Thursday, July 20, 2006

Undoing Bonoff's damage

"It ain't over 'till it's over." —Yogi Berra

Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) and four other DFL Senators from Hennepin County may have given us a bad deal when they voted to authorize Hennepin County to raise a local option sales tax without a referendum, but authorization isn't the same as implementation. According to a new grassroots organization called CCARL, "Even though Hennepin County now has the authorization to proceed, the County is NOT REQUIRED to build the stadium or implement the tax, and the County is NOT PROHIBITED from holding a referendum."

This is exactly what baseball great Yogi Berra was talking about. We know which four commissioners supported the new sales tax, and which three were against it. Can the three be convinced to stand firm, and one of the four be convinced to follow the will of the people and either vote against the $1.1 billion sales tax increase, or put the tax to a vote this November?

It may be the bottom of the ninth inning for referendum supporters, but CCARL is not throwing in the towel just yet. Three CCARL volunteers put signs on their cars that said "STOP The Stadium Tax.," and drove up and down Hennepin Avenue four times prior to the start of the Minneapolis Aquatennial Parade. On Saturday they'll be in the Art Car Parade, and Sunday at that western suburban institution, the Medina flea market.

Taxpayers who are disenchanted with the whole process should visit the CCARL web site to find out what they can do next to help Hennepin County avert the $1.1 billion, 30-year boondoggle. The web site has a petition, information, and even downloadable signs and flyers.

This is about baseball about as much as the Boston Tea Party was about tea — which is to say partially, but the bigger issue is whether citizen demands for a referendum — taxation with referendum — will be heeded.


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