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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.

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8 Responses to “Sports blogger schools Gov. Dayton”

  • Chad Q says:

    So another case of “We have to pass the bill so we know what’s in it” eh? What a dope Dayton is. So what would be his response if the Queens raised all ticket prices 100% to pay their share of the stadium? While I am 100% against any public money going to finance the stadium, I have no qualms what so ever with season ticket holders or just ticket buyers footing the bill for the new stadium. Kind of the way things are supposed to work anyway, right?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Chad, I agree with everything you said.

    The bigger point to all this is that this stadium bill is just an example of Gov. Dayton being in over his head in this job. If he can’t understand something in a stadium bill, why should we think he’ll understand the ramifications of tax policy legislation? Why should we think he’s capable of putting Minnesota on a path to prosperity?

  • Dave S. says:

    I don’t know what it is, but there is something behind this feigned outrage. I hope somebody in the loop can ferret out the underlying issue which must be political.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Dayton is clueless. He spent a ton of time hyping this as “The People’s Stadium”, which everyone knew was BS. Now the Wilfs are doing what I thought they’d do. Now he’s outraged? I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • eric z says:

    If you watched the televised stadium debating, seat licenses were proposed in the legislature deliberations, as a part of generating the public amounts, but the legislature disdained the suggestion.

    It made all the sense in the world to me that the boosters who would benefit from attending games should flavor the pot, vs all the other taxpayers paying for and subdizing their entertainment.

    What I do not recall, is who floated the idea back then, and who dissed it. Whether it ever got a vote. I recall it being voted down, as an amendment. That could be wrong, it might never have gone that far.

    Any help, Gary, or readers? Is there any collective or individual memory of detail?

    And Gary, do not forget which party was in the majority in each house, in that awful thing being passed against taxpayer interests.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Gov. Dayton & Sen. Bakk led the drive on the Vikings Stadium. I know because I wrote extensively about Sen. Bakk’s idiotic tax proposal that ripped off Minnesota charities.

    I know firsthand about it because I interviewed King Wilson, the former executive director who was hurt most by Sen. Bakk’s proposal.

    I said frequently that the Vikings Stadium bill was the worst piece of legislation for building sports stadiums in U.S. history. Most importantly, I said it 2 months before the bill was passed. I said it right after the bill was resurrected. I said it consistently.

    The PSL-enabling language was always in the final version of the legislation. Sen. Bakk & Gov. Dayton should be flogged for their selling Minnesotans that bill of goods.

  • Nick says:

    What is a PSL? I am not really familiar with the term. I agree with Chad Q here. I didn’t want the Vikings Stadium to pass earlier in the year, especially with the taxpayers having to foot 40-80% of the bill. In my opinion, not a SINGLE taxpayer should have to fund a sports stadium!

  • Gary Gross says:

    PSL = Personal Seat License.

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