As you know, despite several shock treatments I am still a rabid Vikings fan and was very glad this week to hear that the Minnesota Legislature appears to be coming to their senses about helping fund a new stadium. More than 30 lawmakers from both parties have signed a letter asking Governor Dayton to support a racino to provide the state's portion of funding for a stadium, regardless of where it's built. Thanks to Governor Perpich more than 30 years ago, the state's indian tribes have had a monopoly on casino gambling and have jealously guarded that status. They've poured countless millions into mostly-democrat lawmakers' campaign coffers to help ensure their monopoly is protected, and so far, it's worked, and the casinos have brought prosperity to a handful of indian communities in the state. The proposed new legislation would allow slot machines to be set up at Canterbury Park and Running Aces racetracks, and they would generate an estimated 136 million dollars a year for the state. The state would borrow money to pay for two thirds of the cost of the stadium, and the racino money would go to pay off the loan. And some of the racino money would also go toward repaying some of the money the legislature is shorting school districts across the state. Opponents will say the racinos will addict more people to gambling, but I believe people who get addicted to gambling are going to get addicted regardless of where it is, whether it be in an indian casino, a racino, or in backroom poker games. I know I probably will never set foot in a racino, I don't gamble, but I still go to the indian casinos for entertainment like concerts. It's a win win win situation, although the indian casinos closest to the Twin Cities may suffer a little. But quite honestly, the enrolled members of the Mdewakanton Tribe of the Sioux are all very wealthy because of Mystic Lake and Treasure Island Casinos. I do not exagerate...they are millionaires.
I have mixed feelings about the inauspicious end to the glorious career of Penn State legend Joe Paterno this week. First of all, I think he should have retired years ago. Now he's been fired amidst unsavory allegations of child molestation in the showers of the Penn State locker room by his then-defensive coordinator. Paterno was told by an intern that he had witnessed the sexual assault, and Paterno informed the school athletic director, as required. This was 9 years ago. So far so good. But where the legend starts to unravel is what happened or didn't happen next. When school officials did not tell police and begin a criminal investigation of Jerry Sandusky, Paterno should have insisted on it, maybe even should have called the police himself. But he didn't, and this week he said he regrets not doing more. Sandusky is accused of molesting 8 boys over the past 15 years, but with pedophiles, where there's smoke, there's fire and there's likely many more that have not been reported. Paterno, who is 84, should have retired years ago, but hung around long enough to get the crown of winningest division one football coach, but now people will remember how his tower toppled, not how it was built. The Nittany Lions are 8 and 1 and ranked 12th in the nation this season.