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Bloomberg News has published the names of the U.S. banks getting bailout funds while putting money in the pro sports naming rights swindle. The banks are getting Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds. The purchase of naming rights is a scam because the team gets the entire benefit of the naming rights, when taxpayers have normally paid for more than half of the stadium, and should at least get their share. Here they are:

Citigroup: $45 billion TARP (plus $306 billion loan guarantees), spending $400 million for NY Mets naming rights.

Bank of America: $45 billion TARP, spending $140 million Carolina Panthers rights, negotiating with NY Yankees.

JP Morgan Chase: $25 billion TARP, $66 million Arizona Diamondbacks rights.

PNC $7.6 billion TARP, $40 million Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bank of NY Mellon: $3 billion TARP, $18 million Pittsburgh Penguins arena.

Wells Fargo: $25 billion TARP, $40 million Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers arena.

Comerica: $2.5 billion TARP, $66 million Detroit Tigers.

M&T Bank: $600 million TARP, $75 million Baltimore Ravens.

BankAtlantic: $124 million TARP, $27 million Florida Panthers.

I got the list from fieldofschemes.com, which picked it up from Bloomberg.

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Comments

removed Feb. 8, 2009 @ 12:47 a.m.

By definition, a scam is a fraudulent scheme or a swindle. If the parties are aware who gets the naming rights fees, how is it a scam? The bias in your interpretation of the news is beginning to show.

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Don Bauder Feb. 8, 2009 @ 7:52 a.m.

Response to post #1: A scam doesn't have to be illegal. Lawyers make their money making a simple scam unfathomable by use of legal Latin, aided by accountants jiggling numbers. Just because there might be disclosure somewhere in inscrutable, small-type prose, doesn't mean that the public is not getting screwed. It was a matter of record that the Padres got 100 percent of the naming rights money for the new ballpark. But it was barely discussed in the media, largely because they favored the project. Most San Diegans didn't know what was happening. It was a scam. Ditto for the other naming rights deals across the country. Best, Don Bauder

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removed Feb. 8, 2009 @ 9:29 a.m.

"Most San Diegans didn't know what was happening." You're using that as an excuse?? So who's fault is that? How hard is it to ask the questions? Since you are so knowledgable of the goings on in SD, as part of the media why didn't you raise the red flag? Did you question the issue? Weren't you still a senior columnist at the UT? Weren't you still in SD in january 2003 when the deal was announced? You could have spoken up. As you said it was a matter of record . How about Qualcomm, I don't hear much squawk about that. And the question begs to be asked, what abot COX Arena(or could it be Viejas arena). Since SDSU is part of the Cal State University system, should the money go to the taxpayers. As a columnist, you are giving your opinion is that naming rights are a scam. In my opinion, if I know where the money is going it's not. I knew where the for naming the POND was going and I had no problem with it. I was glad the arena was built. If you are willing to pay the price, then it doen't cost too much.

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Don Bauder Feb. 8, 2009 @ 9:51 a.m.

Response to post #3: "Why didn't you raise the red flag?" God, man, you must not have been around during those times, or at least didn't read the U-T, or hear or see me when I argued against the corporate welfare scams on radio and TV. I began opposing the football stadium deal in late 1996, and consistently did so, getting myself in big trouble with the newspaper, which favored it completely. Then I opposed the ballpark and the concomitant real estate scam. I wrote about both constantly in my U-T column. I wrote several columns on the naming rights scam. But that doesn't mean the public was aware of that scam. I was drowned out -- not only by the U-T but by almost every medium in town. There were only a few of us who opposed these stadium giveaways, and we were smeared. (With the City essentially broke, we feel justified today, but that isn't much comfort.) As to your definition of "scam." Sorry, the word is just a variation of "scheme." Scams can be technically legal. Lawyers follow the letter and not the spirit of the law in making them so. It is up to the journalist to try to make the public understand how it is getting raped. That is what I try to do on all manner of scams. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 8, 2009 @ 12:32 p.m.

By definition, a scam is a fraudulent scheme or a swindle. If the parties are aware who gets the naming rights fees, how is it a scam? ===============================

Since the TAXPAYERS bailed these loser banks out that makes them a "party" under your scenario-and last time I checked the TAXPAYERS didn't give the OK to throw good money after bad.

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 8, 2009 @ 12:36 p.m.

"Most San Diegans didn't know what was happening." You're using that as an excuse?? So who's fault is that? How hard is it to ask the questions? ===================================

So who's fault is that?- It is the FAULT of the IDIOT Mayor and her UNELECTED cronies, NOT the taxpayers. Next question.

How hard is it to ask the questions? It's IMPOSSIBLE if you're not involved in the negotiations. Sort of like saying how hard is it to object to the scam illegal pension spinking for PD and FD when it was done behind closed doors and the public had no say.

Hmmmmmmm...looks like this gimmick account was just spanked back into reality.

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 8, 2009 @ 12:38 p.m.

Why didn't you raise the red flag?" God, man, you must not have been around during those times, or at least didn't read the U-T, or hear or see me when I argued against the corporate welfare scams on radio and TV.

Don was the BIGGEST pain in the rear to Golding, Spanos and Moores- by far.

I am shocked the UT didn't fire him for his gross insubordination of their biased editorial department.

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Don Bauder Feb. 8, 2009 @ 6:24 p.m.

Response to post #5: We're really talking about the definition of scam. I say it's cozening a person or entity, not necessarily illegally -- but definitely grossly unethically. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 8, 2009 @ 6:28 p.m.

Response to post #6: Yes, San Diego's scams are cooked up behind closed doors, and then either not reported or made impossibly obscure by the mainstream media's prose. Through the years, Matt Potter of the Reader has penetrated that fog, and shed light on the scams, including the Chargers and ballpark deals. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 8, 2009 @ 6:31 p.m.

Response to post #7: I am sure I came close to being fired many times. I was walking a tightrope all the time I was there. Many people still think I was fired. I wasn't. I left on my own. But they were delighted to see me go. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Feb. 9, 2009 @ 1:12 p.m.

I'll vouch for Don. I lost track of all the times he was writing a column that appeared in the business section of the U-T that was diametrically opposite an editorial on the ed page that appeared THE SAME DAY. He may have had to pull some punches and tone down the rhetoric a bit, but if you read his columns, he came through loud and clear. Nobody at the U-T has replaced him or filled his niche.

One of his favorite rants was typically the most recent example of the pro sports ripoff of taxpayers through subsidized stadia and arenas and other municipal giveaways. And he talked about them on a national basis, in addition to the local stuff. Don tried--he really tried to awaken the electorate in San Diego. But he didn't penetrate enough of it, and so the ripoffs continued.

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Don Bauder Feb. 9, 2009 @ 7:43 p.m.

Response to post #11: One of the misconceptions held by those not in the media is the idea that if someone writes something once, or twice, or three or four times, the public is informed. 'Taint so, particularly if the public doesn't want to be informed. And the public doesn't want to know the truth about pro sports -- the gamblers with mobster roots and connections that own teams, the frequency of game-fixing, and the amount of money extracted from taxpayers in government-subsidized stadium scams. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Feb. 9, 2009 @ 9:22 p.m.

I wonder whether Don would comment on the Denise Carabet situation. It looked for a time that she was going to replace him as business columnist at the U-T.

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Don Bauder Feb. 9, 2009 @ 10:59 p.m.

Response to post #13: Was that after I left or while I was still there? Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams Feb. 10, 2009 @ 2:43 p.m.

Don Bauder was often the ONLY voice of sanity in the various stadium rip-offs.

Don Bauder consistently opposed these deals, giving facts and figures instead of the editorial policy of fabricating outright lies based on blind faith and self-interest rather than facts.

This took courage. It's one of the reasons I'm such a fan of Don Bauder today.

Direct your outrage at the other so-called reporters who were paid off by the Padres and Chargers or too scared to tell the obvious truth. Don Bauder has always been on the right side of this issue -- as a consequence, his articles were frequently buried on the bottom right of page 2, where they were least likely to be seen.

As far as I'm concerned, Don Bauder is one of the few honorable and honest journalists who ever worked at the UT. I'm sure grateful he's agreed to continue writing about San Diego. We're lucky to have him. If I ever meet him again in person, I'll shake his hand until it falls off.

Don, stay healthy. We need you around for as long as we can keep you!

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 10, 2009 @ 4:20 p.m.

As far as I'm concerned, Don Bauder is one of the few honorable and honest journalists who ever worked at the UT. I'm sure grateful he's agreed to continue writing about San Diego. We're lucky to have him. If I ever meet him again in person, I'll shake his hand until it falls off.

I agree. I have read many MANY business reporters, and Don is better than 99%, and just as good as the other 1%. No one really comes close.

I had always wondered why such a sharp guy would write for the UT, not that the UT is bush league or anything, but I always felt Don would have been a much better match at a major magazine or top 5 metro daily.

Don reminds me in many ways of investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, always digging in and getting the real scoop on big business, gov, what have you.

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Don Bauder Feb. 10, 2009 @ 8:23 p.m.

Response to post #15: Those are kind words I appreciate. Opposing both the 60,000 seat guarantee and the other Chargers-related scams, as well as the entire ballpark/Pillage Village scam, was not easy: Herb Klein, editor in chief of Copley Newspapers, was the public relations director and lobbyist for both pro sports subsidization efforts. He never understood that this was a malodorous conflict of interest, and I don't think others in U-T management saw the conflict, either. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 10, 2009 @ 8:33 p.m.

Response to post #16: Again, I appreciate the comments. Actually, I did write for Business Week Magazine for nine years before coming to San Diego in 1973. That was back when Business Week was, essentially, written and edited for the advertisers, and not the readers. (That is hard to believe, because the magazine now plays it straight, and is a very good publication.) I fought BW just as I fought the U-T. The magazine made major improvement in 1970, and I was named to cover the mob in business. However, I realized after my first effort that it was not going to work: mobbed-up stock swindlers I tried to expose had friends on the advertising side of the publication who interfered with the editorial product, as they always had before 1970. It was quite disillusioning. Best, Don Bauder

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