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November 9, 2006

The Backlash continues ...

kelliher.gif If you are anything like me (which I doubt because I am a unique and wonderful child of God/flower) you are just plain old bamboozled by Tuesday's election results. I really didn't think it would go this well. I'm bamboozled and flabbergasted. Take a look at the picture on the left. You know who that is? That is Margaret Kelliher. Margaret is the one of only two Minneapolis legislators (thanks freealonzo) that had the guts to vote in favor of the Twins stadium. And not only that, she also stuck her neck out and received more press by being a part of the stadium conference committee. While I appreciated her leadership, back in May I thought she was going to have a hard time getting reelected come November.

Well, I think we all know what happened next. Not only did she win, but she won with over 80% of the vote. And with the DFL taking control of the House, she is now poised to become Speaker of the House in Minnesota. Blink. Where is this vaunted stadium backlash we all heard about? Where is the "retribution?" Could it be that deep down inside Minnesotans are either excited about the stadium, or do they just not care?

There was one casualty of Tuesday's election that does deserve a mention, and a few of you have already spoken about this in the comments. Of course, I am referring to Dean Johnson. Now, I don't know anything about who beat him out (Gimse), but like Krinkie, Dean Johnson held a pretty important role in the Minnesota legislature, that of Senate Majority Leader, and for him to lose is a big deal. Sid Hartman was correct today to say that Zygi must be a little peeved with this development. I am also saddened to see him go. And his ouster had nothing to do with the stadium, but with Johnson's stance on issues like abortion and gay marriage. His bold faced lie concerning Minnesota Supreme Court justices probably didn't help him either.

And speaking of Zygi, what must he be thinking overall right now. I think Charley Walters summed up my feelings rather well when he wrote today:

It's premature to speculate on how Tuesday's election results could affect public support for a new Vikings stadium, but it's clear that the deal in Blaine is teetering and seems unlikely to succeed.

It also seems unlikely a Vikings stadium bill will be approved in next spring's state legislative session. The Vikings are bound to the Metrodome through the 2011 season.

Downtown Minneapolis still appears the Vikings' best bet for a new stadium by either razing or renovating the Dome. The question that remains: Who will pay for it?

The Dome site's footprint is large enough for a new stadium. The problem with a radical renovation is that the Dome is a two-level structure and most modern stadiums are three levels, and that's a major difference for luxury seating.

1) It will be shocking if a Vikings stadium is approved in the upcoming legislative session, 2) where will Zygi finally settle on (Minneapolis or Anoka County) and 3) who is going to pay. If Zygi was smart he would take a page from Philadelphia, Washington, and New England and just bite the bullet. Partner with Minneapolis (for infrastructure) and start building it himself. We shall see ...

Posted by snackeru at November 9, 2006 12:32 PM


Hopefully the example of Kelliher will cause more metro legislators to look favorably on a future Vikes bill.

The cities you mention that Zygi should follow also happen to be some of the most valuable franchises in the NFL. If even a "radical" renovation of the Dome will not work, and if the Dome is the only site available, where would the Vikes play while the Dome was being razed and a new stadium built? Will the Gopher stadium be big enough?

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at November 9, 2006 3:15 PM

Don't get your hopes up too quickly, Shane.

Ann Rest is in the running to become Senate Majority Leader. Or if not Rest, then the man you described as "Phil Krinkie's DFL twin", Larry Pogemiller.


So it's not all smooth sailing just yet.

Posted by: David Wintheiser at November 9, 2006 4:01 PM

Maturi has already stated that the Vikings would be welcome to play at TCF Bank stadium whilst a new Vikings stadium is being constructed. This, of course, assumes that the Metrodome is either being renovated or the Metrodome land is being used.

TCF Bank Stadium will hold about 50,000 fans, maybe more if they add some temporary seating at the opening of the horse shoe. But you are right Curt, it won't be as big. The Bears played at UIUC for a year though under the same conditions while Soldier Field was being renovated.

Posted by: Shane at November 9, 2006 4:01 PM

Well, my hopes aren't too "up" right now at all. Like I said above, I don't think the Vikings have a prayer this session. But quite honestly I'm not really concerned about the Vikings. It will be years before their situation is fixed. So, why worry about it too much right now?

Posted by: Shane at November 9, 2006 4:05 PM

Hey Shane! I just came across your blog and find everything you say very entertaining! I'm the chief editor at Anoka City Talk which is an online newspaper for the Anoka County area. I would love for you to submit some of your blogs about the stadium referdum on our site so that the people of Anoka County can see what you have to say! Just go to Anokacitytalk.com/authorregistration.cfm. If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at Allie@anokacitytalk.com! Thanks!


Posted by: Allie at November 9, 2006 4:25 PM

Pogemiller it is. The Vikings are going to have some very tough sledding. Thank God the Twins got done.

Posted by: SBG at November 9, 2006 5:43 PM

As Democrats across America are saying they will be moderate and not abuse thier new power, the Minnesota Senate picks the most Liberal Wacko in its Chambers to be thier Leader. Great Choice.

Meanwhile, I came to like Rep. Kelliher very much and think she will be a great Speaker. However, in addition to Pogemiller being a nut, it's not right that the leaders of both chambers be from Minneapolis. There is a whole other part of Minnesota you know.

Posted by: David Howe at November 9, 2006 8:33 PM

I could be wrong but didn't Paul Thissen also vote for the ballpark? He also represents Mpls.

Posted by: freealonzo at November 9, 2006 9:47 PM

Did you notice that Gollum had a column about the winners and losers of the election. Funny, he didn't mention how the pro-ballpark politicians did.

Posted by: freealonzo at November 10, 2006 7:19 AM

Nice recap Shane, I couldn't agree more. I think in regards to the next session, everthing is going to hold steady and there will be no new Vikes stadium (that was a plug for my favorite band).

Posted by: Jiminstpaul at November 10, 2006 9:04 PM

Actually, there were four Mpls legislators who voted for the ballpark: Margaret AK and Paul Thissen in the house, and Wes Skoglund and me in the senate. Wes retired, and the other three of us came through handily: Margaret was 80%, Paul 75% and I had 79%.

Posted by: linda higgins at November 11, 2006 8:41 PM

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