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March 21, 2006

Pogemiller and the Senate Taxes Committee

First I must ask you all to forgive me for freaking out concerning the Gophers stadium bill and what I wrote about it last week. While I still think the legislature needs a good tongue lashing, I feel I may have come across as someone who is losing hope. Let me assure you that my hope is already painfully low to begin with. There really isn't much hope to lose. I just wanted to clear that up.

Anyway, this post is about Phil Krinkie's DFL twin, Larry Pogemiller and his Senate Taxes Committee. If you'll recall, Pogemiller threw a wrench in the U's plan to fund a new stadium with student fees and naming rights for TCF Bank. There are a few rumors as to why he would do this:

  1. The CEO of TCF Bank is Bill Cooper, who is also one of the state's leading conservatives and is also the former chair of the state Republican party. If there is one thing Pogemiller likes to do it is stick it to Republicans.
  2. There is also a rumor that a lot of legislators are concerned that the $7 million the bill requires from the state is only that high so the Gophers can make $3 million more per year than they do in the Metrodome. The Gophers only average 50,000 fans to begin with (which is the seating capacity of the new stadium) so it is thought that they are trying to make extra money out of general fund dollars. This I don't agree with at all.
  3. Shooter also reported that:
    A notion floating around the state Legislature is that owners Zygi Wilf of the Vikings and Carl Pohlad of the Twins might be inclined to assist funding for a Gophers football stadium if their respective stadium proposals could get approval.

    This is an interesting notion. Could Pogemiller be trying to get more money out of Zygi and Pohlad by forcing them to pay for a Gopher's stadium if they want legislative support? That is interesting. It probably wouldn't work, but it is interesting.

  4. Finally, there is a rumor that Pogemiller just feels that more public money, and less private, should be used to fund a Gopher's stadium given the Gophers are a state entity. I can't say I agree, but it is a rumor.

So, having said all of this, Pogemiller's recent stance on the Gopher's stadium got me to thinking: just where does he stand on a Twins stadium? Unfortunately, Pogemiller hasn't said much about my favorite topic. He did vote in favor of the 2002 Twins stadium bill, and he has gone on record as saying he would like more private funding of the stadium (wouldn't we all), but I am just getting the feeling that he will not vote for the Hennepin County plan. And unfortunately I think this time his reasoning will be politically motivated. Essentially, in an election year I think Larry will do anything to make T-Paw look bad.

What about the rest of the Senate Taxes committee? Well, after a little research this is what I can come up with:

Pogemiller - No
Tomassoni - Yes
Belanger - Yes
Bakk - Yes
Betzold - Yes
Johnson - No
Limmer - No
Marty - No (duh)
McGinn - ?
Moua - Yes (actually she is a pretty strong supporter)
Ortman - Yes (this is an educated guess)
Skoe - Yes

So, on the Senate side, the Taxes committee looks to be 7 - 4 in favor with 1 unknown. This is good news if you are a stadium supporter, but certainly disappointing if you are against mom, baseball, and apple pie. That's all I got for now. Catch ya later!

Posted by snackeru at March 21, 2006 8:05 AM | Stadiums


So you have no pride or hope? Thank goodness you have a good-looking wife, at least that's a positive for you.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 21, 2006 10:27 AM

You seem truly desperate, Shane. To imply that somehow people who don't support the idea of giving free money to a business that can't support itself are anti-American is absurd. Your examples are even worse.

Apple pie was invented in Europe, NOT the U.S. It was eaten centuries before the U.S. existed. So what does that have to do with stealing tax money for a stadium.

What does mom have do to with this? Well apparently many people here have mothers who did not teach them responsibility and instead taught them to beg for tax money every time they needed help. In a capitalist society people and businesses earn their money. Those who can't go out of businesses (get eliminated through contraction.)

The idea of giving tax money to a business is against the capitalist system this country is based on. You want a stadium? Pay for it! Hold a bake sale, morthage your home, sell your big tv and buy a small one. Oh, it's easier to beg for handouts?

You embarrass yourself everytime you write something, Shane. Hopefully the people in power will reject these stadiums and send you and your teams packing.

Posted by: try respecting yourself, Shane at March 21, 2006 5:56 PM

It is a figure of speech! Lighten up a little. Do birds even chirp in your world?

Posted by: Shane at March 21, 2006 7:18 PM

If I remember correctly, the TCF naming deal was a bad one. Some alum was set to donate a huge chunk of change if they named the stadium after them (ala Ridder Arena). TCF was going to give a much smaller amount for the naming rights. (On the order of several million less) So, don't be terribly hard on Pogemiller at this state of the game... Of course, I don't know where people are going to park on this campus!

Posted by: DouglasG at March 22, 2006 8:20 AM

Now if this isn't zealotry what is?:
Anti-Stadium = Anti-American
Do you want the terrorists to win?

Here we are threatened by barbarians and we're going to spend good money on circuses? Isn't that what caused Rome's downfall?

On the TCF issue. I don't care one way or another, but do note some teams are not only having their stadiums but the *team itself* named for donor corps. This gopher mascot is pretty silly anyway. Much better the 'TCF Bankers'. That'll put fear in the opposing team! Much more intimidating than smiley little rodents.

Posted by: Gary Fouty at March 22, 2006 2:01 PM

Gary, you're a genius! A new mascot is exactly what the U needs. I have an idea that TCF can do to replace the Goldy and the Gopher image:

The Minnesota Voice Menu Options: The mascot can be a phone that runs after the opposition with just the automated voice giving you different options, but never letting you talk with a real person. In addition, it would at random times, hang up on you. Nothing puts dread into people more than having to spend a large chunk of time listening to that. Opposing teams will flee like Minnesotans down south for the winter.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 22, 2006 2:26 PM

Gary, yes, I do indeed think you are on to something! While I have nothing against the Goldy, he is a little weak as a mascot. The TCF Bankers does have a nice ring to it.

And regarding my Anti-Stadium = Anti-American mantra ... well do you want the terrorists to win? Sheesh, I try and spell it out for some people and they still don't get it. What is more American than getting fleeced by your government and the rich? Get with the program ...

Posted by: Shane at March 22, 2006 2:34 PM

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