The Minnesota Senate said Wednesday it would hold two public hearings on the possibility of using tax money to help build a Minnesota Vikings stadium.Politicians love to talk and the public hearings should give us some decent kabuki theater, but what we learn won't be much. Instead, we'll get stuff like this:
The first hearing will be held on Nov. 29, with a second on Dec. 6. News of the hearings came as Gov. Mark Dayton and others looked for ways to resuscitate the long-debated stadium amid mounting evidence that the project would not be seriously considered by legislators until at least next year.
Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the chief author of Senate stadium legislation, quickly praised the hearings but said there are no plans before the hearings to unveil a formal proposal to select a site for the stadium or specify a source for any public subsidy.
The announcement also came as a colorful group of stadium supporters, known as the Viking World Order, marched into Dayton's office at the State Capitol to boost the chances for a new stadium in Ramsey County's Arden Hills. The group, which featured members wearing purple camouflage and face paint, included one man who cried as he sat in the office's reception area and wrote a note to Dayton urging him to get the stadium built.
"It's not about the team, trust me," said a tearful David Willard, whose shoulder-length hair partly covered his Vikings leather jacket. "It's a way of life, the way I was brought up."
I suspect that Zygi Wilf finds Mr. Willard's tears delicious. Emotionalism has been key to everything the Vikings are doing.
As for the hearings, the two dates don't mean much, really. Another date matters much more:
In between the two hearings will come the state's latest revenue forecast, on Dec. 1, with projections of how much the state has to spend over the next two years.It's always good to take revenue projections with a grain of salt -- we really have no idea whether actual revenues will be even close to projections, especially given the parlous condition of the world economy these days. Still, a poor projection could be devastating, which is why crying dudes with Vikings jackets are so essential to the public discourse.