U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) wants the National Basketball Association to review a deal for a controversial Russian billionaire to purchase the New Jersey Nets. Mikhail Prokhorov, a 44-year-old nickel and gold producer considered to be the richest man in Russia, has announced plans to purchase an 80% stake in the NBA team for a reported $200 million.
"Mr. Prokhorov's background raises questions about his fitness to be the owner of a high-profile NBA franchise," Pascrell wrote to NBA Commissioner David Stern. "Both Mr. Prokhorov's business and personal history have come under intense scrutiny in his home country and abroad."
Pascrell, citing media reports, says that Prokhorov has agreed to finance much of the construction costs for a new arena in Brooklyn. The current Nets owner, Bruce Ratner, could lose his tax-free financing if he doesn't break ground by December, and is facing some financial and legal obstacles.
"According to documents released by the Empire State Development Corporation, taxpayers are providing over $2 billion dollars in financing and direct grants towards the Atlantic Yards project," Pascrell said. "This represents a significant investment and risk by the taxpaying public. Should this sale go through, a large stake in the project, as well as a majority stake in the Nets, would be controlled by a foreign corporation, a first for the NBA."
Pascrell says that taxpayers would be "directly subsidizing the profits and business risks of this foreign corporation, whose investment will be reportedly smaller then the public's, instead of benefiting the taxpaying public.
"Especially during these tough economic times, this is, at best, a questionable use of taxpayer money and it is a question that should be explored," said Pascrell.
Poll: Christie leads Buono by 40 points Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads his Democratic opponent State Senator Barbara Buono by 40 percentage points, according to a poll conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute. PolitickerNJ http://www.politickernj.com/66485/stockton-poll-christie-leads-buono-40-pts Sweeney endorses Buono Just two days after ending a feud...
BY BOB BOWSER To the citizens of the great city of East Orange, I am eternally grateful that you have allowed me to serve as your Mayor for the past sixteen years. As a community of concerned citizens, you have been willing participants in... Read More >
"What was amusing is that once Stack did it, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, also a Democrat, endorsed Christie the next day. It's almost like the two Democrats held hands and jumped into the deep end of the pool." - columnist Agustin Torres.- The Jersey Journal
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.