Governor Mark Dayton is warning Republican lawmakers not to make major changes in the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, despite the controversy over officials providing family members and friends with free tickets to private suites at the new Vikings stadium. The governor says officials have been appropriately chastized for one “serious error of judgment,” but overall the stadium has been operated very professionally and responsibly. He says, “To upset the apple cart and to overturn the proper functioning of that stadium and that operation, especially with the Super Bowl looming ahead, is something I’ll resist very strongly.” Republicans say there’s been a breach of trust and the legislature must step in to ensure the public interest is protected.
Dayton says he’s willing to consider giving the legislature authority to make more appointments on the Sports Facilities Authority — but not five members out of seven. He says, “I don’t want a stadium authority board that’s picked because they oppose stem-cell research.” Dayton is referring to a Republican panel’s recommendations for the U-of-M Board of Regents, a decision which he says demonstrates the committee is unfit to make very high-level decisions.