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Dayton rails against new GOP stadium plan, calls it absurd and cynical

Gov. Mark Dayton used a flurry of negative adjectives to describe the GOP’s new plan for a publicly funded Vikings stadium.

Gov. Mark Dayton
Courtesy of the Governor’s officeGov. Mark Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton used a thesaurus-inspired flurry of negative adjectives today to describe the Republicans new plan for a publicly-funded Vikings stadium.

“Harebrained,” “cynical,” “absurd,” “fiasco,” and “profoundly disappointing” were some of his expressed feelings about the plan, which surfaced Tuesday. The proposal would include state funding in a bonding bill covering infrastructure for a new open-air Vikings stadium.

On Tuesday, Minneapolis officials, the Vikings and the governor all said that the topless stadium proposal wouldn’t work, and urged the Republican leadership to allow a vote on the much-discussed but not universally liked proposal that would put state and city money towards a covered stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

But Dayton was even more animated this morning in a news conference.

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He called the last-minute proposal the most cynical political ploy he’s seen in 35 years in politics.

Dayton said Republicans are playing poker with thousands of jobs (that would be gained by stadium construction) in order to save their own jobs in the November election.

He said he’s invited GOP leaders to talk further, to try to “salvage this fiasco.” And he said he met with House Speaker Kurt Zellers this morning for a “candid” talk, which can be assumed to be a fiery discussion.

More talks are scheduled for this afternoon, but Dayton, along with House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, all said the only hope they see for resurrecting a stadium proposal is to have votes in the House and Senate on the proposal that’s already gone through committees and is ready for floor votes.

After Dayton’s public and forceful assessment, House GOP spokeswoman Jodi Boyne told reporters that the governor’s comments were “really unfortunate.”