Monday, March 26, 2012

When you arrive at the fork in the road, take it.

In the quest to reach a resolution on whether to subsidize a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, it appears there's movement on a bill which, as of this past weekend, seemed all but stalled.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday morning that the majority of the Minneapolis City Council now supports building a new stadium for the Vikings.

The support comes after some resistance from certain members of the council.

Now, there are seven council members that have signed letters to support the construction of a new football stadium, though the council members all signed different letters that do not necessarily agree to the same terms.

With the left-leaning Mpls. City Council (as well as some Democrats in the state legislature) now seemingly going against their mantra of not funding pet projects for billionaires, it would appear the onus is now on some state Republicans to spend some political capital. As of today, I have no clue if the current stadium bill even has enough votes in the Legislature. However, I get a sense that the majority of House and Senate GOP members are rather skeptical that proceeds from electronic pull tabs will sufficiently generate the State's share of the nearly $1 billion project.

There's no doubt that Republicans are in a precarious position. If they capitulate to pledging approximately $400 million of taxpayer money to a Vikings stadium, they alienate their supporters who sent them to St. Paul to enact significant fiscal restraint. But if the GOP holds firm and don't provide the necessary number of members to put this bill over the top, it could well be a P.R. disaster which Governor Dayton and Democrat legislators are sure to exploit this election season.

What say you, Speaker Zellers?


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