Minnesota’s Democratic governor, the wealthy Mark Dayton (of the former Dayton-Hudson corporation), recently decided to grant enormous pay raises to his state agency commissioners (up to $35,000 a year). This decision ignited a controversy and led to Republican opposition.
And to the governor stating publicly that the second most powerful member of the DFL in the state, Senate majority leader Tom Bakk “stabbed me in the back.” This pathetic outburst came after Bakk was successful in his Senate floor effort to delay the pay hikes until July 1.
Dayton strongly opposes the delay and has said he will veto the measure if it reaches his desk. He further claimed that Bakk’s maneuver came without warning. “I’m very disappointed because I thought my relationship with Senator Bakk has always been positive and professional,” Dayton said. “I certainly learned a brutal lesson today that I can’t trust him, can’t believe what he says to me, and that he connives behind my back.”
Bakk stated: “I will not comment on private conversations except to say if he feels that way, he was not listening when we had a conversation about the potential options to be considered relative to floor action on the bill.”
Bakk, who isn’t even against the pay raises per se’, added that “the Legislature and the public haven’t had the opportunity to have a discussion about how pay has lagged for these department heads.” Bakk’s amendment passed 63-2 this past Thursday with only two DFL senators dissenting. The amendment would strip Dayton of his pay raise authority until July 1, when that authority would be restored.
After the Senate vote, Dayton stated that he wanted to talk with other DFL senators in a private caucus meeting. “He was not happy,” stated one of those senators, Jim Carlson of Eagan, who also claimed that the senators were not warned that the governor would oppose the pay raise delays. The senator did stress that Bakk did not try to make senators think otherwise.
“If the senators had known that this particular amendment was something the governor did not support, I think you would have seen the vote flip,” Carlson said.
So there you have it. A governor incredulous, pouting and petulant that somebody high up in his own party could have the temerity to disagree with him on an issue. And a senator from said party stating that if we had only known he didn’t want us to vote that way, we wouldn’t have. We would have voted exactly the opposite, in fact.
The hell with what the people want. So much for truth and transparency. Principle and integrity? Ha, ha, ha.
So here we have a governor basically accuse a fellow party member of treason, for the crime of disagreeing with a decision he made, and another member of his party stating that if we had only known how he wanted us to vote we would have voted that way, and scrapped whatever our individual beliefs and values dictated.
To quote the rock band Train: “Calling All You Angels.”
Washington, Adams, Jefferson?