Nick Novak quoted by Bloomberg about taxpayer support of a new Bucks arena

August 11, 2015

Bloomberg News | by Time Jones and John McCormick

Governor Scott Walker’s fiscal conservatism will collide with the reality of sports-team subsidies when he commits Wisconsin taxpayers to pay $400 million for a new basketball arena.

At Wednesday’s signing, the Republican presidential candidate’s message of being a tightfisted taxpayer champion will be weighed against public costs spread over 20 years. The ceremony also may draw attention to the $200,000 that the co-owners of the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks donated to a group backing his campaign.

Walker is reaching this intersection of principle and pragmatism as he travels early-primary states to prove his low-tax, small-government mettle in a crowded field of Republicans. He runs the risk of rankling conservatives in those places who believe government shouldn’t choose economic winners.

The MacIver Institute, a free-market think tank that’s endorsed most of Walker’s agenda, also opposed it.

“This doesn’t look like a good deal for taxpayers,” said Nick Novak, communications director for the Madison-based group. “You’ve got billionaires who clearly can afford to build their own arena.”

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