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When the New York Jets were trying to get a stadium last year, some people wanted a referendum on the topic. New York Post columnist Eric Fettmann said that would be a copout: "That's why we choose a mayor -- to use his or her knowledge, judgment and experience to make these tough choices." Of course, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had already made his choice: he wanted the subsidy. Mercifully, it was defeated.

Similarly, during the Twins debate in the state legislature, St. Paul Pioneer Press writer Bob Sansavere wrote, "These legislators need to suck it up, deal with the Twins' bill, and then head home. And let's not hear they're concerned about procedure." The Twins' president had been complaining that legislators were "following traditional procedure." That's a sin? "We don't need no stinkin' democracy," cracks deMause. The proposal expired recently without any action, but a new package is likely to be introduced this year.

The Chargers are hiding some cards from the fawning media. First, the team has an ace in the hole: Qualcomm Stadium, which is still a money machine. I believe the team is going down two tracks: it really wants to get into the Los Angeles market. But an abrupt move would be a public relations disaster for the National Football League, as were the departures of the old Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts. The team by repeatedly screwing the citizenry is deliberately creating ill will, so the league's front office will smile on a decampment. Fabiani would not reply to queries.

And if the Chargers don't get L.A.? San Diego will forgive their arrogance and embrace them. Whether or not the Chargers get a new stadium, they will rake in a huge pot each year. It's fun playing poker when you have nothing to lose.

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