Campaign Finance reports filed today show the Vikings spent $350,000 on lobbying legislators to support a new stadium between June and December. That figure doesn't include salaries paid to eight lobbyists. That data will not be disclosed until March.
If an institution has this much money to spend on political access, it should have the money to support itself without taking money from others. If an institution can only get legislation passed in its favor by paying for access and paying off politicians in a manner that normal people could never match, that isn't a capitalistic system. It is crony capitalism, and it is part of what is bankrupting our government.
Whether you want to call it crony capitalism or socialism -- different terms for an identical problem -- Republicans should not support it. Political favors and pay-for-play politics are practices commonly engaged in by Democratic politicians, but it is inexcusable for a party of "moral values" to engage in the same gutter politics.
If you want to write a letter to your legislators urging them to vote against spending money on a stadium, the below-written letter is one template you may use.
I am writing to urge you against spending your constituents’ hard-earned tax dollars on a new sports facility anywhere in the state of Minnesota. New Jersey billionaire Zygi Wilf should use his own money rather than relying on our money to support his business and hobbies.
In particular, I urge you to stand with Speaker Kurt Zellers in supporting a referendum on raising taxes in any county asked to support a stadium. Rep. Morrie Lanning has threatened to scuttle the democratic process by proposing legislation that would prohibit Ramsey County residents from voting on a special tax, saying that it would put “the kibosh on the stadium project.”
The goal of spending more is not worth taking away the right to vote.
Given that legislators had to borrow $700 million from our state’s schools and issue $700 million in tobacco bonds in the last session just to pay off past spending, it appears that most legislators have not been spending our money wisely. Another $900 million on a sports stadium would be a poor decision.
Again, I urge you to support the democratic process, and to vote against spending money that we do not have.