MNGOP’s Anti-Rybak #17-18: Artistic Drinking Fountains

Again, the MN GOP relies on proposed spending rather than what ended up in the budget or was actually spent.


Rybak Spent $500,000 On 10 Water Fountains. “During the Aquatennial festival that begins Friday, the city plans to unveil concepts for 10 artist-designed drinking fountains that Rybak championed at $50,000 each. Typical park fountains cost as little as $6,000.” (Steve Brandt, “Price tag on drinking fountains causes a lot of gulps,” Star Tribune, July 12, 2008)

No, Rybak did not spend $500,000 on drinking fountains. That much was proposed and that much was approved at one time, but that much was not spent. This is a cut and dry fact. The MN GOP, by relying on a quote from a proposal in 2008 rather than the reality of the spring of 2010, has their facts wrong. Clearly they know the truth of this situation, and are blatantly lying to their readers.

Reality check: Only four of the six drinking fountains will end up being built, but you won’t hear that from the MN GOP. This, of course, has been covered in depth here in the past.

* “Rybak said he wants bubbling, gurgling fountains reminiscent of the kind he drank from as a kid growing up in the city. ‘I want that romance of water in a city of waters to be something that’s just core to living in our city,’ he said.” (Steve Brandt, “Price tag on drinking fountains causes a lot of gulps,” Star Tribune, July 12, 2008)

Again, the MN GOP has posted redundant citations – both of which are more than a year out of date – to pad their talking points.

The MN GOP really like to focus on how this $200,000 is being spent, out of a $1,000,000,000+ budget. It makes me wonder how fiscally conservative they really are, considering how hung up they get on rounding error spending like this rather than more significant budget priorities.

One thought on “MNGOP’s Anti-Rybak #17-18: Artistic Drinking Fountains”

  1. I am non a resident of Minneapolis, so I have not followed the issue closely, but I thought I heard the fountains are funded with money that is specifically dedicated by the city of Minneapolis for Arts. If the money is dedicated to art already, why not combine the art with something functional like fountains, rather than just a peice of art sitting someplace for people to look at? Maybe I’m wrong.

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