Vikings provide election support for legislators who helped pass stadium bill

Some of the Minnesota legislators who helped pass the Vikings stadium bill that includes $500 billion in public subsidies are having tough primary election battles, with their opponents pointing to the stadium vote as a bad thing.

So, the Vikings are providing some coverage for their friends by sending email support letters on behalf of nine legislators facing tough primary challenges today, the Star Tribune reports.

Lester Bagley, vice president of public affairs for the Vikings, told the paper:

“It’s important that our organization stands with those elected officials who took a hard vote and stood with us.”

He said email messages of support for the politicians will go out to “as many Vikings fans as possible,” both now and before the general election on Nov. 6.

In addition to the legislators, the team also is helping Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett, who pushed the Arden Hills site for a stadium.

The paper says the team sent email support for:

  • Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul
  • Sen. Sandra Pappas,DFL-St. Paul
  • Sen. Michele Fischbach, R-Paynesville
  • Sen. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City
  • Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids
  • Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth
  • Rep. Connie Doepke, R-Orono
  • Rep. Steve Smith, R-Mound
  • Rep. Tim Sanders, R-Blaine

The story says the support emails are “independent political expenditures by the team on behalf of the candidates, sent to constituents known to be Vikings fans.”

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