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Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Nominee for Most Embarassing Minneapolis Politician.......

..... would have to be Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.

On a stormy late summer evening, the 3+ hour public hearing on the Twins Stadium Swindle made for good TV viewing. My esteemed commissioner was, again, a complete embarassment.

He was late to both the Wednesday meeting in Bloomington and tonight's meeting in Maple Grove. Wednesday's tardiness was attributed to babysitter issues, and tonight's was blamed on being directionally challenged.

When Sue Jeffers got up to testify, both McLaughlin and Mike Opat headed for the door. Did they both need the restroom at the same time, or does Sue Jeffers just naturally cause them to leave the room?

At some point during the hearing, Commissioner McLaughlin decided to open real wide, and insert his foot. He tried to frame the lack of a referendum as being the fault of the legislature. 'We're creatures of the state'. He has a very distorted (arrogant) view of the sequence of events. If you didn't know anything else about this issue, from listening to his condescending babble, he made it sound like the Legislature and the Governor are forcing Hennepin County to impose a 30 year local option tax to benefit private investors and bypass the state law.

Commissioners Steele and Koblick and several members of the public corrected his bald-faced lie over the course of the evening. The public was duly reminded that it wasn't State government telling the County to tax me without a referendum - it was 4 county commissioners who asked the State of Minnesota to grant permission to tax me. And the 4 got what they asked for.

I'm going to let all members of the Hennepin County Board know that discretionary spending in Hennepin County will end for me on 12/31/06, if the vote goes as expected.

Kudos to all of the citizens who took the time and made the effort to testify. I had several guilt pangs about not being there, but there was no shortage of passionate, articulate testimony in opposition to the theft.