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February 7, 2006

I am still not optimistic

UPDATE (2/28/06): I have been informed that Zellers, Erhardt, and Mullery are now going to vote YES on the Hennepin County plan. That brings the vote total to 18 for and 11 against. That would be amazing. Can you imagine if a Twins stadium bill got out of Krinkie's Tax committee unscathed?

I have heard from a connected anonymous source that Hennepin County was not encouraged by the governor's words yesterday.

And while I personally am encouraged that Entenza at least kept the door open giving the stadium plan at least the tepid support of the 4 caucus leaders, there is one thing that needs to be made clear:

T-Paw has to lead!!!!

There is no getting around this. In order for a stadium bill to go through normal legislative protocol, T-Paw is going to have to give it a great deal of support. Normal legislative protocol has a stadium bill going through at least 3 committees before it gets to the floor, and in the case of any stadium bill that means a stop in Krinkie's Taxes Committee. Last year I do not believe the stadium bill would have gotten out of that committee.

You may also be wondering why a bill can't just be pushed onto the floor for a vote. In order for that to happen the legislature would have to vote to suspend normal legislative protocol for that bill and it would take a 2/3 majority. I believe the stadium bill has enough votes to pass, but I don't think it has a 2/3 majority.

So, back to T-Paw. If he wants this bill to at the very least get to the floor he is going to have to put pressure on not only the legislature in general, but also specifically the Taxes committee. Here is the current breakdown for where I see the votes falling in that committee:

Chair: Philip Krinkie (R) rep.phil.krinkie@house.mn No
Vice Chair: Dean Simpson (R) rep.dean.simpson@house.mn Yes
Lead-DFL: Ann Lenczewski (DFL) rep.ann.lenczewski@house.mn No
Ron Abrams (R) rep.ron.abrams@house.mn No
Irv Anderson (DFL) rep.irv.anderson@house.mn Yes
Joe Atkins (DFL) rep.joe.atkins@house.mn Yes
Connie Bernardy (DFL) rep.connie.bernardy@house.mn Yes
Laura Brod (R) rep.laura.brod@house.mn Yes
Gregory M. Davids (R) rep.greg.davids@house.mn No
Jim Davnie (DFL) rep.jim.davnie@house.mn No
Chris DeLaForest (R) rep.chris.delaforest@house.mn No
David Dill (DFL) rep.david.dill@house.mn Yes
Dan Dorman (R) rep.dan.dorman@house.mn Yes
Ron Erhardt (R) rep.ron.erhardt@house.mn Yes (formerly No)
Larry Howes (R) rep.larry.howes@house.mn No
Mike Jaros (DFL) rep.mike.jaros@house.mn No
Jim Knoblach (R) rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn No
Lyle Koenen (DFL) rep.lyle.koenen@house.mn Yes
Paul Kohls (R) rep.paul.kohls@house.mn No
Morrie Lanning (R) rep.morrie.lanning@house.mn Yes
John Lesch (DFL) rep.john.lesch@house.mn No
Paul Marquart (DFL) rep.paul.marquart@house.mn Yes
Joe Mullery (DFL) rep.joe.mullery@house.mn Yes (formerly No)
Peter Nelson (R) rep.peter.nelson@house.mn Yes
Tom Rukavina (DFL) rep.tom.rukavina@house.mn Yes
Katie Sieben (DFL) rep.katie.sieben@house.mn Yes
Ray Vandeveer (R) rep.ray.vandeveer@house.mn Yes
Andrew "Andy" Westerberg (R) rep.andy.westerberg@house.mn Yes
Kurt Zellers (R) rep.kurt.zellers@house.mn Yes (formerly No)

As you can probably tell, no other issue in all of the legislature is as non-partisan as stadium politics. Thanks to some reworking of where I think the votes will fall it appears that the vote in this committee is 15 for and 14 against. However, it is all a guess on my part. If T-Paw can convince a couple of other Republicans it would be a done deal.

And thanks to the Twins recent court victory, I think the pressure is more acute than ever before for our do-nothing governor. Will this be the year? Only if it can get to the floor of the House.

Posted by snackeru at February 7, 2006 8:34 AM | Stadiums


It will never happen...WHY? Because T-Paw is not in favor of it, even though he rides the fence publicly. Just look at his voting record while he was in the House. He was one of the most vocal opponents of all stadium legislation as he was joined at the hip with David Strom of the Taxpayers League.

HHH must be tossing in his grave.

Posted by: kevin in az at February 7, 2006 9:47 AM

My interpretation of the word "partisan" is one that implies voting on party lines regardless of any constituency, common sense, or even whether or not the issue goes against the true grain of one's party's foundation. My quick calculation of the votes as you outline shows:

y: 7
n: 9

y: 8
n: 5

The vote doesn't look partisan at all. 56% of the Republicans oppose the stadium plan, 62% of the DFL supports it. While generally the numbers support the votes tending toward party lines, I'd hardly describe it as the most partisan issue in the capitol.

Though I suspect you mean "partisan" in the sense that when an individual decides on his/her vote he/she doesn't seem to be swayed by any new information or options.

Posted by: bjhess at February 7, 2006 10:17 AM

Actually, Barry, in this case I think I meant non-partisan. I have made the change in the post to reflect that.

And thanks for computing out the Republican vs. Democratic support! It appears that Republicans are less in favor (at least on this committee) but that isn't a surprise given that taxes are involved. The vote is very close though. Again, I think if it can get out of this committee the bill has an excellent shot.

Posted by: Shane at February 7, 2006 11:00 AM

I think Ron Abrams can be swayed to support the ballpark. He's not a strict anti-tax troll like Krinkie and the Twins have made an effort in the past to wine and dine him.

Posted by: freealonzo at February 7, 2006 11:38 AM

Well John Lesch is missing in Iraq...There goes one of the NO votes...LOL....Did I just say that????? Maybe Krinkie and Marty should go visit Iraq.

Posted by: kevin in az at February 7, 2006 1:10 PM

Kevin, yes, that article was a shock to read. I cannot believe he put himself (and potentially others) in harm's way to grandstand. He mind as well vote yes now. I doubt he will be re-elected.

No comment on Krinkie and Marty visiting Iraq ...

Posted by: Shane at February 7, 2006 1:14 PM

Once again I'm dissapointed to be under the rule of Ann Liencziewski

Posted by: TwinsJunkie at February 7, 2006 9:12 PM

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