Archive for the ‘Minnesota Vikings’ Category
Joe Soucheray’s column is this morning’s must reading because it exposes the Dayton administration as being sloppy with the taxpayers’ money:
Having learned that the Wilfs were found to be being less than charitable to former partners in a 20-year-old New Jersey real estate deal, our governor now wonders if the fine print of a new stadium contract has been thoroughly examined. Presumably, he means for loopholes through which the Wilfs, not necessarily distinguishing them from a variety of other real estate developers, might crawl.
It isn’t terribly reassuring to learn that the fine print had apparently not been previously examined. Wasn’t the deal big enough in the first place to have called in a law firm or forensic accountants or maybe somebody from the cast of “The Sopranos” to say these guys are on the up and up? I threw in the Sopranos only to make a New Jersey reference and do not at all intend to infer that the Wilfs hang out at the Bada Bing club.
No, I guess our governor and his supporters thought it was a good deal, and then compounded their indifference to the vetting process by insisting that the state’s share of the tab could be fulfilled by the great masses of us playing electronic gambling games. Only to discover that grandma doesn’t like playing electronic pulltabs or bingo and the state’s funding had to fall on the shoulders of the always available smokers, who are now paying about $54.76 a pack for American Spirits.
Now we are on hold and a law firm, Dorsey & Whitney, has been brought in at about $400 an hour to study as much of the Wilfs’ books as they can get their hands on.
After Gov. Dayton signed the Vikings stadium deal, DFL pundits said that this was a great accomplishment for Dayton, something he could hang his hat on. Apparently, they thought that Gov. Dayton did his due diligence. Just like with his tax increases, it’s apparent that Gov. Dayton didn’t think the Vikings stadium deal through. It’s apparent that he got dazzled by the bright lights.
We now know that the funding mechanism is a joke. The state needed to contribute $35,000,000 a year for its obligation. The latest report on the e-tabs revenues shows that e-tabs revenue collected thus far falls $33,000,000 short of what’s needed. I ridiculed the package back in February of 2011.
Mr. Soucheray has a great idea:
What Dayton really needs to do is stop the deal and restructure it in such a way that the Wilfs have a personal stake. Too bad if that disappoints them. They aren’t going anywhere. No other city in the country would have them under similar terms.
I have a better idea. Fire Gov. Dayton in 2014. He’s failed with his biggest initiatives. He’s already admitting that parts of his tax increase have to be repealed. Apparently, he didn’t know the warehouse tax and the farm equipment repair sales tax were part of the bill he signed into law.
Gov. Dayton’s other signature issue, the Vikings stadium, is being exposed as a collapsing house of cards. Nothing about Gov. Dayton’s initiatives suggests he’s thought his agenda through. Nothing about Gov. Dayton’s initiatives suggests he pays attention to details.
In 2010, the DFL wouldn’t let Dayton onto the floor of their state convention. That August, when Dayton won the DFL primary, the DFL embraced him.
They should’ve stuck with their first instinct.
This morning on At Issue With Tom Hauser, former DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza did his best to spin away the terrible Vikings stadium financing plan. When asked about the funding shortfall, Entenza said that “it shows that these stadium financing deals are complicated, don’t work the way that they hoped that they would and that the legislature will have to go back to work and find a non-general revenue fund.”
Earlier in the show, Jay Kohls said that e-tab revenue through June was $2.4 million, far short of the $35,000,000 that’s needed for the state portion of the $975,000,000 stadium cost. According to Kohls’ report, the state gambling board was hoping to have 2,800 establishments selling e-tabs. At the end of June, 300 establishments were selling the e-tabs.
Entenza is tapdancing. He should be ashamed of himself for that spin. Other cities and other states have built stadiums for their teams. I’ve watched them built in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City and St. Louis in addition to the Metrodome and Target Field. This is the only stadium funding mechanism that’s been this woefully short. In fact, it’s the only funding mechanism that didn’t come off without a hitch.
Gov. Dayton pushed the Vikings stadium so hard that he didn’t care whether the funding mechanism worked. He worried more about schmoozing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell than he worried about the funding mechanism.
Friday night, Michele Kelm-Helgen of the MSFA admitted that e-tab revenues likely will never produce the revenue required to pay off the stadium bonds. Then she admitted that the DFL legislature passed a tax increase by closing an income tax ‘loophole’ which is projected to generate $20,000,000 a year.
That’s right. She admitted that Gov. Dayton broke his promise that the state general fund wouldn’t be used to pay for the stadium. Gov. Dayton was foolish enough to buy the state gambling board’s revenue projections. Thanks to his pushing this project, Minnesota taxpayers will be paying for Zygi’s palace.
While pushing the Vikings stadium, Gov. Dayton said he wanted the new stadium to be known as “the People’s Stadium.” Thanks to Dayton’s funding mechanism, it’ll be the people’s stadium because they’ll be paying for it through higher taxes for the next 30 years.
Stadium financing isn’t complicated. It’s just that it was too complicated for Gov. Dayton.
Cordarrelle Patterson, aka CP to his coaches and teammates, apparently is off to a fast start with the Vikings. This is the part that stood out for me:
Two days into his first NFL training camp, Patterson has impressed the staff with his ability to retain information and execute pro plays despite his only having one year of Division I college experience.
“It wasn’t like starting from zero like we thought it might be,” said Frazier. “That encourages all of us. Now take that with a grain of salt. We’ve got a lot more football to go, but we like what we see so far.”
This isn’t to say CP is Percy Harvin’s equal. That’d be foolish considering the impact Harvin made while inspired. Apparently, there are some striking similarities between Harvin and CP. Both are dynamic from multiple formations and positions. Both are fast. What’s most impressive about CP is that he’s apparently a fast learner.
When Harvin was drafted, then-Vikings coach Brad Childress threw the playbook at Harvin. Coaches were impressed with Harvin’s ability to learn multiple positions quickly. Based on Brian Murphy’s Pi-Press article, it sounds like CP is a fast study, too.
That isn’t the label he had heading into the draft. If I had a $10 bill for each newspaper article or TV segment that characterized CP as “raw”, I’d be rich.
Harvin was traded to Seattle for Seattle’s first round and seventh round picks in last April’s draft and Seattle’s third rounder in next year’s draft. The Vikings turned Seattle’s first rounder into FSU cornerback Xavier Rhodes, a 6’2″ athlete with a 4.4 time in the forty. Meanwhile, Seattle put Harvin on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. If Harvin’s hip needs surjery, his season is likely over.
Most experts, including ESPN’s Bill Polian, Mark Schlereth and Tedy Bruschi, said the Vikings got the better of the trade long-term, with Seattle winning in the short-term. If Harvin doesn’t play this year, the Vikings will likely win the trade outright.
But I digress.
CP has some unique abilities:
Frazier said Patterson will get every chance to secure the kickoff return job. Unlike Percy Harvin, whose electrifying returns and the pounding he took on kickoffs sometimes kept him on the sideline during offensive possessions, Patterson’s size (6 feet 2, 220 pounds) should allow him to work double shifts.
CP is the type of dynamic playmaker that frightens defensive coordinators. His running skills are elite level. In fact, Polian said he didn’t consider CP a wideout, that he thought of CP as a running back. Watching some of his highlight videos, I’d wholeheartedly agree with Polian’s run-after-the-catch opinion. Being 6’2″ and 220 pounds and able to run a 4.4 forty is something that must be accounted for by defenses, too.
If CP learns the Vikings playbook quickly, as Brian Murphy’s article suggests, the Vikings offense could be frightening. The Vikings offensive line is solid, with Matt Kalil anchoring the unit. GM Greg Spielman added Greg Jennings and CP to a depleted receiving corps. Kyle Rudolph was last winter’s Pro Bowl MVP. And of course, the offense is built around Adrian Peterson, the seemingly bionic running back. If Christian Ponder continues to improve, the Vikings will challenge the Packers for the NFC North championship.
More on that in another post.
Tags: Minnesota Vikings, Cordarelle Patterson, Athleticism, Greg Jennings, Xavier Rhodes, Matt Kalil, Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, MVP, Christian Ponder, Seattle Seahawks, Percy Harvin, Injured Reserve, NFL Draft, Bill Polian, Mark Schlereth
When Mark Dayton ran for governor in 2010, he criticized Tom Horner’s cigarette tax increase proposal. He constantly talked about the need for making Minnesota’s tax system more progressive. Apparently, Gov. Dayton doesn’t have the same priorities as then-Candidate Dayton:
Dayton is now backing a cigarette tax increase from $1.23 per pack now to $2.52, more than he initially proposed. The money from the stocking tax would be diverted to a stadium reserve fund. Smoking will not be allowed at the new Vikings stadium, due to open in time for the 2016 season.
Earlier this year, Dayton proposed a cigarette tax hike of 94 cents a pack. In now backing a $1.29 per pack hike, he’s moving even further from his previous opposition to cigarette tax increases of any kind. When running for governor in 2010, he called cigarette tax hikes “money out of the pockets of working people and poorer people.”
Candidate Dayton was right. Sin taxes are regressive. The devil is in the details but I’m skeptical of this proposal being the solution to the Vikings stadium mess. This post highlights the fact that past cigarette tax increases produce revenue shortfalls. How will that solve the Vikings stadium problem?
Further, this literally means that Gov. Dayton is building a stadium for billionaires on the backs of the middle class and working poor. If it isn’t bad enough to have the middle class pay for a billionaire’s football stadium, which it is, if shrinking revenues isn’t bad enough, then here’s another thing that makes this terrible: This cigarette tax increase will increase black market sales of cigarettes while eliminating customers for convenience stores.
Forget about this not being a perfect solution to a big problem. Forget about this being a less-than-perfect solution to the Vikings stadium problem. This isn’t a solution to the Vikings stadium problem. What’s worst is that it doesn’t solve that problem while creating a problem for small businesses.
That’s the definition of terrible policymaking.
This post on the Strib’s Access Vikings blog is particularly amusing. Here’s what I thought was amusing:
This morning at the Capitol, Governor Mark Dayton became the latest to question the Vikings on the Kluwe topic.
“I don’t feel good about it,” Dayton said. “I mean I’m not in position to evaluate the role and their punting abilities. But it seems to me the general manager said right after the draft that they were going to have competition. Well, then he brings the one guy [Locke] in, he kicks for a weekend and that’s the competition? I mean, I just think sports officials ought to be honest about what the heck is going on. Same way I think public officials should be honest about what’s going on. So that bothers me probably as much if not more than the actual decision.”
I agree that it’s important for public officials to be honest. Where was Gov. Dayton’s insistence on honesty when told politicians that the revenues from e-tabs would cover the state share of the Vikings stadium? Tons of people from across the political spectrum questioned whether they’d generate the revenue they needed. They criticized the funding mechanism loudly and persistently.
It’s now known by anyone who’s read a newspaper the last month that the e-tabs funding mechanism is a terrible failure. Needing $35,000,000 this year for the Vikings stadium, e-tabs generated $1,700,000, a $33,300,000 shortfall. That isn’t falling a little short. It isn’t even falling well short. That’s falling laughably short.
If you fall short by $300,000 or $400,000, people can reasonably say that it was just a tough year. You can’t say that when you fall short by 90+ percent.
As for the Vikings cutting Kluwe, his activism on the gay marriage issue caused the Vikings to rethink him as their punter. I didn’t read where they disagreed with Kluwe’s position on the issue. I did read where Kluwe’s punting suffered in terms of consistency in September and October, which they attributed to Kluwe’s advocacy.
The Vikings had the right, in fact the affirmative responsibility, to insist on Kluwe doing the job he was making $1,500,000 for last year.
In other words, the Vikings determined that Kluwe put a higher priority on his advocacy than on his profession. When a player is making $1,500,000 a year, that player’s team has a right to expect professionalism.
Kluwe didn’t live up to that expectation.
One pattern that’s emerged about Vikings GM Rick Spielman is that he’s fearless when it comes to trading up or down in the NFL draft.
For instance, last year, Spielman figured out a way to Cleveland into trading up a spot to get Trent Richardson. Then Spielman got Matt Kalil, the player he’d planned on taking all along with Cleveland’s pick. Then he paired one of the picks he got from Cleveland with the Vikings’ second round pick to take Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith. Kalil played in the Pro Bowl after his first season. Smith played great all season, pulling the secondary together all season.
This past year, Percy Harvin wore out his welcome in Minnesota by telling the world that he couldn’t work with Leslie Frazier. Frazier’s reputation is that of being a player’s coach with tons of integrity. It wasn’t surprising to hear that Spielman traded Harvin as soon as he was able to. What was surprising was that he got Seattle’s first round pick this year and third round pick in 2014 in exchange for Harvin.
Thursday night, the Vikings used their pick, the 23rd overall, to pick Florida DT Sharrif Floyd. Of all the mock drafts I went through, none had Floyd dropping past the Titans with the 10th pick. (Frankly, Ed, I was stunned that Pittsburgh passed on Floyd to take Georgia LB Jarvis Jones.) Most mocks I read had Floyd going to the Raiders with the third overall pick. Most scouts had him rated the top DT in the draft.
With the 25th pick overal, the pick they got from Seattle, the Vikings picked FSU CB Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes is a great fit for the Vikings because of who’s in the NFC North. The Vikings will face Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall twice per season for the forseeable future. Having a 6’2″ CB with 4.4 speed to match up against Johnson and Marshall is a big plus.
The shock for the Vikings came while Spielman was conducting an interview after what was supposed to be the Vikings’ final pick of the first round. While doing the interview, the Patriots called, asking if Minnesota was interested in trading back into the first round.
After Spielman and Belicheck worked out the details, the Vikings used the Patriots’ pick, 29th overall, to pick Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson. While Patterson is a raw talent that will need some coaching both from Vikings WR Coach George Stewart and WR Greg Jennings, there’s no question about Patterson’s talent.
In my opinion, the Vikings are the perfect fit for Patterson. First, let’s talk about what he brings to the Vikings’ offense. He’s big (6’2″, 217 lbs.), fast (4.39 in the forty) and dynamic in run after the catch situations. Next, he’ll be coached by George Stewart, the guy who coached up Jerry Rice and John Taylor. Rice thinks that Stewart is one of the best WR coaches in the league. That’s good enough for me.
Finally, Greg Jennings is a consummate professional. He’ll teach Patterson the importance of putting time in studying film of his opponents. He’ll teach him how to hone his skills, especially his route-running and catching abilities. As a rookie, Patterson’s biggest contributions might be returning kickoffs and lifting the lid off of defenses.
In 2010 and 2012, defenses tried stacking 8 and 9 men in the box to stop Adrian Peterson, daring the Vikings to beat them with their wideouts. With Patterson running past defenders, stacking the box to stop Adrian will come with a steep, steep price.
The price for getting Patterson is steep but worth it. The Vikings gave up their picks in the 2nd, third, their first pick in the fourth and their last pick in the 7th round. Still, it’s definitely worth it. From Spielman’s perspective, he replaced Harvin with Jennings, then got the top DT in the draft, the second best CB in this draft and an explosive WR/KR with what essentially are the equivalent of a first round pick, a second round pick and a third round pick.
Simply put, Rick Spielman swung for the fences Thursday night. While he didn’t hit a grand slam, he certainly hit one off the base of the fence in deep right-center.
Last night, as with most nights for the past month, I watched the NFL Network’s Path to the Draft. I watch because they usually have some pretty decent talent evaluators, including former Redskins GM Charlie Casserly, former Vikings broadcaster Brian Baldinger, former Baltimore Ravens chief scout Daniel Jeremiah & Mike Mayock.
Last night’s program included a segment in which they played out possible draft day scenarios. One of the first scenarios they presented was whether the Vikings would trade the 23rd overall pick in the draft and the 52nd overall pick in the draft to the Jets for Tayvon Austin.
I was stunned to hear Casserly say that he thought that’d be a great deal for the Vikings. In my opinion, that’d be highway robbery, with the Jets being the looters. That specific trade won’t happen because the Vikings would do better just staying put.
If the Vikings stay put, they’ll almost certainly have their pick of WRs Cordarelle Patterson, Robert Woods, Justin Hunter, DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen. They’d likely have their pick of MLB Manti Te’o, DT Sylvester Williams, S Johnathan Cyprien or CB Desmond Trufant.
Those are players that will likely be available into the 2nd round. Why would the Vikings trade up for Tayvon Austin when the cost is a third starter from this draft. This isn’t a criticism of Austin, who is a genuinely talented WR. Rather, it’s showing the opportunity cost of trading up 10 spots in the first round.
Simply put, would the Vikings rather have Tayvon Austin and Manti Te’o or would they rather have Desmond Trufant, Sylvester Williams & DeAndre Hopkins? Frankly, I don’t think that’s that difficult of a decision.
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson’s op-ed points the finger at Gov. Dayton’s (lack of) leadership, highlighting Gov. Dayton’s mistake-filled push for a Vikings stadium. Commissioner Johnson’s criticism is harsh but justified. First, Commissioner Johnson lets Gov. Dayton hang himself with his own words:
If you had followed the stadium debate in the media and had listened to Gov. Mark Dayton standing next to NFL dignitaries extolling “Purple Prosperity,” you might have thought the stadium legislation was all about cutting the best deal for the people of Minnesota. Again, you’d be wrong, but let’s allow the governor to explain it to you:
“Unless somebody can prove conclusively otherwise, I would say everybody, the Gambling Control Board, the Department of Revenue, the Legislature, Republicans and Democrats, and my administration, everybody acted in good faith, and has applied their best judgment to a totally unprecedented situation,” Dayton told the Star Tribune.
“The Legislature, if they misunderstood the situation, they have no one to blame but themselves. And I have no one to blame but myself,” he added.
It’s true that some GOP legislators voted for the Vikings stadium bill. They’ve had to reconcile their votes with their constituents. Some didn’t win re-election as a result of that vote. With the exception of Julie Rosen and Morrie Lanning, though, these legislators didn’t push for the Vikings stadium. They didn’t put the funding mechanism together. The legislator that put that mess together, Sen. Bakk, and the ‘leader’ that pushed the deal, Gov. Dayton, are the people who have the most responsibility for this disaster.
Gov. Dayton’s recklessness extends into pushing this deal without verifying the trustworthiness of the funding mechanism. That’s downright irresponsible.
Commissioner Johnson doesn’t stop there, though:
“You have to turn to somebody who has some knowledge and expertise,” Dayton said. “I don’t know what caused it to go awry,” he added. “I know we’re going to work to correct it.”
“We’re going to work to correct it.”
How often do we hear that phrase echoed by a government official after government has embarked on some “good faith” experiment into “uncharted territory” with taxpayer money?
“We’re going to work to correct it.”
And who’s going to do all that working and correcting? Dayton and his administration, the ones who gave us the Vikings stadium mess in the first place.
What could possibly go wrong?
This isn’t a good faith mistake. It’s a decision *made to give Gov. Dayton a high profile political victory heading into his re-election campaign. That failed miserably. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton isn’t satisfied with just pushing through a disastrous Vikings stadium bill. He’s now moved onto bigger, more destructive things:
The governor who engineered the Vikings stadium deal has now turned his attention to engineering a state-run health insurance exchange that will dramatically change the way Minnesotans purchase health care.
The governor who didn’t know the stadium legislation allowed the Vikings to charge seat licensing fees to cover a portion of the team’s contribution is crafting an exchange that will detail the mandatory benefits of insurance policies allowed in it.
The governor who accepted revenue estimates on electronic pulltabs that ended up being embarrassingly wrong is now estimating the cost of a state-run health exchange.
The governor who relied on gambling interests to advise him on gambling expansion is now relying on federal bureaucrats to advise him on government health care expansion.
What could possibly go wrong?
Just about everything might go wrong. The ACA is a disastrous piece of legislation. The Health Insurance Exchange, aka the HIX, is one of the things in the ACA that makes it a disaster. The ACA is administered by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a woman who doesn’t have a clue about how insurance was designed to work:
This is why you should always have liability insurance, but should think twice about collision damage coverage. It’s why high deductibles are a good idea; for small expenses, it’s better to self insure. And it’s why “catastrophic” health plans, which only cover the sort of extremely expensive events that most people would have difficulty financing, are a much better deal than the soup-to-nuts plans that most people get through their employers. Those plans are expensive, both because they’re paying for a higher percentage of your expenses, and because they drive up utilization, which means that they drive up next year’s premiums even more. Imagine what your car insurance would cost if it covered gasoline, routine maintenance, and those little air freshener trees you hang from the rearview mirror. Then stop asking why health insurance costs so much.
Minnesota’s HIX will require tons of different coverages, with each driving up the cost of the average health insurance policy. It’s already predictable what will happen when insurance premiums rise. Gov. Dayton will tell Minnesotans that it was a good faith mistake.
This time, though, Republicans didn’t vote for the HIX. This time, Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk, Speaker Thissen and the DFL own the coming HIX disaster lock, stock and barrel.
The point is that Minnesotans can’t afford more of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s good faith mistakes. Their “good faith mistakes” are putting Minnesotans into a terrible bind financially.
Next election, Minnesotans should vote for people who get things right the first time rather than voting for people who will “work to correct” a litany of “good faith mistakes.”
Tags: Mark Dayton, Paul Thissen, Tom Bakk, Minnesota Vikings Stadium, Electronic Pulltabs, State Gambling Board, Gambling Expansion, Health Insurance Exchange, Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, PPACA, DFL, Jeff Johnson, Hennepin County Commissioner, RNC, Election 2014
Dr. John Spry is one of the best, if not the best, tax experts in Minnesota. He provided written testimony to the Senate Tax Committee on the Gambling Control Board’s estimates on e-tabs revenues. The text of Dr. Spry’s written statement is contained in this post. This testimony is particularly troubling:
There is obviously a large difference in revenue between the Gambling Control Board’s estimate that 95% of paper pull-tabs and tip boards would be eliminated and its estimate that 20% would be eliminated. One thing we know for sure is that not all of the Gambling Control Board estimates can be close to being correct.
It is hard to understand how the Gambling Control Board estimated that the new forms of gambling would reduce paper lawful gambling but not have any negative effects on lottery sales and state revenue from the lottery. Perhaps they just didn’t consider effects on the lottery in their estimation process. This is a significant omission.
In the rush to pass a Vikings stadium bill, did legislators and Gov. Dayton willfully ignore Dr. Spry’s testimony? It isn’t a stretch to think they did, though that’s still an open question.
What isn’t in question is whether the Gambling Control Board didn’t have a clue about their revenue estimates. Their conflicting estimates indicate that they weren’t certain of their estimates. In essence, their estimates were nothing more than wild guesses.
That’s unacceptable considering the size of the state-held bond of this project. To make this type of estimate based on — who knows what they based it on — is unacceptable, almost to the point of fireable malfeasance. If a private sector revenue forecaster was off by that big of an amount, that forecaster would be fired within minutes of reality settling in.
What’s more troubling is the composition of the Gambling Control Board. Why weren’t there massive firings after this disaster? There isn’t a justification for someone being off by this much. Is it that these government employees are held to that low of a standard of competence? God help us if that’s the case.
Whatever the standards were in the past, these employees have to be held accountable. Anything less is unacceptable.
Speaker Paul Thissen has made several statements that deserve ridiculing. Here’s Speaker Thissen’s latest laughable statement:
House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he shares some of Lenczewski’s concerns, but considers himself a strong supporter of Mayo’s expansion.
“I very much want to see these investments made in Rochester, but I want to do it in a way that also protects the interests of the state of Minnesota,” he said.
Speaker Thissen’s statement is laughable considering his enthusiastic vote for last year’s Vikings stadium. That funding mechanism was fraught with perils. The latest projections show the e-tabs revenue is falling far short of what’s needed to pay the state’s share of the stadium. Theren are even worries that Minnesota’s taxpayers will pay for it through the general fund.
Speaker Thissen’s concerns for protecting Minnesota’s taxpayers is selective at best. We’d be far better served if Speaker Thissen consistently paid attention to protecting Minnesota’s taxpayers. Minnesotans don’t need politicians who selectively pay attention to funding mechanism for the Mayo Clinic but ignore the Vikings stadium funding mechanism. I wrote here that one DFL legislator called the Vikings stadium funding mechanism as “being held together with ‘duct tape.’”
It’s amazing how silent Speaker Thissen was then, especially considering the possibility of Minnesota taxpayers getting hit with a bill well in excess of $100,000,000. ‘Watchdogs’ that miss a $100,000,000 bill to the taxpayers aren’t the type of watchdog that I’d trust.