As yet another panel fell out of the Metrodome’s deflated roof, a Republican senator is promising to put a Vikings stadium bill up next month. Mike Kaszuba posts on The Strib’s “Hot Dish Politics” blog: “Sen. Julie Rosen, a Republican from Fairmont, said she planned to introduce a bill in late January to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium with public subsidies. With Republicans assuming a majority in the House and Senate in January, Rosen said she had already talked to Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, the incoming Senate Taxes Committee chair. ‘She’s committed to hearing it,’ said Rosen, who said the proposal would likely face an ‘end-of-session vote’ after the Legislature addressed the state’s $6.2 billion budget deficit.” Which is assuming there is an “after” … after the budget gets put back in balance.
House Speaker-to-be John Boehner is taking Tea Party heat for leaving noted tax expert Michele Bachmann off the influential Ways and Means Committee. Politico reports: “The conflict is evidence of a broader rift between the Republican establishment and tea-party supporters, who helped vault the GOP to power this year. ‘She’s a former tax lawyer,’ Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots told Politico. ‘I think she has the background necessary to be on Ways and Means. I think it shows leadership doesn’t particularly support her.’ ” Martin added, with no evident irony: “Incoming House Republican leadership doesn’t understand how serious Americans are about getting the economy under control. They are not picking the most fiscally responsible people.’ “
Sally Jo Sorenson at the Bluestem Prairie blog points us to a piece by Carolyn Lange in the West Central Tribune reporting that Tom Emmer owes the taxpayers of Kandiyohi some counting money: “Sam Modderman doesn’t know exactly how many hours he and his staff spent preparing a cache of documents requested by Tom Emmer during the governor’s recount. But he knows the county hasn’t been paid for the work. ‘We completed all the requests, but no, we haven’t gotten paid for them all,’ the Kandiyohi County auditor said. It’s a common story that’s been reported in other counties who rushed to prepare documents requested by the Emmer campaign but then didn’t get paid for the work.” Tony Sutton has an account for matters like this, right?
Lots of issues to be worked out before the Vikings use TCF Bank Field Monday night. The Fox9 story says: “There are more Vikings season ticket holders than can fit into TCF Bank Stadium, and ticket broker Ticket King speculates the team may need to base seating on seniority. As of Wednesday afternoon, season ticket holders and fans with tickets to Monday’s game had not been contacted by the Vikings or the U of M. Parking could also get messy. There are roughly 10,000 student section seats at the stadium for Gophers games, meaning roughly 10,000 more people will need parking than usual. As for public transit, the U of M doesn’t have the convenience of a light rail stop outside the stadium gates like the Metrodome does.”
Stay classy, pal. KSTP’s Chris Keating has the story of a Salvation Army bellringer caught stealing … from his own kettle. “A kettle bell ringer with The Salvation Army was caught red handed while dipping into the till outside a Cub Foods in Eagan. Police say Andrew Todd Anderson was spotted by an employee and by surveillance camera at Cub reaching into the kettle with a tweezer.” Keating says the annual drive brings in about $3 million in the Twin Cities, but this year so far … only $1.6 million.
MPR’s Steven John talks with local veteran rocker Chris Osgood about the 40th anniversary of First Avenue. This part was good:
John: How has First Avenue changed since those early days? Other than non-smoking music fans are breathing a bit easier.
Osgood: The most important and most noticeable difference is the smell. You’re right. At first, and this is with all due respect to First Ave, it was a little shocking to go in and smell it without the blanket of cigarette smoke because you could detect other nuances and aromas that … weren’t apparent before that. But here’s the cool thing about First Ave, and I was thinking about this when us and the Suburbs were down there a few weeks ago … The feeling of being there was just like going back in time and going home, in a weird sort of way. And the other thing that I was thinking about and laughing about with Sam Choo, your producer, is that when we were playing at First Ave originally, it was such an icon of anti-establishment-ism. It’s where you would go downtown to experience the significantly different or other. And the fact that that anti-establishment place has become an institution in its own right says something. I haven’t figured out what that is.”
ID this quote: “ ‘I look forward to being back outdoors the way I was always used to watching games and enjoying games.” If you said, “Bud Grant,” you probably overlooked the stumble-mouth factor. It’s Zygi Wilf, folks, down in Dallas at a league meeting. The KSTP story, by Chris Long, finds Wilf refusing to take the bait on new stadium rhetoric. ” ‘I’ve always advocated having a new stadium. But right now, we’re making sure we’re getting the venue ready for this coming week and we’ll talk about addressing those issues as they come up,’ Wilf said.”
New-order conservatives are still pretty worked up over … criticism of the GOP for purging such old-school Republicans as Al Quie, Dave Durenberger and Arne Carlson. Witness the “Let Freedom Ring” blog: “In droves, people have said they want politicians who say what they mean and mean what they say. Meanwhile, Sen. Durenberger, Gov. Quie and Gov. Carlson essentially said that they’re too big to be bothered by governing principles, living up to a party platform and actually doing things that identify themselves as Republicans. By endorsing a snake oil salesman [Tom Horner], they essentially said that that sort of loyalty was beneath them. They said that they’d prefer playing personality politics than being principled politicians. At a time when voters across the state and nation are telling politicians that they want politicians with a spine, the MNGOP not only has the right to stand up to politicians who think they can do whatever they want. They have an affirmative responsibility to protect the conservative brand.” So … if I understand the argument here … voters want politicians with spines, but only if their spines submit to the party apparatus?