With NFL brass in town, Senate vows to take up stadium bill

With the NFL brass in town, the Minnesota Senate is going to give its end of a stadium bill a hearing … and a push … and a show of something like strength. Tim Nelson at MPR reports: “NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers will visit Minnesota Friday in hopes they can break the legislative impasse over a new Vikings stadium. … Next year may be too late for the Vikings after all, Dayton said. ‘I spoke with commissioner Goodell yesterday afternoon and again this morning, and I got a very strong and very clear message from him,’ Dayton said. … DFL Sen. John Marty said he doesn’t think the state should yield to the league’s pressure. ‘The team is making sort of an implied threat and because of that we have to make the biggest subsidy in history. I think that’s wrong’, Marty said. ‘I think we’ve got so many urgent needs. So many things we could do for rebuilding our schools and our infrastructure. I just think that’s absolutely wrong.’ But the NFL’s intervention, along with a promise by a handful of Senate DFL-ers to support the bill, seem to have gotten the stadium inching ahead again at the Capitol.”

Take this for what it’s worth … Vincent Bonsignore of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune in Southern California writes: “On the same day Minnesota Vikings owner Zigi Wilf’s private plane was spotted at a Southern California airport Thursday comes this little nugget: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently met privately in Los Angeles with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to talk about, among other things, the NFL relocating to Los Angeles. The connection: The Vikings were dealt a major blow to their stadium efforts in Minnesota this week when the House Government Operations and Elections committee rejected by a 9-6 vote a proposal for a $975 million plan to raze and rebuild the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. … That makes Wilf’s plane being in Southern California on Thursday conspicuous — the Vikings declined comment — and Goodell’s hush-hush meeting with Mayor Villaraigosa  even more interesting. ‘Yes, the commissioner and the mayor did meet this week and they had a private conversation on a number of topics,’ is all Peter Sanders, the mayor’s spokesman, would say.”

At the all-things-Vikings fan site, The Daily Norseman, Ted Glover is beyond pessimistic. “So it’s come down to arguably the most dysfunctional legislative body in the United States of America to draw up, debate, and pass a complicated piece of legislation within two weeks? I’m thinking the die is already cast.” Ted … I know football is everything, but our guys are amateurs when it comes to dysfunction.

The latest perspective from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert: “My suggestion is to take a deep breath and understand we have entered an important and more pressurized phase of the process, but certainly not (yet) the endgame of this franchise in Minnesota. The best way to understand what’s happening at the moment is that the state has 12 days remaining of exclusivity with the franchise. That’s how long the Minnesota state legislature is scheduled to remain in session. For now, the team and the league are squarely focused on reviving the issue in Minnesota. Importantly, however, the state is not 12 days away from losing the franchise — not when NFL teams are ineligible to apply for relocation until Feb. 15, 2013. … If there is no resolution when the legislature adjourns, the realistic consequence will be a loss of that exclusivity. It’s reasonable to think that owner Zygi Wilf will at least explore a firesale that would eventually lead to relocation, putting the state in competition for the franchise, but not necessarily on a path to losing it. The league’s relocation deadline in essence would create a nine-month bidding window.” Nine … more … months … .

I’m down for this …. Chris Riemenschneider of the Strib writes: “Other than wishing for a later date, though, you won’t catch [Hymie’s Vintage Records Laura] Hoenack or any other Twin Cities shop owners complaining about [Record Store Day], which lands again Saturday with truckloads of limited-edition merchandise and the livelihood of store owners nationwide on its shoulders. Hymie’s, in particular, is betting on it again with an even more ambitious block party. It will have 15 bands playing and is adding a beer garden and a covered tent (take that, April snow!). RSD has become such a big deal in the music business that ‘RSD’ itself has become as ubiquitous an abbreviation as SXSW and LMFAO. Some of the big national releases being sold exclusively in participating indie stores Saturday include: a Flaming Lips double-vinyl collection with guests ranging from Ke$ha to Bon Iver; a split single of Mastodon and Feist covering each other’s song; a free sampler from Sub Pop Records, and lots of new vinyl reissues from the Kinks, Uncle Tupelo, Lou Reed, Ozzy Osbourne and countless more.” The moment — six million years ago — when I bought “Who’s Next” for $3.50 at Down in the Valley is still etched in my mind.

Less we be accused of taking our eye off the ball, we do have Michael Brodkorb news. The AP reports: “Fired Minnesota Senate aide Michael Brodkorb has denied violating policies or committing misconduct as he seeks to reverse a decision costing him unemployment benefits. Brodkorb’s position was disclosed Thursday during an appeal hearing with an administrative judge. The hearing didn’t delve into the relationship he admitted having with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, which cost Brodkorb his job as communications chief for the GOP caucus and Koch her leadership post. No immediate decisions were made. … Brodkorb filed out a form where he said he was appealing because there was ‘no violation of any internal senate policy. No employee misconduct.’” I mean, what were the chances anyone would notice?

And in the realm of a quarter-billion dollars here and a quarter-billion there … Jennifer Brooks of the Strib says: “A House plan to repair the crumbling Minnesota Capitol with one sweeping $221 million bonding bill failed to pass Thursday. During drawn-out debate, members agreed that the Capitol is in desperate need of repair, but could not agree whether those repairs should be paid in one lump sum, or piecemeal, so there would be money left over this year for building projects elsewhere in the state. In the end, the Capitol repair bill earned 80 votes — one short of the majority needed to pass a bonding bill. The vote casts doubt on the Legislature’s ability to pass a borrowing bill in a legislative session that is supposed to end next week.”

Yeah, she said “tar baby” … and the described President Obama as “infantile.” Our Favorite Congresswoman and serial gaffe machine got all agitated during an interview with a conservative blogger in Florida. Kyle Munzenneder of The Miami New Times reports: “Michele Bachmann sure loves talking, but after her flameout in the Republican primary, no one really wants to talk to her so much right now. So she’s apparently just giving interviews to random Florida conservative blogs such as the Shark Tank.
During that interview, she accused President Obama of ‘waving a tar baby in the air.’ Whoops! Mitt Romney already had to apologize for using that racially charged phrased back in 2006. Shark Tank blogger Javier Manjarres sat down with the Minnesota congresswoman Wednesday and asked her about the Keystone pipeline and high gas prices. Here’s what Bachmann had to say: ‘This is just about waiving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem. I have never seen a more irresponsible President who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem.’” Hours later Team Bachmann insisted the reference “was not racial”. Just, you know, kinda crazy.

Jim Souhan’s very bad week just keeps on keeping on. The Strib runs a commentary from GOP Rep. Dean Urdhal, who Souhan lacerated for being such an impertinent third-grader … . “Jim Souhan’s attention-grabbing April 18 column (‘No point in dumbing down stadium issue’) has generated much discussion — even more since readers have learned elsewhere that I voted ‘yes’ in a House committee to advance a Vikings stadium bill. Citizens also have been interested to learn that, while quoting me, Souhan omitted key sentences that would have made my legislative intent clear. It appears that Souhan neither attended the meeting about which he wrote, nor listened to the audio from it, nor reviewed the transcript before penning his column. He also did not contact me before taking great leaps in asserting what my thought process was. The sad truth is that Souhan ended up with a column based on a false premise based on ignorance and distortion.” Other than that … great stuff! Hell of a read!

The Scott Walker jobs creation miracle just keeps rolling on. Scott Bauer of the AP reports, “Wisconsin lost 4,300 private sector jobs in March, the state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday, bad news for Gov. Scott Walker as he nears a June 5 recall election. Since Walker took office, the state has added just 5,900 private sector jobs — far from the 250,000 Walker promised to deliver by the end of his first term. At this pace, the state would have just 18,864 more jobs by 2015 than when Walker took office in January 2011.” So if anybody asks, the answer is, “Of course it’s working.”

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by William Souder on 04/20/2012 - 06:16 am.


    Seems that Mr. Souhan skipped some basic reporting steps in his ill-fated column…the kind of mistakes only a third-grader would make?

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/20/2012 - 07:12 am.

    It is time to get on with the real problems of Minnesota

    It is time to put an end to sports franchise blackmail. There is no reason for the public to buy stadiums for very private companies. If other cities want to do it, that is up to them. That is one way the wealthy get wealthy and stay wealthy. They game the system. There is nothing but subjective reasons given to build a stadium. There hasn’t been any objective analysis given to the public by the Wilf’s or the politicians that says the public needs a new stadium. It is all based on subjective reasoning that mostly favors the Wilf’s. It is time to get on with the real problems of Minnesota, not the contrived problems

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/20/2012 - 08:18 am.

    It’s so refreshing…

    It’s so refreshing to know that people who have to fly into MN for meetings get so much more representation at the capital than the poor bastards who actually live here and vote. Democracy at its best eh?

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/20/2012 - 08:31 am.

    Why the NFL is really freaking out

    That sound you hear may be the sound of the public funding bubble popping. Look, the public isn’t lined anywhere clamoring to build stadiums, anywhere they go they’ll have to get a plan through a legislature if they want significant public funding, and there are no guarantees.

  5. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 04/20/2012 - 09:31 am.

    At the Risk of Violating My Grandmother’s Old Aphorism

    That when you point your finger at someone else, there are always four fingers pointing back at you…

    When Rep. Bachmann says things like, “I have never seen a more irresponsible President who is infantile in the way that he continually blames everyone else for his failure to first diagnose the problem and second to address the problem,”…

    she is simply engaging in the common psychological dodge called “projection” (endemic among “conservatives” of all stripes) in which she accuses her enemies and opponents of all those things she can’t bear to notice or acknowledge in her own personality,…

    and makes herself feel better about her own flaws by attacking them in other people (who don’t actually HAVE those flaws).

    Of course, as we see so clearly with Ms. Bachmann, projecting your problems onto others and demonizing those others prevents you from seeing those others as human in the same way you are human (because they seem too evil even to look at, let alone draw close enough to consider),…

    and makes sure that you never resolve the conflicts in your own tortured psyche, either.

    It does lend itself to continuous “faux outrage,” however, but it also makes you more and more vehemently (and noticeably) delusional as your life inevitably slides downhill.

    I can only hope that after Ms. Bachmann hits the bottom of the slope down which she’s sliding, she’ll find ways to resolve her own issues and, as the result, find herself more able to make positive contributions to the lives of those who share her district, this state, this nation, and this planet with her. Currently she only seeks (quite continuously) to damage and destroy.

  6. Submitted by Bruce Bednarek on 04/20/2012 - 09:43 am.

    The latest perspective from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert

    Assuming that the above comments by ESPN’s Kevin Seifert are accurate (no reason to think they are not) about the process and time lines for the Vikings relocation and there is indeed a “window” for further decision making, put the issue on the fall ballot and let the people of Minnesota decide. The question would be structured to determine if the State should contribute funds and not to determine a desired location. This would take the issue out of the hands of the lobbyists and our inept legislature; if the majority says yes, the challenge becomes how to do it and if the majorty says no, then hopefully its the end of the issue and focus can be directed to other more important issues that effect the State as a whole.

    • Submitted by Bill Kellett on 04/20/2012 - 11:01 am.

      Stop making sense.

      If the question were simply, do the people of Minnesota want to pay for a new stadium, we all know the answer, NO! The question is how do we get the people to pay for a stadium they don’t want to pay for.
      If the corporations requesting welfare would just open their books so we can see that the need is real, I would be much more comfortable granting the money.

  7. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 04/20/2012 - 09:53 am.

    Vikings play on TV

    Roger Goodall comes to town and the Minnesota Senate immediately sits up straight and gets to work on the pressing stadium problem. Wiff is not making enough money with his team. Someone needs a billion dollar stadium and we better fork over before it’s too late. What if he sells the team to LA? California is rolling in dough and we know how desperate they are to have a NFL team.
    Oh wait, they’re broke and kinda like the Giants, who knew? Well Durham NC is still smarting from losing out on that Twins deal. Watch out, the buyers are out there.

  8. Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/20/2012 - 01:23 pm.

    NFL on the run

    Those of us who oppose government funding of major league sports stadia can take comfort in the fact that we seem to have at least made the NFL nervous. After all, if we say no, how long can it be until the next venue follows our lead?

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