Nick Novak quoted by The New York Times about taxpayer support of new Bucks arena

August 12, 2015

The New York Times | by Trip Gabriel

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin approved $250 million in public financing for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team on Wednesday, a deal exposing him to charges of corporate welfare as he seeks the Republican nomination as a fiscal conservative.

Mr. Walker praised the deal, passed with bipartisan support in the Legislature, as a sound investment that will return $3 in state taxes for every $1 invested.

The owners of the National Basketball Association team, who include hedge fund managers in New York and a top fund-raiser for Mr. Walker’s presidential campaign, had threatened to leave the state without public funding for a new stadium.

The issue scrambled the usual political alliances in Wisconsin. Milwaukee-area Democrats lined up with the Republican governor, while some conservatives who normally support Mr. Walker objected to what they called “crony capitalism” — taxpayer support of a sports team owned by billionaire financiers.

“From the beginning we have questioned the role of the state, county and city in this plan,” said Nick Novak, a spokesman for the MacIver Institute, a conservative research group in Wisconsin.

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