Friday, March 16, 2012

Vikings to Plot of Land East of Metrodome IV -- He Said, She Said

Orphans rarely have so many parents as the Vikings stadium seems to have. Or not have. One thing is certain -- neither party seems to want to own the vote to move the project forward:

Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the lead Senate stadium author, said a Senate panel Wednesday could not pass the proposal because DFL senators changed their votes at the last minute.

In a new twist on the politics surrounding the stadium project, Rosen said it was DFLers on the panel who had suddenly switched their votes. “People changed their votes. [It] came down from leadership – wasn’t on our side,” she said.

That darn DFL. But on the port side of the aisle, Tom Bakk says nyet:

But Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk disputed what happened. Bakk said he was willing to pledge four DFL votes on the 14-member Senate Local Government and Elections Committee for the proposal. Republicans, who hold eight seats on the panel, were only willing to put up three votes, he said.

“I have six members of the committee. I was willing yesterday to put up four votes – half of what it would have taken to pass the bill along,” said Bakk.

“They were only willing to put up three votes [out] of their eight committee members,” he said. “They have eight members, and they can only find three?

“Why would I put up the majority of the votes? I didn’t write the bill,” said Bakk. “If I’m going to put up the majority of the votes, then I want to write the bill.”

Which leads to the question that never gets asked in these situations. What's stopping you from writing the bill, Senator? Go ahead and write the bill.

What we have here is a variation of the Prisoner's Dilemma. Politicians on both sides of the aisle might think it desirable to have a new Vikings stadium, but neither side wants to own the responsibility for it, from a political standpoint. Which leads to yet another question -- why wouldn't you want to own the bill, if you think it's desirable?

It's not that complicated, really. Either we value the bread and circuses enough to fund them, or we don't.


Anonymous said...

Who is this "we"? Government should only spend taxpayer money for the "public good." Who benefits from buying the Vikings a new mansion, other than the Vikings? Granted, for some few thousands of rabid fans it is a long drive to Green Bay to actually watch a game, and for some others watching football on TV becomes a tad less exciting, but for the large majority that have only a passing interest? Nope, not interested.

J. Ewing

Mr. D said...

I'll put you down as a "no," JE. ;)

Exactly right, of course. And I expect that in the end, the lege will come to the same conclusion that you have.