Baseball star with disdain for government seeks government bailout

There’s still a fair amount of arguing over last week’s decision by the Minnesota Legislature to send millions of dollars in taxpayer money and subsidies to the Minnesota Vikings for a new stadium, but the intensity is dwarfed by what’s happening in New England with a former Major League Baseball star whose conservative politics are almost as famous as his World Series wins.

Curt Schilling, who once considered running for the U.S. Senate, and who has famously endorsed the saying, ” If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him,” is looking for someone to take care of him.

Schilling started a video game company in Massachusetts, then moved it when Rhode Island offered much of its available economic development resources to him in the form of state-backed loans. “(It was) one of the great bonehead economic development deals of recent history,” the Boston Globe’s Steven Syre writes.

He missed a $1 million payment on the loan this week, then delivered a check that bounced today. Late in the day, he delivered another payment that the governor of Rhode Island says cleared.

Earlier this week, he asked his Rhode Island state government friends — already on the hook for $75 million — for more.

The people back in Massachusetts are having a field day. The Globe’s Brian McGrory:

Schilling spent no small amount of time in his career preaching the Republican mantra of smaller government and personal responsibility. He did this fresh off the historic Red Sox World Series win when he backed George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign. He did it on the stump on behalf of John McCain in 2008.

He did it for Scott Brown in January 2010, when he wrote in his blog, “He’s for smaller government,” and lauding Brown’s opposition to “creating a new government insurance program.”

Smaller government? Call me crazy, but I’m betting that wasn’t exactly what Schilling was extolling when he sat behind closed doors on Wednesday pleading with the members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to put more public money behind his fantasy video game venture. And insurance? It seems like that’s precisely what he got.