Winkler Says He'll Vote for Stadium Bill

The state representative added the plan is not without its flaws, however.

Editor's Note: The following letter was sent to constituents by Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-District 44B).

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Minnesota’s economy remains slow, and too many of our citizens are still looking for jobs and cannot find them.  We have an immediate jobs shortage, and we must take action to create a broadly prosperous state for our children and grandchildren.

Yet state government has been incapable of providing even short-term solutions, much less embracing a vision for economic success. The current Vikings stadium debate is a vivid demonstration of our inability to set the right priorities for our state.

Building a Vikings stadium will not produce long-term economic growth. Every independent economic analysis shows that building a stadium provides no net increase in job growth. Minnesota will see the benefit of a boost in construction jobs, but beyond that the economic benefits of a new stadium are very limited.

The stadium funding package moving through the Legislature could have been a better deal for Minnesotans. It gives the Vikings more money than they need, and it is funded through a regressive form of revenue. We could have done much better.

Last month I voted against the stadium bill, hoping that we could move on with the session and focus on other initiatives to create jobs and promote sustained economic growth. I hoped the Vikings would wait while we addressed the more vital concerns of our state, like innovation and research, education, and expanding the middle class.

It has become clear, however, that the current political environment of the state capitol is not capable of producing any other job or economic growth initiative besides the Vikings stadium bill. We face a choice, at the end of the legislative session, between doing nothing or spending our limited resources on a project with a limited return on investment.

Yet, as voters experience in every election, politics often comes down to a choice between two imperfect options. I have decided that a flawed plan for creating jobs in Minnesota is better than no plan at all. In future years I hope that we will go on to do big things that will pay dividends for generations. But in 2012 we will have to be satisfied to do the best we can and hope for better years to come.

For the sake of making what little progress on jobs that we can this year, I have decided to vote ‘yes’ on the Vikings stadium. In the years ahead, I hope Minnesotans will demand more from their government, and I hope that their elected officials will start to deliver. 


Ryan Winkler
State Representative
District 44B

Mark Sielaff May 07, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Well I guess with this decision your political career is over. We will work hard to find an oponnent who keeps his word and works for the people and not towards funding private enterprise.
Bill James May 07, 2012 at 01:26 PM
This doesn't surprise me in the least. When you have a hallway outside your door full of screaming people painted in purple and white and a whole line of union reps with their yellow hard hats on chanting for a stadium its hard to turn that drum beat off when you are trying to think your way through proper legislation. The irony of it all is that Rep. Winkler just last week voted down jobs generating legislation, HF2337 the Omnibus Tax Bill which included provisions for small to medium start up businesses to receive Angel Investor Tax credits to help young entrepreneurs start up businesses and hire people. The Angel Investment Tax credit is already in place, the provisions in the Omnibus bill were to help expand the funds available for people to apply for and fuel their growth and development. You know all those ads you hear on the radio from the guy in South Dakota who is always preaching to MN businesses they should relocate to Sioux Falls because it's so much better over there business wise? Yeah that guy. Well this legislation would help keep businesses in the State and also help launch new embryonic businesses here. The numbers are compelling regarding the adoption of the AITC legislation. Businesses, angel investors and local cities love it. Why? Because it creates high paying sustainable jobs, in medical device, biotech, high-tech, aviation and others. But Ryan appears he doesn't like those kinds of ideas. Maybe they can move the Vikings to SD too and have it all.
Nancy LaRoche May 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
This shows the power, big money and influence lobbyists have on our elected leaders. But you can vote no against Ryan Winkler this November.
Bill Wilcox May 07, 2012 at 02:10 PM
You are flip-flopping so you can be a part of taking money from the poor and the middle class and handing it over to millionaires. You are doing so even though you acknowledge that there's no long term economic benefit in engaging in this corporate welfare. You don't even make much of an effort to pretend that this makes sense, but you're telling us that it's better than doing nothing. Well it's not better than nothing. Refraining from helping special interests at the expense of the general population (i.e., doing nothing) is better than taking from the poor and middle class to give handouts to millionaires. You have caved to the governor, the unions, and the special interests; congratulations, you are now a typical politician.
Al Fresco May 08, 2012 at 04:49 AM
He's been bought. I wonder what the price was?


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