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< The tip sheet | Main | Waivers and the week ahead >

The punch line

Posted at 7:42 AM on April 13, 2007 by Bob Collins (5 Comments)

A Republican, a DFLer, and a reporter walk into a bar....

OK, I have no idea where that joke could lead but the other day I noted that Rep. Abeler filed a bill for a new Twins stadium location.

Here's how it reads.
1.1A bill for an act

1.2relating to sports; providing an alternative location for a major league ballpark;

1.3amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 473.751, subdivision 6.


1.5 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 473.751, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

1.6 Subd. 6. Development area. "Development area" means the area in the city of

1.7Minneapolis bounded by marked Interstate Highway 394, vacated Holden Street, the

1.8Burlington Northern right-of-way, Seventh Street North, Sixth Avenue North, Fifth Street

1.9North, the Burlington Northern right-of-way, and the Interstate Highway 94 exit ramp or

1.10the city of Ramsey.

Ha...ha... ha. That one still gets me. Oh, you didn't see the joke? Ummmm... me neither.

Apparently, it's a joke in legislator-speak. Rep. Jim Abeler sends along the press release that apparently this refers to:

St. Paul - In response to what has been snail-like progress on getting the new Twins stadium to become a reality, Rep. Jim Abeler (R - Anoka/Ramsey) has introduced legislation (HF 2418) to allow the placement of the new open-air stadium in the City of Ramsey.

Despite news of the recent "breakthrough" where the Hennepin County will condemn the land and have to pay an undetermined price for the privilege of cramming the stadium into a postage stamp size lot next to a garbage burner, Abeler says this new option just might make sense.

Abeler points out that the City of Ramsey has a lot of open space of which would require neither condemnation, nor negotiation with the tough-as-nails Burlington Northern Railroad. Plus, he says, the city is eager to attract new industries in an area noted for its clean air and open spaces. "The game day experience could include a canoe ride on the wild Rum River or a hike by the Trott Brook. These low cost options could make an outing to the Twins game a true family experience."

Also, he points out, on those chilly game days, the additional time outdoors would help game attendees acclimate to the frosty or torrid game time temperatures made possible by the stadium’s open-air design.

Even though he admitted that he has spent little time working with the Twins organization on this proposal, Abeler felt that the team could find merit in it. "This project must be underway and costs are increasing by the day. In true Minnesota tradition, when we see somebody stalled on the highway, we stop and help them out. In the same way, with the stadium project stalled out and over budget, how can the City of Ramsey sit idly by and not come to the aid of this true statewide Minnesota resource?"

The financing mechanism would remain the same. Abeler remarked that he expected that the City of Ramsey would be fully comfortable in allowing the new Hennepin County sales tax revenues to be used for this project. "I expect we wouldn't charge them any extra for the larger site and the fresh air," he explained.

The Hennepin County Board has yet to comment on this proposal.

Yes, the bill still gets MFL points. On a more serious note, Rep. Abeler noted these points in his e-mail to moi.

On another note, I have noticed where a few MFL bloggers seem to think my coauthoring of bills is some relation to the goal of success in your league. A better explanation of my actions is the desire to avoid being meaningless as a minority member. It is harder than anybody thinks to get much done as a minority, even with 9 years of tenure. So I have concentrated on building bridges instead of planting IED's.

Maybe if you want to really test legislators' prowess, put any of the current legislative "movers and shakers" into the minority and see what effect they have on policy and politics, and put some long-term members of the minority (like GOP senators) into the majority and see what they can do. That would maybe be a "fantasy" fantasy team...

Of particular interest to me is the level of being ignored by formerly attentive lobbyists and others that has happened since the election turned the tables. Even eliciting a simple greeting from some of these seems to be a milestone these days.

Comments (5)

He stole my punch line:
"Abeler remarked that he expected that the City of Ramsey would be fully comfortable in allowing the new Hennepin County sales tax revenues to be used for this project."

Posted by bsimon | April 13, 2007 9:10 AM

A Republican, a DFLer, and a reporter walk into a bar....

Well I want to say something snappy about the smoking ban, but don't think most folks would find it as funny as it is in my head.

Posted by Brian Hanf | April 13, 2007 10:04 AM

A Republican, a DFLer, and a reporter walk into a bar....

....then walk right out again when they realize that none of them has ever picked up a tab! bada-BING

Go Carriers! Go Abeler!

Posted by Doug Gray | April 13, 2007 1:34 PM

Got to love Jim Abeler.

That is, unless he HASN'T scored nearly 5,000 points for your team as he has for mine.

Posted by Nate Dybvig | April 13, 2007 11:45 PM

http://english.edgewood.edu/110d-s2007-hunter/_disc14/000008c8.htm hello
http://facstaffwebs.umes.edu/jadavis/engl337/_disc6/000053cd.htm hello

Posted by artur@gmail.com | May 7, 2007 5:25 AM