Gov. Dayton blasts Republicans over Vikings’ stadium

By T.W. Budig, ECM Capitol Reporter

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders will meet this afternoon, Wednesday, May 2, to likely discuss the Vikings stadium and other end of session issues.

The meeting comes after Dayton delivered a blistering critique of the Republican leadership and their recent proposal to use general obligation bonding and taxpayer dollars to fund a new Vikings stadium.

The Republican proposal does not include gambling.

“I can’t deal with people who are untruthful,” said Dayton, Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, at his side.

Dayton called the embryonic Republican stadium bonding proposal a “hare-brain scheme.”

He characterized the Republican proposal as one of the most cynical, politically-driven efforts he has seen in his public career.

Republicans are willing to jeopardize jobs for thousands of Minnesotans, Dayton argued, in order to save their own political jobs.

“I hope the people of Minnesota will see it what it is,” said Dayton.

Dayton expressed doubt the Vikings stadium initiative could be “salvaged” for this session.

Dayton and DFL leaders further criticized Republicans for proposing a Vikings stadium initiative that neither the team or the City of Minneapolis supports.

The governor and DFL leaders expressed disbelief  that the Republican leaders would dismiss the stadium legislation, carried by Republican bill authors and negotiated over the past months, for thier hastily crafted proposal.

Give us a vote on the floor of the Senate, urged Bakk.

Stadium legislation does not exist by itself.

Republicans have indicated that they wanted to see their tax bill — a bill Dayton officials have indicated the governor is likely to veto — and the bonding bill dealt with before the stadium.

The House passed the tax bill yesterday, the Senate not yet acting on it.

Lawmakers will not be on House and Senate floors until tomorrow.

House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, an architect by profession and a key player in the Republican bonding strategy, said yesterday Republicans are looking for solutions.