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How to be for a bill you oppose

May 3, 2012
The Journal

On Tuesday, legislative Republicans unveiled a new plan for building a Vikings stadium, one that they didn't discuss with the Vikings, or with the city of Minneapolis, or anybody else, it seems.

Republicans propose a stripped-down version of a new "roof-ready" stadium, one without a roof, but which could be roofed later when someone else decides to pay for it.

Minneapolis Mayor R.G. Rybak said the city would refuse to go along with such a plan. The Vikings said it is not a plan they support. It is unlikely to get much of any support from Democrats in the Legislature.

So why offer such a half-baked proposal?

So that when the issue fails and the Vikings get ready to move out of Minnesota, Republicans coming up for re-election can say, "It's not our fault. We offered a perfectly good plan, fiscally responsible for a stadium, but no one else wanted it."

There is a good plan on the table, one that features a significant investment by the Vikings, one supported by the City of Minneapolis, one that has bipartisan support in the House. It would use a funding source that shouldn't dip into the state's general funds.

The Legislature should tackle this issue head on and commit an act of political courage instead of political subterfuge.



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