consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Governor claims all are in it together and must pull together against the pulltab shortfall.

Strib's report:

Gov. Mark Dayton said all sides acted "in good faith" in depending on new e-pulltabs to fund a Vikings stadium and must accept responsibility for the fact the games have produced a fraction of the revenue that was predicted.

"We're all in this together," Dayton said Tuesday. "We're all responsible for its creation." He said it is far too soon to panic about whether the games will eventually cover the state's share of the new stadium.

"We'll work this out," Dayton said. "It's not about pointing fingers about what happened last spring. Everybody acted in good faith. Unless somebody can prove conclusively otherwise, I would say everybody -- the gambling control board, the department of revenue, the Legislature, Republicans and Democrats, and my administration -- everybody acted in good faith, and has applied their best judgment to a totally unprecedented situation."

At issue is the state's reliance on electronic pulltab gambling games that the Dayton and the Legislature approved last session to cover the state's $348 million contribution to a new Vikings stadium. The Star Tribune reported Sunday that gambling businesses with an interest in promoting the games helped produce the rosy estimates.

Initial estimates of $34 million, used to gather support for the stadium bill that passed in May of 2012, have since been cut down to $1.7 million. The number of bars installing the games has been less than one-tenth of the number projected.

Below is a picture of manure spreading:

photo credit

Interestingly, Strib revised and extended its reporting, this link, to compare with the link given in the post beginning, for as long as both are kept online by Strib. Different headlining, a photo of a salesman looking uncomfortable, and text added after the paragraph:

“The Legislature, if they misunderstood the situation, they have no one to blame but themselves,” he said. “And I have no one to blame but myself.”

Same pig, different lipstick. The surprise, Strib owning land near the cash sinkhole stands to gain land value and yet publishes what it does, not boosterism.

I view Dayton as having burned much credibility in the exercise. Not with the building trade unions, certainly not there, but with others in the public who STILL ARE WAITING to see the rich fairly taxed, as we were repeatedly promised. I see no other way for the man to redeem credibility except by that, since Wilfare largesse is the polar opposite of taxing Wilf and his kind.

What the man said sounded fine.

Now, deliver, please, as the Governor with a majority in each house of the legislature, and no excuse available that way. Either we were lied to, or not. Simple options demand simple responses. Taxing the rich is not a conceptually difficult thing. Nor is implemention of the promise a complicated thing beyond legislative and executive capability. A simple exercise of will is all that is needed.

It is called, "How to avoid being a one term wonder." To avoid riding the manure spreader off into the sunset. It may reach as far as the recently very dependable Republicans running a Tom Emmer clone, or Bachmann or some such folly.

So Mark, be a good fellow, and tax them as promised. We await it. Restore faith in the election process and election rhetoric - not that there has been much faith merited; but Mark, buck the trend and turn out okay. Being merely better than Pawlenty sets the bar far too low. Be a true statesman. Tax the rich.


Jason Tossey said...


As you would guess, I don't agree with your notion that raising taxes on "the rich" (or anyone) is the answer to fixing this particular boondoggle. For Governor Dayton to act surprised by the lack of revenue from e-pulltabs for the Wilf's playground is preposterous. Not only did the governor have an idea that there would not be enough revenue created for this monstrosity, the legislature knew it as well. The two legislators I spoke to (one called me about it) knew that the revenue forecasted from e-pulltabs would come nowhere close to what was being advertised.

Reaching into the general fund was part of a last resort game plan all along, in my opinion. And to be clear, this is not a left / right issue, or a GOP / DFL issue; it's an issue of fairness where folks in a granite building believe that average middle class families are responsible to flip the bill for millionaire athletes and billionaire owners just because the root for a guy who can run with a ball.

As you know, I believe strongly in contracts (after all, honoring them prevents needless laws); so short of asking the Wilf's to renegotiate the terms (my preference), I suggest the legislature get busy identifying a new revenue source that doesn't kill family incomes or jobs. After all, they created this mess.

eric zaetsch said...

What you say Jason makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

There is no contract between the State of Minnesota and the Vikings.

There is only a law, passed by the State of Minnesota, that can be repealed.

And it should be.