Minnesota House Republicans are attempting to change the way culture groups in the state receive money from the Legacy Fund. It’s a special fund generated from sales tax, and is intended to be used to help promote the arts in the state. Republicans want the various groups in the state to compete with each other for the money.
House Majority Leader Matt Dean has pointed to the $45,000 payment of Legacy money writer Neil Gaiman was paid for a four-hour appearance last year at a Minnesota public library as evidence that the way the money is doled out needs to be changed. Not only does Dean not like to see tax dollars spent on wasteful things, he has some real personal hatred for Gaiman. He said Gaiman was a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”
Something tells me House Majority Leader Matt Dean isn’t a big fan of The Sandman or American Gods. Maybe his kids forced him to take them to see Coraline.
Though I agree spending $45,000 generated from a regressive sales tax on a four-hour author visit to a public library is a colossal waste, I don’t see the value in calling anyone names. I just don’t see how this help’s Dean’s cause. I think Dean has a point, but that point gets muddled when he starts calling people names.
Say what you will about Neil Gaiman accepting $45,000 to appear at a public library, but it wasn’t his idea. Librarian Patricia Conley recruited Gaiman to speak at the library. Chris Olson, executive director of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency, is the one that agreed to pay Gaiman’s exurbanite appearance fee.
If Matt Dean wants to call anyone names, maybe he should focus on his fellow Minnesotans that were actually responsible for how the $45,000 was spent, not Gaiman.