Friday, February 09, 2007
Dick Cohen: Another Democrat
Addicted To Spending
...uh...make that Richard Cohen.
Dick is a Minnesota State DemocRAT. Like all DemocRATS, Dick is addicted to spending money. He just can't stop himself, it's something that's inbred in all DemocRATS. Dick has spent a lot of his life in politics. We can only imagine how much taxpayer money he's wasted in all those years.
Well...Dick has the bright idea that the State should pay off the city of St. Paul's remaining debt on Xcel Center which is where my beloved NHL Minnesota Wild plays hockey. The Center is also home to many other shows, programs, concerts and functions.
From the above linked story:
A group of St. Paul legislators want the state to pay off nearly $100 million in city debt on the Xcel Energy Center and the River Centre convention center, in part to help spiff up the facilities for the 2008 GOP National Convention.
A bill introduced at the Capitol seeks $98.5 million in debt relief, to pay off $55.8 million in bonds for River Centre and its parking ramp, and $42.7 million to pay off an interest-free state loan on the Xcel Arena.
City officials said the money would help upgrade River Centre before the GOP convention and pay for renovations at the adjoining Roy Wilkins Auditorium.
A chief sponsor, Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, said the state help would not benefit owners of the Minnesota Wild hockey team, which calls the Xcel Center home.
Cohen and St. Paul city officials point out that the Legislature paid off $87 million on bonds to clear the way for an expansion of the Minneapolis Convention Center in 1998. City Councilman Don Bostrom said River Centre and Xcel should similarly be viewed as a "statewide asset" since it draws state tournaments and conventions.
The 2008 GOP convention and the accompanying attention it will bring to the Twin Cities may give St. Paul extra standing for its request, although the city was considering a debt relief request to the state even before Republicans picked the Twin Cities.
While St. Paul's legislative delegation is entirely Democratic, they could have a Republican ally in U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, who led the drive for the Xcel Center when he was St. Paul mayor and was also instrumental in convincing the Republican National Committee to choose the Twin Cities for 2008.
"If you look at the amount the state has put into the Minneapolis Convention Center and the Twins stadium, doing this for Xcel and the River Centre makes it more equitable," said Bill Huepenbecker, a senior aide to Coleman and a former River Centre director.
It's not that St. Paul City is having trouble paying off Xcel Center. It's...apparently...the '08 Republican Convention and that the Wild are a "statewide asset" that now drives this scheme to pass the cost of the debt on to the entire state? Were not the terms of building, bonding and paying for Xcel Center by the City already inked when the city council voted and passed the fine print of how it would be paid and by whom?
AND NOW YOU WANT TO PASS THE COST ON TO THE ENTIRE STATE?
Look, I love my MN Wild and I love Xcel Center, it's a great place. But this is not the issue. The issue is, once again, government - in this case the City of St. Paul - when building the arena, saying it will be financed by the CITY and its RESIDENTS, NOT THE STATE. And then, "X" years later changing their tune and wanting to pass the cost onto people who were
Please Contact DICK and tell him to stop this scheme.
St. Paul City was proud that "THEY" were willing to pay the price of Xcel. "The NHL has a home in St. Paul," the politicians and residents alike said. They've done a good job paying for it, too. If the residents didn't like it - back then - they had the opportunity to vote the politicians out of office who were for it. Don't come back years later and try to foist this TAX INCREASE on people of who were never intended to be financially responsible for this.
And hey - DICK - just one personal question, if you don't mind. Um...what IS that thing on your head?
You can view a larger picture of Dick and his Stylish Bouffant HERE.
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