Doug Mann explains why his lawsuit could derail Vikings stadium [UPDATE]

VikingsStadiumNewRect.jpg
And you thought the Vikings stadium was a done deal almost two years ago...
:::: UPDATE :::: Mann's lawsuit has been dismissed, clearing the path for construction of the new stadium and the adjacent downtown east development to go forward as originally planned: In a statement released after news of the Supreme Court's decision broke, Governor Dayton thanked the court "for its decision to dismiss this lawsuit, and for resolving this matter so expeditiously."

"Although I felt it had no merit, I was extremely concerned that this lawsuit would delay the financing of the stadium, and the progress of the $400 million development adjacent to it," Dayton continued. "Today's decision clears the way for thousands of Minnesotans to get to work on these two important projects."


(Original post from January 14) -- With little time to spare if the new Vikings stadium is to open in time for the 2016 season, the state soon needs to sell bonds to pay for the ongoing construction on the Metrodome site. Per the stadium bill, Minneapolis sales taxes will then be used to repay those bonds.

SEE ALSO: Vikings stadium design: Top 10 tweets

But that won't be the case if 57-year-old Minneapolis resident Doug Mann gets his way. Mann, an out-of-work nurse who has been putting his paralegal training to work as an amateur lawyer, recently filed a lawsuit that could prevent the state from using Minneapolis taxes to pay off the bonds. And if he's successful, not only is the stadium's construction timeline jeopardized, but so is the entire redevelopment of the adjacent Star Tribune property.

We spoke with Mann yesterday and asked him to break down his legal argument in the simplest terms possible. He explained it like this: Minnesota's constitution includes a provision that "The power of taxation shall never be surrendered, suspended or contracted away." But contracting away Minneapolis's power of taxation was exactly what officials did when they decided to use city sales taxes to repay state bonds, Mann argues.

"The purpose of the lawsuit is to get Minneapolis taxpayers off the hook for the obligation to pay debt service on state-issued bonds," Mann told us. "If I prevail, the Legislature will have to make some other arrangement to pay off the bonds."

But the problem for stadium supporters is that at this point, there's no time to make another arrangement.

For one, even a short delay means the stadium won't be ready for the 2016 season. Furthermore, the $400 million plan to redevelop the adjacent Star Tribune land into downtown's largest park -- featuring new office towers, 300 residential units, and retail stores -- could be jeopardized altogether in the event of a delay, as the timeframe for that project includes a number of time-sensitive agreements the city entered into with Ryan Companies.

State officials are taking Mann's lawsuit seriously, as on Sunday it was announced that the bond sale will be delayed until the legal challenge is resolved.

"One consequence of trying to hold the bond sale now is that they would have to disclose to potential buyers that there is a legal action that would jeopardize the potential repayment of bonds," Mann said. "So there's no way they can sell the bonds until they get some sort of resolution from the Supreme Court."

But how could officials possibly not see this coming? After all, the language in the aforementioned constitutional provision seems clear.

(For more, click to page two.)


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
128 comments
Ryan Rock
Ryan Rock

Look at the shape of the building there is an icicle danger. This is bad architecture.

gaelkf
gaelkf

Mann is right and the court is wrong, it just shows to go,  money talks, justice walks.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

I'm a vikings fan but would rather see them move to LA than pay for the BS deal the state made. I'll never be able to afford to go to this "public" stadium and neither will most of the people that will pay the most for this thing. I wonder how many are aware that the debt St Paul owed on Xcel center was just paid off by everybody in the state, debt that revenue from tickets was supposed to pay off.

Adam Klugherz
Adam Klugherz

We should make it so the Vikings welfare handout is only available to them on an EBT card...

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

So much news in one day! Hard to believe there is so much to talk about after three days without any news on this blog. Feast or famine!

Tim Williams
Tim Williams

Oh great! Now all those 1000s of high paying jobs can start.

Joe Jakubik
Joe Jakubik

Can't wait to see how much Zygi charges the suckers for the PSLs. $5K? $10K? Sky's the limit!

Bob B Bopp
Bob B Bopp

Thank god. I hated the thought of not handing over my tax dollars to corporate welfare-sucking rich people.

Eddie Lyndberg
Eddie Lyndberg

Doug Mann needs to not be re elected. What a tool this guy is. You see him interviewed, he looked confused a fuck!

Rick Meyer
Rick Meyer

Yay! All of our problems are over!

Lashonda
Lashonda

Build the stadium! Ziggy can have "Disciplined Nurses Day" with Doug Mann as the featured speaker.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1

I'll tell you what's going to happen:  This state and Minneapoils are spending money and acquiring debt like there is no tomorrow.  Debt for Vikings, remodel of Target Center, light rail, trolleys down Nicollet.   The Target center never broke even - it need Mpls / State support for the mortgage.  Target Field: $392 million in public subsidy is provided through the Hennepin County sales tax increase for the $522 million project.

Minneapoils is one of the cities that has a HUGH under funded pension obligation.

When the Fouth Turning comes - when the QE of $85 billion a month blows up, when the reinflated housing / auto load / equities market crashes - must worse than 2008 - we will be left holding the bag.

allyourbasearebelong
allyourbasearebelong

Imagine if we just suddenly took $1,000,000,000 and handed it to existing downtown businesses to remodel or improve, gave loans to businesses looking to move downtown, improved transit, social services, built parks, etc. that would create construction jobs galore as well as PERMANENT retail/management/marketing/sales/whatever jobs. What kind of ROI would mpls get on that versus a stadium that's used for 10 games of sportsball a year?

Jennifer Caswell
Jennifer Caswell

Very classy, Mr. Hurley. You have really raised the bar with your eloquent words. I am guessing that you have been taking lessons on the finer points of debate? You have unwittingly provided another example of how the money for this stadium might be better spent in areas such education. I sure hope you do not speak like this at your place of employment. Learn to articulate your argument without resorting to calls for violence and using profanity. These are the tactics of bullies. There are debate points that favor your side of the issue. Use those to try and win your argument. Personally, I see no conclusive evidence that this stadium will boost our local economy consistently enough to justify the expense. Just look at the new Twin's stadium. When times are bad, no one can afford to go to the games. Restaurants send workers home and close. Parking lots do not collect fees, less sales tax goes to the State, etc., etc., etc.. Economy tanks. Also, there are many hidden expenses that will offset gains made. There are more police and emergency services required during games, wear and tear on utilities, city workers and private workers needed for clean-up, etc. If you have ever sat in on a conference with people arrested for peeing in allies and parking lots after games, special events and bar closings you would understand what I am saying. You might be surprised at how much money all those examples amount to. And to add another point, the wonderful new Twin's stadium we just built needed more financial assistance from the State after being open for only a few years. I believe that was added into the bill to fund the Viking's stadium? In fact, I think Target Center and the Xcel Energy Center got in on that, too. So, it looks like every few years these rich teams are going to complain that they need more of our money. Looking ahead 15 years into the future I wonder what the final cost on this stadium will actually be. Certainly, it will be far more than the nearly half-billion that is currently set aside. I am not confident this is a good deal for the people of Minnesota at all. We need to expand and develop businesses that are going to remain viable during more difficult times. THAT would help the local economy, in my opinion. The Vikings are welcome to build a stadium but, as the NFL is a $9 Billion Dollar a year industry, I think they can cough up the money. Or, at least most of it. There. I have made an argument and not once did I threaten you with a "rake" (which is a really weird weapon of choice, by the way) or throw profane words at you. I realize that many people like you feel differently and there are many legitimate points others could use to rebut. That's fine. In fact, that's great! That is how we resolve issues and grow as a people. Please try to elevate the debate with thoughtful discourse. Nearly $500 million dollars should be enough to make everyone pause and consider whether this is a good use of our collective money.

Chris Porto
Chris Porto

I still think the stadium looks like the ugliest thing I have ever seen.

Jennifer Caswell
Jennifer Caswell

I so agree. I have been following this issue for years. I have read up on, listened to both sides, etc., etc., etc.. I still see very little evidence that this stadium will boost the economy significantly in any way. We just had to "help" out the new Twin's stadium that was just built and that was supposed to "help" the economy. I don't care if they want to build a new stadium but considering that the NFL is a 9 billion dollar a year industry (the head of the NFL makes around $30 million per year. I think he earns more than most CEO's in the country) and the owners are all millionaires, as well as the players, I think this can be their problem. Oh, and to top it off I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that the NFL still claims their non-profit status that all the other sports have long given up. Really? They call themselves a non-profit. Disgusting. That means the NFL as an organization is exempt from most taxes. Nice. What a classy group of boys for the State to make a deal with. Never mind how the voters were bypassed by using a loophole in the law. I also have a very big problem with the whole blackmail ploy of pay up or we leave. Pathetic. Our money can help the economy in better ways than building this stadium.

colcoyn08
colcoyn08

Lally, what has the MMBN actions have anything to do with this wonderful lawsuit? What the MNBN does to this individual is not germane to his Law Suit.  Perhaps, he is a better attorney than a rule following nurse?  Perhaps, Mr Mann, understands that the public at large should not be placed in debt by special interests.   I and many others are of the opinion that private development ought to be done by private investment schemes.  A private for profit corporation could have been created to build and run the stadium without a penny of taxpayer's dollars.      


The advantage of such a corporation is that those die hard Viking fans could buy shares in such a venture at their own choosing putting their own wealth at risk. Such a private company would be required to annually file financial disclosures and the stockholders would have the power to make sure that the books were actually audited by Board certifies auditors.


A corporation could also have been created to "develop" the Star Tribune properties as their stockholders desired and not met the whim de jour of those currently in power in Minneapolis.   


Why must taxpayers who never attend a Vikings game be forced to pay for something that is not in their best interests?

Lally
Lally

Mr. Mann has a history of disciplinary action by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. His LPN license was conditional for 2 years. The document is really shocking and details several allegations of negligence!

Bob B Bopp
Bob B Bopp

Oh darn. I was SO looking forward to handing over more tax money to the welfare-sucking rich.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 To be fair though as a Republican you thought George W. Bush was a great President and the Bush tax cuts would stimulate the economy so people should remember you have no idea what you are talking about.  

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@allyourbasearebelongUgh.  You don't know what you're talking about do you.  There would be plenty of events there, it would take events from Xcel energy center.  Also events would make more stops in Minneapolis because there is a state of the art stadium now.

hwarne76
hwarne76

@allyourbasearebelongGuess what?? Those businesses you speak of rely heavily on the Dome to bring in revenue, to the tune of 10's of millions of dollars or more per year...Furthermore, many people have jobs directly/indirectly because of the Dome.  I'm one of them, and the Dome provides me and many people like me employment in the marketing / sales fields.  Also, the Dome is used all year long for many different events; the Vikings use is actually only a small portion of its use.  Do some research before spouting off...You'll be surprised at what you learn!

hwarne76
hwarne76

Do some research...The Dome brings ins 10'sof millions, sometimes hundreds of millions, of dollars each year to the surrounding businesses.  Why should they have to pay for it themselves when the state and businesses are make tons off of them?? That's essentially stealing...Furthermore, many many many people are directly and indirectly employed because of the Dome...Those city workers you speak of that have to clean up?? Yeah, looks like they're working because of the Dome..So take it away and send them where exactly?? You like to ignore all the benefits of having a stadium downtown brings, and choose to focus on the negatives, which in this case aren't negative at all as it's providing people with jobs..I would say to YOU do some actual RESEARCH and stop relying on hearsay!

Lally
Lally

Mr. Mann has wasted our tax dollars with negligent care to vulnerable populations who are on Medicaid and Medicare. Doug should repay the taxpayers for the additional services required due to his negligence along with the two years of baby-sitting service the attorney general's office spent monitoring him. Doug is not an attorney, and he is not a "rule following nurse."

Lally
Lally

It is unfortunate that Doug Mann didn't care about our tax dollars, or fragile seniors , when his nursing negligence harmed patients receiving Medicaid and Medicare. Our tax dollars paid for additional treatment due to his sub- standard nursing practice.

We he be repaying us ?

hwarne76
hwarne76

@colcoyn08The same reason taxpayers who don't have kids and never will are forced to pay for schools..or mass transit, even though they'll never use it...or the museums, libraries and tons of other things are taxes go towards, whether you use them or not..Why don't you go ask the businesses downtown if they want the stadium and Vikings to move...lets see what they say.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Lally

You can't throw shit like that out here without backing it up with some kind of proof.

stephansonprop
stephansonprop

@ChazDanger @allyourbasearebelong I'm pretty sure you don't know. If you have read the paper at all you would have found out that none of the event centers are making money because they are all bidding against each other using  our tax dollars as a way of getting the bookings. And no target center is getting ANOTHER 100 million so they can also bid against our other 4 government owned buildings. We are bidding against ourselves chaz it doesn't get any dumber than that.

allyourbasearebelong
allyourbasearebelong

Before I start spouting off? Or what? The Internet comment police will arrest me?

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1

The 'state' is not in the business of 'investing' in private corporations.  Otherwise why not borrow money and invest in the stock market?  Maybe Mpls should buy FaceBook IPO's or Twitter IPO's or Apple?

If this stadium is such a good money maker let the Viking's owners, the Hotel owners/developers, the resturant/bar owners, parking lot owners, etc. finance this deal.  They will make the profits, and Mpls doesn't have to invest a dime, nor take any risks.  It will be the same jobs!

Lally
Lally

Mr. Mann's public disciplinary action taken by The MBON is public record.

stephansonprop
stephansonprop

@ChazDanger @stephansonprop @hwarne76 @allyourbasearebelong #1 Mr Danger never mentioned the excel #2 both the TCF and Target fields said ,in meetings, that the felt the could book 150-200 "events" per year??? I guess 6 in two years is close enough for you. I attended the hearings and NOTHING they sad would happen has happened and everything we said would happen has, including the seat Lisc. that your buddy Gov. Goofing said he did not know about.

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@stephansonprop@hwarne76@allyourbasearebelongLook how many Xcel energy center has.   And actually Target Field has had 6+ events, Trade shows and other baseball games.  You just don't do any kind of research and if you don't know about it, it doesn't exist i'm guessing.  Go home brain, you're broken.

hwarne76
hwarne76

@allyourbasearebelongNo, you sound like a moron though, to those of us who actually deal with FACTS versus opinions.  Go ahead, sound like an uninformed zealot, more power to you!

hwarne76
hwarne76

@Truth_Teller_1The money the state gets from the Dome / Vikings goes to a myriad of things, including things YOU benefit from, whether you want to admit or not.  The state already invests in quite a few private businesses and corporations, something you obviously choose to ignore in this case or simply didn't know.  Either way, not having the Vikings and new stadium would cost this state way more than you'll ever know or refuse to acknowledge.  Go look up some facts, stop relying simply on opinion and hearsay.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...