A majority of the Minneapolis City Council now backs Mayor R.T. Rybak's plan to fund a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis, setting up a last-ditch effort by Gov. Mark Dayton to persuade reluctant Republican legislators to support the project.No need to be coy, Colvin Roy?
The surprise announcement Monday that seven council members had signed letters of support seemed unlikely just a week ago, when seven members publicly opposed the plan. But after heavy lobbying by stadium backers, including Gov. Mark Dayton, Council Member Sandra Colvin Roy abandoned her insistence on a citywide referendum and gave Rybak the majority he needs.
"I didn't change my mind," Colvin Roy said Monday. "I made up my mind."
I don't believe that, but we'll leave it aside for a moment. This development does change the dynamic pretty significantly, however. For stadium opponents, the situation was a nice setup: as long as the Minneapolis City Council was unwilling to support the bill, the legislature wouldn't move. And without legislative support, the City Council had no reason to move.
What really happened to Colvin Roy? According to the Star Tribune, she and another council member, Kevin Reich, were (ahem) persuaded:
Colvin Roy and Reich were under intense pressure from labor groups. Dan McConnell, business manager for the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, said he spoke with both Colvin Roy and Reich over the weekend -- as well as stadium opponents on the City Council. Colvin Roy said she hasn't talked with McConnell about the stadium since at least last week.Construction workers have a lot of tools and certainly they have enough rhetorical power sanders to round a politician's heels, especially in Minneapolis.
"We had people talking to them that were constituents from their wards," McConnell said.