New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now come out and said that if a new Buffalo Bills stadium has to be built, he’d rather it be done with private funds:
“If we had to go to a new stadium, my opening position would be, ‘great. New stadium. Privately financed.’ I agree that the less government money, the better – if we had to go in that direction in the first place,” he said.
That’s a potentially important turnabout from a governor whose most recent action on the Bills front was to appoint a task force to seek ways to find public money for a new stadium, and—
“But if it was essential, I would support it,” he said. “Now, the devil is in the details. Where? How much? It’s not just government money. It would be private money, also.”
Ooooookay, so when Cuomo says “privately financed,” he actually means “not entirely publicly financed.” Which, given that even the most egregious stadium giveaways invariably involve some private money — even if it’s just a matter of the government handing over stadium naming rights to the private owners and letting them sell those to cover their share of the costs — ultimately comes down to “Of course I’m looking out for the public’s interests, don’t you trust me? You know, me, the guy who just gave the Bills $227 million for renovations to their old stadium in exchange for staying put for another six years while negotiating a deal for an entirely new stadium? Have I mentioned I’m thinking of running for president?”