Friday, February 03, 2017

What we need here is a wikileak

Rita and Gayle

If the infamous Russian hackers or whatever want to make up for whatever damage (real or alleged) they (may or may not) have caused recently, here is a great place to start.
The NFL and NBA are asking a federal judge to keep under seal information about the value of New Orleans' two pro sports franchises. Those multi-million-dollar figures are at the center of a court case set to begin Monday (Feb. 6) over the estate of Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson.

The 89-year-old billionaire had originally planned to bequeath ownership of the teams to his daughter Renee Benson and grandchildren Rita and Ryan LeBlanc. After a very public falling out with his heirs in late 2014, Tom Benson moved to change his plans and give the teams to his wife, Gayle.

Trustees for Benson's estate challenged the terms of the swap in court. Their lawsuit focuses on whether he can remove ownership shares in the Saints and Pelicans along with other assets from trust funds created for heirs. The terms of the trust funds allow for assets to be exchanged but only for assets of equal value.

Key to determining how much the heirs are entitled to is placing an official value on the teams. Forbes magazine pegged the value of the Saints at $1.75 billion last year -- the 29th most valuable team in the NFL. The Pelicans ranked last in Forbes' NBA franchise value list, 30th at $650 million.

Both leagues filed documents late Thursday asking that Judge Jane Triche Milazzo allow them to intercede when, as expected, the values of the teams are submitted as exhibits. They request these exhibits be placed "under seal," meaning the numbers wouldn't be disclosed as part of the trial's public record.
This cannot be allowed to happen.  Forcing the Saints' and Pelicans' books into public record could have significant political ramifications, not only in New Orleans but nationwide as cities and states push back against the extortion racket promulgated by the parasitic billionaires who operate major league sports. This disclosure would be the primary benefit (along with the entertainment value, of course) of the entire Benson family saga.  If the judge doesn't release it, we have no choice but to ask Putin for a (another?) favor. 

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