Despite the Washington Nationals' successful start to the season, to some Capitol Hill Republicans there is a dark cloud on the Nats' horizon: the potential that their newly adopted home team could be purchased by billionaire financier George Soros!
Soros has joined an ownership bid being led by entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky that is angling to take over the Nats, who are currently owned by Major League Baseball.
ROLL CALL reports: Soros pumped more than $20 million in the last cycle into groups seeking to unseat President Bush and elect Democrats and relates that the very prospect that Soros could have a stake in the team is enough to irritate Congressional Republicans.
"I think Major League Baseball understands the stakes," said Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R), who recently convened high-profile steroid hearings.
Davis said that if a Soros sale went through, "I don't think it's the Nats that get hurt. I think it's Major League Baseball that gets hurt.
They enjoy all sorts of exemptions' from anti-trust laws. Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), vice chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that covers the District of Columbia budget, said if Soros buys the team and seeks public funding for a new stadium or anything else, the GOP attitude would be, "Let him pay for it."