Vikings see problematic report as ‘road map’ to stadium

MORNING EDITION

Contrary to what others thought, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf sees that problematic feasibility study as a “road map” to building the stadium in Arden Hills. Tim Nelson of MPR reports: “[T]the Vikings, fresh from escaping a Ramsey County requirement for a stadium referendum last night, said there’s no looking back now. ‘There is no Minneapolis proposal,’ said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley. The report means a stadium deal is now a numbers game, not a debate over whether it’s possible, Bagley said. And both Wilf and Bagley said that the team is coming to terms with writing a bigger check for their new home. Bagley noted the team originally offered $407 million. ‘It’s still in negotiations. It’s north of $407 [million],’ Bagley said. ‘What we need is for state leaders to sit down and sort that out.’ ”                                            
At the Strib, Mike Kaszuba and Kevin Duchschere take a longer look at what’s cooking in Minneapolis: “Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat, who has laid low during the Arden Hills debate, on Wednesday said that his county’s involvement in helping fund a Minneapolis stadium may come down to timing. ‘I think when the time is right, we’ll know it, and I just don’t know when that will be just yet,’ he said. Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said that in a Tuesday meeting with Ted Mondale, Dayton’s chief stadium negotiator, Mondale outlined how stadium proposals in Minneapolis might come together. ‘There’s clearly work being done there,’ said Bakk. … Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson said the report should make people think about what it would mean to have the Vikings leave downtown Minneapolis. ‘It just doesn’t make sense for us to subsidize a big development in some suburban place,’ she said.”

The two Somali women on trial for aiding terrorists did not have a good day in court Wednesday. The AP says: “Two Minnesota women accused of funneling money to a terror group in Somalia talked about collecting money for al-Shabab, supporting fighters instead of other charities and the possibility that FBI was listening in on their conversations, according to hours of recorded phone calls played for jurors. Prosecutors have built the bulk of their case by playing more than 80 phone calls recorded during a 10-month wiretap on the home and cellphones of Amina Farah Ali, 35. In those calls, prosecutors allege, Ali is heard talking to her co-defendant, 64-year-old Hawo Mohamed Hassan, as well as leaders of al-Shabab in Somalia. The calls include recordings of teleconferences in which the women gave religious lectures and collected donations.”

Following a ruling from the Vatican, merger plans for several area Catholic churches will move forward. Rose French, for the Strib, writes: “St. Austin’s Church in Minneapolis merger with St. Bridget will move forward, according to the church pastor the Rev. George Kallumkalkudy, who informed the congregation about the Vatican’s decision on Sunday. Twin Cities archdiocese officials say the congregation of St. John’s Church in St. Paul, which is set to merge with St. Pascal Baylon, was also recently notified their appeal was rejected by the Vatican. At least two other parishes also appealed their mergers with other parishes to the Vatican, but archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath could not immediately say Wednesday whether they had received word yet on the outcome of their appeals.”

If this holds true during an actual election, it’ll be even tougher convincing critics of Voter ID that they were wrong about the regulation’s real purpose. Clay Barbour in the Wisconsin Journal says: “For three hours Tuesday, the city of Madison conducted a small mock election inside the City-County Building. It was designed to help officials work out the kinks in a process that by February will require voters have photo IDs or fill out detailed provisional ballots. The new rules, signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in May, were meant to address concerns about possible voter fraud. But as the mock election Tuesday proved, sometimes ‘secure’ equals ‘slower.’ ‘This will take people longer to do, there is no getting around that,’ said Dane County Clerk Karen Peters, who attended Tuesday’s vote as an observer. ‘Voters will just have to be patient, because there is a lot that goes into this.’ With passage of the law, Wisconsin joined Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and South Carolina as states with voter ID requirements. Four other states request photo IDs but allow voters to cast regular ballots without one. The Wisconsin measure, which could cost the state as much as $7.5 million, has long divided Republicans and Democrats.”

John Hinderaker at Power Line clues in his readers on an author appearance on the 19th: “We have written several times about Tim Groseclose’s new book, “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.” That the press is biased toward the left is obvious, but Professor Groseclose is the first academic to use social science techniques to measure the extent of the bias and its influence on our culture. Our first post on Left Turn explained what the book is about and why it is so important. We have done several more posts on the book … Professor Groseclose will be in Minneapolis one week from today, on October 19, for a program that is co-sponsored by the Center of the American Experiment, Power Line and Wyncrest Capital. … We will be there, as will our friend Kathy Kersten, who plays a significant role in Left Turn as a sort of laboratory experiment.” And the book? In the good professor’s own words:

[T]he political views that we currently see in Americans are not their natural views. We only see an artificial, distorted version of those views. In the book I calculate the precise degree to which those views have been distorted. Specifically, I answer the question: What if we could magically remove the metaphoric glass and see, face-to-face, the average American, once his political views are no longer distorted by media bias? What would we see? The answer, basically, is Ben Stein. Yes, the actor, author, commentator, and former host of Win Ben Stein’s Money. More specific, the person whom we’d see is anyone — like Ben Stein — who has a Political Quotient near 25. The Political Quotient is a device that I construct to measure political views in a precise, objective, and quantitative way. A person’s PQ indicates the degree to which he is liberal. For instance, as I have calculated, the PQs of Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) are approximately 100. Meanwhile the PQs of noted conservatives Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) are approximately 0.” This whole thing sounds irresistible.

In Duluth, Minnesota Power has thought better of those “No Trespassing” signs for OccupyDuluth demonstrators. Peter Passi of the News Tribune reports: “Occupy Duluth demonstrators will be allowed full access to Lake Superior Plaza at the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street, according to Amy Rutledge, a spokeswoman for Minnesota Power. [Tuesday], the power provider posted ‘No Trespassing’ signs on the plaza and arranged concrete planters in a line demarking the bounds of its property. But those signs were removed some time around 4:30 a.m. [Wednesday], though not by the company, according to security staff at Minnesota Power’s adjacent headquarters. Rutledge said it’s unclear who exactly took down the signs.” So … someone trespassed to remove the “No Trespassing” signs?

The state will soon have a new  No. 1 law firm — in size that is. David Phelps of the Strib says: “Faegre & Benson emerged as Minnesota’s largest law firm after agreeing Wednesday to combine practices with the Baker & Daniels firm of Indianapolis. The new firm, with 770 attorneys and revenue in excess of $400 million, will be called Faegre Baker Daniels, featuring a powerhouse of major clients and locations from Denver to Shanghai. … The partners said no layoffs are expected from the merger, and the new firm will not have an office acting as headquarters. The deal will be effective Jan. 1, 2012. Faegre Baker Daniels would rank as the 68th-largest firm in the U.S., surpassing Dorsey & Whitney as the state’s largest.”

This has been up for a few days, but Karl Bremer at the Ripple in Stillwater blog  lays into Minnesota’s leading Democrats for complicity in the Stillwater/St. Croix bridge deal: “So what’s gotten into Klobuchar and Franken, and DFL Governor Mark Dayton? One source, a transportation consultant and former longtime congressional staffer, told me recently that the word in Washington is that Klobuchar introduced her bill to inoculate herself again a Bachmann claim to victory on the bridge should Bachmann challenge Klobuchar in 2012, which long has been rumored. The same source said Franken truly wasn’t wild about supporting the bridge, but was only doing it to provide cover for Klobuchar. Dayton’s erratic behavior and flip-flops on the issue, according to several sources, is inexplicable but not surprising.”

Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/13/2011 - 07:52 am.

    //”Professor Groseclose is the first academic to use social science techniques to measure the extent of the bias and its influence on our culture.”

    Anyone who says this is hopelessly ignorant. Academics have been studying this for decades. One problem with anti-intellectuals is they have no idea what intellectuals are actually doing.

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 10/13/2011 - 08:32 am.

    A Rightwing crackpot writing a book about the “Lamestream Media”? Wow, wonder what his conclusions will be?

    What a dilemma for the “new” Faegre law firm….umm, “We’re bigger and better, but yes, Hinderaker does still work here.”

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/13/2011 - 09:26 am.

    So “Professor” Groseclose writes a book, based on his own “studies,” his own misinterpretations of other people’s data, and his own statistical analysis of all of the above (a la weasel news’ admission that they just make stuff up)…

    and finds EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS TO FIND

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/13/2011 - 09:29 am.

    (continuing)

    all of which contradicts multiple previous studies done using actual facts and logical analysis…

    SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

    Count me among those who conclude that this particular vanity publication by this particular “professor” isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/13/2011 - 10:00 am.

    It’s unfortunate for fans that the Vikings on-field offense can’t match management’s off-field skills in persuading Minnesotans to fork over more than half a billion dollars.

    The fix, as they say, appears to be in. Ramsey County residents won’t get a vote, despite current law, and will pay approximately $380 million (plus financing costs and overruns)for the privilege of hosting fewer than a dozen Vikings games a year. (That number reflects both the $350 million the county’s already comitted to and 10% of the state’s $300 million commitment, given that Ramsey County has roughly 10% of Minnesota’s population.)

    Meanwhile, the Wilf brothers apparently get development rights on the surrounding property. It’s a win-win for them, at least. Those of us in Ramsey County, however, can look forward to a harder and more expensive time financing more important public projects in the future.

    What exactly is it I’m supposed to be getting for this? Oh, yeah: people who will use the quarter-billion dollar Union Depot, 12 miles away.

    Go, Vikings!

    Let this be the last publicly financed professional sports stadium in Minnesota.

  6. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 10/13/2011 - 01:33 pm.

    @#5
    It doesn’t have to be publicly financed. Take back your vote. We all need to take back our votes. We get told “you can’t vote on that,” and we all throw up our hands and say “Oh! We can’t vote on that” instead of saying “Oh yeah?!”

    When we are operating in a deficit and we’re making cuts to fairly essential programs, there is no excuse for spending money to buy something we already have. Especially at a cost of half a billion dollars, which could have been used to fund our schools so that a percentage of their operating costs wouldn’t actually be financing costs.

    I’m not sure if this is possible, but quite frankly, Ramsey County Schools should sue the county for access to any funds raised from an additional tax, and the other school systems should sue the state for any money promised from the state. The state owes the schools over $1.4 billion that they are having to borrow from financial institutions with additional interest. The taxpayers’ portion of the Vikings’ proposed stadium almost pays off a quarter of that.

  7. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/13/2011 - 02:36 pm.

    So Michele Bachmann finally says something I’m all ready to join Bri and the boys in mocking, and nuthin’.

    Dragging out Ronald Reagan’s tax policy? Really, Michele?

    I love that woman for they joy she brings to millions of conservative hearts, but I think it’s time to call it a campaign and come back home to the 6th.

  8. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/13/2011 - 02:37 pm.

    “So “Professor” Groseclose writes a book, based on his own “studies,” his own misinterpretations of other people’s data, and his own statistical analysis of all of the above (a la weasel news’ admission that they just make stuff up)…and finds EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS TO FIND”

    Anglin’ for a fat Global Warming grant, eh?

  9. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/13/2011 - 09:46 pm.

    IF this stadium gets built, it will be the second time government has found a way around the expressed will of the people in order to please millionaires who could well afford to build their own entertainment palaces. And this time, it wouldn’t be just the stadium — it would be a whole darn “village” and a whole lot of infrastructure, now and in the future.

    Maybe it’s time to “Occupy Ramsey County” by removing every member of the County Board who supports this project from office.

    Who, after all, brings more money and jobs into our economy — an admittedly highly skilled bunch of athletes who will play a few games each year or (to name a few) the Coen Brothers; the Guthrie, Penumbra and Park Square; the SPCO and the Minnesota Orchestra; Cantus and our myriad choral, instrumental and dance groups, writers and visual artists?

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