Greens oppose subsidy for stadium

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The Green Party of MN is opposed to spending any resources, including the time and energy of legislators, on stadiums for professional teams like the Twins and Vikings. Unlike the two major parties, we are unified on this issue. Our platform states:

“We strongly oppose any use of any public funding or financing for building or renovating sports stadiums in Minnesota. We also oppose any new tax or extensions of existing taxes to subsidize professional sports leagues, teams or facilities.”

There is no need for getting into the parsing of how things are paid, and
who is allowed to vote. The fact is that the priorities shown in this legislative session are flat wrong, and the need to deal with far more pressing issues, once again, gets ignored or pushed to the margins.

The stadium bills with their increased taxes and many exemptions prove
that when the legislature and governor want to raise money in big chunks
they can do it. It seems to happen, however, only when it is for the
benefit of those who need it the least: corporate billionaires. And
legislators who claim they believe in “local control” and “democracy” are
willing to bypass local referendums on the Twins and Viking bills.

This session could have made a strong response to global warming by moving swiftly toward energy efficiency and renewable energy. We could have had health care for all. We could have established lobby reform and publicly funded campaigns so average voters, not big money, are represented at the Capitol.

No one doubts that the Gophers, Twins and Vikings have strong appeal to
many in our state, but, as the recent StarTribune poll shows, the people do not want to be force-fed stadiums.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are misguided. They have wasted our time and resources. The Green Party of MN is clear on this: no
anti-democratic process and no welfare for billionaires.

Ken Pentel is a member of the Minnesota Green Party

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