Baseball star with disdain for government seeks government bailout

There’s still a fair amount of arguing over last week’s decision by the Minnesota Legislature to send millions of dollars in taxpayer money and subsidies to the Minnesota Vikings for a new stadium, but the intensity is dwarfed by what’s happening in New England with a former Major League Baseball star whose conservative politics are almost as famous as his World Series wins.

Curt Schilling, who once considered running for the U.S. Senate, and who has famously endorsed the saying, ” If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him,” is looking for someone to take care of him.

Schilling started a video game company in Massachusetts, then moved it when Rhode Island offered much of its available economic development resources to him in the form of state-backed loans. “(It was) one of the great bonehead economic development deals of recent history,” the Boston Globe’s Steven Syre writes.

He missed a $1 million payment on the loan this week, then delivered a check that bounced today. Late in the day, he delivered another payment that the governor of Rhode Island says cleared.

Earlier this week, he asked his Rhode Island state government friends — already on the hook for $75 million — for more.

The people back in Massachusetts are having a field day. The Globe’s Brian McGrory:

Schilling spent no small amount of time in his career preaching the Republican mantra of smaller government and personal responsibility. He did this fresh off the historic Red Sox World Series win when he backed George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign. He did it on the stump on behalf of John McCain in 2008.

He did it for Scott Brown in January 2010, when he wrote in his blog, “He’s for smaller government,” and lauding Brown’s opposition to “creating a new government insurance program.”

Smaller government? Call me crazy, but I’m betting that wasn’t exactly what Schilling was extolling when he sat behind closed doors on Wednesday pleading with the members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to put more public money behind his fantasy video game venture. And insurance? It seems like that’s precisely what he got.

  • Tyler

    Reality is a interesting road block to Republican mantras.

  • Jack Boardman

    Self-made? Maybe. Self-sustaining? Nope, he’s gotta beg from the Gummint. Sorry Curt, you’re not “too big to fail.”

  • Heather

    Where are his bootstraps?

  • Mike

    Oh, Heather!!




  • davidz

    No one who made their money in “professional sports” has a right to complain about government interference. It was precisely that interference that paid for your stadiums, and provided for anti-trust protections for your leagues, both of which are really necessary for any pro sports team to exist.

    Yes, a small handful of teams built their own stadia (more power to them), but they need other teams to play in order to have a league, and those teams all have heavily subsidized playing fields.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Perhaps I’ll send ‘ol tough guy Curt a uniform shirt with HYPOCRITE as the name on the back.

  • John Matthews

    I’m glad I didn’t spend my hard earned money on his video game. I’ll be sure to vote with my wallet and never buy anything his studio produces.

  • Partridge

    Massachusetts is thick with hypocrisy on the left and on the right. Liz Warren abusing affirmative action, John Kerry skirting MA tax laws for his boat, Mitt Romney reversing himself on most of the positions he used to get himself elected there. It’s unsurprising that

    after only a few years in MA Curt Schilling joined the club. Too bad it’s the people of Rhode Island that have to pay for it. He’s getting the roasting he deserves.

    He should have opened a solar company, though. History has shown that it’s okay when those fail on government loans.

  • jdmeth

    Why would anyone vote for a politician that would spend public money to try to create jobs? I’m sure President Obama would never do that, right, right?