At Issue: Vikings Stadium Interest and Minneapolis Mayor Elections

Updated: 01/07/2014 3:37 PM By: Heidi Enninga

In this week’s edition of At Issue, host Tom Hauser takes an in-depth look at the local political issues that affect you.

Ahead of a Nov. 7 Minnesota Vikings game against the Washington Redskins, the American Indian Movement asked the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to call them the Washington football team. Representatives said the Redskins name is offensive, but the sports authority said it wouldn’t prevent the use of the Redskins name and look to the NFL for guidance on the issue in the future.

Once the new Vikings stadium is built, it will likely be the focus of national attention. Minneapolis is already one of three finalists for the 2018 Super Bowl, but this week lawmakers learned officials from the BCS Championship football game are considering the city as a host. Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said he is in conversations with the NCAA about future Final Four and regional final games.

The stadium authority signed a $17 million deal for a key piece of property near the Metrodome that will be home to a game-day plaza and light rail station.

For the first time in 11 years, Minneapolis citizens won’t see incumbent Mayor R.T. Rybak on the November ballot. Rybak isn’t running again, but 35 candidates are in contention for the role. The city will use rank-choice voting and said a mock election, online instructional video and mailed information will make should make for a smooth election day.

Gov. Mark Dayton met with community leaders Tuesday to address continuing concerns with the proposed Southwest Light Rail line. Residents want to reevaluate environmental effects and freight line moves. A final vote on the route has been postponed at least three months.

Sen. Al Franken (DFL-Minn.) will be up for re-election next year and challengers include St. Louis County Board Chair Chris Dahlberg, Mike McFadden, State Senator Julianne Ortman, and Minnesota State Rep. Jim Abeler. Abeler joined host Tom Hauser in the studio to talk about his plans and vision for the position.

In Political Analysis, Republican Lobbyist Brian McDaniel and Former DFL State Sen. Don Betzold discussed Vikings Stadium developments and the state’s online voter registration.

In Face Off, Javier Morillo, president of the Service Employees International Union, and Annette Meeks, CEO of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota discussed problems with the national health insurance exchange.