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February 22, 2006

The DFL is playing games

Sigh. Well, sorry for the delay, but I've been trying to get a hold of Matt Entenza today, the House Minority Leader, in order to ask him about the DFL response to the survey sent out by the governor concerning support for a Twins stadium bill this session. A little birdy tells me that the DFL has yet to turn in their responses, and that Entenza may be holding things up. Could this be for political gain? Could the DFL be looking for something to pin on T-Paw as another example of his failure as governor to get things done?

Aron Kahn had a another great article today discussing this issue:

For example, Sviggum, a ballpark supporter from Kenyon, said there are 41 Republican House members who'll vote for the measure, but "I'm not sure I want the number to rise higher than 41.''

In other words, with 68 votes needed for passage, Sviggum wants DFLers to make up the rest of the winning tally. "There has to be Democrats because it could be used (against Republicans) in a partisan, emotional election,'' he said.

Entenza's lack of response concerning stadium issues and the infamous survey I mentioned above demonstrates, at least to me, that the DFL may be contemplating using either the passage, or defeat, of a stadium bill against the Republicans in the upcoming election. If Sviggum got more than 41 votes, it would look like the Republicans in the House were the driving force behind its passage. Obviously, this could come back to haunt them.

However, if a stadium bill doesn't pass, again the DFL can blame the governor for his lack of leadership. It is definitely a sticky wicket for T-Paw.

The fact of the matter is I am excited with any headline that says "Twins stadium bill has might." I am also excited that Sviggum claims to have 41 Republican votes. That is three more than I count.

So, for the next few weeks I will be watching the comments of both Entenza and Dean Johnson very carefully. When they start breaking out the partisan rhetoric I will be very, very let down. I know I shouldn't be so naive, but to sacrifice the Twins for their own political gain will be disheartening to say the least.

One more thing, Steve Sviggum is the leader of the Republican party in Minnesota, plain and simple. T-Paw doesn't have half the leadership skills of our friend from Kenyon. I know actions speak louder than words, but I have a feeling Sviggum is going to step out on a limb this session in a way that would make T-Paw wet himself.

Ain't "stadium season" a fun time of year?

Posted by snackeru at February 22, 2006 6:37 PM | Stadiums


Wouldn't it be wonderful if sometime, somewhere, a legislator actually just did what he thought was right without trying to use it for political gain? I know, I know, I'm dreaming.

Posted by: Jeff A at February 23, 2006 8:41 AM

I went to law school with the esteemed Mr. Entenza. He was a jerk then and remains one. Totally enamored of his role as "savior of the poor and downtrodden." He was in our first year law class, but he had already attended a year of some British school's law program, so he had a "leg up" on the rest of us. All the liberals with causes surrounded him like a rock star even then. Would he sell the Twins for his own political gain? In a heartbeat. I can't get too excited about the stadium situation as I don't believe in a million years these fools will actually approve anything and maybe have to compromise or give each other some credit for anything. This legislature is a disgrace to the state of Minnesota. Period. T Paw ain't no prize either, but compared to these twits. Ugh.

Posted by: CosmoK at February 23, 2006 8:44 AM

Jeff, yes, that would be nice. That is what I was referring to with my naive comment in my post. Sadly, there is always a political angle with this stuff, and very rarely any exclusive thought into how something might actually benefit our state.

And Cosmo, this is very interesting insight into Mr. Entenza. According to his proflie page he attended Oxford for a little bit. Impressive, but it sounds like he is a little full of himself. Even his picture comes across as a little smug.

Posted by: Shane at February 23, 2006 11:16 AM

I don't know know Matt Entenza, so perhaps he is a self-righteous pug. I'd still give Dean Johnson the benefit of the doubt.

But it seems like right now, there's nothing more to these accusations of "political gain" than Steve Sviggum's fear and Shane's lack of information. There's still plenty of time to discuss the stadium reasonably and get Estenza's honest opinion -- the session hasn't even started yet! Let's not rush to conclusions and label people (and whole parties!) political opportunists, because I've got a big stick I could throw around about a certain party pushing a divisive constitutional referendum this year...

Also, Shane, you should know better than to judge any politician by his headshot. In that light, virtually zero politicians look good! What with their store-bought haircuts and excellent posture....

Posted by: spycake at February 23, 2006 12:49 PM

Ha! Well said, spycake. You know, when the dust settles and the legislature fails to pass a stadium bill (yet again), I'm gonna miss you.

I like your optimism. I wish I had some left.

Posted by: Shane at February 23, 2006 12:55 PM

DFL is playing games? You mean like Stratego, Risk and Euchre? If so, I need to get into this thing called DFL.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 23, 2006 3:24 PM

Y'know, there's a really good question lurking in here that nobody's asked yet, and that this thread makes perfectly plain.

- Shane is the proprietor of this blog, whose position on stadium issues, and treatment of those elected officials opposed to stadium issues, is a matter of public record.

- We know that Shane's work, particularly on the voter's guide, has attracted attention at the state capitol.

- We know that Shane's been trying to get ahold of Entenza.

If I were Matt Entenza, why would I bother responding to Shane's request? He doesn't live in my district. He runs a blog that's an outlet for pro-stadium views, and on which I'm not entirely sure I'd get a fair shake. If I tell Shane I'm being open-minded about the whole thing and would consider a fair proposal, I might find the thing spun into making it seem as though I'm in favor of the proposal, which looks bad in my district. But if I say I'm opposed and need to be convinced, then I get ripped up one side and down the other. In short, there's no way I come out of this thing looking good, no matter what happens.

So tell me again what incentive I have to get involved? Especially when it seems as though there are already political forces with their fingers in Shane's pie as it stands?

It's a great question because Shane probably doesn't think of himself as either a member of the media or of the political process. But in a very real sense, he is both - the voter's guide is, in a real sense, a political strategy document, while the reach of Shane's electronic pen makes him just as much a publisher of news as the Strib or PiPress. (For a similar example, check out the Streets of Pizza blog on Citypages.com and scroll down to the twin entries, "The Pizzaman endorses RT Rybak for Mayor of MPLS" and "The Only Endorsement That Counts".)

Shane pretty clearly wants the Greet Machine to be an advocacy blog, and that's OK. But don't expect opponents with anything worth losing to come and meet you on your terms. (All you'll get is wankers with nothing to lose, like yours truly.)

Posted by: David Wintheiser at February 23, 2006 5:06 PM

When will you people stop blaming the politicians and put the blame where it belongs, Carl Pohlad. He could have built a stadium ten years ago with his own money, yet he constantly begs for handouts. This latest attempt to defy the law without the referendum is a joke! Either that man needs to pay for the stadium or the Twins should be eliminated through contraction (since no other city or state would give in their blackmail, either, look at Florida, Oakland, etc.). Carl Pohlad is the only one to blame here (well of course MLB, too). If he can't pay for his own stadium, he should at least pass a referendum!!

Posted by: CommonSense at February 23, 2006 6:00 PM

Hey Common -

Don't you have a fur-is-murder protest or Ani DeFranco concert to be at or some baby seal pup to wash oil spill off of? The world's not fair, rich people don't get rich by writing a lot of checks and giving out a lot of handouts, and if you are too principled to pay an extra penny on your next falafal sandwhich, well then good for you, but don't call yourself a baseball fan and enjoy all the millions of extra commoncents you will have in your pocket as a result of the Hennepin deal being shot down.

Posted by: vince at February 23, 2006 10:10 PM

CommonSense is right. The Twins deal sucks! Tell these losers to hit the road and take their pathetic begging act somewhere else. They have been told no countless times, yet they still demand welfare from taxpayers. Like they sing at the games when the pitchers get taken out, HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU!

Posted by: Twins Suck! at February 24, 2006 7:43 AM

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