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  • THE TOP TEN REASONS TO FOLLOW THE ELECTIONS ON TUESDAY

         Will the Democrats hold the House and Senate?  Which big-
    name incumbents are going to get bounced?  What shape will Bill
    Clinton be in for his re-election run?  Sure, it's not as
    exciting as baseball and hockey labor negotiations.  But, in
    fact, there are reasons for the sports industry to keep an eye on
    the election returns Tuesday night.  Here is THE SPORTS BUSINESS
    DAILY's Top Ten list:
         1)  HOME ON THE RANGE.  George W. Bush, the Managing General
    Partner of the Texas Rangers, is looking to become the top
    executive of the whole state of Texas.  A poll released last
    night has Bush leading incumbent Democrat Ann Richards, 48-44%,
    but it could go either way.  What could it mean for Bush's
    ballclub?  The team is involved in a tax dispute with the state,
    so being governor couldn't hurt.  For the record, Richards has
    the support of Ross Perot.  But Bush has Nolan Ryan in his
    bullpen.
         2)  ALL-AROUND-THE BELTWAY.  If Abe Pollin and Jack Kent
    Cooke had their way there would be a new construction boom in the
    DC area.  Pollin wants to move his Capitals and Bullets into a
    new downtown arena, which would be built with public support.
    The early indications are that the project would not be slowed
    under Marion Barry, the favorite to return as mayor.  Cooke's
    hopes for a suburban Maryland stadium were dealt a blow when
    local activists won a zoning battle.  Maryland Gov. William
    Donald Schaefer, a longtime Cooke foe and Colts fan, is leaving
    office.  But his replacement may not even have to deal with the
    stadium issue as Barry is expected to make a major play to Cooke
    to keep the Redskins in DC.  As far as baseball inside-the-
    Beltway goes, Fairfax County, VA, Board Chairman Tom Davis, one
    of the leading proponents of MLB expansion and accompanying
    stadium efforts in Northern VA, could add some congressional
    weight to the fight.  Davis is locked in a tight race against
    freshman Democratic Rep. Leslie Byrne.
         3)  WIN, LOSE OR DRAW.  There are ballot initiatives in
    seven states -- CO, FL, NE, MO, RI, SD and WY -- to expand
    gambling in one form or another.  While sports betting is not
    involved in any one of these ballot questions, the pressure could
    increase on Congress to allow sports betting in the new states
    where casino gambling becomes legalized.     4)  ORRIN ON DECK?
    Should the Republicans take over the Senate (as some predict and
    many Democrats fear), Orrin Hatch, a newfound antitrust exemption
    opponent, would assume chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee.
         5)  SPORTS POLITICOS.  The 104th Congress could feature an
    Oklahoma delegation with a powerful offense.  Former Sooner star
    J.C. Watts and NFL great Steve Largent are both favored for
    election in open U.S. House seats.  Drag racing great "Big Daddy"
    Don Garlits was off the line with a burst of speed in his House
    race in FL, but he may be flaming out down the stretch.  Senator
    Herb Kohl is a shoo-in for re-election, especially after getting
    the Big Dog in the fold. In fact, Kohl is getting great press
    this morning.  MILWAUKEE SENTINEL's Dale Hofmann writes, "Their
    seems to be no doubt that Herb Kohl is the man who closed the
    deal that added basketball's most coveted rookie to the local
    labor force, although there is speculation about whether he was
    functioning as a candidate or as owner of the Milwaukee Bucks at
    the time. ... Which was a more important date in the equation,
    Friday's NBA opener, or Tuesday's election?"      6)
    TAXACHUSETTS.  Question 7 on the Massachusetts ballot would
    change the state's flat income tax rate of 5.9% to a graduated
    system in which those individuals making more than $90,000 would
    be taxed at 9.8%.  Agent Leigh Steinberg notes that teams in
    states with high tax rates are at a disadvantage when it comes to
    free agents.  Steinberg told the BOSTON HERALD earlier this week:
    "The salary cap will definitely make it tougher for Boston teams
    (Patriots and Celtics) to match another team's contract offer for
    bottom-line guys when you calculate in the tax difference."
         7)  CALIFORNIA TEAMIN'?   The Rams have made three separate
    campaign contributions to Gov. Pete Wilson's re-election bid
    totalling $25,000.  At the time, some speculated that the team
    was angling for some state aid for a new stadium.  While recent
    polls show that they might have picked the right candidate, Rams
    President John Shaw's recent statements indicate the donations
    could be a parting gift as the team heads off for points East or
    Midwest.
         8)  CANDIDATE SURFING.  A Republican Senate also could have
    major implications for the direction future telecomm legislation
    could take.  Under a Republican majority, Sen. Bob Packwood would
    take over as chairman of the Commerce Committee's Communications
    Subcommitee from Democrat Daniel Inouye.  According to a recent
    issue of MULTICHANNEL NEWS, Inouye has been a "strong backer" of
    broadcasters and the "must-carry" provision that requires cable
    operators to include all local broadcast stations on their
    systems.  Without "must-carry," cable operators could add newer
    or niche channels, such as ESPN2 or the Golf Channel.
         9)  RAISING STADIUMS IN ARIZONA?  The Phoenix MLB expansion
    effort is considered to be one of the front-runners should
    baseball decide to add new franchises.  But there is no consensus
    in Arizona between the two candidates for governor on whether a
    stadium in Maricopa County should be built with public funds.
    Embattled Republican Gov. Fife Symington supports a $238 million
    sales tax for a retractable roof stadium; his Democratic
    opponent, Eddie Basha, does not.  Basha's proposed tax hikes
    would go toward transportation and education.....Voters in Mesa
    face a referendum on whether there need be referenda on economic
    development issues, including new stadiums.  Many see this ballot
    question as a model for a similar statewide movement, which could
    potentially impact the Cactus League.
         10)  ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL.  Tigers and Red Wings Owner
    Mike Ilitch has grand plans for an entertainment complex in
    Detroit which would include a new stadium and arena.  Ilitch
    plans to head back to the legislature with a modified proposal.
    An anti-incumbent tide in Michigan could give the Republicans
    both houses in the state legislature for the first time in 26
    years, which means that Ilitch will likely be dealing with out-
    state conservatives instead of Detroit liberals....In Seattle,
    voters are being urged by one of the city's papers to take a
    closer look at the bond issues on the ballot.  They remind voters
    that spending on the Kingdome and a new baseball stadium could
    eat into resources for schools or libraries.
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, ESPN, Indianapolis Colts, Law and Politics, Milwaukee Bucks, MLB, NBA, New England Patriots, NFL, St. Louis Rams, Walt Disney, Washington Capitals, Washington Redskins, Wilson Sporting Goods
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