Posted at 9:26 AM on July 9, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The Star Tribune's Mike Kaszuba continues to demonstrate his FOIA skills by getting the documents on the U of M's TCF naming rights deal.
Kaszuba found that the naming rights deal includes a bit more than putting a big sign up on the on campus football stadium. Here's some of the other perks that come in exchange with $35 million:
• Provide TCF exclusive access to the names and addresses of 236,300 alumni and season ticket holders so it can market new debit cards.
• Put the TCF Bank Stadium logo on everything from tickets and stadium menus to service worker uniforms and stadium maintenance vehicles.
• Allow TCF to solidify its position as a dominant banking institution on campus, and potentially push two competitors -- US Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank USA -- out of key locations.
Other perks were granted to the bank. They include making available for free the head football coach, the school's "Spirit Squad" or the Goldy Gopher mascot to TCF for appearances. The university also pledged to pay the expenses for the bank to fly four people to one Gophers away football game a year, and give the bank a 16-seat "prime location" suite at all home games.
I'm told that Goldy also has to be a bank teller on game day so employees have the option of tailgating. "Do you want that in 10s or 20s?"
The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Tim Nelson writes this morning that the ballot initiative to repeal the St. Paul smoking ban has been abandoned.
"The decision likely puts an end to any substantive challenge to the city's smoking ban for at least a year and possibly for good, since the law will have been in effect for 20 months before it could next be put to a vote in a general election."
Nelson also said ban opponents are optimistic the city will consider such items like smoking rooms and patios as a compromise.
The NYTimes has a story that says higher tax revenues will reduce the deficit.
"The rising tide in tax payments has been building for months, but the increased scale is surprising even seasoned budget analysts and making it easier for both the administration and Congress to finesse the big run-up in spending over the past year."
That should make Republicans happier about their prospects of winning in November. But they still need to shake the Abramoff/ethics scandals. That's something Grover Norquist can't do.
The Washington Post has a story on Norquist's waning Washington street cred because of his dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
"But in the aftermath of reports that Norquist served as a cash conduit for disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the irascible, combative activist is struggling to maintain his stature as some GOP lawmakers distance themselves and as enemies in the conservative movement seek to diminish his position."
Finally, the blog "Across the Great Divide" offers some words of advice for Keith Ellison that other DFLers have been saying privately.
"Note to Keith: Hire someone who can do paperwork and kick you in the ass when you need it, and do it fast."
Ellison is the DFL endorsed candidate in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District and has had a bumpy ride the last couple of weeks (see earlier posts).