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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Vikings Stadium Bonding - No Need To Panic? -- Yet.

Category: Vikings Stadium
Posted: 12/05/12 19:43

by Dave Mindeman

About a year ago, I posed this problem when we were discussing the Vikings Stadium....

Back to gambling. Although electronic pull tabs seems to have the least objections, I'm not convinced that it can bring in enough revenue to fulfill state obligations.

Back in February, Dayton said this in an interview with MPR regarding the stadium bonding via pull tabs:

Wurzer: I have to ask you about the Vikings stadium. We have a report this morning from [MPR reporter] Tim Nelson that basically says counting on gambling revenues can be kind of risky and sometimes the revenues raised don't meet projections. What happens if, say, electronic pull tabs, which you support to raise the state's share of a new Vikings stadium, don't bring in enough money?

Dayton: Well, we're going to have to commit revenues from whatever sources that are greater than the actual amount to pay off the bonds. If there's, say, $300 [million] to $400 million of bonds issued, that would take about $40 million a year in proceeds to pay it off ... So the people who are going to buy the bonds are going to require that the revenue stream be more than $40 million, as much as $60 [million], maybe even as much as $70 million.

So we'll have to allow for a shortfall as part of the equation, and we're prepared to do that. It may require another source in addition to expanding electronic pull tabs, because as you say, no one knows for sure until it starts exactly what revenues it will bring in. But we'll have to cover it in order to proceed with the bond sale.

Wurzer: Any idea of where another pot of money could come from?

Dayton: There are various possibilities being talked about, but I don't have anything in mind right now.

That was then -- this is now--

Minnesota's new electronic pull tabs aren't generating as much revenue for the Minnesota Vikings stadium as originally projected, leading Minnesota Management & Budget to reduce its future projections as part of its latest budget forecast on Wednesday.

They tell us there is no need to panic....

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said there's no need to panic, noting that these are projections for reserve funds above and beyond the amount needed to cover the bonds for the state's $350 million share of the nearly $1 billion stadium.

Panic? Who's panicking? We'll just take everyone's word for it. I mean everything has gone according to plan so far, right?

Well, uh, no. But we won't panic.....yet.
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Sen. Dave Thompson- An Election Examination With Nothing Learned

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 12/05/12 02:30, Edited: 12/05/12 02:30

by Dave Mindeman

Dave Thompson (R) Lakeville (and Asst Minority Leader in the Senate) has made some realistic observations about the last election.....

In comments after a meeting Tuesday of the Republican Seniors of Minnesota, Thompson said that GOP candidates? insistence that there was a budget surplus and the push for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage had, in effect, backfired.

?When people wake up and read the paper and they see deficit, deficit, deficit, deficit, and then the one person comes out of the woodwork to say there?s a surplus, it looks like you?re being disingenuous, especially when it?s self-serving,? he said.

As for the wisdom of the marriage amendment, Thompson, who voted in favor of it, now says: ?With the benefit of hindsight, politicians, policy makers need to respond to some perceived problem and I don?t think your average voter perceived that marriage in Minnesota has a problem.?

Another way to put it...when you say there is a surplus and it is not there and your party is the reason it is not there, then you have a problem.

Secondly, when you promise to focus on jobs, then turnaround and force the state to take up an extreme social agenda, you have another problem.

Senator Thompson is a realist but he is also unrepentant. He concludes that the Minnesota electorate has made a huge mistake....

He painted what he considers a dismal and unacceptable post-election future for the state under the DFL Legislature and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. ?I think you are going to see a broadening of unionization. You are going to see an incredible shift against building roads and toward transit,? he said. ?I think you are going to see an incredible level of increased spending.?

He talks about what he foresees as if it is the ruination of Minnesota. The reality is that a push for fairness in unionization is a long overdue structural enhancement for the middle class. And the shift to transit? Why, that is a realistic look at Minnesota's future. Thompson stubbornly defends a transportation system that can never meet our future needs. And as for spending...Thompson should look no furthur than a self examination of his own party as the cause of that. The gimmicks have all come due and it is clear that only the DFL Party has the courage to tell us the truth about the structural budget deficit.

Dave Thompson was elected in a deep, deep red portion of Lakeville. And so he will probably continue promoting the same type of conservative thought that voters consider "extreme". He tracks the Republican problem this way:

?I?m not here to defend Republicans,? he told his solidly GOP audience, who responded to his remarks with applause. Republicans were weak, he said, in their choice of Mitt Romney for president, their poor get-out-the vote effort, and their message.

In other words, Romney wasn't the "right" conservative guy. The GOP seemed convinced that conservatives would naturally flock to the polls as the GOTV effort....and the message, yes the message. The message Thompson espouses is the very one that lost.

Senator Thompson examined the election and learned nothing.
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