counter statistics

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brad Finstad - in the Hot Seat

From the New Ulm Journal

House District 21B Candidate Forum

Stadium bill draws questions for Finstad By KEVIN SWEENEY Journal Editor

NEW ULM — Rep. Brad Finstad’s authorship of the Twins stadium bill last session and his work to get it passed was the most contentious question in his debate with DFL challenger Bob Skillings in a League of Women Voters District 21B candidate forum Tuesday night.

Finstad was chief author of the bill that finally authorized the building of a Minnesota Twins ballpark in Minneapolis, and he shepherded it through the committee hearings in House and Senate.

Asked why he supported public funding of a Twins stadium, Finstad pointed out that no one in his district would pay a cent toward the ballpark, unless they spent money in Hennepin County, where a .015 percent sales tax is funding the project.

Finstad defended his work on the bill as an issue of importance to people of his district and across the state. “I think Bob and I agree that the Minnesota Twins are a huge asset to the state. ... I heard my first three years in the Legislature, weekly and door to door about the issue. I have here the names of over a thousand people in our district that have contacted me, my office or the Minnesota Twins about their support for this proposal that was passed.”

Finstad said the project was not his idea. Hennepin County commissioners had come to the state asking for authorization for a local sales tax to put a new ballpark in the county.

“Fifty-four percent of the season ticket holders are in Hennepin County, and 27 percent of that local option sales tax will be made up of people from outside Hennepin County, and you and I will have the opportunity to watch the Minnesota Twins for the next 30 years without having to pay for it. I was in no way pushing an issue that made us have to put state funds toward a professional team.”

Skillings said he wondered “if Hennepin County was so enthused about taking this on for the benefit of the whole state, why didn’t a Hennepin County legislator be the chief author?”

This scumbag is actually proud of his work.