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April 12, 2006

Krinkie is a crafty devil

This is a letter from state representative Ann Lenczewski. Read it and weep:

I am writing to invite Bloomington residents to a public hearing of the Minnesota House Tax Committee in Bloomington on Thursday, April 20th at 6:00 p.m. We will be discussing and voting on whether or not to tax the residents of Hennepin County to build a Twins stadium.

Earlier this legislative session the Tax Chair asked if any legislators would be willing to host committee hearings locally so that Minnesotans could see our democratic process without having to drive to the Capitol during the work day. As the lead-minority member of the of the committee, I immediately offered Bloomington as a host site and am pleased that the Tax Chair has taken me up on my offer.

Whether you oppose or support the Twins proposal or are unsure, I strongly encourage you to come to Oak Grove Middle School next Thursday evening. This issue is extremely relevant to Bloomington residents given the fact that the bill proposes a tax subsidy from all Bloomington residents. Also, the House Tax Committee will be deciding whether or not the residents of Hennepin County would retain their right under current law to vote on this issue or not. Please note, the current stadium proposal would ask only the residents of Hennepin County to pay taxes to build the stadium while those Minnesotans who reside in the other 86 counties across the state would not contribute in any significant way to the construction of a Twins stadium.

As this is a local and statewide topic of interest, we expect there will be members of the media on hand looking to hear your views on the stadium plan. I hope to see you on April 20th at Oak Grove Middle School located at 1300 W. 106th Street at 6:00 p.m.

Sincerely,

Ann Lenczewski

State Representative

Here are my thoughts on this development. First of all, taking this debate out of a stuffy room in the capitol and putting it into a middle school in Bloomington, the heart of Hennepin County, is a pretty shrewd move from an anti-stadium legislator like Krinkie. I can only imagine what Lenczewski is planning and who she is planning on bringing in to speak against the Hennepin County plan.

I have also heard a rumor that Krinkie is planning on holding this hearing over a two day period, with the first day reserved for pro-stadium advocates, and the second day reserved for anti-American individuals. It is no accident that anti-stadium people will be given the last chance to speak. And again, since this is in Bloomington Krinkie is hoping that there are a lot of anti-stadium types ready to voice their opinion.

Wow. As if the Tax Committee wasn't going to be hard enough, now Krinkie is turning the hearing into a circus. Being in a middle school will allow more people to attend and I'm sure there will be signs (both pro and con) and a very vocal peanut gallery. Yikes. Here is hoping that a lot of pro-stadium individuals can make it out to Bloomington to speak in favor of the plan. Please, please, please consider attending if you support the Hennepin County plan.

Posted by snackeru at April 12, 2006 9:34 PM | Stadiums 2006

Comments

Funny that Ann states in her letter that members of the media could possibly be on hand...In other words, NICK COLEMAN will be in the front row with his laptop. Krinkie shouldn't feel so comfortable, in the last two elections he didn't win by much. I think even the conservatives in Shoreview/Vadnais Heights are tired of his "Mr. No" attitude. I wonder if that man has ever had a fun day in his life. Doubt it. Same can be said for John Marty.

One thing certainly can be said, this issues has brought out the socialist in some Democrats and the fascist in some Republicans. This SHOULD be a good weeding out tool for those of us in the middle. Unfortunately not many are paying attention.

Posted by: kevin in az at April 12, 2006 10:40 PM

I'm not sure this is such a bad thing. When your opposition is resorting to such obvious political stunts, you know you have them on the run.

Posted by: freealonzo at April 13, 2006 7:48 AM

Nicely worded letter. It starts out as a nice open invitation to all, then there is that nice subtle dig with the "retain their right under current law to vote on this issue or not" line hinting that people's freedoms are going to be taken away. Then the added line of "those Minnesotans who reside in the other 86 counties across the state would not contribute in any significant way to the construction of a Twins stadium." gives the whole us-against-the-rest-of-MN-cause-we-are-getting-screwed feel to it.

It's a fairly subtle way to bring her personal feelings across on what should happen. It's sure to bring out the rabble-rousers that's for sure.

Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 13, 2006 8:33 AM

Three questions to ask at the Bloomington hearing:

1. When was the referendum to approve spending millions of public dollars to build the infrastructure that made the Mall of America possible?

2. When was the referendum to approve spending millions of public dollars to expand the Airport?

3. When was the referendum to approve spending millions of public dollars to subsidize Norwest Airlines so that wouldn't leave the State?

All three of these major publicly funded endeavers were in direct support of private enterprise (and the City of Bloomington). When was the referendum?

Posted by: freealonzo at April 13, 2006 10:43 AM

I apologize to you all for submitting my comment on Shane's April 16th post without reading the April 12th post first! But see how good an operator Lenczewski is ! That letter is just a sample of the political manipulation she is capable of !

Posted by: JimJ at April 17, 2006 4:47 PM

At the very least, if MN is to support this god-awful bill, it should be ALL of Minnesota, not just Hennepin County. I'm totally in favor of Mrs. Lenczewski's bill to change the name of the "Minnesota Twins" to the "Hennepin County Twins" if we are forced to pay for the new stadium - fair is fair.

Posted by: Brian D. at April 19, 2006 5:01 PM

If Hennepin County gets all of the economic benefit, it only makes sense to me that they should pay for it. I would happily purchase any product and pay the tax when I am in Hennepin County, but it doesn't seem right that I would have to do so when I am in East Grand Forks.

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at April 19, 2006 8:08 PM

What net economic benefit would that be? Since we are paying for the whole shooting match, would you agree county citizens should get to avail themselves of the benefit of referendum rather than have reps from 86 unaffected counties decide whether we HC residents get to reap this imaginary economic windfall?

Posted by: David at April 19, 2006 8:59 PM

To freealonzo- the difference between the Mall, Northwest Air and the Airport is that no one individual owns them and does not therefore benefit by making tens of millions of dollars. No referendum, no money. Carl has enough, and we've had enough.

Posted by: ted at April 19, 2006 9:16 PM

Add to those differences that I do not believe any of those projects were exempted from state law requiring a referendum. Simply put, there was no referendum because state law required none. On an unrelated note, I also think the Mall was a 80% privately-financed project. If the stadium were a 80-20 private-public split, rather than vice-versa, I doubt this website would have to exist.

If the Twins could convince statewide voters - or maybe just start with the Governor - that they are enough of a statewide asset to justify statewide funding for their stadium, they wouldn't have to deal with this bothersome referendum. Alas, having failed repeatedly to do that, they should live with the legal consequences of seeking a local option sales tax instead.

Posted by: David at April 19, 2006 9:32 PM

To be sure the airport, NWA and MOA are not perfect apples to apples examples but 2 of the 3 are corporations where private entities profited mightily because of the subsidies. Also the airport improvements are a huge boon to NWA. I think it is splitting hairs to suggest that it is different because they are not privately held.

Although there was no requirement for a referendum why didn't opponents ask for a referendum anyway? These are state funds the legislature can add or subract any requirement they want to.

Second, the referendum language clearly states that counties can persue exemptions to a referendum and then lists criteria where an exemption is appropriate and a ballpark for professional baseball clearly falls within that criteria.

Finally, I think it is quite obvious the Twins are a statewide resource and not looked upon "solely" as just another private enterprise. Look at the public reaction when they won the World Series, when they didn't re-sign Eddie G. When Kirby Puckett died. The guy at 3M who invented post-it notes has added millions (billions?) to 3M's bottom line and from what I have heard, is a super nice guy. When he dies, it will be sad, but there will probably be a note in the back of the metro section and a 20 quip on the local news. Puckett's death dominated conversation in Minnesota for a week. If that doesn't demonstrate how professional sports is different than other businesses I don't know what else will.

Posted by: freealonzo at April 20, 2006 7:33 AM

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