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Monday, May 15, 2006

Strib Spins Poll Results

Dane Smith writes a followup piece to Mike Kazuba's excellent reporting on the stadium issue. The focus of Smith's article was on the numbers from the Hennepin County only, Twins stadium only tax, and two gopher stadium plans. Noticable by their absence were the numbers for the Metro transit/stadium tax plan proposed by Senator Steve Kelley. I sent the following to the Strib's readers representative and Dane Smith (readerrep@startribune.com, dsmith@startribune.com).

I was disappointed in Dane Smith's article on the stadium poll.

Here's the numbers for the Hennepin County Plan from your poll:

38% approve, 55% disapprove, Outstate 40% approve, 48% disapprove and metro, 36% approve, and 61% disapprove.

Here's the numbers for the Metro wide sales transit/stadium tax:

Overall:

45% approve
49% disapprove

Metro: 41% approve, 53% disapprove
Outstate: 50% approve, 42% disapprove.

The strib is leaving out crucial information in this article. The metro wide transit/ stadium tax was the more popular than the Hennepin County only- Stadium only tax - among the poll respondants. A good question is why. Should the strib be registering as a lobbying firm on behalf of the Twins?


Steve Sviggum comments:

House Speaker Steve Sviggum, who supports the Twins and Gophers plans, argued that legislators need to look beyond the polls.

He said that he himself would answer "no" to a general question about subsidizing sports teams, but "there are some times when you have to lead and you have to move ahead when you feel it's in the best interests of the state."

"I don't want to tell voters they're wrong. That would be very arrogant," Sviggum said. "But, you know, if we took the Guthrie Theater [which received $25 million in state bonding money for its new facility] to the citizens for a vote, what type of support do you think it would have? If we took a bridge in Warroad to the citizens, what type of support statewide do you think that would have?"


I personally would be fine with private funding only for the Guthrie. However, the Guthrie is a non-profit entity. The bridge in Warroad is a legitimate function of government - as are roads.

The legislators who are the most morally bankrupt on this issue are people like Al Juhnke, who voted against the stadium when his constituents were taxed for it, but has no problems sticking it to the Hennepin County taxpayer.

Lloydletta reader, David Drake over at Mr Satan has an excellent fisk of Sid Hartman's unhinged whining about the Minnesota Poll results.

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