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by Steve Timmer
May 9, 2012, 11:48 AM

Crocodile tears

Enough to swim in

In the debate over the stadium bill the past couple of days, one of the funniest things to watch has been the faux concern of some of the anti-stadium Republicans over people, and things, for whom and for which they ordinarily don’t give the smallest damn. Suddenly, education, bridges, and vulnerable people are on the lips of legislators who, as I heard someone say recently, don’t have green buttons on their desks (the green button is how you vote “yes” in the Lege).

Just for example:

Sen. David Hann is consumed with concern about “problem gamblers.” It’s very touching, and it would be interesting to compare his concern with his voting record, say, on mental health coverage for the indigent and those on MinnCare.

Glencoe’s representative, Gruesome Glenn Gruenhagen, is burdened with worry about the lack of a referendum on the stadium in Minneapolis. Glenn was right there, too, in fighting to preserve LGA for the City of Minneapolis last year. Well, not exactly. He’s also stands shoulder to shoulder with Hann, whining about social costs; I didn’t know Glenn could say the word “social.”

My favorite though, is Doug Wardlow, the Cicero from Eagan, who pleaded with his colleagues not to build a “monument to misplaced priorities.” [snort] Wardlow’s only priority — after a right to work amendment that he tried to get into the stadium bill as an amendment — is to skin state government and hang the pelt on his wall.

Whether you’re for building a stadium or against it, you ought to be revolted by prestidigitation and legerdemain like this.

Update: In the House, the best and worst arguments were by Morrie Lannig, who did yeoman’s duty in carrying the bill all along.

His best argument: Look, people do you really want to come back and do this again next year? That one probably carried the day all by itself.

His worst arguments: The Vikings have many suitors and will leave. To paraphrase Sen. Barb Goodwin, in response to a similar argument by the Deputy in the Senate: Who? When? Neither Lanning nor the Deputy could answer that. Lanning also said that the Vikings were “a marginal operation,” when neither he nor anyone else in the Lege has the foggiest idea how much money the Vikings make.

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