Prominent Senate stadium-driver Sen. Julie Rosen writes in the Strib today: “While we would like to think the Vikings would never leave the state, it is a stark possibility. We only need to look at recent moves like the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis or Cleveland Browns to Baltimore for examples. We have to also consider that the team isn’t an ordinary business and that the loss means our tax base would also suffer from the loss of Minnesota jobs and investment. Besides more than $21 million in tax revenue and 2,800 full- and part-time jobs, Minnesota stands to lose additional businesses that operate in connection with NFL games; national attention, and the immeasurable ‘quality of life’ that goes with being a big-league city.” “Immeasurable” is an interesting word, isn’t it?
Ron Paul was up in St. Cloud over the weekend. Mark Sommerhauser of the St. Cloud Times took in the event: “Paul likely is now more influential than ever within the GOP. Members of the tea party movement have credited Paul with helping inspire its opposition to federal spending levels and its emphasis on adhering to Constitution principles. Last year’s Republican nominee for Minnesota governor, former state Rep. Tom Emmer, introduced Paul at the St. Cloud event. Other Minnesota Republicans in attendance included U.S. Senate candidate and former Sauk Rapids state Rep. Dan Severson and Becker state Sen. Dave Brown. … Mike Beehler of Kimball left the Civic Center clutching a Ron Paul yard sign and other campaign gear. Beehler said he appreciates Paul’s message linking personal liberty and personal responsibility. Neither one is possible without the other, Beehler said. Beehler added that he can’t imagine voting for two other leading Republican candidates: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
‘I don’t think they’re conservative in their hearts,’ Beehler said.”
Today in Bachmannia: Our Gal gives an interview to North Dakota talk jock Scott Hennen. In it she says: “People are looking for an adult in the room. I came from below poverty to becoming a federal tax lawyer and a job creator. We can’t be fooled again. We’ve put so many people in office that have disappointed us. People will have no surprises with me. I’m a proven actor. … I think the real problem is how inconsistent [Herman Cain has] been on issues. Now this is significant. There has been 10 instances in the last month where he’s changed his positions on significant issues. On the issue of pro-life he said the government shouldn’t intervene to protect life and then he switched and said ‘no they should.’ He wasn’t for the marriage amendment, then he said he was. Then he said that he would allow the terrorists to go out of Guantanamo Bay. In other words he would release the terrorists. Then he changed his mind and said ‘no.’ He just said this week that China was developing a nuclear weapon. They’ve had one for 47 years. He said that 999 would be equitable and fair then he changed it to 9-0-9 after people called out his errors.” As an “actor,” would you say her strength is drama or comedy?
How about a referendum on making the Kardashians just go the hell away? As of Sunday, 1,748 stories were tagged via Google on what’s-her-name flying to Minneapolis to meet with the basketball player she married a half hour ago and now wants to divorce. The TMZ story says: “Kim Kardashian left for Minnesota last night to see Kris Humphries … and sources connected with Kim tell TMZ she is conflicted over the divorce. We got pictures of Kim as she made her way through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at around 5:30 AM local time. We’re told Kim flew commercial and was traveling with the guy … who appeared to be a bodyguard. According to our sources, Kim booked the flight very last minute because she felt like she owed it to Kris to talk things through with him face-to-face. We’re told no reality show cameras were involved. Our sources tell us … Kim has been saying even before she filed for divorce that she wasn’t sure about ending the marriage. As we first reported, she was crying on and off last weekend before she decided to pull the trigger.” I’m this close to the trigger myself.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is getting more and more camera time as an Obama re-election spokesman. Eric Roper of the Strib writes: “To explain the state of the economy, likely the No. 1 issue of the race, Rybak harkens back to the policies of the Bush administration. ‘I use the whole line that Ronald Reagan used: ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ Rybak said before citing the Bush administration’s entrance into the ‘deadly, incredibly expensive’ Iraq war and removal of regulations that he argues contributed to the economic collapse. Obama, Rybak says, delivered health care reform, implemented a ‘massive’ recovery program, ‘saved’ the auto industry, invested in small businesses and improved the prestige of the United States abroad.”
They’ll go along, but not happily. Best Buy will be open at midnight on Black Friday. Tom Webb of the PiPress reports: “Best Buy will usher in Black Friday by opening at midnight Thanksgiving, its CEO said Friday, but he’s not happy about the race to unlock retail store doors ever earlier. ‘I feel terrible because it impacts,’ chief executive officer Brian Dunn said. ‘It’ll change some Thanksgiving plans for some of our employees.’ The consumer electronics giant originally had other Black Friday plans. ‘We were going to be open at much more civilized hour, like 3 or 4 (a.m.),’ Dunn told a Business for Social Responsibility conference. But after Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s and other major retailers announced they’d open at midnight, ‘We made a decision at Best Buy that we need to be where our customers are,’ Dunn said.” Actually, pal, most of your customers will be home in bed.
The weekend’s big stadium news was Jim Ragsdale’s report accompanying a Strib poll of funding preferences. Nearly as many Minnesotans are in favor of using new gambling money as oppose any form of taxation. Writes Ragsdale: “The poll showed widespread public support for everything from a state lottery scratch-off game to slots at horse-racing tracks and electronic pulltabs in bars and restaurants. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ choice for a stadium site — the old Army ammunition plant in Arden Hills — appears to be less popular. A location in Minneapolis was preferred by 45 percent of poll respondents; 37 percent preferred Arden Hills, with the rest undecided or not answering. Nearly 40 percent of those polled said any of the proposed sites in Minneapolis are acceptable, although the Metrodome site is the first choice among the three.”
Whether the Vikings lease requires them to stay in the Metrodome another year — because of the two games they didn’t play there last season — will take a while to iron out. But a delay, says PiPress sports columnist Tom Powers, let’s the Lgislature do what it does best: “According to the lease contract signed in 1979, if the facility becomes damaged and therefore unusable, ‘for each football season, or part of football season … the term of this agreement shall be extended by one football season.’ While it may seem counter-intuitive to consider this a disastrous turn of events, it really is just about the worst thing that could happen for stadium backers. For one week at least, a good number of politicians were scrambling to find a solution to the Vikings situation. Progress appeared to be evident as all sides seemed to be willing to at least consider gambling revenue as a funding mechanism. Given half a chance to stick their heads in the sand for another 12 months, however, I’m pretty sure most of them will embrace that opportunity. And whatever momentum has been gained quickly will evaporate.”
How much do we love Wisconsin? Late Friday, David Brandt, a small-time contributor to Gov. Scott Walker, beat the state’s Democrats to the punch by filing his own recall petition against Walker. Why? Jessica Vanegeren at The Capital Times in Madison explains: “More fuel was added to the already heated political landscape Friday by Brandt’s action. Because state law allows political incumbents facing a recall to receive unlimited campaign contributions from the time a committee to recall an elected official is filed until the time an election has been ordered by the GAB, state Democratic Party leaders immediately charged Brandt’s action was ‘a ploy’ to allow Walker and [Lt. Gov. Rebecca] Kleefisch to start fundraising. Nicole Larson, a spokeswoman with the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said Friday that ‘the rumors being circulated by the Democrats are completely false.’ “