For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Blagojevich and Stadium Deal
WASHINGTON - Reuters reports: "Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on criminal charges on Tuesday, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat President-elect Barack Obama, federal prosecutors said.
"Blagojevich was also accused of threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of the Chicago Cubs' baseball home Wrigley Field 'to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical' of him."
DeMause is co-author of Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private Profit. He said today: "From what we know, the Tribune Company's attempted sale of Wrigley Field to the state of Illinois would have ended up costing taxpayers, much like the Yankees and Mets deals in New York. Typically, stadium deals end up subsidizing private interests out of public pockets -- I'm used to seeing that. This looks like the rare case of a governor trying to get something in return -- in this case, the head of an editor."