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Friday, April 21, 2006

Smartie at Powerliberal Has Some Good Posts on the Stadium Boondoggle

Here.

Okay, I can't find the source for this, but according to the Greet Machine blog, here were the votes:

Legislators voting NO (against a referendum):

Simpson, Brod, Davids, Dorman, Lanning, Nelson, Westerberg, Atkins, Dill, Koenen, Marquart, Rukavina, Lesch, Jaros, Sieben = 15
(Anderson would have probably voted NO but he was absent)

Legislators voting YES (in favor of a referendum):

Erhardt, Zellers, Bernardy, Krinkie, Delaforest, Knoblach, Vandeveer, Abrams, Kohls, Lenczewski, Davnie, Mullery, Howes = 13

Is anyone surprised that not a single Rep. who voted to skip the referendum actually lives in Hennepin County? If I want to add a patio to my house can I get someone in Rochester to pay for it? They can totally come visit me and sit on the patio, if they like, beer is only $7 a glass.


Smartie goes on to praise Rep. Ann Lenczewski for introducing this:

H.F. No. 2505, as introduced - 84th Legislative Session (2005-2006) Posted on May 06, 2005


1.1 A bill for an act
1.2 relating to Hennepin County; requiring an agreement
1.3 that the Minnesota Twins will be renamed the Hennepin
1.4 County Twins if specified county taxes are approved.
1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.6 Section 1. [AGREEMENT REQUIRED.]
1.7 Legislative approval of imposition of a local sales tax by
1.8 Hennepin County for purposes of financing the construction of a
1.9 new baseball stadium is not effective until the county has
1.10 entered into a binding agreement with the Minnesota Twins
1.11 requiring the team name to be changed to the Hennepin County
1.12 Twins.
1.13 [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective the day
1.14 following final enactment.


No Senate authors. Write your state senator.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blogs Pressure DCCC To Post Inclusive Anti-Discrimination Policy

I posted yesterday that the DCCC's posted non-discrimination policy didn't include gays. Now it does.

The Advocate polled their readers with this question:

Is the Democratic Party too timid to openly support LGBT equality and candidates who favor full equality?

Yes: 83.5%
No: 12.3%
Undecided: 4.2%


Well duh!

Sounds Like Quite the Raucus Stadium Boondoggle Hearing

Strib has coverage here.

At times, the hearing took on a sports feel — with speakers being cheered, jeered and heckled — leading committee chairman Phil Krinkie to admonish the audience.

"This isn't a ballgame folks. This is a committee hearing," Krinkie, R-Lino Lakes, said. "If you want to go cheer we encourage you to go to the ballgame."

The hearing, the committee's second in as many days, was held in Bloomington, in the heart of Hennepin County. The county is asking the Legislature to sign off on a 0.15 percent increase in its sales tax, which would pay for $392 million of the estimated $522 stadium cost before interest on the bonds.

County leaders want to enact the tax without a voter referendum, as state law requires, and they need the Legislature's approval to have the vote waived.

Laura Lehmann, an Edina resident, reminded committee members that schools need voter approval for new buildings, including gymnasiums.

"We all love baseball," she said, "but do we love it more than we love our country and the democratic principles on which it was founded?"

Twins officials and the county say a delay from a referendum would add to costs that have already risen $82 million in the last three years.

Lehmann was among dozens who signed up to testify. About 700 people crammed into the auditorium, many decked out in Twins gear, and more settled into an overflow room.

With the long list of testifiers, a vote on the bill was doubtful for Thursday night. A third hearing was announced for Friday at the Capitol.


Thanks to the Lloydletta readers who sent emails to the Tax Committee urging them to vote NO on this boondoggle.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

DCCC Non-Discrimination Policy Doesn't Include Sexual Orientation

Pam Spaulding has more. Page One Q has screen shots.

This isn't surprising for people who are advising Minnesota Democratic congressional candidates to support anti-gay legislation.

Senator Pogemiller Shows His Hand on the Stadium Scam

Re: Twins stadium proposals, I heard from my State Senator, Larry Pogemiller, who also chairs the tax committee. His letter offered some glimmer of hope.

Here is the money quote:

It is my belief that state-wide funding would be preferable, since they are the Minnesota Twins and not the Hennepin County Twins. If a county sales tax is necessary, it will not have my support without a referendum.

I have to believe he shares those views fully aware that either of those options is a probable deal-breaker at this point.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the conference committee.

DFL Upset Over Photoshopping Images by Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage

Kare 11 has more. I don't think much of the Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage - or their views, but parody has long been a way to make political points.

I remember well when the Alan Quist campaign made an ad attacking Arne Carlson for being too ideologically close to Bill Clinton. The ad featured two men dancing. The inuendo was obvious - and Quist admitted as much on Almanac. Arne Carlson's reaction was classic - and defused the nonsense - "I'm a better dancer than that", Arne said, when asked about the ad.

I miss Arne as governor.

DFL PARTY CALLS ON GOP TO DENOUNCE DOCTORED PHOTOS

ST. PAUL (4/19/06) - Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage began running newspaper ads last week attacking Sen. Don Betzold (DFL-Fridley) for his opposition to the anti-marriage amendment.

The images of Betzold used by the right-wing group were doctored. One has been altered to make Betzold's face appear grossly out of proportion, angry and frightening. It appears that Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage has photoshopped Betzold's official senate website photo, flipping his smile upside down and adding deeply creased laugh lines.

The other ad features Betzold with what appears to be his tongue out and his thumb on his nose. The images of Betzold are both unflattering and inaccurate.

"As if distorting the facts wasn't bad enough, now they're distorting Senator Betzold's features," Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez said. "Doctoring photos takes their already divisive campaign to a new low. They can not win on the merits, so they're turning to libel and misinformation.

"The Republican Party should have learned a lesson from the failed special election campaign of Dan "the Ox" Ochsner - you can not push an agenda in Minnesota using false images. The Republican Party should denounce this latest effort to deceive Minnesotans.

"Governor Pawlenty, Senator Bachmann and the GOP should reevaluate their ties to this deceitful group to promote conservative religious principles. When it comes to bearing false witness, I hope that they're against it."

###


Go look at the ad here. Here's the photo of Don Betzold from the Senate website.

I thought the faux outrage over Congressman John Kline getting portrayed as Colonel Klink rather over the top also.

This is quite different than the doctored Bush rally photos on the Ox's campaign literature. In that case, it was quite clear that the intent was to deceive. In this case, the photos of the Senators thumbing their noses at constituents were doctored - to make a point. Anyone who would think the MCDM photo of Betzold was a real photo has a few screws loose.

Christie Whitman keeps beating the drum for moderation....


Whitman pushes GOP moderation
Monday, April 17, 2006
BY DEBORAH HOWLETT
The Star-Ledger
Former Gov. Christie Whitman believes the Republican Party is in deep trouble.

The GOP, she says, is now where the Democrats were a dozen years ago in Washington when they lost control of the House for the first time in 40 years. President Bush's popularity is at a low ebb and several GOP leaders have been snared in ethics scandals.

"We're at a critical point," she said. "We're starting to see polls that look just like the polls looked to Democrats in '94."

From a converted hayloft of the barn on her family estate in Oldwick, Whitman works each day on what she believes will be the salvation of her party.

She says Republicans must stop their internal bickering and adopt a broader view that allows a less conservative take on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research. She calls for a "new civility."

"The rhetoric is getting harsher, and we're having more divisive elections," Whitman said. "We can't just agree to disagree anymore without being disagreeable. ... People see their opponents as not just wrong, but evil."

Whitman is spreading her word of "radical moderation" and making campaign contributions to moderate candidates through a political action committee she formed last year after releasing her book, "It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America."

The book has just been published in paperback, giving new spark for an effort she hopes will pave the way for mavericks like Sen. John McCain of Arizona or former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to run for president in 2008. Whitman has collected $1 million for moderate Republicans in as many as 120 local elections across the nation.

"You can't tell people there is a problem and leave them hanging," she said. "I'm not in office. I'm not going to be running for office. I think I have the ability to say some things."

Whitman has found support for her theory in an unlikely ally.

"There may be something to what she says," said Dick Armey, the former House majority leader who along with Newt Gingrich engineered the 1994 Republican takeover of the House.

Armey, president of Freedom Works, a grassroots organization of fiscal conservatives, says the party has become "preoccupied by the Christian conservative agenda," which in turn has frustrated those he refers to as small-government, fiscal conservatives.

"That's a complete misconception," said Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life. Tasy contends the majority of Republicans oppose abortion and considers Whitman's views too liberal.

"These people are crybabies. You can tell by the title of her book: It's like that song, 'It's My Party, and I'll Cry If I Want To,'" Tasy said. "They can't win elections without the base of the party, and the base of the party is pro-life and conservative."

Whitman's Republican moderation movement is not new. Elected as a tax-cutter, she has angered abortion opponents for a long time.

Her reputation with anti-abortion activists was cemented in 1997, when she vetoed a bill to ban late-term abortions. The Republican-controlled state Legislature overrode her veto, but the ban was later overturned by the courts.

Republicans across the nation harshly criticized her. Some conservatives claimed it cost her votes in her razor-close 1997 re-election victory. Whitman, 59, can still feel the sting nearly a decade later.

"What's deeply personal shouldn't be partisan," she said.

Whitman wrote her book after resigning as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, where she had policy disagreements with the Bush administration.

Whitman boasts that her Web site has received 14 million hits and that her group has chapters in 29 states. She says its advisory board includes former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and former President Gerald Ford.

"It's hard to galvanize people around an idea. Usually you need a candidate or a specific issue," she said.

The It's My Party Too PAC is sorting through candidates that share what Whitman calls "our traditional Republican philosophy" -- lower taxes, less government and a respect for individual rights on social issues.

As an example, she points to a state Senate primary election in Florida, where anti-abortion Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry is challenging the incumbent, Sen. James King Jr., a Jacksonville Republican, after the two went toe-to-toe over Terry Schiavo last year.

As Senate president, King stopped Florida Gov. Jeb Bush from enacting legislation that would have required reinsertion of a feeding tube rather than allowing Schiavo, who spent years in a persistent vegetative state, to die. Randall Terry became a vocal proponent of keeping Schiavo alive by any means necessary.

King can expect a check from Whitman's PAC. "He's being challenged because the right disagrees with him on one issue," she said.

Whitman's PAC will stay out of congressional races, saying similar groups are focused on them but too few are helping moderates get elected to local offices.

That means she is unlikely to get deeply involved in the U.S. Senate race between state Sen. Tom Kean Jr., whose father was one of her mentors, and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez. She says she'd be glad to do whatever she is asked but is certain Kean doesn't need her help.

She does take note of a parallel in this race with her run for the U.S. Senate in 1990 against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Bradley. A newly elected Gov. Jim Florio, like current Gov. Jon Corzine, pushed a substantial tax increase, and Whitman seized on state taxes as an issue in the federal campaign.

"I was an outsider and Bradley refused to take any note of what happened," she said. "Every day we thought he was going to say something. He'd have blown my campaign out of the water if he had. It was mind-boggling that he didn't."

Whitman lost the race narrowly, but it put her in position to defeat Florio for governor in 1993.

Since leaving the Statehouse, Whitman has stayed out of the Garden State political fray in favor of a more national profile. She candidly admits her reputation in just about every other state in the nation is better than it is in New Jersey, where her popularity ebbed after her initial tax cuts.

"A prophet," she laughed, "is never appreciated in her own land."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stadium Boondoggle to Be Heard in the Tax Committee Tomorrow and Thursday

From Laura Lehmann of Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum:

Would you consider posting a notice of the Thursday
April 20 Tax Committee Meeting at Oak Grove Middle School in Bloomington,
1300 W. 106th St., at 6 pm? It is a chance for all those concerned about
the stadium tax to voice their views.
Thanks.
Laura Lehmann


I encourage Lloydletta readers to send emails on this topic to the Tax committee:

rep.phil.krinkie@house.mn, rep.dean.simpson@house.mn, rep.ann.lenczewski@house.mn, rep.ron.abrams@house.mn, rep.irv.anderson@house.mn, rep.joe.atkins@house.mn, rep.connie.bernardy@house.mn, rep.laura.brod@house.mn, rep.greg.davids@house.mn, rep.jim.davnie@house.mn, rep.chris.delaforest@house.mn, rep.david.dill@house.mn, rep.dan.dorman@house.mn, rep.ron.erhardt@house.mn, rep.larry.howes@house.mn, rep.mike.jaros@house.mn, rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn, rep.lyle.koenen@house.mn, rep.paul.kohls@house.mn, rep.morrie.lanning@house.mn, rep.john.lesch@house.mn, rep.paul.marquart@house.mn, rep.joe.mullery@house.mn, rep.peter.nelson@house.mn, rep.tom.rukavina@house.mn, rep.katie.sieben@house.mn, rep.ray.vandeveer@house.mn, rep.andy.westerberg@house.mn, rep.kurt.zellers@house.mn


From the City Pages blotter.

But the watershed (Waterloo?) moment for the latest stadium money-grab will happen later this week, as the House Tax Committee takes up the bill that, as currently written, would authorize Hennepin County to levy bonds and implement the sales tax without seeking public approval through a referendum, as is currently required by state law. Chaired by Rep. Phil Krinkie (R-Shoreview), one of the staunchest fiscal conservatives at the Capitol, with Hennepin County legislator and stadium opponent Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington) also a prominent force, the committee probably represents the most formidable obstacle in the path of Twins stadium proponents.

Krinkie has shrewdly scheduled his committee's hearings on the bill as a two-part process. Those in favor of a stadium will be testifying beginning tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Room 5 of the State Office Building. Opponents of the ballpark will get their say beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Oak Grove Middle School, 1300 W. 106th St. in Bloomington. Thus, the opponents get the final testimony, at a time more accessible in the schedules of most taxpayers, and in a Hennepin County location that also happens to be in Lenczewski's district. And if you think the Hennepin County hearings have been lengthy, just wait until Krinkie and Lenczewski start loading up proposed amendments to the bill around 9 or 10 on Thursday night.

"I'll likely have a couple of amendments," Krinkie acknowledged last week in a brief phone interview before he went home for the Passover/Easter break. "I want an amendment offered to include the referendum. I don't know whether or not it will pass, but it is current law and I don't understand why we should bypass it for a project of this scope. Once a tax get passed, it almost never goes away. Voters have the right to say whether or not they want it, so why should we remove [that right] in this case? The other thing, this bill has an exemption for sales tax on construction materials. I don't particularly like that idea and there might be amendment or something happening there." He added that Lenczewski likewise is going over the bill, noting that "I think she said she had about 40 amendments she could have offered last year [on pretty much the exact same bill] if it had been necessary." It wasn't, as the stadium bill became a victim of the cantankerous budget fight and never made it out of the committee.

This year, however, ballpark boosters not only have the newfound momentum of Grow's change of heart and the county's (likely) increased commitment from today. They also have to be buoyed by the favorable reception at the Capitol for building a new on-campus football stadium for the Gophers, and by the fact that most leglislators considering the Twins stadium bill can vote for it (in an election year for all of them) knowing that it will incur no cost to their constituents unless they wander into Hennepin County and buy stuff.

"Obviously, human nature being what it is, there is a chance it might pass because 86 counties are able to skate on this without paying the cost," Krinkie says. But the House Tax Committee chair is spoiling for this fight anyway, his philosophical opposition to stadium subsidies abetted by a potential political dividend. Krinkie currently is locked in a tough battle to secure the Republican endorsement for a chance to represent the 6th U.S. Congressional District in Washington, with, among others, fellow Rep. Jim Knoblauch (R-St. Cloud). Krinkie and Knoblauch have already bruised legislative elbows vying against each other over aspects of the House budget. Given that Knoblauch voted for a Twins stadium bill in both 1997 and 2002, Krinkie sees this as an another opportunity to differentiate himself with 6th District delegates. "I am campaigning on the idea that I am the consistent conservative in this race, so I hope my position on this is helpful to me," he said. "I know it's consistent."


This will be interesting.

Strib's Eric Black Plays Cat and Mouse with RPM Spokesman Mark Drake

The RPM put out a press release gloating over Time's recent article which put Mark Dayton as one of five worst Senators.

Eric Black decides to
have a little fun.

So I asked unfailingly-pleasant-and-helpful-GOP-press-guy Mark Drake whether the party trusts Time's judgment of senators in general.

Him: "Time magazine is certainly a well-regarded mainstream publication."

Me: "So do you accept their judgment on who are the five worst senators?"

Him: "On Sen. Dayton sure."

Me: "How about on the three Republicans who were on the worst list?"

Him: "I don't agree with everything Time says."

Me: How about Time's inclusion of Ted Kennedy on the best list?

Him: I don't agree with that, no.

Me: How about Time's decision not to include Norm Coleman on the list of five "up-and-coming freshman senators?"

Him: Norm should have been on that list.

Summing up, Me: Do you agree with Time's conclusion with regard to any Democrats on the good senator lists or any Republicans on the worst list?

Him: "I don't agree with everything Time says."


It goes without saying that the Drama Queen posted the RPM press release over on his blog.

Elwyn Tinklenberg's Campaign In Trouble

From the National Journal's Hotline:

-- Elwyn Tinklenberg (D), who led fundraising last quarter, raised the least ($65K) among major-party contenders in MN 06. '04 nominee Patty Wetterling's (D) entrance is partly to blame for drying up his coffers. She raised $220K this quarter and now leads him with $168K CoH.


DFL Leaning MN Publius, which endorsed Elwyn Tinklenberg concurs:

Things are looking interesting in the 6th district as the Q1 2006 fundraising numbers have been released. Here's the cash-on-hand round up:
Jim Knoblach: $328,000
Phil Krinkie: $255,000
Michele Bachmann: $196,000
Patty Wetterling: $168,000
Elwyn Tinklenberg: $146,000

Yep, doesn't look so great anymore.


Andy from Residual Forces mentions a Jim Knoblach press release.

Democrats - Total, Cash On Hand, Debts Owed

El Tinklenberg - $368,093, $145,580, $0
Patty Wetterling - $197,406, $168,402, $0

No big news here, other than the fact that Tinklenberg has also spent $200,000 and he is barely visible compared to the Republicans.


I guess this is what is sticking in the craw of the MN Publius bloggers.

From the Fergus Falls Daily Journal


Collin Peterson to seek re-election


Congressman Collin Peterson has announced his candidacy for another term as Minnesota's Seventh District Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will seek endorsement at the 7th District endorsing convention on Saturday, April 22 at the Northland Inn in Bemidji.

"I have been a strong voice in Washington on issues that matter in the 7th District, including federal agriculture policy, rural economic development, education, health care and transportation and infrastructure development," Peterson said. "I've worked to improve federal disaster assistance for communities and to address the concerns of senior citizens, small business owners, workers, college students and veterans.

"With the current Farm Bill expiring in 2007, and the Bush administration saying it wants to cut U.S. agriculture programs and sign more of these bilateral trade agreements that only seem to expose our producers to unfair foreign competition and put American farmers out of business the Agriculture Committee is going to have a lot of very important issues on its plate," Peterson said. “I know that we're going to have to fight hard and stick together in order to deliver a new Farm Bill that's good for Minnesota and the nation."

Peterson is the ranking Democrat on the House committee on agriculture and is one of only a handful of committee members who participated in the House-Senate conference that wrote the 2002 Farm Bill.

Peterson was first elected to the U.S. House in 1990. Prior to that, he served as a Minnesota senator and made his living as a Certified Public Accountant and small business owner. He grew up on a farm in Baker, graduated from Glyndon High School, and received his degree in business administration and accounting from Moorhead State University. He has lived in Detroit Lakes since 1968.



When asked about his position on the FMA, Representative Peterson announced he supported it, as no gay people live in his district.

Where do we find these people?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Gay Families Attend the White House Easter Egg Roll

Pam Spaulding has photos.

And Average Gay Joe at Gay Patriot has a post up suggesting the Republicans will deserve defeat at the polls next fall. That's not typical rhetoric for the guys over at GayPatriot.

Unpleasantness at the Star Tribune

They are getting laughed at by the New York Times. Ron and Mark were laughing about this one on their talk show earlier today. Hat Tip: City Pages Blotter.

Thursday Tax Committee Hearing on Stadium Boondoggle in Hennepin County

Laura Lehmann from Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum asked me to post this:

Any chance you'd post some info on your blog about an upcoming meeting regarding the Twins stadium? It is for those with concerns about the Twins stadium proposal and will take place at Oak Grove Middle School at 6 pm on April 20 Thursday ---- 1300 W. 106th St. (Proponents may attend a meeting at the Capitol on Wed April 19 at 3 pm, although apparently season ticket holders have been told by Team President Dave St. Peter to dress in Team Colors and crash the April 20th meeting........)
Laura Lehmann


This is an important meeting for Hennepin County Taxpayers to be at. If you want to email the tax committee you can copy these addresses into the to field of an email:

rep.phil.krinkie@house.mn,
rep.dean.simpson@house.mn,
rep.ann.lenczewski@house.mn,
rep.ron.abrams@house.mn,
rep.irv.anderson@house.mn,
rep.joe.atkins@house.mn,
rep.connie.bernardy@house.mn,
rep.laura.brod@house.mn,
rep.greg.davids@house.mn,
rep.jim.davnie@house.mn,
rep.chris.delaforest@house.mn,
rep.david.dill@house.mn,
rep.dan.dorman@house.mn,
rep.ron.erhardt@house.mn,
rep.larry.howes@house.mn,
rep.mike.jaros@house.mn,
rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn,
rep.lyle.koenen@house.mn,
rep.paul.kohls@house.mn,
rep.morrie.lanning@house.mn,
rep.john.lesch@house.mn,
rep.paul.marquart@house.mn,
rep.joe.mullery@house.mn,
rep.peter.nelson@house.mn,
rep.tom.rukavina@house.mn,
rep.katie.sieben@house.mn,
rep.ray.vandeveer@house.mn,
rep.andy.westerberg@house.mn,
rep.kurt.zellers@house.mn


Send copies of your emails to like minded friends so they can reply all to add their two cents about this nonsense.

Lloydletta Reader Suggestion: New Name for the Twins

id like to see the name of the team changed from the Minnesota Twins to the Hennepin County Taxpayers, since only people paying sales taxes in Hennepin County are getting hit with this.

i will admit that i'd be willing to settle to a $50 million govt contribution-and that that is state money, not just Hennepin Coutny. but that is unlikely. i'd settle for that simply because i'm sick of this damn issue, not because we have to have a baseball team.

one more thing, PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES & TEAM OWNERS are the biggest bunch of wusses and welfare queens you'll ever find!!
jcb


I like that name for the team.... As it is, the Hennepin County Taxpayers are being sentenced to 30 years of holding the bag thanks to Mike Opat.

A suburban mayor comments on the Twins stadium tax....

Thanks to Judy Johnson, Mayor of Plymouth, for providing some great insight into what the Mike Opat/Steve Kelley plan for a Twins stadium could actually mean.

Additionally, the plan includes a property tax increase! Most people don't know this but it does. Cities were mandated to pay sales tax on all purchases in the early 1990's when the state experienced revenue shortfalls. This proposal increases that sales tax which is paid for by property taxes. Democrats and Republicans are rushing to offer tax relief bills this session - each in their own way. I would suggest either repealing the sales tax on cities altogether or at a minimum - exempt cities from this proposed increase. Additionally, the Twins deal proposes to exempt the stadium project from paying sales tax - the very tax imposed on everyone else. How ironic that essential city projects like water treatement plants, police stations and ice arenas ALL have to pay sales tax to add to the state general fund. The stadium proposal will raise this hidden sales tax on property taxes. Also, when cities want to enact a local option sales tax - they are REQUIRED to get a vote of the people. That still does not guarantee they will be able to go forward with the project because they STILL NEED legislative approval in addition to the referendum requirement under current MN law. It just doesn't seem fair that the Twins stadium gets a different set of tax rules - does it? This is very poor tax policy. Hopefully legislators will pay attention to the details. I am not anti-stadium - I am for good tax policy.


Again, it is very important for all taxpayers/consumers to contact their legislator this week to comment on the tax implications.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Important Stadium Votes at the Legislature.....

The House Tax Committee will hear the Twins Stadium bill this week. If you are concerned about the wink and a nod agreements to not follow the law and allow for a referendum on the 30 year sales tax increase, contact the House and Senate Tax committee members right away.

Last week I sent the following e-mail to Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, who is my representative on the Hennepin County Board. I copied the two strongest stadium opponents on the board, Commissioners Koblick and Steele, as well as my House and Senate representatives in St. Paul.



Unless it is approved by a referendum, I do not support a sales tax increase for building a baseball facility.

After following this topic for the past year, I am very concerned that elected officials (at both the state and county level) are willing to propose and approve deals that violate the state statutes. It suggests that if compliance with a statute is inconvenient, or elected decision makers are feeling undue pressure to get something done, its okay to wink at everybody and ignore the law.

If that's the case, the bill that should be in front of the legislature is one that would repeal the statute requiring referendums for local sales taxincreases.



I did hear back from Commissioner Koblick, who suggested opponents contact the entire legislature. 80% of them do not represent Hennepin County, yet they stand ready to allow a tax increase for the county they do not represent.

Here are the members of the House Tax committee. All of the phone numbers have area code 651.

Chair: Philip Krinkie (R) 296-2907 rep.phil.krinkie@house.mn
Vice Chair: Dean Simpson (R) 296-4293 rep.dean.simpson@house.mn
Lead-DFL: Ann Lenczewski (DFL) 296-4218 rep.ann.lenczewski@house.mn
Ron Abrams (R) 296-9934 rep.ron.abrams@house.mn
Irv Anderson (DFL) 296-4936 rep.irv.anderson@house.mn
Joe Atkins (DFL) 296-4192 rep.joe.atkins@house.mn
Connie Bernardy (DFL) 296-5510 rep.connie.bernardy@house.mn
Laura Brod (R) 296-4229 rep.laura.brod@house.mn
Gregory M. Davids (R) 296-9278 rep.greg.davids@house.mn
Jim Davnie (DFL) 296-0173 rep.jim.davnie@house.mn
Chris DeLaForest (R) 296-4231 rep.chris.delaforest@house.mn
David Dill (DFL) 296-2190 rep.david.dill@house.mn
Dan Dorman (R) 296-8216 rep.dan.dorman@house.mn
Ron Erhardt (R) 296-4363 rep.ron.erhardt@house.mn
Larry Howes (R) 296-2451 rep.larry.howes@house.mn
Mike Jaros (DFL) 296-4246 rep.mike.jaros@house.mn
Jim Knoblach (R) 296-6316 rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn
Lyle Koenen (DFL) 296-4346 rep.lyle.koenen@house.mn
Paul Kohls (R) 296-4282 rep.paul.kohls@house.mn
Morrie Lanning (R) 296-5515 rep.morrie.lanning@house.mn
John Lesch (DFL) 296-4224 rep.john.lesch@house.mn
Paul Marquart (DFL) 296-6829 rep.paul.marquart@house.mn
Joe Mullery (DFL) 296-4262 rep.joe.mullery@house.mn
Peter Nelson (R) 296-5377 rep.peter.nelson@house.mn
Tom Rukavina (DFL) 296-0170 rep.tom.rukavina@house.mn
Katie Sieben (DFL) 296-4342 rep.katie.sieben@house.mn
Ray Vandeveer (R) 296-4124 rep.ray.vandeveer@house.mn
Andrew "Andy" Westerberg (R) 296-4226 rep.andy.westerberg@house.mn
Kurt Zellers (R) 296-5502 rep.kurt.zellers@house.mn


Members of the Senate Tax committee are:

Chair: Lawrence J. Pogemiller
Vice Chair: David J. Tomassoni
Ranking Minority Member: William V. Belanger Jr.
Member: Thomas M. Bakk
Don Betzold
Debbie J. Johnson
Warren Limmer
John Marty
Mike McGinn
Mee Moua
Julianne E. Ortman
Rod Skoe

You can look up their contact information at http://www.senate.mn

Pioneer Press Sheds Editorial Staff

City Pages blotter has more. Spot at the Cucking Stool had this one first. As Spot says, Yost is toast.