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May 14, 2006

More detailed thoughts

According to the Pioneer Press, T-Paw has identified construction of two stadiums, one for the Gophers and one for the Twins, as very high priorities that need to get done during this session:

Sviggum said the goals Pawlenty planned to give Johnson included construction of two stadiums — for the Minnesota Twins and University of Minnesota football team, pay raises for prison guards and new spending to house sex offenders committed to state hospitals. Sviggum said Pawlenty also would seek a Senate vote on an amendment banning gay marriage, approval by the Senate of anti-abortion measures and action by the Senate to crack down on illegal immigration.

• Pay close attention to Sid Hartman's column for Monday as Steve Sviggum was his in studio guest for his Sunday radio show. As of my writing of this (Sunday night), his column hasn't come out yet, but I'm sure it will highlight comments made by the Speaker of the House. While I didn't hear all of the interview, I heard enough to take away the optimism Sviggum has concerning a new Twins stadium, as well as the legislative session on the whole.

• I've held off on putting this up until I was reasonably sure that the Hennepin County plan was going to win out, so here it is: the Ballpark Tax Calculator. Feel free to download this and use it to try to figure out what your monthly and yearly ballpark tax will be. For me, I am hovering right around $10.00. It will probably be more like $15.00. And please keep in mind that this calculator assumes that you only spend as much as you actually bring in. Many of you, me included some months, may spend more than you make.

Also, if you still have a problem spending $10 - $15 a year on a ballpark just know that you will be making me (yes, me specifically) very happy. Isn't it worth it just to make me happy? Me? Your neighbor and friend? Who cares about Carl Pohlad. Just think about me and you should be fine. I would definitely spend $15 a year to make you happy. In fact, I probably already do.

By the way, thanks to freealonzo for making the calculator! (Sorry I didn't thank you sooner!)

• I had written a long winded rant concerning the most recent Minnesota Poll, but I've taken it down after reading the most recent Strib take on some new results of the same poll: Specifics boost stadium support. This is so obvious. The more you tell people and explain to people what is at stake here the more reasonable they become. In this case, the results now show that outstate Minnesotans become more supportive after being told they won't be taxed for it unless they visit Hennepin County. I would wager that if even more "specifics" were made apparent, such as the fact that the Twins aren't bound to the Metrodome anymore, even more people would support the plan. Hopefully it will all be moot after this week.

• Finally, if a stadium isn't approved this week, I will enjoy watching the fallout. Minnesotans are a fickle bunch. I'm not saying legislators won't feel heat over this issue if they approve the Hennepin County Twins stadium proposal. Some of them surely will. But not nearly as much if something happens to the Twins. If nothing gets done once again, and something happens to the Twins ... oh boy. I don't think our legislators want to deal with that. In fact, I am counting on it.

Posted by snackeru at May 14, 2006 7:17 PM | Stadiums 2006


I'm worried if T-paw is linking the passage of those social issues (gay marriage, abortion) with the stadium. If that's the case, forget it, no stadiums this year.

Cool ballpark tax calculator, someone must have been pretty bright to put that together :o)

The Poll was disappointing but what was somewhat encouraging was when people were asked about a specific ballpark financing plan like the Hennepin County plan, the percentage of people who supported a ballpark went up. I was shocked the Gophers didn't get higher numbers, guess they lumped in with the billionaires.

Posted by: freealonzo at May 14, 2006 10:37 PM

freealonzo, I wouldn't worry about these "social issues." I don't think they are as high priority as the top three regarding stadiums, prison guard salaries, and more spending to house sex offenders. I think the others are just bargaining chips. In fact, I've already heard Sviggum say the DFL has won on the issue of gay marriage.

And sorry I forgot to mention you with the Ballpark Tax Calculator! This horrible error has been corrected!

Posted by: Shane at May 14, 2006 10:46 PM

Are the days of the "power broker" over. You would think the Minneapolis folks pushing for a ballpark in Minneapolis would be able to influence the Minneapolis newspaper in regards to releasing this poll. Dann Dobson was quoted as saying he has 300 copies of the poll printed up and ready to distribute to legislators. If this poll becomes the tipping point for some legislators in regards to voting no, Minneapolis will have itself to blame if no ballpark is approved this year.

Posted by: Jiminstpaul at May 15, 2006 5:35 AM

Any update on the committee meeting so far?

Posted by: David H at May 15, 2006 9:37 AM

The Vikings are making their new proposal. I would be surprised if it went anywhere but we'll see.

Posted by: Shane at May 15, 2006 9:41 AM

With no roof? That's a horrible idea..

Posted by: David H at May 15, 2006 9:42 AM

Any update on the afternoon session? Are they going to spend the whole time hearing about a transit plan they're not going to accept anyway?

Posted by: David H at May 15, 2006 1:40 PM

Nice calculator! Puts it all into perspective. I'm in the $30/year range. That's 2 pizza deliveries. That's it.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at May 15, 2006 2:23 PM

Lester Bagley the Vikings lobbyist reiterated today in testimony before the conference committee
the Vikings and the Wilfs' PROMISE not to move the
team. END OF STORY, SEN.KELLEY AND SENATE CONFERREES! Divide the bill, pass the TWINS/ House/Hennepin portion and get on to the other important things that you have to do before the end of the session !

Posted by: jimj at May 15, 2006 5:20 PM

Mayor Rybak lied to the committee. The first time he ran, he opposed stadium subsidies - and attacked his opponents for supporting them. Then as soon as he got elected, he reversed his position on this issue.

The second time he ran, he was running against Peter McLaughlin - who was also a stadium tax supporter.

Posted by: Eva Young at May 15, 2006 7:51 PM

So, what's your point? He's a MN politician looking out for his best interest first, than the city's. Duh. Don't act so shocked.

Posted by: Vince at May 15, 2006 8:36 PM

Anyone hearing anything on when the conference committee will vote? Matt Entenza was on the Twins game today seemed to think not until Wednesday or Thursday. That's bad as it will be cutting it very close to have floor votes by Saturday.

Posted by: David Howe at May 15, 2006 8:54 PM

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