Fall Already? What Happened To Summer?

Many around the Capitol don’t quite understand why temperatures are dipping into the 30s: It can’t be fall already.

With the July government shutdown and now the increasingly frantic stadium debate, this has been a strange and busy non-election year.

“This is the busiest I have ever been between sessions,” Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, said.

In what is supposed to be an off season, Urdahl has been in the Capitol two or three days a week, a time when lawmakers usually are hard to find under the dome.

Many legislators have been pulled into the debate about a new Vikings football stadium, whether they wanted to be or not.

For Urdahl, that is because as chairman of the House committee dealing with so called “legacy funds,” he has been swamped with emails and other communications from people concerned that the stadium will siphon off money voters approved in 2008 for outdoors and arts projects.

“It is right up there,” he said about the number of emails he has received, comparing it to controversial gay-marriage proposals. (By the way, he says, he has received the message, so the emails can stop now.)

Most Capitol attention has turned to the stadium.

While politicians blame the media for hyping the issue, that is the topic most politicians bring up, too.

Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday was supposed to attend a Capitol Preservation Commission hearing, but dropped that in favor a stadium meeting.

To put stadium interest in perspective, the number of journalists covering stadium issues rivals the numbers who covered the state shutdown.