In the end, the funding mechanism was too complicated, too volatile to work. Tonight, 5 DFL legislators serving on the House Government Operations Committee essentially killed the Vikings stadium bill for this session:

After clearing two House committees with relative ease this month, a bill to use public money to help build a Minnesota Vikings stadium in Minneapolis was defeated Monday night, April 16, in a third, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the project’s chances this legislative session.

In a 9-6 vote that was bipartisan in its opposition, the House Government Operations and Elections Committee declined to go along with even a watered-down motion to pass the bill “without recommendation” to the House Taxes Committee.

Bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, called the vote “very disappointing” and said that for the bill to have any chance now to pass this session, which is expected to conclude by the end of the month, “Somebody’s going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat.”

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley called the outcome “extremely disappointing” and said “it’s a mistake” for people to assume the Vikings and the NFL will continue operating under the status quo. He said that isn’t a threat that the team will leave, but “Minnesota’s in control of their destiny.

“We’ve done everything we’ve been asked,” Bagley said. The question for the state is: “What else would you expect us to do?”

It’s interesting that the DFL voted to kill Gov. Dayton’s key initiative this session:

Voting against the bill were Democrats Marion Greene, Frank Hornstein, Bev Scalze, Steve Simon and Ryan Winkler and Republicans Joyce Peppin, Rich Murray, David Hancock and Duane Quam.

Voting in favor was Democrat Michael Nelson and Republicans Michael Beard, Carol McFarlane, Tim O’Driscoll, Tim Sanders and Dean Urdahl.

The only DFL legislator to vote for the stadium bill was Michael Nelson. It would’ve been shocking if he hadn’t voted for the bill because he’s a union carpenter. Otherwise, the DFL abandoned Gov. Dayton on his signature issue, his crowning achievement.

The DFL is attempting to spin this vote as the GOP defeating the Vikings bill. Apparently, the DFL thinks Minnesotans are too stupid to count.

What’s stunning is that both DFL legislators representing Minneapolis on this committee, Marion Greene and Frank Hornstein, voted against the bill. So did Steve Simon and Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley.

If Gov. Dayton can’t get more than one vote in committee for his signature achievement, then he’s looking rather powerless.

There’s no mistaking this. This is a major defeat for Gov. Dayton and the DFL.

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17 Responses to “DFL legislators kill Vikings stadium in committee”

  • Chad Q says:

    Just when I thought the DFL had become totally useless in this state, they come through in a big way in opposition to the Vikings boondoggle.

  • J. Ewing says:

    May as well tell you the spin now, I guess. This is the DFL doing the work of the Indian Tribes and opposing any competition for gambling dollars. Republicans were trying to “break the monopoly” of the Tribes by expanding gambling. Seems to me that if we just need more revenue for the Vikings and don’t care how we (Republicans)get it, we ought to start up the state-run brothels– an untapped market :-/

  • Gary Gross says:

    Republicans were trying to “break the monopoly” of the Tribes by expanding gambling.

    That’s true but it’s irrelevant to this legislation. There’s nothing in this legislation that expands gambling.

  • Eric Larson says:

    Voting No
    4 Hennepin County Reps
    2 Minneapolis Rep
    1 Minneapolis Rep who has Mark Dayton as a constituent.
    1 Freshman Rep DFL Rep who rep’s Mark Dayton can defy this guy.

  • paul says:

    How can you blame the DFL when only five Republicans
    voted for the bill, and four against?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Simple. When only 1 Democrat votes for his governor’s signature bill & 5 DFL legislators vote against Gov. Dayton’s bill, then the blame goes to the DFL.

    It’s telling that the DFL didn’t take Gov. Dayton’s plan seriously.

  • April says:

    It just seems out of bizarro world for the Republicans to want to let DFlers take credit for this. While I can believe a majority of Minnesotans want a new stadium if built with private money, especially if the alternative is losing the Vikings, the polls I’ve seen say “no public money” loud and clear. Public money for a Vikings stadium should be opposed by the GOP, and they should take credit when a proposal that includes public funding is defeated.

    @ Gary Gross–aren’t electronic pulltabs gambling? Is your point that it’s gambling that’s already outside the tribes’ monopoly?

  • paul says:

    Has it ever crossed your mind that these are Hennepin
    county Reps. We already pay for the Twins stadium alone.
    Is it their fault if the only backstop money on the table
    would come from hennepin county as well.You claim that the DFL has always voted pro union. This was an anti union and pro Hennepin county vote.

  • Gary Gross says:

    E-pulltabls are gambling but they’d replace paper pulltabs. Therefore, they don’t constitute an expansion of gambling.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Is it their fault if the only backstop money on the table would come from hennepin county as well?

    Actually, the chief backstops are sales taxes imposed only on luxury suites & ticket sales.

  • paul says:

    The stadium bill before the House includes four funding backstops, including Hennepin County, that might be used if electronic pull tabs and bingo failed to generate an estimated $42 million needed each year to pay the state’s $398 million share of a Vikings stadium.

  • Dan says:

    The stadium rejection was a bi-partisanship effort. An almost equal number of Republicans and Democrats rejected it. Is this all Republicans and their controlled legislatures can do…say no?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Is this all Republicans and their controlled legislatures can do…say no?

    You mean like saying no to permitting reform? Oh wait. The GOP legislature led the way on permitting reform.

    You mean like saying no to education reforms? Oh wait. The GOP legislature dragged the DFL kicking & screaming until education reform was passed.

    You mean like saying no to getting rid of this antiquated form of government? That’s right. The GOP told the DFL that a government that’s the same as it was in the 1990’s had to go. Thanks to Keith Downey’s leadership, that’s now law.

    Dan, is that what you were thinking about when you said the GOP is always saying no?

  • Chad Q says:

    I’ll take a GOP No and do nothing legislature over a DFL tax, tax, tax, and spend, spend, spend legislature any day of the week. Now if the GOP would cut, cut, cut I would be really happy.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Chad, Why buy the premise? It’s BS. It should be rejected ASAP. That’s the only proper response.

    Let’s get into the habit of demolishing the premise, then making a brilliant point after that. Trust me. That’s so much fun.

  • eric z says:

    Shouldn’t everybody, independent of party, favor a referendum on this one? Those trying to circumvent a referendum should be voted out. Rybak is a disappointment on the referendum issue. After the election there will be no chance at a referendum. Then the deal will be done, Wilfare will prevail.

    And the stadium and gambling expansion should be decoupled. They are independent issues. Or should be treated that way.

    Who really cares if the racetrack folds because they do not get racino? Who really thinks the racetrack will fold if they do not get racino?

    Each party should address gambling in its platform.

    Each party should address Wilfare in its platform.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, The MNGOP already addresses gambling expansion & public funding in their platforms.

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