Authors discuss special election

Monday, March 3rd 2008, 12:00 am
By: News 9

Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

Authors of two books are weighing in on Tuesday's special election to approve a one-cent sales tax extension to renovate the Ford Center.

David Cay Johnston is the author of "Free Lunch." He said his book is about "how the wealthiest American enrich themselves at the government's expense and stick you with the bill."

Johnston said that's what will happen on Tuesday if voters approve extending a penny sales tax to fund improvements to the Ford Center and build a new NBA practice facility.

"Owners of the baseball, basketball, football and hock teams have gotten themselves exempted from the laws of economic competition," he said.

He also said the wealthy businesspeople who own and operate big league teams have become too dependent on taxpayer dollars and a perfect example of that is what's happening here in Oklahoma City.

"The biggest part of the problem is the public doesn't know about it," he said.

Rick Horrow disagrees.

"It's a standard argument for anybody to spend public money and invest and feel good about the investment," he said.

Horrow is the author of the book "When the Game Is On The Line" and is the original consultant of the MAPS referendum. He said the tax vote is more than just a vote for a professional basketball team.

"The fact is that this makes Oklahoma City, frankly, a positive national and international force as well," he said.

Horrow said the penny tax is a small price to pay for the investments that will go back into the local economy.

"You'll finally have the opportunity to put the icing on the cake of being a major league city," he said.