Public gives Vikings stadium backers an earful


MPR’s Rupa Chenoy went to the open meeting in Arden Hills yesterday to listen to residents talk Vikings stadium with planners and politicians. “The discussion for and against a new stadium played out at an open house Thursday evening in Arden Hills, where Vikings and government officials met with about a hundred residents. Debate was spirited between nearly everyone in the small room over some aspect or other about the proposed stadium plan. … Lino Lakes resident John Humenanski speaks with Vikings stadium development coordinator Eric Durkee. He believes a new stadium benefits the team more than the community. However the state, county and Vikings plan to proceed with funding the stadium, the issue should be put up to referendum for taxpayers to decide, Humenanski said.”

T-Paw is taking heat for a pledge he didn’t sign. Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent writes, “Maggie Gallagher, chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage, believes three marriage champions have emerged in the 2012 GOP presidential field, and specifically called out former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty for not being among them. ‘The big question, really, is what’s going to happen with Governor Tim Pawlenty, who explicitly declined to sign NOM’s marriage pledge this week,’ Gallagher said during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, which is embedded below. ‘We’re hoping the governor changes his mind because we think it’s pretty peculiar for Governor Pawlenty, who has been a champion of marriage in Minnesota, to refuse to do the same for the people of America.’ ” What’s the last time your spouse called you a “marriage champion”?

At the liberal American Prospect, Paul Waldman looks at T-Paw’s latest about face, on climate change, and says, “I’m going to make a bold assertion here: Tim Pawlenty has never, not once in his life, actually read any of the science on climate change. At best, he’s glanced at a Heritage Foundation briefing on the topic. But he’s never read an article in a climate journal, or discussed it with a real-live climate scientist. Yet he talks as if he just completed a doctoral program in climatology. First you get his weird claim that most of the presidential candidates have ‘studied it.’ Then he uses the word ‘science,’ ‘scientific.’ or ‘scientist’ nine times and talks with absolute assurance about the nature of the evidence and the conclusions drawn by actual scientists. That he’s just plainly lying about these things is almost beside the point. What’s more interesting is the time he devotes to presenting himself as someone with scientific knowledge and understanding. Sure, if you ask him, he’ll tell you that cap-and-trade is a job-killing socialist anti-American policy, but he wants you to know that his views don’t just come from an assessment of economics or government budgets. He arrived here because of his deep scientific knowledge.” Admit it. The thought of Herman Cain “studying” climate change makes you laugh.

Jon Collins at the Minnesota Independent isn’t letting up on this business of the American Legislative Exchange Council and its “bill mill” churning out corporate-written legislation for willing legislators. In his latest, he says, ” ‘About 30’ Minnesota legislators are members of a controversial nonprofit that critics say allows corporate members to lobby lawmakers and write bills without disclosure, according to the group’s state chair. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) includes around 2,000 legislative members nationwide. It’s sometimes viewed as secretive because it does not disclose its membership, although leaked ALEC files have provided a partial picture of some Minnesota lawmakers that are involved (see chart below), and the Minnesota Independent is attempting to confirm lawmakers’ involvement with the group. ALEC’s Minnesota chair, state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, hasn’t yet responded to a Minnesota Independent request to release members’ names. The Big Lake Republican, who is currently attending the ALEC conference in New Orleans, told the Minnesota Independent Thursday that all 30 Minnesota members are Republicans.”

Kids at a camp at Fort Snelling will have a live hook-up with the space station next week. The Strib’s Tasnim Shamma writes, “From a scouting camp at Fort Snelling, they will pose questions to U.S. astronauts Mike Fossum and Ron Garan, whom they will see on a 20-foot screen in an amphitheater. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television. … The astronaut event is part of NASA Downlink and Science Activity Day at the camp. Participants can make hovercrafts, check out the camp’s mobile tech lab and experience the space shuttle simulator, the only one in the Midwest and one of only eight in the country.”

What is going on here? Matt McKinney of the Strib reports, “A woman survived falling from a third-story window of a downtown Minneapolis apartment early Thursday, perhaps because a tree broke her fall, according to police and a spokesperson for the apartment building’s owner. The woman fell shortly before 2 a.m. from the Adams Apartments, 500 S. 10th St., police said. Minneapolis police Sgt. Steve McCarty said she was intoxicated at the time. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. … It’s the second reported fall from an apartment building this week for the Twin Cities. An 11-month-old child died Tuesday after she fell from a ninth-story window in St. Paul. Investigators said she was one of a group of children playing on a bed that had been pushed up against the window when she fell.”

“Priority-based budgeting” is a new catch-phrase. Steve Brandt of the Strib reports on Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s preparation for introducing his maximum levy proposal next week. “The maximum levy represents the highest levy the council may adopt, not necessarily what it will adopt. This year, for instance, the council voted to increase the city’s property tax collections by 4.7 percent, though it was authorized to go as high as 7.5 percent. Rybak’s remarks Thursday to the City Council described a new priority-based budgeting approach he is employing. He depicted it as an attempt to meld city spending more closely to six overarching city goals adopted last year by the council. Those goals focus on safety; business and jobs; a healthy, livable city; an inclusive community; sustainability, and excelling in municipal government.”

At the PiPress Chris Harrell has a story about a busted identity theft ring. “A federal indictment Thursday charged 10 Twin Cities residents with one count of theft and receipt of stolen mail and one count of bank fraud conspiracy. They are accused of stealing mail and using the stolen identities to create bank accounts and take out cash, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The defendants include: Ricky W. Mariano, 40, of Oakdale; Sarrah M. Vail, 40, James Edward Freeman, 19, and Vincent Robert Vail, 18, of White Bear Lake; James N. Hahne, 35, and Clifton G. Evans Jr., 33, of St. Paul; Benjamin J. Dolan, 35, and Anne Marie Vail, 46, of Vadnais Heights; Jamie Marie Sylvester, 34, of North St. Paul; and Jacob Charles Dutton, 28, of Minneapolis. Nine of the 10 also face additional charges related to the case. … From July 2010 to July 2011, the defendants stole mail from mailboxes in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties, according to the charges. They are accused of then taking personal information — including names, birth dates, credit cards, checks and bank account numbers — to steal money from the victims’ bank accounts.”

Just a heads up for anyone thinking of going to the Wisconsin State Fair. Don Walker and Mike Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel write, “On Friday, police from three jurisdictions — West Allis, Milwaukee and Wisconsin State Fair — were spending Friday piecing together a series of incidents late Thursday night at the Wisconsin State Fair in which large groups of youths rampaged through the Midway and outside the grounds after closing. At least 24 were arrested, and seven officers were hurt, a State Fair official said. Tom Struebing, chief of the State Fair Police, said two of the seven officers were hospitalized. One was hit in the face with an improvised weapon; the other suffered a concussion. Struebing said the fights that broke out in the Midway area involved black youths fighting other black youths. He said those fights were not racially motivated. The incidents at the fair also caused confusion among police agencies.”

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 08/05/2011 - 03:22 pm.

    I’m hearing reports that Pawlenty caved and signed the NOM marriage pledge today. ???

  2. Submitted by Lauren Maker on 08/05/2011 - 04:45 pm.

    Of course, RT is only going to meet with 4 department heads in forming his new priority-based budget, and is delaying giving the real budget details until 3 days before the Board of Estimate and Taxation has to set the levy.
    I suppose that transparency isn’t a part of the priority for budgets in Minneapolis anymore. We saw that coming when RT stripped the audit powers out of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, right after voters overwhelmingly voted to keep them intact with the BET.
    And by making any budget cuts resulting in job loss as part of an amended budget, not the original budget, laid off employees only get 30 days in the job bank, not 60 days. Lots less work for HR. And makes it soooo much easier to get rid of those expensive, older employees.

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/06/2011 - 08:50 am.

    From, some Minnesota members are:

    Senators Mike Parry, John Sterling Howe, and Chris Gerlach; and representatives Paul Anderson, Mike Benson, Steve Drazkowski, Sondra Erickson, Mary Kiffmeyer (MN state chair of ALEC), Joyce Peppin, Linda Runbeck, Ron Shimanski, Matt Dean, Gen Olson (former state chair), Kurt Zellers, Goeff Michel.

    Other possible/likely members are Reps. Goeff Michel and King Banian.

    Former members include gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and former Rep. Laura Broad, now a U of M Regent.

    FROM ALEC’s WEBSITE on its State Policy Network:
    Its Minnesota Think Tanks are Center for the American Experiment (Mitch Pearlstein) and the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (Annette Meeks)

    Associate Members are Intellectual Takeout and the Free Market Institute.

    Other Organization that support ALEC goals are the Citizens Council for Health Freedom and Education Liberty Watch.

  4. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 08/07/2011 - 08:35 am.

    “Struebing said the fights that broke out in the Midway area involved black youths fighting other black youths. He said those fights were not racially motivated.”

    That’s not what the witnesses said – the blacks were targeting whites in their cars. You can see the accounts on line.

  5. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/07/2011 - 01:25 pm.

    Running a country based on pledges, initiated by those who were not elected to do anything, is not the way to run a country. All political pledges are just a way for someone to hold cowardly politicians feet to the fire because they are unable to listen to their constituents wishes and make a rational decision. Instead the politicians would rather someone from outside their district come in and make decisions for them and then impose those decisions on those living in his or her district.

  6. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 08/07/2011 - 06:06 pm.

    “Struebing said the fights that broke out in the Midway area involved black youths fighting other black youths. He said those fights were not racially motivated.”

    The attacks *were* racially motivated. Read the Journal-Sentinel’s account. Blacks were picking out whites to attack – something that Mr. Lambert leaves out.

  7. Submitted by Mark Nathanson on 08/08/2011 - 06:11 pm.

    The Twins got a new stadium…the Gophers got a new stadium…the Vikings “need” a new stadium…dammit, I want a stadium, too. Why can’t I have one?

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