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GrousetoBluebill

'Vote yes' is good for the Gander

12 posts in this topic

Dah Taxpayers League doesn’t know if investing in the resource game, & fish wildlife will benefit the outdoor industry?

Even the anti-gun - anti-hunting groups do not attack hunters & anglers on that basis.

_______________________________________________________

'Vote yes' is good for the Gander

By MIKE KASZUBA, Star Tribune

October 20, 2008

Gary Leaf stood and began his sales pitch, urging the small gathering to vote for a proposed state constitutional amendment to increase the Minnesota sales tax and raise $300 million annually for the outdoors, the environment and the arts.

But Leaf's speech was not as noteworthy as where he was making it -- inside a cluttered meeting room at a Gander Mountain store in Rochester.

As the campaign to pass the amendment on Nov. 4 builds steam, outdoor outfitters Gander Mountain and Cabela's have become significant players by allowing their stores to be used for Vote Yes informational meetings. The stores contend that the move would be good for Minnesota and good for their business.

Leaf, who leads a sportsmen's group pushing for the amendment, had the full blessing of store officials as he spoke on Oct. 8. Store manager Mike Bobb sat in the back of the room during the presentation.

The stores, however, may increasingly find themselves in an uncomfortable position.

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a major opponent of the amendment, said last week that the meetings are being used to make "false claims" about what the amendment will do; the league disputes the idea that the biggest beneficiaries will be average Minnesotans, saying it will actually be "special interest" groups such as Pheasants Forever, a wildlife conservation and hunting advocacy group.

The league urged opponents to attend meetings at Gander Mountain and Cabela's in the coming weeks to "ask some tough questions."

Of the 20 informational meetings by the sportsmen's groups, which began in late September and will go through the end of this month, half are being held at Cabela's and Gander Mountain stores. A Gander Mountain spokesman said speakers touting the advantages of the amendment have also been brought in to brief store employees so that they can, in turn, tell customers of the amendment's benefits.

"The outdoors amendment, we think, is not only good for our business but it makes sense for Minnesota," said John Castillo, a Cabela's spokesman.

Gander Mountain, which is headquartered in St. Paul and has 12 stores in the state, will hold informational meetings at six of its Minnesota stores and also at a seventh in Fargo, N.D.

Getting out information

With a Minnesota Poll showing that the amendment has widespread support, but also that few know about its many details, the race to get information to the public is seen as a key to its passage.

"That's the biggest hurdle, getting the word out," said Bobb, Gander Mountain's store manager in Rochester.

During his talk before a dozen people in the store's "lodge," a meeting room with the mounted head of a caribou above the door, Leaf spent most of the time extolling the proposal's benefits -- and little, if any, reminding his listeners that the amendment will cost the average Minnesota household $60 a year because of the sales tax increase.

The amendment would, if adopted, raise the state sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent for 25 years and yield an estimated $300 million a year. Of that amount, 33 percent would go to clean water projects, 33 percent to game, fish and wildlife habitat projects, 19.75 percent would be for arts and culture programs, and 14.25 percent would be for parks and trails.

How much the amendment's passage would financially help Gander Mountain, Cabela's or other stores that cater to outdoors enthusiasts is unknown.

Amanda Holloway, a Rochester resident who came to listen to Leaf, said it likely will not hurt. "We do shop here at Gander Mountain, we shop at Cabela's" along with other stores, she said afterward.

"These are good spots to capture the hunting, fishing population because [of], obviously, the folks who stop here for gear and supplies," she said. "It makes economic sense for [the stores] because it's more people hunting and fishing and they make more money."

Others are not so sure. Despite his opposition to the amendment, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota's Phil Krinkie said he doubts there would be direct economic gains by Gander Mountain and the other outdoor stores. "Are there going to be more people fishing and hunting because this passes? I doubt it," said Krinkie, the league's president.

Krinkie, however, said that the stores will get indirect benefits should the amendment pass, largely because outdoor groups such as Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, whose members frequent the stores, are likely going to be given money from the amendment's proceeds to do conservation projects across Minnesota.

"You're supporting the people who support you," he said of the stores' reasoning for backing the amendment. "Gander Mountain's motto is 'We live outdoors,'" explained David Ewald, a company spokesman. "[We] are in favor of things that get more people outdoors.

"Yes, in the grand scheme of things, it's good for business," he said. "[but] that's not the main aim."

As he delivered his speech at Gander Mountain, Leaf leaned against a gun case. Kayaks lay near the store's front door. Before Leaf began to talk, Robert Bringman, a member of the Pheasants Forever national board of directors, took his seat and said he comes to the store "probably once a month."

One woman near the back asked Leaf: "Have you heard of much opposition to this?"

Replied Leaf: "Yeah, there's some ... [but] when people look at the values of Minnesota, particularly sportsmen, [they'll] make a decision to vote yes on the amendment."

Mike Kaszuba • 612-673-4388

© 2008 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

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I guess the post begs the question.

Do you think the amendment passing will directly help Gander Mountain sales?

Will more people hunt and fish with a passage?

We as Sportsmen/Outdoorsmen need to look hard at what we want to see get done. We can't ask for cleaner water, better trails, more public land without sacrificing a little bit.

There is a valid argument that we already give enough. Some good points made for that.

What you can't argue about is what this bill is intended for.

A lot of hard work and time has been put into getting this put together.

We all sit here and type this or that and make suggestion how to get things done. Well, somebody decided to do something, and this bill is the result of that. While it is nowhere near the bill it started out at (still agrivated about the Arts thing mad) it is a compromise and maybe our best shot at putting a large sum of money towards the very things that are so near and dear to so us all.

I understand the "don't tell me you don't have any money" argument. It is valid. But if $60 might secure the future of Hunting and Fishing......sign me up.

I've lost a lot more in one hand of poker. smile

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IF the legislature could have made this the stand alone thing that it was and should have been. and IF They would have taken 3/8ths of 1% of the EXISTING sales taxes instead of raising it....

I would have voted yes.

But they didn't. They messed it up, they always do. IMO this will be the biggest screw up in Tpaw's reign as Gov. and its failure will be his legacy.

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dtro has it spot on.

we are so quick to voice our displeasures and how we want things in better shape, or have better accessibility to our outdoor recreation desires but when we are actually given the chance to make a difference we don't want to part with a few dollars in order to get what we want.

neighborguy seems quick to throw T-Paw under bus. how much can a governor due when the branches are controlled by the opposite political party. they wrote it, not pawlenty. if anyone's "legacy is tarnished" if/when this fails, its the house/senate dems equally...or moreso than pawlenty that look bad

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The reason I get after the Gov. on this is because it was his baby. He was behind it when he was in the Senate, or House I foget, and he pushed it even harder after he became Gov. He kept sending it back when it came to him as an increase, or when they attached the arts to it. He wanted a stand alone bill. They did not give it to him.

When it comes down to it, it is the boss's fault. If the buck stops at the top, it is at Pawlenty's feet.

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What ever happened to his "no new taxes" plan then? I thought he was against any sort of tax increase, he likes fee's but hates taxes.

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The reason I get after the Gov. on this is because it was his baby. He was behind it when he was in the Senate, or House I foget, and he pushed it even harder after he became Gov. He kept sending it back when it came to him as an increase, or when they attached the arts to it. He wanted a stand alone bill. They did not give it to him.

When it comes down to it, it is the boss's fault. If the buck stops at the top, it is at Pawlenty's feet.

Actually it was Senator Lessard that originated this bill back in 1999 and kept brining it back every year trying to get it passed. His was much better, it took 3/16 of 1% of the current sales tax without raising any tax and it was only for the wildlife, clean water and not the arts. It is the Dems that made it the way it is now.

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What ever happened to his "no new taxes" plan then? I thought he was against any sort of tax increase, he likes fee's but hates taxes.

The no taxes thing was why he would not sign it with the tax increase instead of using the $ already comming in. It is why it kepts going back, and why it is an amendment and not a regular bill.

And it may have been Sen. Lessard's bill, but T-paw was the face man. I remember him at capital rallies more than anyone else.

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In utopia were every state politician shared our passion for hunting & fishing - we would have gotten a perfect game & fish dedicated funding bill out of current taxes.

Actually I remember dean johnsons dfl-willmar from the capital rallies. He stiffed us on dedicated funding & then his sportsmen unelected him.

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Why does one always have to have another tax for a new program? What are we paying for with all the other taxes we pay ? It sure seems that whenever they want to do sonmething to better the enviroment or do anything at all, there needs to be another tax. I truely wonder where the money they recieve now goes or what it goes for.

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Quote:
I truely wonder where the money they recieve now goes or what it goes for.

Exactly!!

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I wonder about the 70s clean Water Act,What happened?? It was a Fed. mandatory with at the time loose set advances for our waters.It was totally ignored,and just recently being reexamined and yet very little action taken.little or no progress in over 30 years! If it wasnt ignored where do you think we'd be now?

I'm sure it wouldn't take sportspeople,outdoors people to ask for this.Some want action NOW,before the neglect pushes us overboard.

Our reps. should be voted OUT Like Dean Johnson,I voted against him to make a point I figured he'd win by a small margin,WOW hes still angry! at area voters.HaHa too bad.Listen to the people or out ya go! But too many party lines just let these reps. slide,Disgusting!

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