April 26, 2004
Where is Snackeru?
Sorry for the lack of posts, everyone. Yesterday and today were a little busy. I'm especially sorry considering that today was a big day in terms of stadiums in Minnesota. Today, Pawlenty's stadium bill had its first hearing in front of Ron Abrams' House Taxes Committee. Can't you just hear the ominous music and screaming in the background as you read that? The HOUSE TAXES COMMITTEE! Bwaahhahhaha! Starring Ron Abrams as the evil Crypt Keeper! The crypt in this case contains any state money going towards a stadium. Will the money escape, or will it be locked away in the dungenons of the capitol forever? Stay tuned to find out!
I actually watched part of the proceedings on the House webcast this morning, but gosh darnit if my worklife didn't get in the way! Blast these stupid library web pages! There is important time to waste watching the smug Ron Abrams kiss the Twins and Vikings goodbye. Unfortunately I had to turn the webcast off. I did get the impression that Abrams will do his best, however, to screw the fans of Minnesota any way that he can. Don't believe me? Check out this article yesterday in the Star Trib. Ron Abrams has a very choice quote in it:
"The social promotion of the stadium bill is over," said Rep. Ron Abrams, chairman of the House Taxes Committee, which will hear the matter beginning Monday. "I'm for a responsible solution, but this bill is not responsible in a number of ways."
Well, isn't that dandy? Our governor thinks it is responsible, and the Speaker of the House thinks it is responsible. I'm beginning to think the leaders of our government don't really have any power at all compared to the might of Ron Abrams. Is all hope lost? I'm not so sure. Consider this: Neither the Twins or the Vikings are very thrilled with this bill. They've both already said the 1/3 required by each team is too steep. Could Pawlenty and Abrams be playing a little good cop-bad cop routine? Could the Republican leadership actually be working together to push the Twins and Vikings to make a 1/3 committment? Unlikely, I realize, but I've decided to look on the bright side of things for a change.
Also consider these points. Our good friend Jim in St. Paul has already told us that Abrams and Pawlenty have met to discuss this issue. Then yesterday on the Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave (sorry Jim, I love Sid) Pawlenty actually called in and discussed the issue a little bit. It was kind of funny actually because Pawlenty called in as a regular caller and fooled both Sid and Mike Max (Dave was out). Maxie said, "Tim from Eagan, you are on the air" and then Pawlenty ripped in to Sid and said Sid hasn't been promoting stadiums in Minnesota nearly enough this year. This, of course, is a complete fallacy since Sid Hartman is the world's biggest stadium supporter. Sid was almost speechless at this statement before Maxie realized it was Tim Pawlenty on the phone. Anyway, Sid started to lay into Pawlenty after that by saying Abrams is going to throw a wrench into everything. Pawlenty was actually very cool about it and said he and Abrams had had "several" meetings over the last "few weeks" discussing this issue. Pawlenty also said he has faith that Abrams will do the right thing. It seemed to imply Pawlenty knows something we don't know, which is certainly true. Sid also told Pawlenty it was all up to him, that if he didn't push for this solution it would never work. Sid brought out the Arne Carlson/Excel Energy Center card, which is a good card to play, and Pawlenty seemed to agree with him. So, what did I learn at the end of all of this? Nothing really, except that Pawlenty remains one heckuva a politician. He'll tell us just enough of what we want to hear, but in the end I'm not sure he is as committed to this as we need him to be. Only time will tell.
Posted by snackeru at April 26, 2004 4:43 PM | Stadiums
I didn't watch a web link or anything today, but I heard from people that were there that Abrams basically called out the Minneapolis/Hennipen County delegation. He said that if he could produce enough signatures against the Governor's Stadium plan from the Minneapolis/Hennipen County legislative delegation, would Mpls/Henn. drop out. It sounds like to me that he already has these names in his pocket. Being the enternal St. Paul booster that I am I think this bodes well for the saintly city.
-Jim in St. Paul
Posted by: Jim in St. Paul at April 27, 2004 2:02 PM
It is almost like Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka) is doing everything possible to take the stadium out of his own backyard. Maybe he is pushing the Twins towards St. Paul. Whatever he is trying to do, all I care about is that the Twins get a new stadium. If St. Paul is the place then so be it. Truth be told, I've always liked St. Paul's plan a little better than Hennepin County's. And the location Mayor Kelley picked out is sweet if you ask me. I still would prefer Minneapolis (given my proximity to the proposed site, but I wouldn't care if they built the dumb thing in Bemidji. Just build it!
Posted by: Shane at April 27, 2004 8:56 PM