Could the Fiesta Bowl have botched the investigation and subsequent over reaction any worse?
First, the Fiesta Bowl management broke the law by reimbursing employees for political contributions. There is no way that the elected officials could have known that Bowl officials were violating the law.
Then the Bowl compounded the problem by seeking reimbursement from the political candidates instead of from the bowl employees--after all, the contributions were legal, it was the reimbursements that violated the law.
Then the Bowl management violated the law by inviting the elected officials to games...and claiming that they had invited entire committees. The tickets were legal if the Bowl invited entire committees, and only the Bowl officials could have known what invitations went out. Again, elected officials take the hit for the Bowl management's mistake.
Now the Bowl's management has decided to bill the lawmakers for the trips themselves. This despite the fact that the trips were clearly legal and were offered as business trips. Do you travel for business? Can you imagine if your employer decided to retroactively charge you for your last five years of business travel?
To their credit, most of the legislators have told the Fiesta Bowl to pound sand.
The bowl's research since then concluded that it spent $161,876 on the politicians. So far, those officials have reimbursed the bowl $7,311, it says.
So what's the next step? I would like to think that the Fiesta Bowl is smart enough to simply be content to send letters to politicians and not follow up after the letters are ignored.
But that would be too smart. Take a second and put on your stupid hat and ask what the Fiesta Bowl will do next...
The Bowl is going to send out 1099s...
Think about it. The Bowl is going to claim that the trips were income, send 1099s to the legislators and then let them negotiate with the IRS. That move would be stupid and unfair which puts it exactly in line with what the Bowl has done so far.
I hope I'm wrong on this one.