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April 7, 2006

So the House can pass a stadium bill!

Color me amazed. The House actually passed a workable stadium bill. Of course I am thrilled for the University of Minnesota and as an employee of this fine institution I am excited to see the construction of the new stadium. But as you might expect, I must look at this recent development through an obvious lens: how does this recent development help our beloved Twins? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us (Vikings fans included)?

But before I get into that, I have a few comments about the proceedings last night.

• Ron Erhardt made me almost stand up and cheer last night. According to my own Voter's Guide Mr. Erhardt is anti-Twins stadium, but last night he sent a jab Krinkie's way that had me rolling. Because Krinkie is such a moron he actually put forth an amendment that would decrease the state's contribution by $3.4 million because according to the U's own documentation the Gopher athletic department stood to make $3.4 million extra if this stadium is built. His justification for this amendment is both beyond reason and is just plain moronic. Anyway, Erhardt got up after Krinkie introduced his amendment and said, "Representative Krinkie, I was going to support Jim Knoblach's candidacy for the 6th Congressional District, but now I am going to support you just to get you the hell out of here!"

Oh man, did I ever laugh. I've had the same idea for quite a while now.

• Phylllis Kahn is pretty loopy. I don't think anyone would argue with that. Last night she introduced an amendment to require a student body-wide referendum to ask students whether they want to pay for the stadium or not. Of course, this amendment was pretty easily defeated.

But that wasn't what was so amazing about this. What was amazing to me was that Ron Abrams, former chair of the House Taxes committee and with Krinkie a member of the Anti-Twins Dynamic Duo, used some startling arguments against the referendum requirement. First he said that today's students won't even be paying for the new stadium since this student fee would only kick in when stadium construction starts. That is certainly true. Why should today's student body be able to vote on something that won't even affect them? It makes me wonder why Hennepin County should be the only ones to vote on a state asset like the Twins? And furthermore, why should today's residents of Hennepin County be able to vote on something that will affect future residents of the County? Hmmm ... makes me think that a representative government, perhaps a representative democracy, may be the way to go on this one. You know, a representative government that has the guts to make a decision on my behalf, to maybe do the job I elected them to do. Anyone know where I can find a representative government around these parts?

Then, and this both sickened and delighted me, Abrams actually used the argument that the U of M's own student government has already voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal. Therefore a student referendum is unecessary. So wait a minute Mr. Abrams ... you mean since the U's own representative government voted in favor of the plan, a referendum is not needed? You mean we should trust the student government to make an informed decision on behalf of the entire student body? What a great idea!

The hypocrisy is just stunning. I really just can't believe it. Does Abrams even hear what he is saying?

• Ray Vandeveer is no longer a friend of the Greet Machine. Besides coming out with a pretty stupid amendment of his own, he voted against the Gophers stadium bill. This probably means he is anti-Twins stadium. Unfortunately for all of us, this brings the House Taxes Committee vote to 14 no and 15 yes. That committee is just way too tight to call right now. Does anyone have any other insight into the yes and no votes of this committee?

• Finally, I must say that after yesterday's bi-partisan and overwhelmingly in favor vote for the Gophers stadium I am feeling a little optimistic today. 103-30 in favor of a stadium bill is reason to celebrate and it may mean some hearts have softened for the Twins too. Can you imagine if we took care of all three stadiums THIS YEAR? What a savings of time and money that would be. Believe you me, I will be writing some legislators today begging them not to let this opportunity slip away. Let us inundate the legislature with praise for all these developments and let them know we strongly approve!

That's it for now. More later ...

Posted by snackeru at April 7, 2006 8:45 AM | Stadiums 2006


You can officially put Otremba as a "no." If she voted against the Gophers bill, there is no way she will vote for either the Twins or Vikings bill. Very disappointing, but consistent with her earlier views on stadiums.

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at April 7, 2006 10:10 AM

Here's hoping the Goophs get a new stadium! Would be great to see them get the snot kicked out of them by the Badgers in an outdoor stadium.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 7, 2006 2:04 PM

I am with you on that thought Craig. It will also be easier to carry out the goalposts when the Hawks destroy the goophers again in Kinnick north!

Posted by: Steve at April 7, 2006 4:27 PM

Just a quick note. I will be crossing the river to show my support for a new Twins ballpark on Monday. I will be wearing a vintage 1999 "Touch 'em All Saint Paul" t-shirt (that is the least I can do for my home city). And my 6 year old will be the one dominating the little league diamond.

Posted by: jiminstpaul at April 7, 2006 4:35 PM

oh yeah! the mn house voted in favor of the stadium which is needed the least and is for a team that nobody under 70 years old gives a rip about...YEAH MN HOUSE!!! They'll have that nice college stadium when pro football and baseball are gone.

Posted by: kevin in az at April 7, 2006 9:09 PM

Wow, when did the Greet Machine comments section become so mean spirited? Where's the love for those plucky gophers?

Posted by: freealonzo at April 8, 2006 3:47 PM

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