About That Charter Amendment
Senator John Marty has amended the Minnesota Senate's Vikings stadium bill to prohibit the Legislature from exempting the stadium from the Minneapolis Charter's provisions on publicly funding stadiums. Way to go John!
With the 1997 Charter amendment becoming a major focus for folks on both sides of the stadium debate, I thought it might be a good idea to give a little context on it.
The amendment passed with 70% of the vote back in '97. That's huge in itself, but it's also interesting to point out that more than 62,000 people voted for it.
That's more people than have voted for any candidate or ballot question in any Minneapolis municipal election in almost 20 years.
Mayor Rybak hasn't gotten 62,000 votes in any of his successful mayoral bids. He scored 57,739 in 2001, 43,198 in 2005 and 45,157 in 2009. His predecessor, Sharon Sayles Belton, never scored over 62,000 votes either, netting 59,269 in 1993 and 52,222 in 1997 (a little under 10,000 votes less than the stadium referendum that same year). No candidate for any other citywide office (Park Board at-large, Board of Estimate and Taxation, Library Board) has ever received more than 62,000 votes.
And this is the Charter provision that a razor-thin majority of my colleagues on the Council, the Mayor, the Governor and the majority in the Minnesota House want to ignore.