Skip to comments.Minneapolis Bridge Politics
Posted on 08/09/2007 8:31:05 AM PDT by WBL 1952
Bridge Politics Unless we change the way we fund our highways, infrastructure will continue to crumble.
Jim Peron | August 8, 2007
Politicians are drawn to tragedy like flies to pie. Take the Minneapolis bridge collapse.
You have to wonder what makes this a federal responsibility. The typical excuse is that the state can't afford such pricey projects, so it behooves the federal government to step in to help.
Whatever Minnesota's spending constraints, the state can apparently afford to spend hundreds of millions for corporate welfare to Carl Pohlad, the owner of the Minnesota Twins, for a new baseball stadium. Hennepin County, where the bridge is located, recently passed a new .15 percent sales tax solely to pay for Pohlad's new stadium.
Pohlad basically blackmailed Minnesota. Unless they bilked taxpayers for his personal benefit, Pohlad threatened to take his baseball team elsewhere. When voters in North Carolina rejected an attempt to fund a baseball park for Pohlad there, he shuffled back to Minneapolis, where he was rewarded with the corporate handout.
In addition to the baseball franchise, Pohlad owns Marquette Financial Companies and United Properties. Next to PepsiCo Inc., his family is the largest shareholder in PepsiAmericas. Pohlad is a billionaire, several times over. Yet the state of Minnesota, which apparently is too poor to properly maintain its bridges, was willing to hand him a few hundred million more. And Pohlad's subsidy was just one part of a massive $1 billion package the legislature put together, which also included funding for a new stadium for the University of Minnesota football team.
The bridge didn't collapse because Minnesota couldn't afford to maintain it. The bridge collapsed because the state had other priorities, unrelated to the proper functions of government.
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
Reason magazine.... pffffft!
The story had me interested until the author blamed I-880 in Oakland on “maintenance” when it was the World Series earthquake that brought it down.
And it’s not like we’re driving on roads scot-free. We pay gas taxes - that’s our toll.
NAILED IT !!!
You must be a baseball fan.............
Professional baseball = a children’s game being played very well by adults for millions of dollars in pay for people that like to watch men in baseball uniforms...
Why are Democrat candidates for president running around saying we need to invest in infrastructure and assuring us that they are against bridges caving in?
Why has Bush been blamed for neglecting the nation’s infrastructure? Maintaining roads and bridges and such is primarily a state and local gov’t responsibility. Do we want a president personally inspecting bridges all day long, as now the Dems. and MSM have decreed that this should be his highest priority?
Then God forbid we have another terrorist attack, they will say that Bush didn’t connect the dots or had his priorites screwed up. The Dem. and MSM template has worked all too well, i.e. blame Bush for whatever happens, whether it’s a hurricane wiping out a city or a bridge collapsing or bad weather caused by global warming, which Bush hasn’t done enough to stop, they have gotten away with just blaming Bush for everything.
Pawlenty also said he wanted state run casinos ---- then he dropped that, I wonder why ??
Something sure smells rotten in my fair state
Would you apply that to all professional sports are is it just base ball that you don't care for?
We must protect these bridges... what if a minority or a woman were to be killed while crossing one?
I would apply that to all professional sports. People need to find lives instead of being watchers..........
The whole point of the Iraq War that bothers the liberals, is not that we went to war. It’s the money that was spent to prosecute that war. To their minds it could have been better spent buying votes of the standard democRAT constituencies.
The US infrastructure has been in danger of completely falling apart for as long as I can remember. Seems to be still standing.
As far as the “Bush’s fault syndrome”...isn’t everything bad Bush’s fault? I assumed that the dinosaurs going extinct was Bush’s fault. That’s what I tell my liberal acquaintances that GWB personally ordered the extinction of the dinosaurs and that Karl Rove found the “Mechanics” to get the job done.
The stadium is being funded by a sales tax in Hennepin County only, not by any state-wide tax. Hennepin County commissioners voted for the tax in their County. Hennepin County Commissioners could have had a vote of Hennepin County residents to approve the tax but they didn't. I don't live in Hennepin County and none of my taxes will go towards building the stadium. If the Hennepin County taxpayers want to pay for a stadium, that's their decision. As none of the money for the stadium comes from state funding, the amount spent on the stadium has no affect on state funding for things such as roads and bridges.
You have to wonder what research this "journalist" did before writing this claptrap. I35W, where the bridge collapsed, is an INTERSTATE highway. It is not owned by the State of Minnesota, but by the Federal Government.
“Hennepin County commissioners voted for the tax in their County. Hennepin County Commissioners could have had a vote of Hennepin County residents to approve the tax but they didn’t.”
You are correct any many of us are wondering just what if anything one or two Hennepin County Commissioners worked out with the Billionaire that caused them to vote for a tax on their citizens for him.
The bottom line is that any society can handle only so much in tax before it has a negative impact to all. It is Governments reponsibility to measure it, assess it, and spend it for the greatest good while being constrained by the fact a society can only allocate so much for taxes. Hennepin County squandered a fortune in tax on a stadium few wanted. The fact every poll showed overwhelming REJECTION of spending tax money for the stadium was the reason these Commissioners REFUSED to allow a referendum.
To repeat: what did they (Commissioners) get out of it?
Minneapolis and Hennepin County are a world of their own when it comes to politics and corruption.
Not true. Interstate highways are the property of the states, although they receive federal funding and must meet federal standards.
That rings a bell for me. I don't know about Pennsylvania's bridges, but I know something about the condition of its state highways, which from what I have seen is miserable.
The fact that the state did not have to give in does not keep from being blackmail.
Pawlenty's support of the stadium was what pissed me off, when they were working on finding a way to pay for it.
I was't referring to the stadium funds as being diverted from transportation...
I was just pissed that we have another subsidized stadium (the current metrodome is a good example) paid for by many people who will never set foot in it.
I don't live in Hennepin county either, yet even if you never purchase a toy in the county, if you live there, you still have the tax on top of your water bill, etc. They should have let the taxpayers vote on it, but they knew which way the vote would have gone, so they decided not too.
What a government and without pawlenty's support of it and the tax (yes it is not state wide tax), the stadium would never have been approved to be built.
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