Nader, League of Fans & coalition to DC Council: Vote against additional public spending for stadium

July 31, 2006

Council of the District of Columbia

Dear Council members:

The residents and taxpayers of the District of Columbia have been told by members of the DC Council that the baseball stadium has a $611 million cap on spending from city resources for the new stadium project. But the Council is now being asked to violate its mandate to hold costs at $611 million.

As reported by WTOP on July 26, 2006, At a recent stadium task force meeting, DC Council members were told [in the likely event that developer Herb Miller's parking plan isn't in place by mid-August] they would need to amend the current stadium legislation to waive the cap on spending and approve the additional costs.

According to reports on the three fallback parking options from District Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi, the Council would need to vote on raising DC taxpayer costs for the stadium to somewhere between $655 million and $709 million. As the overruns and risks build, the Wall Street bond issuers are sure to take heed.

The DC Council -- especially those members who switched positions on the stadium lease under the cover of a spending cap -- must reject additional costs to the taxpaying residents of the District of Columbia.

With Council in recess, it has also been reported that the additional spending would not be submitted to the council for a vote until after the September 12 primary. Rest assured, however, that the additional spending will be a major issue in a city whose residents are 70 percent opposed to public spending for the stadium, and who have already been betrayed.

This issue is not going to go away. Its time to say No More! From now on, let the owners of the Nationals invest their own money or raise it in the capital markets.

We ask that you respond, immediately, with a commitment that you will vote against additional spending for the stadium project.

Sincerely,

Ralph Nader, consumer advocate
Ed Lazere, Exec. Dir., DC Fiscal Policy Institute & member, NO DC Taxes for Baseball
John Capozzi, NO DC Taxes for Baseball
Mary C. Williams, Esq., Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 6D03
Marc Borbely, FixOurSchools.net
Chris Otten, Candidate for Mayor, DC Statehood Green Party
Chris Weiss, Director, D.C. Projects, Friends of the Earth
Parisa Norouzi, Co-Director, Empower DC
Robin Diener, Director, DC Library Renaissance Project
Shawn McCarthy, Director, League of Fans
Jenefer Ellingston, DC Statehood Green Party

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Sent to:
Councilmember Linda W. Cropp (Chairman - At Large)
Councilmember Carol Schwartz (At Large)
Councilmember David A. Catania (At Large)
Councilmember Phil Mendelson (At Large)
Councilmember Kwame R. Brown (At Large)
Councilmember Jim Graham (Ward 1)
Councilmember Jack Evans (Chairman Pro-Tempore - Ward 2)
Councilmember Kathleen Patterson (Ward 3)
Councilmember Adrian Fenty (Ward 4)
Councilmember Vincent B. Orange, Sr. (Ward 5)
Councilmember Sharon Ambrose (Ward 6)
Councilmember Vincent C. Gray (Ward 7)
Councilmember Marion Barry (Ward 8)


P.O. Box 19367
Washington, DC 20036