Earlier this week, the Republic op-ed folks penned an editorial titled “Goldwater, come down from Mount Olympus.” It took the Goldwater Institute to task for raising questions about Glendale’s potential deal with the Coyotes hockey team. According to the newspaper, all those persistent questions—and the threat of a lawsuit—may endanger the deal—and then the Coyotes would head north to Winnipeg.
I wrote before about the strange world we occupy right now, in trying to keep a hockey team in the desert. And now we see a joint effort by cities and the hometown newspaper to keep the complaining to a minimum.
But I kept expecting to read something else in the Republic editorial. Something like, maybe, “Thank you, Goldwater Institute.”
That’s not to say the GI doesn’t have a bull-in-a-china-shop tendency. They do. But asking how public money is spent, or demanding answers about how public resources will be safeguarded? That used to be considered praiseworthy. In fact, that used to be the job of the newspaper.
I am no expert on whether the Coyotes deal is a good one for the City of Glendale or for the Valley (though I’m pretty sure it’s a good deal for the Coyotes owners). But requiring clear answers to questions before plunging in is a valuable role.
After all, look at the concessions the Institute wrought with a little saber-rattling: tens of millions of dollars of additional guarantees.
Is that enough? Should the Institute say uncle? I don’t know. But imagine where we’d be in this Valley if municipalities—and our booster-ish newspaper—stepped up and asked hard questions when private entities have their hand out.
They should try it—there’s room aplenty up on Olympus.
Read the complete editorial here.