House Speaker Kurt Zellers wants Vikings stadium bill to pass... but won't vote for it?

kurt zellers square.jpg
Zellers is conflicted: He likes the Vikes, but doesn't like shelling out tax dollars for a stadium.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers, like many Minnesota legislators, is trying to cover his ass best he can in advance of next Monday's House floor vote on the Vikings stadium bill.

During an appearance on Dan Barrerio's KFAN radio show yesterday, Zellers offered up this shining example of Orwellian Doublespeak: "I want to actually see the bill pass. You know, I'm a Vikings fan. You know, I may or may not be able to vote for it, but I want to see the bill pass."

Today, the Star Tribune reported that Zellers will not vote in favor of the stadium bill. So Zellers is both for the stadium and against it.

It's a dilemma many lawmakers will grapple with this weekend -- as MPR puts it, spending public money on a stadium is unpopular, but the public likes the Vikings.

So what's going to happen Monday? Nobody knows. Gov. Dayton predicted the bill will pass in the House with a 68-65 vote, then pass in the Senate by just one vote. Zellers is less optimistic, saying tersely that "the fate of the stadium is now in the governor's hand. This is his top priority."
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The time for talk ends Monday.

Dayton, for his part, said today he'll work over the weekend trying to drum up support for the bill. In a statement worthy of Charlie Sheen, the governor said the stadium bill is "about the people of Minnesota winning."

"We need jobs that are right there for [Minnesotans] to step into if this project goes forward, and I hope that members will realize the enormity of this decision as it affects the lives of thousands of their fellow citizens," said Dayton.

Representatives have one last weekend to sort through their principles and think about how their vote will play with constituents this election season. Monday is decision time, and there's no For It And Against It button on the House floor.

See also:
-- Dayton: Vikings stadium bill needs to be approved this session, or it's too late
-- Stadium bill deader than Vikings' postseason chances, but Dayton hopeful for another shot
-- Majority of Minneapolis City Council now supports Vikings stadium
-- Pro-Vikings stadium group releases pro-stadium poll, sparking Twitter controversy
-- Vikings, Rybak, Dayton, pro-Vikes legislators finally unveil stadium plan
-- NFL: No Los Angeles Vikings in 2012


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12 comments
Dave2
Dave2

Marty and Zellers should both be forced to attendthe Vikings training camp. ....Tackling dummies.

Trying to be reasonable
Trying to be reasonable

There is no easy answer to this.  I believe that the stadium would pay for itself over time, especially if Minnesota can secure a Super Bowl and a Final 4.  The state is better off with the Vikings in town.  I don't like the state having to pitch in money, but that's how it's done.  We will benefit ultimately.  This is a long-term decision for the better on Minnesota.  Let's all agree that we don't like how the sausage is made, but also agree that we like the end product. 

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

I disagree with our state's GOP legislators about many issues, but refusing to support this fiscally irresponsible plan is a place where we can find common ground. Don't be afraid to call a bad bill a bad bill, and reject it. Stadium supporters are certainly vocal, but they are far from a majority.

Erica
Erica

I'm glad Marty is against having taxpayers pay for a new Vikings stadium and this is the one issue I will agree with Zellers. Taxpayers should not have to help pay for a stadium. If fans like you want to do so then the Vikes should have those little red buckets outside games for fans to donate money. I refuse to help pay for a stadium for some less than mediocre sports team.

Phoenix Woman
Phoenix Woman

 John Marty's the leader of the anti-taxpayer-funded-stadium contingent.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

The public opposes subsidizing stadiums 2-1

We understand that jock-sniffers like yourself like when people buy your entertainment. 

Bjorgaard
Bjorgaard

     Well, then all he has to do is say "I don't want the Vikings here."  Then, at least those that oppose the stadium can say they love him for standing up for the little guy and the rest of us can think of him what we may.  If he really wants the Vikings here and he doesn't like this plan, he has had plenty of years to come up with something better.  Don't say "I want the Vikings here, but not with this plan.  I, as the House Speaker, have not come up with anything better to keep the Vikings here, but trust me, I do love them as a fan."      Lots of shades of gray in a black and white arguement.  Too much time has passed in this debate to argue over who should pay for what or how we should do it.  Legislators have had a decade or more to come up with a plan.  We are down to a simple vote of do you want the Vikings here or don't you.  If this is the plan that has come from 10 + years of endless debates, posturing, negotiating, and lobbying, just check the box that represents your position, 1: Keep the Vikings and everything that goes with it, or 2: Send them on to some other city that will pay even more than we are unwilling to spend.  Black/White!!

Trying to be reasonable
Trying to be reasonable

I'm sure the public also opposes having to pay taxes, getting speeding tickets, and welfare, but those things exist.  Hell, I'm opposed to the general idea of subsidizing stadiums, but that does not change the reality of how things are done. The Guthrie was subsidized.  The Mall of America was subsidized.  If the state wants things that attract business and revenue, they often subsidize it.  The state subsidized the Metrodome at 33 million and got over 300 million in tax revenue as a result over its lifetime. 

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

Forbes also had an article out yesterday titled "Vikings Stadium Not Likely To Help Minnesota's Economy" that is worth considering.

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

The Guthrie received a few million $--do you doubt they'll make a good return on that? The Vikings want the state (including Minneapolis, part of the state last time I checked) to chuck in over $1 BILLION, and there is no indication that we're going to receive any ROI here. Google "vikings legislature thedeets" for a great article that shows how big of a hole paying for this stadium is going to leave in the state's pocket. I'm not against subsidizing a commercial venture when it makes sense, but this bill makes no sense. And why haven't the Vikings been working over the past 10 years to find private funding sources? Why keep hitting up the state? They will not make their lack of planning my emergency.

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