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Atlanta Braves stadium deal 'smacks of cronyism': Tea party leader

The tea party may bill itself as patriotic, but that doesn't mean its members support funding America's pastime with taxpayer dollars.

A $672 million proposal to move the Atlanta Braves from their downtown home to a brand new stadium in nearby Cobb County has drawn heat from the local Atlanta tea party chapter, led by co-founder Debbie Dooley, also the national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.

Financing for the proposed deal would come from a mix of public and private sources, including county bonds that could cost up to $600 million over 30 years. Dooley said the taxpayer will end up bearing the brunt of the expense.

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Mike Plant, Atlanta Braves executive, left, listens to public comments during a Cobb County Commission hearing regarding building a new stadium.
David Goldman | AP
Mike Plant, Atlanta Braves executive, left, listens to public comments during a Cobb County Commission hearing regarding building a new stadium.

Dooley said Republican county lawmakers hammered out the deal in private, without voter input. Cobb County's commissioner did not return a request for comment from "Squawk on the Street."

"It is the government picking winners and losers," Dooley said on "Squawk on the Street." "They are using public funds. The taxpayer will get the shaft in this. And the political cronies and well-connected stand to make millions of dollars off of this deal."

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Supporters of the deal say a new stadium would generate enough economic activity and revenue to make up for the expense. Dooley, though, said she doesn't care where the Braves end up, as long as taxpayers don't foot the bill.

"The Braves have a right to move wherever they want to move, as long as it's paid for with private funds," Dooley said.

—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorganteen and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street."

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