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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Claims that People Appreciated Leadership on the Hennepin County Stadium Tax

From the Strib:

In Hennepin County, three candidates who supported a sales tax to support a new Twins stadium won by large margins.

Tuesday's voting in the state's most populous county was the final chance for opponents of the new stadium for the Minnesota Twins to vent their anger, but three of the four county commissioners who voted for the proposal -- Mike Opat, Mark Stenglein and Peter McLaughlin -- won by large margins.

"It's good to see that the voters didn't hold that against us," Stenglein said. "People talked about having a referendum, and we just had it today."

The election came two months after the Hennepin County Board, after more than a year of controversy, voted 4-3 to levy a 0.15 percent countywide sales tax. The tax, which begins in January, will fund most of the $522 million Twins stadium that will be built in downtown Minneapolis' Warehouse District and opens in 2010.

"People appreciated the leadership and let it be known at the polls," said Commissioner Mike Opat, the board's main architect for the stadium.

The DFL abandoned Greg Gray, and the Labor unions endorsed Stenglein because of the stadium issue.