Despite bitter divisions, the Minneapolis City Council made a decades-long commitment to subsidizing professional sports with a 7-6 vote Thursday to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.And it also did this:
With its vote, the council also nullified a 15-year-old city law that requires voter approval of any stadium subsidies of $10 million or more. The momentous nature of the debate was not lost on council members, who frequently wondered aloud how it would be viewed by future generations. Supporters said it would create needed jobs and aid the city's budget, while opponents countered that it bypassed the will of the people and makes no economic sense.To get an idea how government has behaved in this ongoing travesty, I call your attention to the stellar work of Ed Kohler, who runs one of the better portside blogs in the area, The Deets. Kohler has a long post, with plenty of video documentation, of the nature of the debate in the State Senate. It's an eye-opening and infuriating read and I recommend it highly. Kohler quotes Sen. Sean Nienow, who lays it out quite nicely:
"I'm not really sure I want to be part of a government any more -- at the state level and at the city level -- that behaves this way," said Council Member Lisa Goodman, an opponent of the plan.
If you vote for this amendment. You are voting to vacate the Minneapolis charter. You are voting to ignore the voice of the people. You’re saying “we know better than you. You weren’t smart enough to write your charter the right way. We need to vacate it for you. We need to take away those rules that you asked for. It’s inconvenient that it exists for us (never mind that you wanted it).” And that is just wrong.
That's precisely what happened. Perhaps the purple face paint will cover the stain.