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April 21, 2006

Holy cow ... I am overwhelmed

I can't believe it. The referendum requirement was defeated. IN KRINKIE'S TAXES COMMITTEE!!!! I am just overwhelmed by this news. Finally, finally we are seeing some positive action on this thing. Oh man, I don't even know what to say. So please, I ask all of you again:

Did you go to the hearing? Do you have any interesting stories about the hearing, or any insights into what happened? Please, let us know what you saw or heard in the comments below. I would absolutely love to hear your take on what the feel was in the auditorium.. Please share your experience!

We've already heard from Commissioner Koblick (in the comments on last night's post) and I thank her for her feedback. Believe it or not, as much as we don't agree on this issue, I think Commissioner Koblick is a pretty bright politician who usually has the best intentions. Anyway, enough of that ...

Here are the votes in the committee on the referendum:

Legislators voting NO (and probably YES on the overall bill):

Simpson, Brod, David, Dorman, Lanning, Nelson, Westerberg, Atkins, Dill, Koenen, Marquart, Rukavina, Lesch, Jaros, Sieben = 15
(Anderson would have probably voted NO but he was absent)

Legislators voting YES (and probably NO on the overall bill)

Erhardt, Zellers, Bernardy, Krinkie, Delaforest, Knoblach, Vandeveer, Abrams, Kohls, Lenczewski, Davnie, Mullery, Howes = 13

There aren't really any surprises here. I think I did OK with my predictions. Although I have Bernardy voting YES on the overall bill, she has voiced before that she is in favor of a referendum. She could still vote YES.

Anyway, what a beautiful day! The sun is shining brighter, the birds are chirping louder ... things are going pretty good. Be sure to tune into the Taxes Committee hearing today at 10:00 online for what I expect will be another jolt of happiness!

And let me know what you think, especially if you were there!

UPDATE: I think it would be wise if we all thanked the Tax Committee legislators that had the guts to do the right thing last night by recognizing we live in a representative democracy. So, to make this easier on all of you I have created the link below that will open up your email client and automatically put all the legislators voting no on the referendum last night into the "To:" field.

Email the representatives who voted NO on the referendum last night!

Carry on ...

Posted by snackeru at April 21, 2006 6:22 AM | Stadiums 2006


It has been a long time since I have been so excited to see the lead story on startribune.com! What a great victory for the long-term status of the American pasttime in Minnesota. The quote of the day from the strib:

"I lose more money in the cushions of my couch," said Kevin Leyk, of Bloomington, who listened from an adjoining room set up to accommodate an overall crowd estimated at nearly 700 people. "I think it's outrageous that people cause such a big stink over such a little amount."

Amen, brother.

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at April 21, 2006 8:18 AM

The change in the couch guy was a nice counterpoint to the guy complaining that it will cost him $600 over 30 years. Wow, that's 38.5 cents a week buddy! (I calculated it would cost me about 48 cents a week, I guess I'm a bigger spender than that dude). And we'll just forget about the fact that in the year 2036 38.5 cents will probably be worth about 15-20 cents in today's dollars.

Posted by: freealonzo at April 21, 2006 8:30 AM

Don't forget it is highly likely that the bonds will be paid off early, probably within 20 years. The current estimate is at 24 years, but with inflation and the fact that Hennepin County has been very conservative with their estimates I don't think we'll get to 24 years.

Posted by: Shane at April 21, 2006 8:35 AM

I've never had anything against the tax amount, but I'm disappointed that the only tax we can adopt in the current political climate is for a stadium (and the tax on smokers, I suppose). I'd glady pay a few extra cents on every trip to the store, or a few more dollars every April, if it meant preserving some of our valuable social programs (early childhood education, lowering college tuition, etc.).

So, what's the consensus on Strib writer Mike Kaszuba now? Is he still inappropriately editorializing in his news writing? Or we all just a bit overly sensitive yesterday?

Posted by: spycake at April 21, 2006 9:30 AM

Is there any undercurrent of support for putting a roof on the ballpark? I sure hope not. I have to admit I kinda like the images posted by Shane of a roofless ballpark in Minneapolis. If anyone has been to Miller Park, sitting high enough if that stadium (I won't call it a ballpark) you really have an enclosed feeling due to the roof structure. I know the Twins have mentioned Seatle as a prime balpark model. I have not been there, but it would seem to me that the fans in the section of the ballpark that has the overhang of the retractable roof might as well be in a dome. How long before some out state legistlator brings up the roof issue and the lame argument that outstate folks may be travling to a game that has a very small chance of being rained out? To me this may be a potential wrench in our momentum. We know the Twins are not going to pay more and Hennipen Cty is maxed out. I hope it doesn't come up.
Otherwise things are looking good. I will start looking at reserving a date in the Summit Rathskellar.

Posted by: Jiminstpaul at April 21, 2006 1:45 PM

I've been to Milwaukee and when it's open and those windows in the outfield are open it's basically an outdoor park in feel. I don't think that it's what is over you so much as what you see that makes it feel one way or the other... if that makes any sense.
That said, I have no problem with an outdoor stadium. In the old days you brought your retractable roof in a flask! (And, of course, the snow was deeper and everything was up hill each way... things sure are better now.)

Posted by: Neil at April 21, 2006 2:54 PM

So when is the final vote of the committee? Have the finished up yet? It's 3:00pm. Someone with access to TV, let us know. Thanks!!

Posted by: kevin in az at April 21, 2006 3:08 PM

I'm watching off and on via the Link provided by Shane above. Unfortunately they are still "working." Practically every committee member has their own set of amendments that they are trying to tack on. Sorry, I'm not watching close enough to know whether or not any of the passed amendments (and there aren't many that have passed) are deal killers or how close they are to a vote. It is Friday so I'm guessing they might be close.

Posted by: freealonzo at April 21, 2006 3:15 PM

Isn't it interesting that the legislators who "did the right thing" as you put it, all voted to increase taxes outside their district to pass this boondoggle.

This is very bad tax policy. This will increase local property taxes too - since cities pay sales taxes. What adds insult to injury is with this proposal, the Twins are exempt from the sales tax.

Posted by: Eva Young at April 21, 2006 10:37 PM

As a voter, I'm sicken by our Representives that continue to support Coperate Welfare to a bunch of crybaby billionares that wanted nothing more than a taxed-funded ballpark. I mean, what the heck is this?! China?!!! Gimmie a Break!


Posted by: B at April 23, 2006 12:33 PM

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