Serious people don’t think Gov. Dayton is the brightest bulb in the DFL’s chandelier. They might think he’s a decent politician but they don’t think he’s that bright. That point is illustrated when former Vikings beat writer Kevin Seifert took Gov. Dayton to task on PSLs:
Gov. Mark Dayton fired off an angry letter to team owners Tuesday that, among other things, threatened to scuttle the team’s $975 million stadium deal if the team institutes PSLs, a plan that is under consideration but has not been finalized. PSL revenue would go to the Vikings, and therefore help offset their $477 million share of the deal, and Dayton wrote: “I strongly oppose shifting any part of the team’s responsibility for those costs onto Minnesota Vikings fans. This Private Contribution is your responsibility, not theirs.”
First, what idiot proofread this letter? It isn’t “This Private Contribution.” It’s “This private contribution.” Had Gov. Dayton insisted that the $477,000,000 come out of the Wilfs’ pockets, he shouldn’t have signed the bill. Here’s what Seifert wrote about that:
But there are some major holes in what is really just a sloppy political maneuver. The first: The stadium legislation Dayton signed last spring explicitly gave the Vikings clearance to sell PSLs through the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Further, it allows them to count the revenues toward its share of construction costs.
Don’t believe me? I dug up the legislation itself online and found the relevant passages. Here you go:
On the topic of what the bill refers to as “stadium builder’s licenses,” the legislation says: “The authority shall own and retain the exclusive right to sell stadium builder’s licenses in the stadium. The authority will retain the NFL team to act as the authority’s agent in marketing and selling such licenses.”
In a subsection on the Vikings’ contribution, the bill reads: “The NFL team/private contribution, including stadium builder’s license proceeds, for stadium costs must be made in cash in the amount of $477,000,000.”
It’s apparent Gov. Dayton doesn’t have a clue about capitalism. Why wouldn’t Gov. Dayton think the Vikings would attempt to pay their portion with every revenue stream that’s available? Besides that, is Gov. Dayton saying that the PSL revenue can only go towards the Wilfs’ profits, not to pay off their mortgage? Is Gov. Dayton saying the Vikings shouldn’t raise revenues through something that’s specifically allowed in the legislation he signed?
If Gov. Dayton is this clueless about whether a sports franchise owner will take the opportunity to maximize his revenues, why should we think Gov. Dayton has a clue about the impact his economic policies will have on Minnesota’s economy?
With Minnesota’s political leadership resting in the hands of Bakk, Dayton and Thissen, these are frightening days indeed.