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Baltimore Banner Pushes Insane, Likely Illegal Plan to Seize the Orioles
The Baltimore Banner's leadership loves eminent domain. So why not push for yet another business to be seized?
The Baltimore Banner is trying to legitimize a radical left-wing effort to seize the
Andy Ellis and Bill Marker have been around Baltimore civic life long enough to have seen and participated in many long-shot campaigns.
But possibly the most quixotic effort of all, they hope, will at least get people thinking: Could the city government seize control of the Baltimore Orioles and run the team in a way that more benefits Baltimore and the community?
The concept, while far-fetched, isn’t exactly new.
Back in 1984, as the Baltimore Colts NFL team was sneaking out of town to Indianapolis under the cover of night, city and state politicians rushed to give the city the authority to “acquire by purchase or condemnation” any of the city’s professional sports teams.
The measure came too late for the Colts, but has remained on the books in the city’s charter ever since.
One of the unspoken things conveniently left out of the story is that one of the reasons why the Colts left town in the manner that they did was because of the threat of the eminent domain law and the seizure of the team, an issue I first wrote about in 2014 when Democrats threatened seizure the TV Show House of Cards by eminent domain.
So what’s the big plan here? To seize the team and sell it…with conditions:
Ellis and Marker think that the team’s problems could be solved if the city seized the team and then sold it to new owners with conditions (such as not being allowed to move or the workers must be unionized) or turned the team into a public enterprise like the NFL’s Green Bay Packers (the public can buy shares of that team).
Yes, because seizing a business solely to push forced unionization isn’t at all an attack on private enterprise and the freedom of association….
ALSO conveniently left out of the story is the fact that professional sports league rules ban teams from being turned into a non-profit enterprise like the Packers. In fact, the Packers are only allowed to do it thanks to a grandfather clause in the NFL rules.
Look I’ve spoken with Ellis about this on Twitter, and I think his motives for doing this are sincere. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this kind of effort were it to gain steam would likely mean the end of the Baltimore Orioles, not their salvation. No business will sit idly by and let any government seize their means of production.
It’s almost like Banner brass, since they were unable to seize the Baltimore Sun the first time, wants to push yet another trial balloon so they can try and do it again.
Which brings me to this question: does The Baltimore Banner WANT the Orioles to leave town? That is the only reason for the Democratic activists at the Banner to push this type of radical, Marxist, and likely illegal scheme.