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Coliseum Issue Short-Changed

Where were the debates?  Did the League of Women Voters hold a debate? Did the chambers of commerce? Did News 12?

News 12 Long Island Talks had one half hour with Wang, Mangano, versus County Legislator Wink and a representative from the Association for a Better Long Island.   Is that enough to borrow $400,000,000 when the county already has an outstanding debt of $1,800,000,000 ($1.8 billion).

Not only was the timing of this referendum on a Monday in August intended to depress turnout, but the Mangano-Wang scheme team knew in advance when they were going to announce and what date they would pick.

How many months ahead of time did they have to draw up advertising, publicity and so-called “public information” materials at the county’s, Wang’s or the Islanders’ expense?

The Mangano-Wang scheme team had the tactical advantage.  Mangano says it was necessary to have the vote in August to avoid the silly season.  Who is trotting out athletes, actors and musicians with guys in Islanders jerseys and hard hats telling us how to vote.

We are having a stealth election so the Mangano-Wang schemers can steal taxpayer money legally.  Corporate welfare means aid for dependent billionaires.

Instead, we need to follow the policies of individual liberty, private property and free markets. Sell the Coliseum and the development rights to the highest bidder.

Vote No on August 1st and reject Coliseumscam.  -30-


Richard Cooper


Noticia NY Notices Stop Nassau Coliseum Funding Project

Tuesday 7/26 I had an interview with Eliana Lopez of Long Island Spanish-language newspaper Noticia NY.  Her report on the Coliseum controversy is available online “Se aproxima voto final sobre destino de coliseo de Nassau”

Richard Cooper

The Dependency Of Coliseum Bond’s Independent Analysis

Many of the supporters of the Coliseum $400 million bond vote point to the economic analysis prepared by Camoin Associates  As proof of its validity, they proclaim its independence.  The eighteenth century French philosopher and writer Voltaire said of the Holy Roman Empire that it was “not Holy, not Roman and not an Empire.”  The independent economic analysis by Camoin is not independent and not analysis.  In my view, it seems to be advocacy advertising in academic language.

It is curious that the Camoin analysis is not on their website. But not to worry, the county has it on theirs.  Camoin’s study is entitled  “Uniondale Hub Redevelopment Project Economic Analysis.”  The cover page indicates “Prepared for Nassau County IDA,” which means paid for by Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.

It rests almost entirely on information provided by the Islanders and Nassau County government.  There is no independent research. No market analysis of the customers for the Coliseum and the minor-league ballpark.

By contrast, see Comptroller Maragos report  which is commenably very comprehensive, and raises a number of important issues.

Even Camoin could not swallow every rosy assumption made by the plan’s proponents such as the higher than most teams Islander ticket price.

What does Camoin Associates say to prospective clients like the Nassau County IDA?

Private investment is essential to economic development. In
today’s economic climate, public incentives are crucial to creating a
competitive business environment. Camoin Associates assists economic
development organizations and local governments in establishing public
financing and tax incentive programs to foster private investment. We also
advise the businesses and developers that utilize such programs. The firm
brings working knowledge of an array of federal, state and local incentive
programs to the table and advises its clients on using these programs to meet
their objectives.

Over the past 27 years, Rob Camoin has developed a comprehensive
understanding of the business investment decision making process and the
important role that public and quasi-public sector organizations play in
creating healthy business environments. In 1999, Rob formed Camoin Associates
to assist businesses and developers in pursuing public financing and tax
incentives for expansion and industrial development projects and to help
economic development organizations and local governments foster private
investment. Since then, Camoin Associates has assisted hundreds of private
businesses in securing millions of dollars in financing and tax credits, and
has guided more than 30 local communities through strategic planning processes
with the goal of strengthening their competitiveness in an increasingly global

In other words, their business model is helping government and private business to enter into these relationships where government spends money on behalf of private businesses.  See  “…Rob formed Camoin Associates to assist businesses and developers in pursuing public financing and tax incentives for expansion and industrial development projects and to help economic development organizations and local governments foster private investment.”

Does anyone really expect them to produce a report that says “This project makes no sense, endangers the local government finances and is based on unrealistic assumptions”?   As they are producing economic analysis for hire, they cannot be faulted for not considering the moral aspects of taking money from some people to give to others.  Will the Nassau IDA and others around the state or country come to them for their imprimatur of “independent economic analysis” if their conclusions do not match what the client wants? How naive can people be?

I have had a lot of experience in fighting eminent domain for private gain (see Institute for Justice  In New York, the property to be condemned is appraised by an appraiser.  Who picks the appraiser? The agency seeking the condemnation.   What effect do you suppose that has?   They may be hiring appraisers again and again.  The victims are unlikely to need one again.

Camoin only presents: Coliseum or nothing.   They do not consider alternatives or consequences.  Nor do they examine the experiences with other government-owned or financed sports facilities.  See my article, “What Is Seen and What Is Unseen In Coliseumscam

I am not saying that Camoin lied in any respect.  What I am saying is that their business model requires them to promote government efforts in economic development.  Let us not rely on them to be independent.  They are dependent on governments and politically-favored businesses.  The voters can declare their independence by voting NO on August 1st.  -30-


Richard Cooper





Coliseum At Conservative Society for Action, Plainview 7/26‏

The Conservative Society for Action, which refers to itself as a Tea Party group, held its meeting at the Plainview-Old Bethpage library last night. Their meetup has 5000+ members from Nassau & Suffolk. I estimated attendance at about 80-100.

They presented Brian Nevin from Mangano’s office and Christopher Melvin from the law firm of Nixon Peabody speaking on behalf of the Coliseum Yes and a Chris(?) (last name?) from NIFA, who was skeptical. The audience was really not buying what Mangano had to offer.

I distributed flyers there as did a Suffolk colleague. Flyers available from

Richard Cooper

The Incredible Shrinking Coliseum Tax Bill

First, Nassau County predicted a tax bill in the $40 dollar range.  Then, we were told of a $58 cost.  Now, the latest forecast is $13.80. These estimates come from different sources.  They may be correct, but one needs to qualify them quite a bit.

The figure is based on a four-person household with a home assessed at $400,000.  Sort of reminds me of the $400,000,000 bond issue.

This is beginning to sound like a Syms markdown sale.  I guess there is buyer resistance to the referendum.  What figure will we get by Monday, August 1st?

Does anyone really know what will be paid a year from now, five years from now?  Per person, per household? How would you calculate? Do you have a home assessed at more or less than $400,000.

How will borrowing $400,000,000 impact the current $1.8 billion debt and what the county will borrow in the future.

If you rent residential or commercial space, you ultimately bear the costs of the property tax, although you don’t pay it directly.  It is known as the incidence of the property tax.

Every business in Nassau County, every household will ultimately pay for this boondoggle.

Richard Cooper

PS: I am glad I studied public finance with the late professor C. Lowell Harris at Columbia College.  He was a great teacher for this history major.

Mangano’s Coliseumscam Disinformation Meeting 7/26/11

Farmingdale Public Library,at 116 Merritts Rd, Farmingdale from 12p-3p.
Time to speak truth to power.

Long Island Project TV Presents Stop Coliseumscam Talk 7/30/11

The public access TV show “The Long Island Project” taped my talk against Coliseumscam that was given Tuesday, July 12th at Eleanor Rigby’s in Mineola before the Nassau Campaign for Liberty group. The Campaign for Liberty grew out of the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign. It takes no position on the Mangano-Wang scheme to borrow $400 million to renovate Nassau Coliseum for the benefit of billionaire Charles Wang’s NY Islanders. I pointed out Eleanor Rigby’s as an example of a bar or restaurant that is not only not a net gainer from Coliseumscam, but a net loser. This is explained in my article. What Is Seen and What Is Unseen In Coliseumscam

There were about 25 or so people attending.

“The Long Island Project” is a Cablevision public access, produced by Robert Summerville. This episode will air on Saturday, July 30th at 11pm. Check your local listings for which channel. No website as far as I know.

Robert Summerville is a former NY Police Department officer and served as president of the Freeport/Roosevelt NAACP. I don’t know his
own views on the subject of Coliseumscam.

I apologize to Mr. Summerville as I forgot to thank him for coming to record.

Richard Cooper