Everybody pretends ignorance or amnesia on Zygi’s dealings
Many intelligent, knowledgeable people purposefully said they were surprised by the 21-year-old court ruling against the Wilfs, owners of the Minnesota Vikings. Really? Why do they think we believe them (Star Tribune wrote of it in 2011)?
They quietly believed the Wilfs would win. What they “won” is loss of credibility. The Wilfs also “won” these words from the judge: fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violated civil racketeering statute, and, most damning, “The bad faith and evil motive were demonstrated in the testimony of Zygi Wilf himself,” and that “I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate.”
When Red McCombs was encouraged to relinquish Vikings ownership, Reggie Fowler, an African American from Arizona, bid for the team. Kevin Warren, also an African American, introduced Fowler to the Wilfs. When Fowler was not granted additional time to raise the required amount to purchase, Fowler became a limited partner, Zygi Wilf the general partner, and Kevin Warren got to be Zygi’s VP of legal affairs and chief administrative officer.
So who do we trust?
Do we trust the NFL, who loaned Red McCombs $100 million so he could outbid local bidder, Roger Hedrick, denying him the right to counter-bid, paving the way for owners not rooted in Minnesota, the Wilfs? Do we trust the governor and legislature as we ask what else have they winked at that hasn’t been discovered…yet?
Do we trust local leaders, who helped Red’s right-hand man in San Antonio and in Minneapolis kill the stadium campaign outlined by Dennis Green and approved by Red McCombs in 2001, leading to their departures? Do we trust the State, City, and Vikings, all of whom either signed off or turned a blind eye to the city violating its own charter, benefiting themselves at voter/tax payer expense? Is the announced due diligence and “forensic accounting” analysis for cover up?
Reggie Fowler was vetted when he attempted to become the first African American owner of an NFL team. So how, given their history, did the Wilfs pass an NFL examination of their finances and ways of doing business? Even if the Wilfs won the court case, what it reveals about the Wilf way of doing business should be raising loud alarm bells.
Why does Minnesota accept the NFL backing non-Minnesotans over Minnesotans? How are Minnesota tax payers to believe the legislators, teams of attorneys, and financial consultants, not to mention those with a financial interest (such as the Star Tribune)? Even a blind bat couldn’t miss the Wilf’s refusal to follow court orders for 21 years.
Who will pay Minnesota’s $348 million and Minneapolis’ $150 million (which the Kaplan Report states, with interest, will cost the city over $700 million)? Answer: the general fund, at the expense of education, road repair, health care, social servicers, higher taxes, etc.
The Wilfs will pay very little personally, as the Vikings $447 million portion (including the NFL loan of $200 million) will be paid through stadium naming rights, sponsorships, seat license fees and other sourcing. The Vikings have paid their initial legislatively directed obligation of $50 million. The state and city have yet to pay theirs.
The city of Minneapolis, through its city council, has voted to award millions of tax payer dollars to the Ryan Construction Company’s development plan for the Peoples Plaza. No one has seen a detailed and concise plan that would not burden the tax payers of the city of Minneapolis even more over the next 30 years.
We need transparency and honesty. Now.
For Ron’s hosted show’s broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To see more stories by Ron Edwards click HERE