignorance is blinding, no wonder you daughter chose to turn tricks with gary ridgeway.

    She would have been better off had she been killed.

    I guess the added income to key arena employees, parking lots, restaurants, bars, sports marketing, Advertising, television coverage, hotels, etc, etc, etc…. Does not count for anythig.

  49. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Baseball was a great sport until money wrecked it, and continued to be a great sport after money wrecked it.

  50. 60

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    We’re passing the tin can. When it comes to you, put everything you’ve got in it. Until you do, shut the fuck up about spending other people’s money.

  51. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Richard Poop @35

    Why should Democrats pay for it, when all the sports fans are redneck Republicans? Oh that’s right, Republicans don’t pay for anything, they use OPM.* (*other people’s money) Republicans are

    F R E E L O A D E R S

  52. 62

    momus spews:


    Now that is funny.

    Rogerm next you’ll start complaining about accountability of the money being spent?

    Is it because it’s a sports team or becuase a government agency does have 20 people doing the job of one man that pisses you off?

  53. 63

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Oh yeah, having the Sonics at Key has done wonders to revitalize Seattle Center, hasn’t it?

  54. 65

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    And don’t forget the Sonics’ contribution to affordable parking on Lower Queen Anne.

  55. 67

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Where you been, mac? We thought JCH killed you, dismembered you in the bathtub, and fed you to the sand sharks.

  56. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “I guess the added income to key arena employees, parking lots, restaurants, bars, sports marketing, Advertising, television coverage, hotels, etc, etc, etc…. Does not count for anythig. Commentby momus— 4/20/06@ 3:06 pm”

    Why the fuck should I subsidize Howard Schulz and peanut vendors out of my retirement check? That’s SO-SHU-LISM! No wait, taking from the poor to give to the rich is FASCISM.

  57. 70

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If you think being unwilling to pay extortion money to a billionaire shakedown artist is “ignorance,” well … whatever.

  58. 71

    momus spews:

    Hey roggie…

    You may wanna do some research, there’s a lot more than one owner of the Sonics.

    Next you’ll start talking about boycotting Starbucks.

    If anything that would make their stock rise.

  59. 72

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Why shouldn’t I be pissed off? What’s the difference between this and someone poking a gun in your ribs and demanding you of your wallet? Why should I be nice to a robber?

  60. 73

    momus spews:

    “Why the fuck should I subsidize Howard Schulz and peanut vendors out of my retirement check? ”

    For the simple reason that your reitrement check was gained by your having a cushy Gov’t job, and you never worked a day in your life to justify receiving it.

    yet you criticize someone, in this case Schultz, who has brought wealth and prosperity to so many people.

  61. 74

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey momus — if you want to subsidize employment opportunities for basketball players, pay for it yourself. Just leave me out of it, and we’ll both be happy.

  62. 77

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “Next you’ll start talking about boycotting Starbucks.”
    Commentby momus— 4/20/06@ 3:19 pm

    Not a chance. I own their stock! Wanna know what I paid for it? After adjusting for splits, about three bucks a share.

  63. 78

    momus spews:


    The great part about this roger?

    The local and state government, that you libs have so fervently supported, is going to make sure this happens.

    You can bitch about it all you want, it does not matter what you vote for, like the first upgrade at key, then safeco field and eventually Qwest field, this is already a done deal.

    To bad, so sad, but this is what liberal democrats do, they buckle under pressure.

  64. 79

    momus spews:


    Great roggie…

    As a previous consultant to Starbucks, wanna guess what I paid for my stock?

  65. 80

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You don’t see me boycotting oil companies, either.


    I’ll be thinking of you next time ya fill up, SUCKA!!! (k-ching) Of course, gas prices are no problem for B’rer Rabbit … (humming) … here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail … (more humming)

  66. 81

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I love relieving Republicans of their cash! It gives me almost as much pleasure as fucking cute fluffy female bunnies!

  67. 83

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    I have no problem with Howie as long as he sticks to what he does best — namely, bringing wealth and prosperity to Roger Rabbit! Three bucks a share — haw! haw! haw! (I’ll bet Cynical didn’t buy NOV at $58) Howie should leave the extortion racket to Mafia guys with experience.

  68. 84

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “To bad, so sad, but this is what liberal democrats do, they buckle under pressure. Commentby momus— 4/20/06@ 3:26 pm”

    Speak for yourself, Blubber Baby! When you guys LOST the governor’s race, you didn’t stop bawling for months!!! Have you ever seen Roger Rabbit buckle? Be honest now! Before you hold me up for a basketball stadium, think “death wish” three times! And remind yourself that I do sort of look like Charles Bronson.

    (Click here for photo of menacing Roger Rabbit:

  69. 85

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “As a previous consultant to Starbucks, wanna guess what I paid for my stock? Commentby momus— 4/20/06@ 3:30 pm”

    Previous? What do you consult with now, besides your rectum?

  70. 86

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey, it’s lunchtime, so I’m gonna hop up the hill to Keystone Place and help myself to Stefan’s garden. I sure hope he planted CARROTS!!! yummy!!! :D :D :D

  71. 87

    Richard Pope spews:

    Here is a novel idea for financing the basketball arena.

    1. A 10% excise tax on the gross compensation of all Sonics employees, including basketball players and management

    2. A 10% excise tax on ticket revenues for all basketball games and other events in the arena

    Maybe these numbers need to be adjusted up or down on the percentages, but it would actually be possible (at least in theory) to fully pay for the basketball arena by TAXING BASKETBALL.

    However, I doubt that any city in the United States has tried this idea with basketball or any other sport. It would defeat the whole purpose of publicly financed sports venue.

    If a sports team actually had to PAY THE FULL PRICE of their stadium, arena or other venue — THEN THEY WOULD BUILD IT THEMSELVES WITH THEIR OWN MONEY!

  72. 88

    Richard Pope spews:

    Wow — looks like Greg Nickels has been handed the perfect liberal Democrat project. A sports arena giveaway to liberal Democrat billionaire Howard Schultz. Seattle taxpayers pay $201.7 million of the $220 million construction costs. In return, Schultz pays rent of $1 million per year for 20 years. With any luck, this $1 million might even cover most of the maintenance costs that the City of Seattle is responsible for.

    Goldy’s idea of a 10 cent latte tax is the perfect way to cover this excellent investment of public funds. Liberal Democrat voters in Seattle weren’t willing to impose a similar tax to pay for child care for lower income working people. Much better for liberal Democrats to tax themselves to support one of their own, like Howard Schultz.

  73. 90

    John V. Fox spews:

    A coalition of community leaders and Seattle citizens are circulating a petition to deliver to city leaders opposing any more public funds for the Sonics. A rally May 11th Noon at City Hall is also planned. Join us by signing the petition accessed at our website “” and by attending our rally..oh and spread the word. Unless citizens speak out more forcefully, they’ll pick our pockets once again. Again check out our website.
    John Fox

  74. 91

    Richard Pope spews:

    Here is an interesting thought — scary to believe that it is actually true.


    Howard Schultz wants the City of Seattle to pay $201.7 million of the $220 million construction cost, lease the arena at $1 million per year to the Sonics, and for the city to pay all the maintenance costs.

    If we simply GAVE the new sports arena to the Sonics, the taxpayers would actually receive more money. Why is this? The Sonics would have to PAY PROPERTY TAXES on the sports arena.

    Seattle presently has a tax levy rate of $9.63 per thousand of assessed valuation. The Sonics would have to pay $2.12 million per year in property taxes if they actually had legal title to the stadium — more than twice as much as the rent they are proposing.

    Not to mention that the proposed lease arrangement makes the City of Seattle responsible for major maintenance — which might end up costing more than $1 million per year over the term of the 20 year lease.