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Open Forum: People watching the legislators

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opinion Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

I have followed the negotiations that have gone on lately with the governor, the ball club and various lawmakers as to how involved government should be in this stadium issue. Corporate welfare for billionaires it’s been called and on the opposite hand the economic impact of losing the ball club has been one of the many reasons used for keeping them here. They have brought up funding sources from taxes, to the Legacy Fund, to gambling, to try and solve this problem. There are those who say let the voters decide and as democratic as that sounds in a government that is supposed to be a democracy the supporters for the stadium say it would get voted down, so don’t even try. So much for democracy. School districts have to hold a referendum to get additional tax money but sports teams don’t.

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The example the Vikings use in their argument is Target Field and they say they want similar treatment when it comes to taxpayer subsidies. However unlike the Twins it seems they want to spell out the location to the legislators, along with the price tag. Target Field had a lot of infrastructure in place that made things more feasible. The Twins play 80 games a year there, versus 8-10 for the Vikings and times were a lot more feasible when Target Field was built.

So it remains to be seen if the legislators are going to cave in to the extortion threats coming from the league and give the Vikings what they want, and not what the people want, or if cooler and more rational heads will prevail and reach a compromise good for the taxpayers and the Vikings or the Vikings will pack their bags. A lot of people are watching lawmakers.

Mike Holst

Crosslake

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