The Arizona Republic

McCain intensifies Goldwater criticism
The Arizona Republic

U.S. Sen. John McCain has intensified his criticism of the Goldwater Institute for its « disgraceful » refusal to negotiate with Chicago investor Matthew Hulsizer on his pending purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes.

« It’s not their role to decide whether the Coyotes should stay in (the Phoenix area) or not, » McCain said of the Phoenix-based, libertarian-leaning watchdog group. « No one elected them. » McCain is a well-known fan of the Coyotes.

Glendale hopes to sell bonds to raise $100 million to help Hulsizer buy the Coyotes from the National Hockey League and keep the team playing at the city’s Arena. The Goldwater Institute has signaled that it will challenge the arrangement in court as a violation of the Arizona Constitution. Hulsizer responded by guaranteeing that the team will pay Glendale $75 million in revenue over the course of a 30-year arena lease and that he will cover another $25 million that the city agreed to give the NHL to help offset the Coyotes’ financial losses.

One Goldwater Institute official questioned McCain’s stance, given his long crusade against government waste. « It’s disappointing that someone who has made such a career fighting pork in Washington, D.C., is so willing to support the city of Glendale shoveling $100 million into a Chicago businessman’s pocket, » said Clint Bolick, the institute’s litigation director. « We think it’s a bit inconsistent. If he wants the Coyotes to stay, he certainly could consider putting together a group that would buy it on terms that are more favorable to the taxpayers of Glendale. »