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Thursday’s major developments don’t please state Rep. Winkler

While supporters of the proposed taxpayer-subsidized Vikings stadium and the $700 million bridge over the St. Croix River were celebrating today’s developments, state Rep. Ryan Winkler was espousing a contrarian view.

The Harvard-educated DFL from Golden Valley said in a statement:

“These are unfortunately another example of misplaced priorities. I share the goal of job creation, but these proposals are the wrong way to go. Building a bridge that subsidizes real estate in Wisconsin and a stadium that subsidizes real estate for an owner from New Jersey doesn’t educate our children, doesn’t inspire innovation, and doesn’t help us create more pathways into the middle class.

“Building shiny new projects simply distracts us from tackling obstacles to future prosperity.”

It wasn’t a partisan position: another DFLer, Gov. Mark Dayton, was four-square behind both projects and lauded today’s progress on the two fronts.

Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 03/01/2012 - 04:11 pm.


    I thought the way the Wilfs and the NFL convinced us this was a good deal was pretty “innovative”.

  2. Submitted by Al Pietruszewski on 03/01/2012 - 04:16 pm.

    What about all those wisconsin folks who work in minnesota spend their money in minnesota get taxed in minnesota, What about that Rep Winkler!, It sound’s to me like you want to put up a wall around the state of minnesota that says we don’t want you!!!!!!!!

    • Submitted by Lance Groth on 03/01/2012 - 05:29 pm.

      It’s a question of policy

      His position is based on what, in his view and that of others, constitutes good public policy, to wit: that building an extravagant, ugly bridge over what is supposed to be a wild and scenic river in order to subsidize more urban sprawl and encourage even more people to drive long distances to work in gas guzzling, air polluting cars, is bad public policy – particularly when we have more urgent needs.

      No one is forcing you to live in Wisc. What some object to is being forced to subsidize your lifestyle. Try living close to work and you won’t be spending a fortune on gas, which, over the long term, is only going to get more and more expensive.

  3. Submitted by Al Pietruszewski on 03/01/2012 - 04:23 pm.

    St Croix Bridge

    What about all the people from Wisconsin that work here, Spend money here, Get taxed here, So it’s obvious to me Rep Winkler you don’t want these people in our state??????

  4. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 03/01/2012 - 04:37 pm.

    Inspires innovation , education and pathways accding to Ryan Win

    We already fund money into education by the billions. Not every state priority should be held hostage until you get the last hundred million to satisfy your “education funding” desires.

    Also, how about first dealing with the segregated school system in your district before you preach about “educating the children”

  5. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/01/2012 - 06:16 pm.

    It’s funny

    how liberal democrats who’ve never hestitated to spend your money on all manner of boondoggles and bogus “investments” (Light Rail anyone?) can sound like fiscal conservatives when the tax money isn’t being spent on their ideas.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/02/2012 - 11:05 am.

    Winkler is right

    This isn’t just some more spending of some kind, this would the largest public subsidy of a private company ever in the history of MN, and it creates no economic growth of any kind and creates no new permanent jobs. These stadium deals create guaranteed funding for pro sports franchises, we don’t have guaranteed funding for health care, education, or even fire or police services. Yeah, that’s twisted priorities all right.

  7. Submitted by James Hamilton on 03/02/2012 - 11:17 am.

    Bridge: benefits and detriments.

    A river crossing has existed in Stillwater for decades. It’s continued existence is important to the Stillwater economies of Stillwater and other Minnesota communities north of I-94. It is also importatn to the Wisconsin economy, although I’d venture a guess that at the moment the flow of dollars is more East to West than the reverse.

    Perhaps I’m simply lacking a soul (as I’ve always suspected) but even as an occasional kayaker, the thought of a new bridge in a new location does not terrify me, particularly between Stillwater and I-94. Spend a Sunday afternoon on the river below Stillwater and then tell me what an idyllic scene it is. If power launches don’t bother you, I see no reason a bridge should offend your sensibilities.

    Those concerned with limiting urban sprawl have a point, but I question whether a no-bridge option will do anything other than depress land prices east of the St. Croix and lead to development for those willing to take the longer route over I-94, resulting in even greater use of fossil fuels in the process. We’ve shown a marked preference for ex-urban living over the last 30 years, with thousands commuting distances equal to or greater than what’s involved here.

    That said, I’m not convinced that the high-dollar design is superior in any way to the lower cost option. But then I’m not a highway engineer and I’m just bright enough to know that I’ll never be one.

    By the way, Wisconsonites: you don’t actually pay Minnesota income tax, do you, after the recent fix of the old agreement between the two states?

    • Submitted by Tom Clark on 03/02/2012 - 12:11 pm.

      Re: benefits and detriments

      The renewal of the tax reciprocity agreement between Minnesota and Wisconsin won’t take effect until after the 2012 tax year, so we Wisconsinites who work in Minnesota will still get to file MN returns for another year.

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