The best part comes near then end, when a spokesman from the Penguins says that the team's arrangement with the Isle of Capri--in which the Isle of Capri will build the arena but only if the government grants them the hugely lucrative slots license--already amounts to private funding:
Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan said the team has met the challenge of privately funding a new arena through the Isle of Capri proposal. He said the Allegheny Institute should get behind it.
"The Isle of Capri plan will fully fund construction of a new multipurpose arena and therefore free any public money that may have been targeted for an arena to be used for other important projects in the city and county," he said.
Golly, Mr. McMillan, thanks so much. Not only for the the arena, but the great business idea. See, if this passes, I have a plan. Hear me out:
I propose that the City of Pittsburgh give me every single vehicle in its fleet. See, I want to sell them. And use the money as I see fit. Why, you ask, would the good people of Pittsburgh agree to do that? Well, I am prepared to offer a deal you can't refuse: If you give me what I want, I agree to build a library in downtown Pittsburgh. Or anything else the city wants. Yep, I will give you money to hire teachers or policemen. Or even to build some high-end condos downtown. I know how you love the condos.
See, you were already planning to do a lot of this anyway, right? So the money I give you is going to "free" that money up for other uses, just like Mr. McMillan's plan will do. Of course, I can't write you a blank check. I have to insist that whatever you want me to offer doesn't ring in at more than, say, $500,000.
Now just hold on a minute, you might say. All the vehicles in the city fleet must be worth more than $500,000. Otherwise, why in the world would I ever agree to make the trade implied in this deal? You might go further to argue that what I propose here doesn't really amount to private funding at all--that the city would, in fact, be trading its fleet for whatever I agreed to "offer" in return. And that, in the end, the only person really profiting from this proposal is me.
And then you might go on to tell me to pack sand, and that if the city wants a library or or more teachers, it will procure such things with tax dollars, like it's supposed to. And you might say that if the city ever DID want to sell its fleet, the best way to do so would be to auction the vehicles off to the highest bidder and direct the proceeds into general revenue so leaders could be held accountable for how they spend it.