Consider this scenario; you get home late from work. Your spouse, who doesn't cook, decided to surprise you by making dinner. You look at what they are making and realize with horror the meat is burnt, there are little miniature marshmallows floating around in it, one taste and you realize it’s too salty to eat. The entire kitchen is trashed and you realize your spouse also poured half a bottle of your most expensive wine into this disaster.
Your spouse is cranky because the children are whining and crying. You mention the mess and they get very defensive. “Fine. You fix it.” The baby starts wailing and your five year old wants his dinner.
This is what our state legislature has been dealing with in regards to the Vikings’ stadium. Dayton and Rybak saw dollar signs the minute Zygi Wilf began pressing the point that he needed the state to build him a stadium or else. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman got in on the act as well. He wanted his cut of the action. They connived and plotted, arranged and schemed and got all kinds of goodies together to pay off their union thug friends and throw some cash at their buddy, the Strib. When other sites were mentioned or other areas considered, the three little pigs weren’t having it. Nobody in Minneapolis wanted to pay for it, but they didn’t care.
They plopped the big hot mess down in front of the legislature and told them to pass it. If you don’t, the Vikings will leave. The baby will starve. The kindergartener will throw a tantrum. It will be your fault.
The legislature then had to try and fix the burnt lamb, miniature marshmallow, and soy sauce stew with expensive imported French wine mixed into it. So, like it or not, they started to work.
Well, you should’ve heard the bellyaching from the press. Tom Hauser couldn’t stop snarking about how long it was taking to “fix” the Dayton/Rybak catastrophe. Rachel Stassen-Berger was moaning and groaning about how this wasn’t that hard. So what if the proposal is an economic and fiscal nightmare that is premised on wishes and dreams. Who cares if we just hand over hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies without trying to limit the damage? Not these two.
We have all been frustrated by this process and this plan. It’s not a good plan. It’s not even very responsible. But, I will give this to the Republicans in the legislature. They had one big hot mess to start with. It was Dayton and Rybak, with an assist from Coleman, who put together this site, plan, and funding mechanism. We cannot forget this point. This absurd stadium proposal is their deal. They are the ones who concocted this stew and they are the ones who should be soaking in it.