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Volume 24 No. 156
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          MN Gov. Arne Carlson "declared his confidence"
     Wednesday in the proposed funding plan for a St. Paul hockey
     arena and in the close association between the Minnesota
     Wild and the M.A. Mortenson Co. picked to oversee
     construction of the $130M arena, according to Robert
     Whereatt of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  But "several"
     legislators said "disclosures this week are a potential
     setback in St. Paul's efforts" to have the state pick up
     $65M of the arena's cost.  New reports showed that M.A.
     Mortenson pledged $1M to become an investor in the team and
     "helped land" the NHL franchise by lending the owners
     $100,000 to pay the fee.  The Wild "eventually rejected the
     investment offer."  Also, former St. Paul City Council
     President Dave Thune, once an "opponent of the arena," was
     hired by Mortenson while he was serving on the council.   He
     later voted to allow the Wild, not the city, to choose the
     construction manager, which turned out to be Mortenson. 
     Carlson's Press Secretary, Jackie Renner, said that despite
     the reports, Carlson "does not see any way in which the
     public interest is not protected."   Members of the MN
     Senate and House began meeting yesterday to work out
     differences in capital-improvement bills passed by each
     body.  The House version includes $65M for the arena, while
     the Senate version has no arena funds (STAR TRIBUNE, 3/19).