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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More about the House Twins vote

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/02/2006

First, I had a post some time ago about where various state legislators stood on the Twins stadium. Notable responses that I did not add to that post were:
Sen Taryl Clark (DFL) 15--Did not want to declare her position publicly at that time (end of February 2006) and was not willing to go on record on her position.

Sen Michele Bachmann (R) --Did not return phone calls.

One that I want to repost is this one:
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.

Why do I repost that one? Because of a post by King Banaian about a St Cloud Times article:
During the Twins stadium debate Wednesday in the House of Representatives, the time came to vote on whether to follow state law and allow Hennepin County residents to have the final say on a sales tax increase to pay for it.

Each lawmaker pushes a button on his or her desk to cast a vote, and it shows up on two big boards as either green for "yes" or red for "no." The lights flashed green next to the names of Rep. Larry Haws, DFL-St. Cloud, and Rep. Dan Severson, R-Sauk Rapids, for at least a minute.

By the time the vote was finished, their lights had changed to red, and the amendment had failed by two votes.

Why did their — and other lawmakers' — votes change? Because both sides decided beforehand that there could be no referendum, or else the stadium deal would collapse. And nobody wants to be responsible for losing the Twins in an election year.
Now, why does it matter here? Because Haws was willing to vote exactly contrary to his statement "not opposed to localities paying for it but the locals should be allowed to vote".

I'll let you fill in the blanks on why he should be thrown out despite his vote.


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