Still waiting for the funding impresario
Impressions of the Vikings stadium design? Whether it’s an architectural masterpiece or a vulgar, corporate-branded monstrosity is a matter of opinion. However, what’s clearly missing from those thrilling images of the spectacle taking place within that “big, bold and glassy” structure (Star Tribune, May 14) is the reality of the thousands of cars that will bring the crowds there. Where did the architects hide the acres of parking lots? How did they magically alter the inevitably bleak surrounding cityscape?
This latest act of this long-running show has provided yet another dose of the razzle-dazzle that has thus far kept this ill-conceived juggernaut moving forward. But it’s not over yet. Next up is the inspirational tale of how our determined governor finds his pot of gold at the end of the pulltab rainbow, saving the taxpayers from a stadium-mortgaged future. That will really put them on their feet!
Craig Anderson, Minneapolis
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The Minnesota Twins: Two seasons of abysmal performance, followed by this year’s improvement to somewhat less than mediocrity. Feeble, puny, lifeless and boring. Outlook for future: More of the same.
Target Field: Citizens forced by our “civic leaders” to pay for it against our will.
The Pohlad family: Getting ever richer, partially as a result of our unwilling contributions.
The Minnesota Vikings: About on a par with the Twins.
New Vikings stadium: Apparently lavish and, once again, taxpayers stuck with a hunk of the cost, much against the will of most of those forced to pay.
The Wilfs: Getting ever richer, partially as a result of our unwilling contributions.
The Star Tribune, profiting handsomely, tells us we should be thrilled.
Other than football fanatics, we are not.
Jim Fuller, Minneapolis
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It seems more than a little disingenuous for the Star Tribune to marvel at the supposedly newfound possibilities for the Downtown East urban space (editorial, May 15). Though the Editorial Board has regularly offered disclaimers that the newspaper has real-estate interests at stake, it has never explained why the newspaper’s various owners have been content for more than three decades to cash in on parking revenue while presiding over the most drab, ugly and blighted swath of earth in the core city. It seems that yours should be the last enterprise to exult in an investment that could have happened long ago, but because of choices made at your office, did not.
J. Michael Byron, St. Paul
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Scrutiny of tax-exempt statuses is warranted
The real scandal surrounding the IRS is the misuse and abuse of the 501(c)(4) tax status that conservative (and a few liberal) primarily political groups have perpetrated. This tax designation provides that the organization is tax-exempt and that its donors can remain anonymous, but the original intent was only for organizations that did not engage in political action. They are supposed to be for social welfare.
Now, a 501(c)(4) group can fund political advertisements as long as the ad isn’t the primary purpose of the group beyond the social welfare it provides to a community. However, the “social welfare” activity of many of 501(c)(4) groups today is under suspicion by both political analysts and the IRS. Many of these groups happen to have “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names, and that is why the IRS scrutinized many of them. By the way, although applications were examined and questions asked, none of the “Tea Party” organizations were actually denied 501(c)(4) status.
An example of a 501(c)(4) that’s been questioned is the American Action Network, which was formed in 2010 by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and by Rob Collins, the former chief of staff to Republican House Minority Whip Eric Cantor. A self-proclaimed “action tank,” the nonprofit organization purchased attack ads against Democratic candidates and ads that supported Republican candidates.
Karl Rove’s “Crossroads GPS” is also a 501(c)(4) corporation that spent $65 million in 2010 to defeat Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, and it’s difficult to discern any social welfare activity there at all.
David M. Perlman, New Hope
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Perhaps they connect back to legal abortion
Regarding the May 14 Letter of the Day (“The atrocities we’re seeing in America are a call to action”), which cited mass killings and noted that, in Minnesota, “there were three searches going on simultaneously for three young women police believe were killed by the men in their lives.”
I would like to suggest that with the legalization of abortion 40 years ago, we unleashed the evil of placing no value on human life, especially on the innocent and the vulnerable. You value all human life, or no life is sacred.
Kathleen Hoffman, Minneapolis
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.