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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Stadium bill to Senate floor

The Senate may be voting on a stadium bill by Thursday. It would provide for a half-cent sales tax in the metro to pay for three stadiums, and there would be a referendum. Not something that the Twins want.

Nor Governor Pawlenty or Steve Sviggum apparently. "The primary problem is that the Senate bill does not build a stadium," according to Pawlenty's spokesperson. Really? That's the "primary problem"? I would think that for a so-called conservative governor, the "primary problem" would be the fact that the government is giving away hundreds of millions of dollars in welfare to a rich guy...although sadly, the modern definition of "conservatism" seems to have no problem with that. Steve Sviggum says pretty much the same thing about the Senate bill: "It doesn't get the job done. It doesn't move ahead."

I certainly hope that Pawlenty and Sviggum campaign on "getting the job done" by building sports stadiums. Roads? Health care? Education? Property tax reform? Nah, the "primary problem" facing the state is the dearth of new, expensive stadiums. Brilliant!


At 10:16 PM, May 02, 2006, Blogger stopleftwingnuts@gmail.com said...

Curious people are now talking about a referendum after everyone got pissed about the house!

If this gets passed for vote by the people there will be no stadium we don't care enough about the sports teams to keep them!

we will have a football and baseball team for sale

At 11:44 PM, May 02, 2006, Anonymous Chris said...

From that October interview on Midmorning (the one where he said he'd be lucky to be reelected), there was an exchange on stadiums. Here are some excerpts.

MILLER: Let me ask you about another issue that you said you had a philosophical, gut reaction to not doing. In 1997, you told the Pioneer-Press this about stadiums: "There's a kind of philosophical gut reaction that we should not be giving public funds to millionaire players and owners." You didn't say at that time, you know, "Well, the time isn't right," or "I don't like the plan," or "They just haven't come up with the right formula." You, again, used that phrase that you used when you talked about gambling.


MILLER: "A philosophical gut reaction" to opposition in this. And now, as governor, you're working, it sounds like, pretty darn hard to come up with some kind of plan that will help what you call these "millionaire players and owners" get a new stadium, and taxpayers will have to be, in some way, involved in that. What happened?

PAWLENTY: Nothing happened. Philosophically and gut, I don't like, nor do most people like the idea of subsidizing billionaires to pay millionaires to play a sport and oftentimes act like jerks. I mean, I don't like that, philosophically. In the ideal world, we wouldn't do that. But we live in the real world, and the real world is, our Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings aren't going to stay in the Metrodome much longer...

PAWLENTY: As to the Hennepin County proposal that I said is "reasonable," I prefer that the voters have a referendum on that. That's been my preference. I've said that. But you can't be the governor of Minnesota and have the Twins lease expire at the Metrodome, which it now probably is, have them and baseball signalling that they're not gonna stay in the Metrodome much longer, and just say, "I don't care. Let them go." That's not leadership, responsible leadership. So I have to take some role in this, Kerri, and I'm trying to solve the problem.
In an ideal world, as a gut matter, I don't like giving government help to that situation, but, you know, that's not the real world.

At 11:49 PM, May 02, 2006, Anonymous Chris said...

I decided to break this down into separate comments. Notice how Pawlenty used the phrase "the real world" a few times? This person called into the show directly after he made them, and Pawlenty said this:

CALLER: Hi, yes, I was – just have a quick question for Governor Pawlenty. My family, we’re citizens of Minnesota. Right now, we’re travelling en route to Chicago. And I’m just wondering…we’re barely making it. My husband was a school teacher in Minneapolis and was fired from his job this past summer, and then re-hired at a half-time position which doesn’t pay the bills. We covet our bus pass because it’s so precious to us, but we can barely afford it. Gas prices are going through the roof, as everybody knows. We’re horribly worried about this summer – or this winter, excuse me. MinnesotaCare has been drastically cut to families who need it.

MILLER: And so, your question to the governor, Kate?

CALLER: Yeah. When are we gonna get a break?

MILLER: All right. Governor?

PAWLENTY: Well, the Minneapolis School District lost 10,000 kids over the last five years. They had over 900 empty classrooms. So, you can’t keep all your teachers when you lose 10,000 kids. And so, I’m sensitive to the caller’s concern, but, you know, your husband’s job at the Minneapolis School District isn’t guaranteed for life. As enrollment goes down and demand goes down, they have to redeploy staff and lay off some people. And that’s unpleasant and it’s harsh, but, you know, THAT IS THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS [emphasis mine]. When you have dropping demand for your services, you don’t get guaranteed a job for life...
But the answer can’t be, in a state that’s the fourth-highest taxed state in the nation, that has doubled it’s state budget in 10 years, that is, you know, increasing it’s spending in the budget cycle eight percent, that we can just government our way to prosperity. I mean, if the answer is, “We’re gonna take everybody’s needs and government our way to prosperity,” that ain’t gonna work. And so, you have to strike a balance between government and costs and burdens and regulations that it imposes, and the private sector that generates jobs and growth and activities that lay the eggs that support the economy, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
But there’s a perspective in Minnesota, mostly articulated by the Star-Tribune editorial board, that with more government programs, more spending, more taxes, we can government our way to prosperity, you know? And history has shown that’s not true. There are some other people who say, “The private sector can do everything, and you don’t need government at all,” and that’s not true either. The truth is, you need both, and you’ve got to strike the right balance between those two things, and that’s what we’re trying to do. But the answer can’t be, “Every time there’s a little pressure in somebody’s life, we’re gonna run in and be – have a government program for you.”


Unless, of course, you're a sports team owner. Pawlenty's "real world" is a cold, cold place.


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