Don’t believe everything you read, especially in sports blogs and columns about government issues. That is what some Minnesota politicians say after dealing with Vikings stadium issues for months, or years.
The end of the 2012 Minnesota Legislature approaches amid strong partisan disagreements. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, called a recent letter from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton “snarky.” Dayton’s letter to Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, placed the blame squarely on them if a Vikings stadium, public works funding and Capitol building restoration fail this year.
The past week was full of big news under the Minnesota Capitol dome, everything from hundreds of workers protesting a proposal that would make joining unions optional to a sex scandal to the sudden stalling of a stadium construction bill. But the most entertaining episode probably was an unannounced appearance by a Minnesota football legend, former Vikings coach Bud Grant, urging lawmakers to raise hunting and fishing license fees to fund programs related to those activities.
Senate Republicans’ Monday firing of a Dayton appointee drew the governor’s sharp remarks. They said former Sen. Ellen Anderson is too strongly opposed to energy sources such as coal and nuclear to serve as an energy regulator in the Public Utilities Commission chairwoman’s job.
Many Minnesotans may not understand why there has been all the fuss about Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigning, but that position and that of the House speaker are very powerful. When it comes to passing legislation, in a large part they decide what bills have a chance to reach the governor’s desk. In other words, they have veto power before the governor does. In reality, the House or Senate could overrule a speaker or majority leader, but that seldom happens.
Trying to agree on how to fund a new Vikings football stadium is hard enough, but legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton also must deal with trying to find the facts. It’s not that anyone is lying, but everyone is trying to spin their side of the story.
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