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Friday, April 21, 2006

Stadium outrage

The House Taxes Committee passed the Twins stadium proposal last night. It is now on its way to a floor vote next week, possibly Wednesday or Thursday. Opponents say it will be hard to stop.

What was most disgusting about the vote was that an effort to make the deal follow the law and require a referendum in Hennepin County for the sales tax increase failed. It even failed in a bipartisan way, with Democrats and Republicans not living in Hennepin county seeing no problem with getting a stadium they don't have to pay for.

On the Minneapolis Issues Forum list, a poster posted a list of the roll call on the referendum vote:

Democrats for a referendum: Ann Lenczewski (Bloomington), Jim Davnie (Minneapolis), Joe Mullery (Minneapolis), Connie Bernardy (Fridley) (all but one Hennepin County residents)

Republicans for a referedum: Ron Erhardt (Edina), Kurt Zellers (Maple Grove), Phil Krinkie (Shoreview), Chris DeLaForest (Andover), Jim Knoblach (Saint Cloud), Ray Vandeveer (Forest Lake), Ron Abrams (Minnetonka), Paul Kohls (Victoria), Larry Howes (Walker)

Democrats against a referendum: Joe Atkins (Inver Grove Heights), David Dill (Crane Lake), Lyle Koenen (Clara City), Paul Marquart (Dilworth), Tom Rukavina (Virginia), John Lesch (Saint Paul), Mike Jaros (Duluth), Katie Sieben (Newport)

Republicans against a referendum: Dean Simpson (New York Mills), Laura Brod (New Prague), Greg Davids (Preston), Dan Dorman (Albert Lea), Morrie Lanning (Moorhead), Peter Nelson (Lindstrom), Andy Westerberg (Blaine)

Pretty easy to vote for a stadium when you aren't paying for it, isn't it?

I'm incredibly disappointed in the Democrats who voted against the referendum. There is no need for a stadium. There certainly isn't a need for a stadium without public input. I just don't get it.

If this does go forward, I'm with Rep. Lenczewski: the Minnesota Twins should be renamed the Hennepin County Twins, because we are paying for them.

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