Jobs have been created … for Two Guys and a Truck. The AP reports: “Minnesota’s debt-plagued Republican Party faces an eviction hearing next week for its party headquarters after failing to pay its rent payments since August. The party’s landlord filed the notice Wednesday in Ramsey County housing court and a hearing is set for next Tuesday. Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Pat Shortridge told party members in a memo Thursday that officials are trying to renegotiate its lease. … The GOP has 21 months remaining on a lease with Hub Properties Trust for space a block from the state Capitol.” I know for a fact there’s space in a strip mall in Zimmerman.
At Politics in Minnesota, Paul Demko and Briana Bierschbach say: “The eviction action follows a series of revelations last winter regarding debts accrued by the party during the reign of former RPM Chairman Tony Sutton. In December, an internal review of finances revealed that the party owes $1.23 million to creditors, plus more than $700,000 in legal fees accrued during the 2010 gubernatorial recount, and is facing possible fines from the Federal Elections Commission for undisclosed debts. The party is also currently being investigated by the state campaign finance board. The 10-year lease for the office space located at 525 Park St. in St. Paul — first signed in 2003 — puts the party on the hook for $6,881 a month for the 7,340 square foot space, according to records filed in Ramsey County District Court. But rent has inflated over the years, according to a PIM interview with former Chair Sutton, who resigned late last year amid rumors of ballooning debt.”
On the Vikings stadium front, GOP Sen. Roger Chamberlain continues to sound like a bona fide fiscal conservative. As Tim Nelson reports for MPR: “Republican Sen. Roger Chamberlain, of Lino Lakes, says the state could get a better deal than the $550 million … public subsidy in the current deal. ‘Mr. Mondale sat in the hearing about a month ago and said the NFL was one of the most successful business organizations in the country,’ Chamberlain said of Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chairman Ted Mondale. ‘Before that, [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell was on ‘60 Minutes’ bragging about the TV contract they had in 2011, I believe it was. They have cash. They have money. And we’re not asking them to give all their money or all their cash.’ “
At ESPN-LA, Arash Markazi gets into the nitty gritty that most local sportswriters have ignored: “ ‘There is no ultimatum, but we did clearly talk about L.A. We did clearly talk about that [being] an open market,’ Minnesota Sen. Julie Rosen said. ‘I do believe there is a feeling in some legislators and even in some folks throughout the state that they would never leave. So it was good to hear from the NFL, and from a very prominent owner, that they do have the right to move or be sold.’ With all due respect to Sen. Rosen, the NFL has used the ‘L.A. is an open market’ line for the past 17 years since the Raiders and Rams left the No. 2 media market in the country in 1995 for Oakland and St. Louis, respectively. To their credit, the line has worked remarkably well. Since 1995, 21 new stadiums have been built for 22 teams in the NFL with most of them largely funded by a public sector fearful of losing its team if the local government doesn’t chip in to build a new stadium. … There are currently two stadium and ownership options in Los Angeles and both groups have already reached out to the Vikings.”
Meanwhile, state legislators, demonstrating uncommon urgency after their audience with NFL leadership last week, are redoubling their efforts. Mike Kaszuba of the Strib writes: “At a hearing before a House panel late Monday, stadium supporters were expected to try to attach the stadium plan to a proposal that would allow electronic bingo and pull tabs and sports-themed tip boards in Minnesota’s bars and restaurants. In order for the stadium plan to move forward in the House before the Legislature adjourns, the maneuver is necessary to revive the project and nullify the plan’s rejection by another House panel a week ago. There was also other stadium-related jockeying Monday, some of it sure to face long odds. A House legislator introduced a plan to have the Vikings publicly owned, and another legislator asked that any excess money from a Vikings stadium public subsidy package go to early childhood scholarships.” I have an idea … what if we each sell our first-born?
Also, Mayor R.T. Rybak has weighed in on last Friday’s move to strip the Target Center’s renovation from a stadium bill. Eric Roper at the Strib writes: “The ability to use existing sales taxes to renovate and pay debt on the city-owned Target Center has been a focal point of Mayor R.T. Rybak’s sales pitch for the Vikings stadium plan. It’s allowed him to repeat whenever possible that the plan lowers city property taxes, by taking Target Center off the property tax rolls. But a unanimous voice vote in the Local Government and Elections Committee got rid of that altogether. The provision could still be added in, but it shows how uneasy St. Paul legislators are with any perceived favoritism of Minneapolis. … Rybak said in an interview Monday afternoon that he knew of the amendment in advance and did not react more harshly because he is confident the language will be reinstated. … ‘Everyone involved is completely clear that this will only happen if we have the ability [to] address Target Center.’ ” Really? Really?
Oh … and no June primary for Minnesota. Megan Boldt of the PiPress says: “A push to bump up Minnesota’s primary to early June was rejected by the Minnesota Senate. Senators from both sides of the political aisle voted 35-30 on Monday … to send a broader elections bill back to conference committee, arguing the primary shift didn’t get a thorough public vetting.”
So it seems the public should have known more about that $255K severance agreement the Burnsville school district agreed to with an outgoing administrator. Heron Marquez Estrada of the Strib writes: “The Burnsville school distinct acted improperly when it redacted portions of a $250,000 settlement agreement with a former human resources director, a state agency said on Monday. … After the decision was questioned, the school board asked the state Department of Administration’s Information Policy Analysis Division (IPAD) to issue an advisory opinion on whether it had acted properly in redacting the information.”
And, in an exclusive interview with Newsmax, the juuust slightly right-of-right news site, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said many American states are going to go the way of Greece if they don’t do what he did in Cheeseheadistan: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker predicts that unless other states are empowered to implement the types of collective bargaining and budget-reform measures enacted in his state, they will soon encounter many of the same financial upheavals seen in Greece. ‘Oh I think there’s no doubt,’ Walker told Newsmax in an exclusive interview. ‘I was just in Illinois earlier today talking to one of their policy forums, and the simple reality is the choice we’re talking about in Wisconsin is already being displayed in Illinois and other places like it right now. … Walker, who predicts Republicans will win the recall, tells Newsmax in the exclusive interview that state leaders who placate their unions by raising taxes, in order to continue tax-and-spend policies, are only digging themselves in deeper.”