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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Minnesota Twins send out e-mail blasts

I got this e-mail re: a Senate vote on the stadium. I don't know where they got my e-mail address - it might have been from a June 2005 ticket purchase.

Dear Twins Fan:

The Twins ballpark bill recently took a big step forward as it was passed by the House of Representatives with a convincing, bi-partisan vote. However, the Senate has proposed a new bill that includes a voter referendum and other new provisions.

It is critical that you know that the new Senate bill, with a mandatory referendum, will not build a new ballpark for the Twins.

As a supporter of the Twins, it is vital that you contact your senator TODAY to let him know that you want them to approve a ballpark bill this session without a referendum requirement.

Your state senator is Larry Pogemiller. His phone number is (651) 296-7809 and his e-mail address is Be sure to mention your name and address so your senator knows you live in his district.

The Minnesota Twins ballpark bill as passed by the House of Representatives would provide an open-air ballpark in Minneapolis historic Warehouse District with no state funding needed. The plan includes a $130 million cash commitment from the Twins and a small sales tax increase in Hennepin County of only fifteen hundredths of one percent, which equals only three cents for every $20.

This is a fair and responsible plan for Minnesota. Please tell the legislators to do their jobs and vote this bill up or down without a mandatory referendum.
Thank you very much for your continued support.

Dave St. Peter, President
Minnesota Twins

I responded, and copied several well-known politicians on the response:

Mr. St. Peter

I was incredulous a few days ago when I received a phone call at home, asking if I 'still' supported the current proposal for a Hennepin County stadium for the Twins. I've never supported one!

How on earth did I get on this e-mail blast list? Is it because I've occasionally purchased a ticket?

Rest assured, the mere fact that I have gone to a few games does not equate to support for having my pocket picked for the rest of my life for a tax on which I have no vote.

I detest the proposal that Commissioner Opat negotiated with the Twins. I detested it when it was debated in Hennepin County and I detested it more when non-Hennepin county House members (even those who present themselves as 'conservatives') voted to tax me for 30 years without a referendum. That's taxation without representation.

I fully support everything that Senator Pogemiller, Senator Marty, and the rest of the Tax Committee has done to stop this bad legislation from passing.

Briefly, in response to some of the talking points in your message:

It is not the legislator's 'job' to take votes on granting 30-year exemptions to state law, especially when the exemption is to fund a project in which the government shouldn't even be involved.

This plan is neither 'fair' nor 'responsible' for the taxpayers of Hennepin County, who represent 1/4 of the state's population. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Hennepin County is on the hook for an enormous financial commitment, and will not have control over the group that owns and operates that stadium. There is nothing 'fair' or 'responsible' about that proposal.

I was going to follow the instructions to remove myself from your e-mail distribution list, but now, I think I want to keep getting these messages. It's good entertainment.

Best regards

Mark Hanson