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May 19, 2006

When will the fat lady sing?

• It is taking everything in me not to just burst out of happiness, but there are still two steps to go. The main question I think everyone is asking (pro-stadium people anyway) is when will the final votes in the House and the Senate actually take place? We all know that they will happen tomorrow, but when exactly? I doubt the Senate and the House will vote on the bill at the same time, but I have heard that the votes may take place Saturday morning. If anyone has any more definite information on this, please let us all know.

UPDATE: The vote will happen after bonding and tax legislation. Probably later in the afternoon, according to Steve Sviggum.

• In the meantime, it may be a good idea to write your legislators one more time. I know. If you're anything like me you have wore out your keyboard writing your legislators. And if you have never written your legislator, well, I suppose now is as good a time to start as any. Check this handy District Finder to find your legislator, and write him or her now. It isn't too late. And if you are sure your legislator will be voting yes tomorrow, write him or her a thank you!

• I don't think it is any secret that Aron Kahn of the Pioneer Press is the premier stadium beat writer in the Twin Cities. Today he highlighted some interesting new aspects of the Twins stadium bill that legislators will be considering when they vote tomorrow:

If [legislators] vote against the new compromise, they will be voting against more than a new ballpark.

The bill applies Minneapolis' 3 percent entertainment tax to Twins tickets at the ballpark, which is estimated to raise $2 million to $3 million a year that the city can use for police protection around the facility. The tax is not applied at the Metrodome.

The measure also gives Minneapolis $5 million from Metrodome cash reserves for downtown infrastructure improvements, even though Hennepin County is responsible for those costs at the new ballpark ...

While the negotiated measure reflects the House bill more than the Senate's, which included a regional sales tax, the transit funding and a Vikings stadium, Kelley did win some concessions for his body.

One of those funds youth activities and expanded library hours in the county for 30 years. The funding for each begins at $2 million a year and increases by 1.5 percent a year thereafter.

To recap, the new agreement includes more money for police, $5 million for Minneapolis, money for youth sports, and money for expanded library hours in the county. And the money for libraries starts at $2 million per year and increases by 1.5% each year. Don't think Hennepin County Libraries are excited about this Twins stadium bill? Well, they are.

I've been ticked at Kelley for about 5 days now, but these add ons may make the bill even more appealing to House and Senate legislators. As long as the Twins ballpark bill passes tomorrow, all will be forgiven.

• And just a reminder, back in February long time reader Jim in St. Paul extended this invite to everyone associated with this site:

I was tempted to throw this out last year but maybe this is the year. If our esteemed legislators can finally see the light and pass a Twins ballpark bill this session I would like to extend an invite to all loyal Greet Machiners to come down some Saturday afternoon to my place of business, Summit Brewery, for a tour and celebration. I may even go through my archives and get out for display all my St. Paul related ballpark campaign items (I have a bunch). Like I said, hopefully this is the year and some celebration would definitely be in order.

Jim! If the House and the Senate approve the bill tomorrow, I expect that you'll be sending me some dates for this party! Man, what a joyful occasion that will be!

And speaking of parties, freealonzo just recently sent out this comment:

Who wants to get together on Saturday and watch the Twins and Brew Crew to celebrate a new Twins ballpark??? [Email me] if interested.

What did you have in mind freealonzo? I must say I am very interested! Let's get the party started early!

• Finally, what a journey this has been. It is amazing that it is almost coming to an end. And honestly, I don't know what will happen to the Greet Machine when it does. A new Twins stadium has been my bread and butter for so long, I'm not sure what I will write about! The Vikings stadium? I'm not sure I have it in me, truth be told. This battle has taken a lot out of me, and it has taken a lot of my time. I am also of the opinion that someone in Anoka County may have to pick up the torch. Quite frankly, I am sick of arguing.

After the Governor's signature I may take a nice little vacation. But before I do, I might reveal just what the name "Greet Machine" actually means. Unfortunately it isn't really all that exciting, but I would be surprised if you haven't wondered what is behind the name of this blog. We'll see.

Anyway, have a good night everyone! We are about ten feet away from home, and the throw is coming in late. Man I feel good!

Posted by snackeru at May 19, 2006 8:18 PM | Stadiums 2006

Comments

Is it time to cue the Top Gun theme?

haha

Posted by: Boof at May 19, 2006 9:52 PM

Tomorrow I'm renting "The Natural" and "Field of Dreams". As soon as the results come in (and it passes of course) I'm going to crack open a cold one and watch a good baseball flick. This will be a weight off my shoulders. I'm ready to celebrate.

Posted by: Black 47 at May 19, 2006 10:50 PM

Again, I wish I knew about this site years ago. Makes me happy to know there are others out there with the same passion as I. Gopher stadium conferees reached a deal tonight very similar to the original House bill. That vote also will happen tomorrow. As a Gopher season-ticket holder, I am almost as excited about that stadium as I am the Twins. Looking forward to your post tomorrow. Thanks again. Great job.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 19, 2006 11:48 PM

Star Tribune article says House won't vote on the Twins until after bonding and tax legislation has been voted on. After that, the Senate votes. Article linked to my username.

Posted by: Transic at May 20, 2006 2:27 AM

I think Congratulations to Shane are in order. Sure we've all burned up our keyboards contacting our legislators, but you really went above and beyond with this site.

Not only did it provide a great source of information and discussion (count me among those who wish I knew about it a long time ago) but politcians actually checked it out. Who's to say how many of them felt better about supporting the stadium when they saw others were viewed as supporting it too?

And when you get yourself on WCCO you know you've made it big. That was a nice story, and showed that stadium supporters are not all paid lobbyist for the Twins, despite what John Marty would like you to believe.

Posted by: David Howe at May 20, 2006 6:07 AM

Way to go, Shane. I hope the votes go smoothly today so you can make panicked blog entries a thing of the past!

And, as a stadium "moderate" (which in truth I am), I'm glad that this politically polerizing issue can begin to be put behind us. I've seen way too many fears taking the form of accusations from both sides of the issue, from anonymous "blog crashers" here and even in the "mainstream media" (Grandpa Sid). I, for one, am thankful that Kelley tried to make a better deal for the public, and that Pogemiller... well, he did whatever it is that Pogemiller does, and whatever ulterior motives they may have had, they both stepped aside when their plans were faltering and ultimately did not make any attempt to block the Twins or Gophers bills from passage this year.

I know we're all skeptical of having a little faith in politicians these days, and for good reason. But in some cases, I think they're worthy of the benefit of the doubt until they show us otherwise.

Long live Greet Machine!

Posted by: spycake at May 20, 2006 8:21 AM

As part of an interview I did with Shane on my site a year or so ago, I asked him what Greet Machine meant. He told me and I decided to keep it a secret. Are you going to tell the world, now, Shane?

Posted by: SBG at May 20, 2006 9:19 AM

SBG, yes, I think I might. Although like I said, I don't think it is very exciting. People have wondered though so it is probably time to let the cat out of the bag.

But only if a new Twins stadium is passed. Yet another reason to get this done!

Posted by: Shane at May 20, 2006 9:41 AM

Shane, Could you update us immediately when you hear it's being voted on today? Maybe even give a link to where we can watch it?

Posted by: Black 47 at May 20, 2006 9:50 AM

Black 47, that is definitely my plan, but that is why the post is titled "When will the fat lady sing?" No one knows exactly when the vote will take place. I'm going to try to be watching, but there is definitely a chance that I will miss it.

Let's all do our best to keep each other informed on when this will happen!

The best link is this one:

http://ww3.house.leg.state.mn.us/htv/htv.asp

It gives both the House and the Senate streams.

Posted by: Shane at May 20, 2006 9:55 AM

I won't say congratulations until it actually happens, but it's safe to say the monkeys are getting prepared. You've worked long and hard on this, and if it happens you deserve all the parties anyone wants to throw.

And yes, I have wondered what "Greet Machine" means. I assumed it was some pop culture reference that I'm to out-of-it to understand. I hope I get to find out soon.

Best wishes.

Posted by: Jeff A at May 20, 2006 10:36 AM

GREAT JOB SHANE! But remember, we still have to
get the plan repassed at the county board level so
you'll have to keep the "Greet Machine" up a little longer! (Which I think,is fine with most of
us here!)

Posted by: jimj at May 20, 2006 11:55 AM

I always assumed that "Greet Machine" referred to.... okay, I have no idea, none whatsoever.

I'm excited for you to be able to take a vacation, Shane. Nothing would please me more. (Except a signed, sealed, and delivered Gopher stadium bill.)

Posted by: Jon at May 20, 2006 12:44 PM

You have got to be kidding me. This just happened a few hours ago when the session opened at 11 am saturday morning:

"Before House and Senate lawmakers weighed in Saturday, a committee working on the tax bill provided some high drama on the stadium front. They nearly attached an amendment to that bill that would have allowed for a petition-driven referendum on the Hennepin County tax. Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul, switched her vote at the last minute, killing the measure."

Does it ever end? They can still add amendments to it? And it only avoided this amendment by someone changing their vote at the last second? Is this some kind of cruel practical joke?

Posted by: black 47 at May 20, 2006 1:31 PM

I beleive "Greet Machine" is an old wooden ship used for transferring fine polished metals to Phoenix.

I may be wrong though.

Posted by: Boof at May 20, 2006 2:37 PM

Shane and any Greet Machiners interested in toasting this impending historic event with a Summit-
To find an open Saturday at the Brewery (and on my calendar) we might have to wait until late June. How about a weeknight happy hour? I will check in to getting the brewery for the first Thursday in June, the 1st.
I will keep Shane posted via e-mail and he can put the word out once the date is confirmed.
-Jiminstpaul

Posted by: Jiminstpaul at May 20, 2006 3:14 PM

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