House Speaker Kurt Zellers wants Vikings stadium bill to pass... but won't vote for it?
Zellers is conflicted: He likes the Vikes, but doesn't like shelling out tax dollars for a stadium.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers, like many Minnesota legislators, is trying to cover his ass best he can in advance of next Monday's House floor vote on the Vikings stadium bill.
During an appearance on Dan Barrerio's KFAN radio show yesterday, Zellers offered up this shining example of Orwellian Doublespeak: "I want to actually see the bill pass. You know, I'm a Vikings fan. You know, I may or may not be able to vote for it, but I want to see the bill pass."
Today, the Star Tribune reported that Zellers will not vote in favor of the stadium bill. So Zellers is both for the stadium and against it.
It's a dilemma many lawmakers will grapple with this weekend -- as MPR puts it, spending public money on a stadium is unpopular, but the public likes the Vikings.
So what's going to happen Monday? Nobody knows. Gov. Dayton predicted the bill will pass in the House with a 68-65 vote, then pass in the Senate by just one vote. Zellers is less optimistic, saying tersely that "the fate of the stadium is now in the governor's hand. This is his top priority."
Dayton, for his part, said today he'll work over the weekend trying to drum up support for the bill. In a statement worthy of Charlie Sheen, the governor said the stadium bill is "about the people of Minnesota winning."
"We need jobs that are right there for [Minnesotans] to step into if this project goes forward, and I hope that members will realize the enormity of this decision as it affects the lives of thousands of their fellow citizens," said Dayton.
Representatives have one last weekend to sort through their principles and think about how their vote will play with constituents this election season. Monday is decision time, and there's no For It And Against It button on the House floor.
-- Dayton: Vikings stadium bill needs to be approved this session, or it's too late
-- Stadium bill deader than Vikings' postseason chances, but Dayton hopeful for another shot
-- Majority of Minneapolis City Council now supports Vikings stadium
-- Pro-Vikings stadium group releases pro-stadium poll, sparking Twitter controversy
-- Vikings, Rybak, Dayton, pro-Vikes legislators finally unveil stadium plan
-- NFL: No Los Angeles Vikings in 2012
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