Ted Poe Field at House of Representatives Stadium?

Following up on a story I discussed last month, six U.S. House members from New York urged Treasury to ignore the call to cancel Citigroup’s naming-rights deal with the New York Mets:

“It is deceitful and unreasonable to single out Citigroup for an agreement signed several years ago,” they wrote, “without referencing the many other companies who have stadium naming rights deals and also received federal assistance.”

“Are we ready to remove their names from those stadiums?” Engel asked in a statement. “Or is this a rule to apply solely to Citigroup and the Mets?”

Naturally one of the original instigators, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), gave a rebuttal:

“All companies that came to Washington with their hands out for taxpayer money should have to answer to the taxpayer as well,” he said. “This is the consequence of getting in bed with the federal government — they are going to tell you how to spend your money.”

Isn’t it interesting that Rep. Poe refers to this as “getting in bed”? A responsible government leader would’ve rebuffed such advances. Instead we have an excuse to force control of resources and business decisions – retroactively – upon those companies. This includes the companies that tried to refuse former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s “take or take it” offer.

I have no reason to believe that the six New York representatives are acting out of principle. But the push is correct. And the Treasury Department is playing along:

“While we have implemented new restrictions on executive compensation and luxury perks, we will not get involved in individual companies’ marketing decisions,” Treasury spokesman Isaac Baker said Wednesday.

We’ll see.