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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Where do they stand on the stadium

--posted by Tony Garcia on 2/22/2006

Call your legislators and find out where they are. I will update this post if you send to me the results of your conversations/e-mails (anonymous submissions will not be included). (Look them up if you need: House and Senate.)

Of the legislators I will be talking to I will ask:
1) Can you support any public financing of a Twins, Vikings or Gophers stadium?
2) Can you support any bill that includes an exception to a referrendum?
3) If you are not decided yet what needs to happen to gain your support?

I will also post who has been contacted but not returned the calls.

At this point I have left messages for:
Sen Michael Jungbauer (R) 48
Rep Tom Hackbarth (R) 48A
Rep Mark Olson (R) 16B
Sen Michele Bachmann (R) 52
Rep Ray Vandeveer (R) 52A
Rep Matt Dean (R) 52B
Rep Jim Knoblach (R) 15A
Sen Tarryl Clark (DFL) 15
Rep Bud Heidgerken (R) 13A

Answered so far:
Rep Sondra Erickson (R) 16A--Twins--against tax dollars, can support a bill for a locality tax ONLY IF the locality gets to vote for it. Gophers--prefer they stay in the Metrodome and have it renovated for them, but she is not sure. Vikings--against the recent/current bills. Bottom line is "No" to public financing, "No" to state money and localities must be allowed to hold a referrendum.

Sen Betsy Wergin (R) 16--Gophers--supports a stadium but understands the valid concerns on both sides. Twins & Vikings--opposes any public funding except the localities and only if those residents get to vote on the taxes.

Rep Larry Haws (DFL) 15B--Gophers--funding seems to be so far 60% private, 40% public and potential other revenues. Stadium proposal is not integrated with other University requests but should be. Must be a long term commitment from the state. Twins--come in w/ very good packages to be paid for by local taxes. Perpich built some soccer fields, etc and Blaine wants development. They want to avoid citizen vote. They want to "change the rules". Would be unfair for non-residents to have a vote on their tax increase. "Reverse referrendum" may be an option. Bottom line (mostly) is that for Twins and Vikings, not opposed to localities paying for it but the locals should be allowed to vote. He does articulate that an exception can be supported if (1) there is a very good reason for not letting the local residents vote as it would be unfair to other localities that were required to vote and (2) all of the localities' legislators stand up unanimously and vocally saying they take responsibility for representing the locality on accepting the tax increases and accept the consequences.

Rep Jim Abeler (R) 48B. Legislative Asst said that a response may not be forthcoming for a few reasons. First the time constraints upon him and second he is not decided. It seems that Rep Abeler was going to offer a letter to his constituency announcing his position on the Twins proposal but then the package changed. This indicates to me that he is willing to (1) allow public financing for a stadium and (2) willing to consider an exception to the referendum requirement. Personally I have a feeling that the other reason I may not get a response is that he is leaning towards pro-stadium and looking to see what cover the Governor or others in the caucus can give. That pure speculation and I do not know him...I am just assessing this from my brief conversation with is L.A.

More to come.


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