Saturday, May 20, 2006 

Stadium Disappointments

After the Senate moved some less-bad stadium bills through, I expressed my hope here that we might not get screwed quite as badly as we could have been. Sadly, it appears that I was mistaken: the Senate half of the conference committee appears to have, in the words of MinnPolitics, rolled over. Barring heroic measures in either body of the Legislature, two very nasty stadium proposals are going to reach the end of the obstacle course and become reality.

This isn't the time or the place to rehash the pitfalls of these particular stadium plans, but anyone who has been keeping score will understand how much the U of M (the institution, not the people) and the Twins benefit here and how much everyone else suffers. The absolute worst parts of both proposals are still around: miniscule contributions and no possibility of referendum for the Twins, while they've got student fees and the cheapening "TCF Bank" name for the Gophers.

I'm deeply disappointed with the conference committee Democrats who have rolled over and allowed these travesties, and I'm disappointed with the many Democrats who will vote yes on these bills. Really, I'm disappointed with just about everyone who will vote yes, because I believe that voting for these bills isn't really in line with anybody's principles. Not allowing people to vote on entirely optional projects is just wrong; in that, at the very least, there shouldn't be any debate. That we have better things to do right now with the state's money also shouldn't be much of a question. I honestly do not understand what these legislators are thinking; it's clear that people oppose the stadium deals, and no large group of anyone's constituents really benefits from their passage. What do you think?

As a side note, notice once again the GET THE JOB DONE line from a Republican in the Twins article. They sound so desperate, don't they?
Rep. Brad Finstad, R-Comfrey, the chief House author of the Twins plan, praised the vote. "It's the proposal that gets the job done," he said. "It's a very historic step in the process."
But hey, look on the bright side: the worst-of-the-worst Vikings proposal won't make it this year.

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3-0

Uh, as much as I like Al Gore, and even though he probably rightfully ought to be, if his record was 3-0 in general elections, we'd be calling him President Gore.

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Friday, May 19, 2006 

New Minnesota?

Damn you, General.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 

Bread and Butter

As the U.S. economy stumbles, quality health care and education become unaffordable, and good jobs become more difficult to find, Republicans continue to hem and haw about the frivolous. You know, the stuff that maybe needs to be changed at some point, but it doesn't really matter whether it's today or next year. Probably more than anything else, this is why Democrats across the country are going to be so successful this November.

The new frivolousness this week is Rep. Marty Seifert's introduction of a bill - in the last few days of session, no less - barring schools from using a Spanish version of the Pledge of Allegiance. Because that's what I woke up today worrying about, and that's what I want the Legislature to deal with before this year's session ends.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 

Pawlenty Saved by the Courts

Gov. Tim Pawlenty got a huge break today when the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the "Health Impact" cigarette feetax. The ruling means that the Legislature won't have to tinker with the state's budget, and that Gov. Pawlenty won't have to face the implications of repassing the "fee" as a "tax". This victory improves Pawlenty's chances of re-election, because he won't have to continue to publicly face the hypocrisy of having passed a misnamed tax after taking the infamous no-new-tax pledge.

The tobacco companies say they're considering appealing, but it seems unlikely that one might be successful.

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