Zellers throws a block to special session

GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers says he won’t support a special session in November to pass a bill that would finance a new Vikings stadium. The move is a major barrier for stadium backers since Gov. Dayton insists he won’t call a special session without prior approval from legislative leaders.

Supporters of a new stadium say they were hoping the Legislature could pass a Vikings stadium bill before the November forecast is released. There have also been concerns that the Vikings’ lease with the Metrodome expires before session starts on Jan. 24.

Zellers, from Maple Grove, says he has told Gov. Mark Dayton “repeatedly” that he would not support a special session for a Vikings stadium. That’s according to an e-mail Zellers sent to the GOP caucus yesterday.

Here’s the full e-mail, which was obtained by MPR News:

Dear GOP Members:

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding the Vikings stadium issue.

This afternoon, Governor Dayton agreed to drop his earlier support to exempt a referendum for both Arden Hills and Minneapolis. As you know, I have been insistent that an imposition of a sales tax must include, at a minimum, a referendum.

Again, I want to be clear about my position regarding a special session for a Vikings stadium. I have repeatedly told Governor Dayton that I will not support a special session for a Vikings stadium. This issue can be addressed during the regular session. I will continue to communicate this message to the governor, legislative leaders, the public and media.

Please let me know if you have any questions.



Speaker Kurt Zellers

State Representative, District 32B

463 State Office Building

St. Paul, MN 55155

Editor’s Note: Prior to this e-mail Zellers has been tepid about the need for a special session for a Vikings stadium but he hasn’t come out and said directly that he would not support a special session to solve the stadium issue.

  • b

    man up zellers

  • http://www.thedeets.com Ed Kohler

    It’s great to hear that at least one of our elected officials understands that our state has more important issues to deal with than handing over the state’s resources to an NFL franchise owner to help the owner increase his private business’ profit margins.

  • a.ferrey

    THANK YOU, Speaker Zellers. It gives me hope that there is still some sanity left in the world.

  • Charles Nyberg

    I think it is important to note the millions of dollars of revenue and the countless jobs that this franchise brings in to our state and the good people who live and work here. This is not a “football” issue, it really is a matter of good economic policy and investing in our state’s future.

  • David Houle

    The Editors note says that Rep. Zellers has not come out and said directly that he would not support a special session to solve the stadium issue…

    The email acquired from MPR news says the exact opposite. Explain please.

  • Matt

    For those of you living in Maple Grove, I ask you to please kick Kurt Zellers out of public office next year. He and the Republican Party are driving the Vikings out of Minnesota.

  • Jim B.

    FINALLY someone in the state government is starting to realize we have more important issues to address than the Vikings. Thank you, Speaker Zellers, and thank you Governor Dayton for dropping your opposition to a referendum on any stadium tax. If Mr. Wilf would like a loan from the state I’m all for that. Then at least money would be made on the “investment” of a stadium.

  • http://Www.jcshepard.com JC Shepard

    Kudos to Speaker Zellers. There are a FEW men of principle in St. Paul.

  • Jed C

    Anyone who thinks this is just a football issue is fooling themselves. Like it or not, having a professional football team adds to the character of the area and state. It adds revenue. It adds jobs. And while I hardly ever agree with Sid Hartmann, I have no doubt that if nothing happens that next year will be the last year the Vikings will be in MN.

  • Jeb

    Thank you.

    If the Vikings want a brand new stadium, why can’t they simply pay for it out of their own pocket? Maybe the state could help by offering a loan (a true loan, with interest and conditions, not a “we’ll pay $300 million and lease it to you for $10 million a year for 30 years” loan.) But any more than that? Why should they (especially since the Vikings players and owner is part of the 1%.)

  • Bob

    While I agree with Speaker Zellers, I’m not sure I trust him. I think he is holding the issue hostage to get something he wants. My intuition is whispering to me that he will support a exemption to referendums for the right price.

  • Fritz Dahmus

    As Posted by David Houle | November 2, 2011 7:26 AM……….

    The Editors note says that Rep. Zellers has not come out and said directly that he would not support a special session to solve the stadium issue…

    The email acquired from MPR news says the exact opposite. Explain please.

    Thank you Mr. Houle for asking this….I will also ask this, and what is next? An attack on Zellers when he “lies” and says he never said that??

  • Tom Scheck

    My editor’s note was meant to address that unlike in his e-mail, Zellers has never said publicly that he opposes a special session. Sorry for the error.

  • Cole

    Without the vikings, the twin cities are just some podunk shitty town. Sweet, we’re Oklahoma City. Or even better… Sweeeeeeeet, we’re Columbus, OH. Excuse my language, ladies and gentlemen, but fuck that.

  • Eric

    Zelly and Publicans want no public money to be used for the stadium (I believe one referred to that as the tax payer subsidizing business) and they do claim to represent the majority of Minnesotans.

    When the Vikings leave, and maybe they should to prove the point, we can then elect officials who want us to be a NFL state and we can work at getting a team back some time before 2020.

    In the meantime we will all cheer for the Wild, Lynx, Twins and Timberwolves and be thankful we are not paying a half cent sales tax on our six pack and chips while we root for the Green and Gold.