Back at the Trough

The politics behind the new arena

The final decision may be up to Wayne Smith, the Authority construction committee chairman who is reportedly leaning toward a third candidate, Bill Othon. He lacks the political muscle usually required to land such a plum, although Othon may come out on top unless Authority members pull a coup and remove Smith's power to make the assignment. Smith would only say that the Authority was diligently interviewing various firms for arena jobs.

A million here and there is peanuts, of course, compared to the bonanza the Big Winner will reap from the arena: Les Alexander, who must be feeling pretty good after ensuring himself of multi-million dollar annual paychecks for the next 30 years. He must also be snickering internally after watching himself be transformed on the pages of the Houston Chronicle from greedy blackmailer to Bayou City savior. Thank God, as Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen said in a pre-election column, the Rockets took the high road and didn't threaten to move the team if the arena vote went down.

Laughing all the way to the bank: George Postolos (left) and Les Alexander
Deron Neblett
Laughing all the way to the bank: George Postolos (left) and Les Alexander

We're sure Louisville, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Baltimore will be joining the fan club soon.

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