9:48 PM | Posted in ,
I recently obtained some very interesting video of a Minneapolis Park Board meeting at which their lobbyist discussed the Crown Hydro proposal. This lobbyist, MaryAnn Campo, is one of several who work for the Park Board to obtain taxpayer dollars at the Capitol for various projects that benefit the Minneapolis park system.

While I have no problem with Campo or the Park Board soliciting legislators for increased funding, I have a huge problem with them doing so at the same time they are turning down dollars from a private investor whose only goal is to build a renewable energy hydro plant on a small fraction of land.

My understanding of the offer is that Crown Hydro is willing to pay a base lease and split evenly the federal tax incentive which would amount to $300,000 every year for the next 100 years. To top it off, this amount is likely to increase as the tax incentive has consistently risen every year.

Campo goes so far as to call this money "not a lot". Really? Has the Park Board been so unaffected by current economic crises that a guaranteed cash flow of $300,000 every year for the next century is beneath them?

A note to any legislators who may view this particular clip: The next time MaryAnn Campo comes begging for my money could you please ask her why she prefers my money to that of someone who actually wants to give her money?


7 responses to "We Only Accept Taxpayer Dollars Here..."

  1. Anonymous On February 16, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    It’s nice that we send them enough taxpayer money that they can turn down $300 k/year.

    The main lobbyist Brian Rice earns over $300k/per year to lobby our representatives to send them even more taxpayer money.

    One more example of how Greater Minnesota has to do the belt tightening so the fat cats in Mlps can call $300 k chump change.

    The Mlps park board has their own police dept. Do they really need one?

    This year it’s time to tell them to face the reality that the rest of the State has to face.

    We should contact our representatives and tell them to “just say no” to the Mlps. Park board.

  2. Political Muse On February 16, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    Somebody really ought to let the Governor know that the Park Board is swimming in money and doesn't seem to need any more.

  3. Anonymous On February 16, 2009 at 11:09 PM

    While I am no fan of Brian Rice, you aren't giving the full story about the Crown Hydro plant. This project was debated heavily by the Park Board - and only after massive grass roots opposition, and pressure from the watchdog group "Park Watch", did the Park Board oppose this project.

    It's also worth noting that Crown Hydro's leader, William Hawkes hosted the Dick Cheney fundraiser for Michele Bachmann.

    They have now hired a number of big gun DFL lobbyists: Former County Commissioner John Derus (who has always been known as a bully) and Nikki Carlson (former campaign manager to 6th District candidate Bob Olson).

    Please don't bash Minneapolis - it's as bad for people from outside Minneapolis to be discussing a Minneapolis issue in an uninformed manner, as it is for Minneapolis know nothings to assume they know how things are done in the 6th district - and how to reach 6th District people.

    Excellent discussion here:

    Here's the lobbyists for Crown Hydro:

    This project was debated extensively by the Minneapolis Park Board - it was only after significant grass roots opposition, that the Park Board came out against this project.

    Muse: Somebody really ought to let the Governor know that the Park Board is swimming in money and doesn't seem to need any more.

    EY: Before doing this, why not contact the Minneapolis Park Board to get their story on this - and read more about the issue on Park Watch and Minneapolis Issues? You can't just take the high priced sales pitch from the highly paid lobbyists for the project at face value.

    Let's look at lobbyist John Derus's other clients - hardly an environmental bunch:


    Eva Young

  4. Anonymous On February 16, 2009 at 11:27 PM

    I am signing my comments - but am having trouble logging in to comment. Eva Young

    anonocommenter who doesn't sign - is this from one of the lobbyists for Crown Hydro??? says:

    One more example of how Greater Minnesota has to do the belt tightening so the fat cats in Mlps can call $300 k chump change.

    EY: Minneapolis pays more out to subsize greater Minnesota than we get in [look at all the sales taxes that go to the state from Minneapolis residents]. Greater Minnesota sponges on Minneapolis by doing "greyhound therapy" - that is giving people who have mental illness, or others who are going to cost money to the local counties a one way bus ticket to Minneapolis. Greater Minnesota also voted - big time, to increase Hennepin County's taxes for a twins stadium that they wanted - but didn't want to pay for.

    If you want to talk about getting rid of LGA, then lets get rid of it for everybody - rural and urban.

    Eva Young

  5. Anonymous On February 17, 2009 at 10:00 AM


    I also had problems signing on.

    The comments came from me and I'm not a lobbyist for anyone.

    Of course we should have the right to comment on this issue and push for it even if we don’t live in Mlps. If you watch the video you will see that the senators and representatives that are authors of the Mlps. Park board funding bill are not from Mlps.

    I also live next to the main source of your power and that source requires 300 train cars of coal per day to feed it. I also live within the evacuation parameter for the Nuke plant and just received my voucher for potassium iodide and the instruction for evacuation.

    The question is; Are we serious about 25 in 25 or not. Are we serious about jobs or not because a multimillion dollar construction job affects all of us.
    Once again you make it a point to call out the owner on his past fund raising party. Is that the reason why we shouldn't’t do this?
    Sorry, but once you get a FERC license you become part of the National energy strategy and part of national security. Just because a few rich people moved into the Carlyle high rise after the project was approved does not mean that we can’t point out the importance of this project and how it affects all of us.
    This plant saves 1.8 million pounds of co2/year for going into the air we all share. This plant earns $300k/yr for a body that depends on my tax dollars. This plant creates jobs which build our tax base and involve people from all areas.
    This is the 2nd clean energy plant that has been blocked by the so called liberals in Mlps in the last couple of years since proclaiming 20 by 25. When is Mlps going to join the rest of the state?
    If the park board or the voters of Mlps does not want our input then all they have to do is quit taking our tax dollars and vote for a local tax increase.

    Taxpaying liberal

  6. Anonymous On February 21, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    1. If you are in favor of "clean" energy and think that hydro power is it, then there is still zero reason to support Crown Hydro. Simply give the water rights that Crown Hydro would use to the EXISTING Xcel hydro power plant right across the river from the proposed Crown Hydro site. Xcel's plant has run under capacity for decades for lack of water.

    2. Talking about Minneapolis getting its power from a coal or nuclear plant near where one lives shows complete ignorance of how the electric grid works in this state and country. Much of the power used in Minnesota is actually bought from Canadian power generators. "Taxpaying liberal" apparently doesn't know there are gas fired and coal fired power plants IN the Twin Cities already.

    3. As Eva Young already pointed out, it is not Minneapolis who is taking tax dollars from out-state taxpayers. It's the other way around. Minneapolis subsidizes the rest of the entire state via income and sales taxes.

  7. Anonymous On February 22, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    So what is you reason for opposing the Crown Hydro Plant?
    I can find none in your post. You admit that the river has extra capacity by proposing that the project be moved across the river. Do you work for Excel and want to do away with competition?

    Your 2nd point is even more confusing, you are comfortable with importing our energy from a foreign country, I am less so. I’m for 25 by 25. You must not have listened to Obama’s inauguration speech and economic stimulus speech where he states that we will be improving the grid. I guess the transmission line that starts at the power plant and runs through my backyard and goes to the twin cities isn’t needed.

    I have no idea what your 3rd comment has to do with this project. But it makes a great smokescreen.

    You will find that this area is a donor area for taxes but once again it has nothing to do with the project other than the Mlps park board turning down millions of dollars and instead having the rest of the state pick up the tap. Or if you like the residents of Mlps will have to pay more.

    Here’s the real points.

    This project will produce cheap, clean energy for 2000 homes.

    This project will produce 40 construction jobs this summer, IBEW, 49ers Laborers etc…

    This project will provide the Mlps. Park board or whatever entity $300,000/year to be spent on the public good.

    This project has already been approved by the park board once and every other government agency.
    This project is ready to go NOW.

    Tax paying Liberal