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Chris Coleman stadium plan would close Target Center

AFTERNOON EDITION

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman gets points for scheming for his city. He unveiled a plan today that would build a Vikings stadium (in Minneapolis), enlarge the Xcel Energy Center (in St. Paul), build a new stadium for the Saints (in St. Paul) and board up Target Center. Rochelle Olson of the Strib writes: “Coleman swept into the Vikings stadium discussions Wednesday with a proposed mega-solution to the state's sports facilities wants and needs. Coleman suggested adding a 2-cent fee to alcoholic beverages sold in bars statewide. He would use the money to pay for a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis, $75 million in upgrades to the Xcel Energy Center, recreation fields throughout the state and a new park for the St. Paul Saints in Lowertown. In what is certain to be problematic, the mayor proposes sending downtown Minneapolis' Target Center into retirement. He would use the booze fee to buy Minneapolis out of the remaining $75 million debt on the facility, thus reducing the burden on that city's property taxpayers. ... In his most expansive comments yet on the site, Coleman said he doesn't oppose the Arden Hills option but questioned its value given the amount of transit and infrastructure already in place or being built elsewhere, such as the Hiawatha and Central Corridor light-rail lines. Coleman said the former munitions site in Arden Hills has too many unknowns about the cost of land cleanup.”


Dave Orrick’s PiPress story says, “Anchored by a statewide 2-cents-per-drink liquor tax, Coleman's plan would:
• Build a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis
• Move the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Lynx to St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center from Minneapolis' Target Center
Leave the Target Center essentially empty to be left as a ‘redevelopment opportunity,’ while retiring its debt, thus taking it off Minneapolis property tax rolls
• Invest $75 million in the Xcel Center so it could accommodate both the Minnesota Wild and the Timberwolves, including a $35 million hockey practice facility, a soft resurrection of a dead hockey-facility plan known as ‘The Pond.'
• Build a $47 million St. Paul Saints baseball stadium in Lowertown, using $27 million in public money
• Forgive state loans on the X, also a long-sought plan by the city that has never succeeded
• Contribute $5 million annually to an amateur sports fund
Funnel $3 million a year into St. Paul parks and libraries.
Additional sources of funding would include a 0.25 percent St. Paul sales tax and an extension of Minneapolis' downtown sales taxes to the rest of the city.
In other words, Coleman tries to kill a flock with one stone.”  A “redevelopment opportunity.” That’s a good one.

T-Paw gets a “good by comparison” pat on the back from the Rochester Post-Bulletin today. The paper editorializes: “[W]hen a scandal-free past is combined with a history of fiscal conservatism and an obvious, single-minded drive to reach the White House, the end result might just be a candidate who can at least stick around long enough to see most of his competition fall by the wayside. That's how we'd describe former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's situation right now. Whether you like him or not, it's tough to deny that he's a default finalist in the race to oppose President Obama in 2012.” If not exactly a ringing endorsement, that’s kind of a faint tinny tinkle.

“Misleading.” Really? We’re kinda shocked. But that’s Catharine Richert, MPR’s PoliGraph(er)’s assessment of T-Paw on his ethanol record. She writes: “ ‘Even in Minnesota, when we faced fiscal challenges, we reduced ethanol subsidies,’ he said during his announcement Monday that he's running for president. ‘That's where we are now in Washington, but on a much, much larger scale.’ Pawlenty cut state ethanol subsidies — but he left out that he also promised to pay them back later. ... the program was always slated to end in 2010, so the ethanol subsidies would have halted regardless of Pawlenty's actions (though deficiency payments are still trickling out). Though Pawlenty wanted to cut ethanol subsidies, he also pushed to expand the state's requirement that every gallon of gasoline be blended with 10 percent ethanol. In 2005, the state approved Pawlenty's plan to require gas be mixed with 20 percent ethanol by 2013, a government mandate that's bolstered the market for the corn-based fuel.”

Gov. Dayton was on MPR’s "Morning Edition" today sounding a bit flabbergasted with his loyal opposition. Elizabeth Dunbar writes: “He said they are stuck on the overall size of the budget. ‘$34 billion, then they prefer $32 billion, and then $31 billion. I mean, they don't even know what those numbers mean,’ Dayton said. ‘All they know is the number 31 is less than 32. And that makes it a good idea because they're just anti-government.’ Though Dayton agreed a temporary government shutdown would be a ‘terrible catastrophe,’ he said agreeing to the budget plan the Republican-controlled Legislature approved would be even worse. When asked if Dayton has tried reaching out to Republican members who might be willing to break ranks on a budget, Dayton said he hasn't started that process yet.” Look at it this way, Governor. Even if they’re challenged by economic calculus, they appear to have a grip on arithmetic.

Dayton also took advantage of an opportunity to symbolically veto the GOP’s signature achievement thus far, the anti-gay marriage referendum bill. Lori Sturdevant of the Strib writes: “[W]hen the amendment’s paperwork arrived on his desk as a formality, the DFL governor saw an opportunity to speak out, and seized it. ‘I urge Minnesotans to reject this mean-spirited, divisive, un-Minnesotan and un-American amendment,’ he read from the message he attached to a veto that he acknowledged was merely symbolic. But there’s nothing ‘mere’ about symbolism in the shared life of a state. Openly gay state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, praised Dayton for summoning reporters for a formal statement on the side of marriage equality. With the gay marriage amendment veto letter, Dayton showed a willingness to deploy his bully pulpit not necessarily for his own political advantage, but for the sake of what he believes is right for Minnesota.”

Andy Birkey of The Minnesota Independent is pretty much the go-to guy for news on the gay marriage referendum. Today he reports: “The Minnesota Family Council, the lead proponent of a ballot initiative that would add a ban on same-sex marriage to the Minnesota Constitution, removed information from its website on Tuesday that said gays and lesbians engage in pedophilia and bestiality. The Family Council’s president Tom Prichard recently said that he hoped for a ‘respectful debate.’ Opponents of the anti-gay marriage amendment seized on Prichard’s statements and the information on the website on Tuesday [and] called on the Family Council to remove it. As the blog Good As You noted on Wednesday, the information on the Family Council’s website has disappeared. Among the statements in the documents, dubbed a ‘legislative manual’ by the Family Council, were assertions that gays and lesbians eat human excrement, that gays and lesbians are more likely to be pedophiles and engage in bestiality, and that domestic partner benefits are a recruiting tool. The Minnesota Family Council did not return a request for comment on Monday.” Stay classy, Family Council. Birkey has a PDF up on his site.

Understanding exactly what Wisconsin is doing with that tuition reciprocity agreement with Minnesota could be a little confusing if all you read is the headlines. The hed on Shawn Johnson’s Wisconsin Public Radio story reads, “Legislation aims to extend reciprocity agreement.” Andrew Beckett’s on the Wisconsin Radio Network reads: “Committee votes to end tuition reciprocity,” while the River Falls Journal goes with “Harsdorf co-sponsors motion for current student reciprocity.” In fact, the deal will be phased out over the next four years. Says Beckett’s story: “Funding for a tuition reciprocity agreement between Wisconsin and Minnesota will be phased out, under a plan approved Tuesday by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. The program allows Wisconsin college students attending schools in Minnesota to pay in-state tuition rates. State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) was behind a motion that will phase out reciprocity starting in the fall of 2012, but keeps the supplement for students starting this fall. The state currently covers the difference for students, but that option will disappear after 2016.”

The Bemidji Pioneer notes 34-year-old Duluth City Council Mmeber Jeff Anderson announcing his run against Chip Cravaack up in the 8th District. The story goes on to say, “Others said to be considering a run for the DFL nomination include:
• Duluth resident Daniel Fanning, deputy state director for U.S. Sen. Al Franken
• State Rep. Kerry Gauthier, a former Duluth city councilor
• John Ward, former Proctor mayor and high school teacher and now a state representative from Brainerd
• Former Congressman Rick Nolan, of Brainerd, who retired in 1980 from Minnesota’s former 6th District after three terms.
• Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. She told the MinnPost website last month that she has been asked by several DFLers to consider running for the seat.
• Former State Rep. Tim Faust, of Mora
Other DFLers often named as potential candidates but who say they are absolutely not running for Congress include:
• State Sen. Roger Reinert of Duluth
• State Sen. Tom Bakk, of Cook, the DFL Senate minority leader
• Tony Sertich, former Hibbing lawmaker and now commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board
• Duluth Mayor Don Ness
• DFL state Sen. Tony Lourey, of Kerrick.”

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Comments (1)

How do you suppose Tarryl Clark feels after this article? Every possible DFL officer holder, all the way down to the dog catcher in Twig is listed as a candidate. And don't hide behind the word "considering".

Remember people in the 8th. 651 and 612 tried to dictate to 320 763 & 952 that Tarry Clark needed to rep them in congress. It didn't work. So now Gary Keillor and all of 554xx is coming to 218 to tell you how to think and vote.