View Full Version : Ambassadorship opens books on Steelers' Rooney

07-08-2009, 05:57 PM
The Washington Times
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Ambassadorship opens books on Steelers' Rooney
Jim McElhatton (Contact)

President Obama's choice of Dan Rooney as ambassador to Ireland is providing a rare look into the personal finances of the chairman of a Super Bowl-winning franchise - and also into the often overlapping world of national politics.

Mr. Rooney, like several other of Mr. Obama's ambassadorial appointees, was a financial backer of Mr. Obama's presidential campaign last year. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Mr. Rooney and his wife have donated more than $150,000 to federal candidates since 1990, including $500 to Mr. Obama. About 90 percent of the donations have gone to Democrats.

Mr. Rooney was sworn in last week. As an ambassadorial nominee, he was required to file a detailed financial disclosure report with government ethics officials. According to the form, he drew a $2.2 million salary from the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past year and a half - an unheard of sum in the halls of government but fairly modest judging by the compensation paid to top NFL players, including his own.

Mr. Rooney's star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, last year reportedly signed an eight-year, $102 million contract with the team.

But the Steelers aren't Mr. Rooney's only source of income. He also reported $1.2 million from Rooney Enterprises and more than $900,000 from his interest in a West Palm Beach, Fla., racetrack.

Mr. Rooney's office at Steelers headquarters didn't respond to a request for information about his future with the team. The ambassador's ethics filing indicates that he plans to receive three severance payments from the team this year totaling one penny under $1 million.

He endorsed Mr. Obama's presidential candidacy prior to last year's Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, in which Mr. Obama was challenging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Mrs. Clinton, now secretary of state, did not mention that interlude during Mr. Rooney's swearing-in ceremony last week. Instead, she called him "the man behind the Steelers, one of Pittsburgh's leading citizens and our next ambassador to Ireland."

Mr. Rooney also did not discuss the election, instead citing his efforts to bring peace to Ireland by helping to found the American Ireland Fund, a charity "dedicated to peace, culture and charity in all of Ireland."

His appointment as ambassador followed his endorsement of Mr. Obama by a year. Mrs. Clinton won in Pennsylvania, but Mr. Obama picked up the state in the general election against Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.

tony hipchest
07-09-2009, 11:47 PM
he drew a $2.2 million salary from the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past year and a half

pretty much proof that rooneys paltry earnings arent viable enough to serve roger goodell any purpose. i guess rooney could remain 10-15 million under the cap every year like so many oter teams and dramatically increase his profit earnings an pull with the league. :rolleyes:

(next person who calls the rooney "cheap" gets a boot in their ass.)

and just think... if rooney were worth billions the commish might hike mount everest with his head coach, or help him buy an nfl team in ireland, instead of throwing him into debt, and dissolving his fathers legacy.

im a little bit irate about this. rooney handed goodell his job and he returned the favor by running him not only out of the league, but out of the country.

i know that sounds a bit extreme, but thats how it seems.

07-10-2009, 06:44 AM
I run a very small business and on paper my salary is the smallest in the company. My salary vs. what I actually use are two different things.

Just because he's reporting $2.2 mm in salary doesn't really mean anything to me. That doesn't include anything about net profits. I'm sure he has a good accountant.