Bakk wants $7.2 million for parking garage at Capitol

MinnPost file photo by James Nord
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk

What!? Patrick Coolican of the Strib tells us, “In the final minutes of the legislative session Monday, the Senate feverishly passed a bonding bill that included a priority of Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook: $7.2 million for an underground parking garage at the State Capitol that would provide a grand total of 30 vehicle spaces. That works out to $240,000 per parking space. The underground garage would obviate the need for what’s there now, a surface lot that in the past was used for the governor and constitutional officers and a few select staff. With the surface lot gone, it could be landscaped to improve the site’s aesthetic properties.”

This is how they run a government. Don Davis of the Forum News Service reports, “Minnesota’s education funding dispute means more than 800 state education workers will begin receiving layoff notices June 1. Gov. Mark Dayton said he regrets the need to upset workers’ lives, but state law requires that workers who could be laid off receive a month’s advance notice, even though if his education funding differences with lawmakers could be settled before July 1.”

Chutzpah alert. The AP says, “A Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party fundraiser featuring Gov. Mark Dayton and top legislative Democrats is off. The party said Wednesday it was postponing the downtown St. Paul event due to occur Thursday because of the looming special session. The long-planned fundraiser sought contributions between $100 and $1,000 and was to be headlined by Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and House Minority Leader Paul Thissen.”

Also in the final budget goody bag. Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune says, “Just a few ticks before the midnight deadline to adjourn Monday, the Minnesota Legislature fulfilled Duluth’s $4 million request for funding that could accommodate the expansion of Cirrus Aircraft and the creation of at least another 150 local jobs. … The proposed site for the new 60,000-square-foot building is on city-owned land located southeast of Cirrus’ existing Duluth operations, which already employ about 600 people. That number should grow substantially if the Federal Aviation Administration certifies Cirrus’ first personal jet, the Vision SF50, potentially opening the door for production to begin by year’s end.” Get your order in before it’s too late.

He was hot rodding in a Ford Ranger? Says Tim Harlow of the Strib, “A Wisconsin man who said he just wanted to race a Minnesota state trooper he encountered on a northern Minnesota interstate highway Wednesday morning is in now in jail. The driver was heading north on I-35 near Askov, Minn. when a trooper heading to training in Duluth tried to pull him over around 6:45 a.m. The driver failed to stop and a pursuit began. It went on for 10 miles at speeds between 90 and 100 miles per hour … . Officers from Moose Lake joined the pursuit and deployed stop sticks on the freeway. The driver hit the sticks, which punctured the left front tire of the speeding Ford Ranger. When it came to rest, the driver, 42, was arrested and he told police ‘he was trying to race’ the trooper.” Ford might think of using this for one of those trendy viral ad campaigns.

Did you see Bob on Dave the other night? Here it is.

In comparison to WalMart numbers, Target looks very, very good. For the Wall Street Journal Paul Ziobro reports, “Target Corp. outdid big-box rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. at the beginning of the year, as stronger growth in more profitable categories like apparel and home goods produced a third straight quarter of sales growth. Both companies are in the middle of turnarounds after long stretches of weak traffic and sales in their home U.S. markets. But Target appears to have the edge for now, posting better-than-expected earnings a day after a disappointing showing by Wal-Mart sent that company’s shares down sharply. … According to data from the consultancy Kantar Retail, 42% of Target’s shoppers make more than $75,000 a year, versus 28% at Wal-Mart.”

Again, not a clue who they’re talking about. But Michelle Persad at The Huffington Post seems very excited to report, “Mark your calendars: Target just released details about its latest designer collaboration. The American retailer took to Twitter this morning to announce it is partnering with jewelry designer Eddie Borgo for a limited-edition collection of customizable jewelry, accessories and wall art. Although Borgo may not yet be a household name like other designers and brands who’ve partnered with the store (including Lilly Pulitzer, Missoni and Proenza Schouler), he’s garnered a lot of attention over the years for his jewelry line that features conical studs and geometric shapes.” Note to self: Get “conical studs” somewhere on grease-stained Who ’75 Tour t-shirt.

More than $400,000 and counting. Brandt Williams of MPR says, “Federal authorities Wednesday indicted a Minneapolis police officer on nine criminal counts, including civil rights violations and perjury, tied to allegations of using excessive force and lying about it. Officer Michael Griffin was already at the center of two police brutality lawsuits that have cost the city more than $400,000. He’d been investigated more than a dozen times but never been disciplined.”

One of the first rules of any work place. “Be nice to the janitors.” Says Martin Moylan at MPR, “Janitors working at Macy’s and Herberger’s stores in Minnesota have sued their employer, Capital Building Services, alleging they’ve been cheated on their wages. The janitors have filed a federal class-action lawsuit accusing the Illinois-based company, which provides clearing services to retailers, with failing to pay workers the minimum wage and earned overtime. The suit also alleges other labor law violations.” Obviously, no one at those stores ever saw, “Election.”

Finally, will the National Guard be called out to provide a protective cordon around the corporate jets? Says Libor Jany of the Strib, “The Minneapolis Police Department has been quietly meeting for months with other local and federal law enforcement agencies to discuss security preparations for Super Bowl LII, which promises to be the biggest test in the history of the department. With the opening kickoff still nearly three years away, Minneapolis officials have been assessing potential threats to the big game, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of fans to the Twin Cities.” Or put another way, the meter is already running.

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Comments (17)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 05/21/2015 - 06:40 am.


    The parking thing is kind of strange. Do people have trouble finding parking at the State Capitol? I have to say, I generally don’t. And if I did, I am not sure how the addition of 30 more spaces would help.

  2. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 05/21/2015 - 07:25 am.

    $7.2 million…

    for a parking garage with 30 spaces. Talk about irresponsible spending.

    • Submitted by Joe Schweigert on 05/21/2015 - 08:23 am.

      Oh, all the money

      we’re spending and going to spend on this ridiculous super bowl. It’s enough to make my coffee boil this morning.

  3. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 05/21/2015 - 07:58 am.

    Bob Dylan , but is it really him?

    Always liked Bob Dylan…even his rusty, scraping vocal chords, for it was the message he was singing like the poet he was/ is…but here he sounds like he swallowed Frank Sinatra and John Denver and I can’t be sure, cannot hear the message on this one?

    Oh well, time moves us on to another greater message voice in the magnificent Tom Morello. I bow now to his genius.

    Step down Dylan, there is a new man and a new voice singing to and for the people?

  4. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/21/2015 - 08:40 am.

    Another Gov’t Takeover

    I thought the good citizens of Minnesota elected a GOP majority House to limit the growth of government. So how is that we have a “government take” over of the airplane manufacturing industry?

    Once again, the tea party is AWOL on this deal.

    Can we please stop this charade of worshiping at the alter of the Free Market? We worship at the alter of Business Socialism, where profits equate to liberty and losses are the public’s problem.

    Why are the MinnPost free marketeers so quiet?

  5. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 05/21/2015 - 08:44 am.

    Oh Bakk

    Criminetly! I don’t like Bakk, and this isn’t helping. What is he trying to do here? Carpet bomb the entire DFL agenda by suggesting this nonsense? Talk about fodder for the right. I think he needs to see a doctor for his increasingly confusing thought processes.

  6. Submitted by Gerald Abrahamson on 05/21/2015 - 09:10 am.

    Why limit to 30 spaces?

    Once the idea is to go underground, make it a big enough project to actually serve the public–and thus be “self funding”. You know, USER FEES. Would you pay to park safely and securely? If so, HOW MUCH? Let me guess–this is to be a “restricted” parking area, only for the politicians and their buddies.

  7. Submitted by Chris Williams on 05/21/2015 - 09:58 am.

    Taxpayers on the hook for Police Problems

    When police are found to be liable for crimes, I really think the payout for the penalty to the victim should come out of the police union retirement fund, rather than the taxpayers coffers. I think this would make police far more likely to report bad apples and police themselves, knowing it’s their union on the line if one of them screws up. I hate it that these large judgements caused by these bad police officers come out of city or state funds – basically the pockets of you and I. And then the cops just get some BS administrative punishment and the ranks circle around the blue brotherhood. If we changed the incentive so that the bad apples were weeded out we’d have a more trustworthy police force.

    • Submitted by Pat McGee on 05/21/2015 - 01:03 pm.

      The question is-why wasn’t he disciplined before?

      Griffin was reported and investigated many times. The City chose to pay out an enormous sum of money for someone who was never disciplined. Why wasn’t he disciplined? I would like to know why, when officers and civilians are discplined/reprimanded for far less, was nothing done in the case of Griffin. That decision ultimately resides in the Office of the Chief of Police.

  8. Submitted by Blaine Thrasher on 05/21/2015 - 10:04 am.

    Do the right thing

    Back in the day when Minnesota Republicans were known as Independent Republicans (those were the days…), former Governor Al Quie was known to occasionally buck his own party to “do the right thing” for Minnesota. I respect a politician who will put the needs of the people ahead of the needs of the party (either party) or their own personal agenda. As a life-long Democrat, it pains me to read that Senate Majority Leader Bakk believes a 30-stall parking garage is more important than, say, funding the education needs for our children. Capitol aesthetics are nice, I suppose, but shouldn’t trump real and basic needs. Oh well, at least he and other so-called leaders will be able to park in comfort while Minnesota’s most vulnerable children remain underserved.

    As it appears a special session will be called, I urge Senate Leader Bakk, Speaker Daudt, and all the entire Minnesota Legislature to follow Governor Quie’s advice to do the right thing for the people of Minnesota.

  9. Submitted by John Eidel on 05/21/2015 - 11:27 am.

    Parking Garage

    This is just an unbelievably tone-deaf proposal. At least with the Senate Office Building, a case could be made that the space was necessary although it is probably more expensive than it should be. This garage will replace a surface lot with ample parking, presumably so that Tom Bakk doesn’t have to scrape his windshield. The GOP mailings write themselves.

  10. Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 05/21/2015 - 01:23 pm.

    “…will the National Guard be called out to provide a protective cordon around the corporate jets…”

    Nah, just give ’em flak jackets and rifles when they walk out of their planes. Do we always have to be so Minnesota Nice?

  11. Submitted by James Hamilton on 05/21/2015 - 03:23 pm.

    Those that can’t play in the Super Bowl

    are condemned to host it.

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 05/28/2015 - 12:16 pm.

    Bakk for governor!

    He’s the man!

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