Dayton's personal chef, housekeeper become political targets

Thumbnail image for dayton fishing1.jpg
"Here's $10, Micah, throw this on the grill."
Micah Pace and Michele Mersereau woke up yesterday as a chef and a housekeeper, respectively, but by day's end they were a political controversy.

The two women are among 20 "essential staff" that have continued working for Mark Dayton during the shutdown, according to a report from Politics in Minnesota. Most job titles, like "Chief of Staff" and "Senior Policy Adviser" seemed obvious choices.

But two of them stuck out, and became quick targets for the state's Republican Party.

Politics in Minnesota's report said that Dayton's staff had essentially been cut in half since July 1. That wasn't good enough for the Republicans, who seized on Pace and Mersereau in a new flier.

In the bulletin Pace and Mersereau -- with their salaries next to their names -- are described as "essential to Gov. Dayton." The same ad also lists major state services that won't continue, and are therefore "not essential" during "Gov. Dayton's shutdown."

gop flier chef.JPG
The GOP seized on Dayton's chef and housekeeper, and their salaries in the flier.
Yesterday afternoon, Dayton's spokeswoman Katherine Tinucci began contacting reporters to say the flier is wrong. Pace, who receives a $45,017 salary as the governor's chef, is no longer on the state payroll. Tinucci said Dayton had decided before the shutdown started to pay out-of-pocket for Pace's cooking.
 
Tinucci conceded that Mersereau's $35,015 salary would still come from the state. But she said that Mersereau's work is essential, because the Governor's Mansion is a historic site, and needs full-time upkeep.

So there you have it. It is officially not essential for the state of Minnesota to have a well-fed governor. But it is essential that he has clean windows and dust-free bookshelves.

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10 comments
Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Out of state tourists that can't buy a revenue producing fishing license are cancelling their Minnesota resort vacations. The lottery brings in $1,250,000 per day and is shut down. The revenue from Cantebury is shut off because a gaming commission is not vital. Mark Dayton is so RICH that he doesn't have a clue about sufferring. I wish I had a cook and cleaner!  

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

This is like the perfect storm of a Republican idea.   It's mean, untrue, and results in fewer Minnesotans having a job.    That's the Republican hat trick right there.

jww
jww

This is all Mark Daytons fault.  The legislature is filled with competent, thoughtful, compassionate, neutral, altruistic lawmakers...right MN Voter?  My goodness, could you be a bigger douchebag?

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Fake MB: The Republicans only commented on a published report from "Politics in Minnesota" and it appears that Dayton was caught then changed the position as to a "Private JOB" after being caught. It appears you are wrong, there were no jobs lost. The only change is instead of the Taxpayers in the State of Minnesota paying for Dayton's "Chef" he now pays out of his own pocket.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

JWW: the article is about Dayton's Chef and Housekeeper being paid by the taxpayers of Minnesota. Why do you have to always hurl personal attacks against a veteran who wants to state his opinion? Get your head out of the Democrat ass of Dayton and Obama and smell the fresh air! Dayton can stop this non-sense today by accepting the biggest spending bill ever in the history of Minnesota. Dayton is the govenor of Minnesota having taxpayers pay for his Chef? Stick to the aritcle.

webcelt
webcelt

Reread the post. Dayton did that before the story came out. And yes, the mansion is a public building, and basic maintenance has to continue.

Bbiscuit
Bbiscuit

How about a bit of civil discourse?  Now, now, children...

jww
jww

I know what the article is about you moron.  And stick to the article?  Really?  Since when do you do that?  Where in the article was the lottery or Canterbury mentioned?  I must have missed that.  I was replying to your comment which implies that Mark Dayton is the only reason there is a shutdown and that he could care less because he is rich.  Do you really have that weak of a grasp on the situation? You are such a partisan puke that it is ceases to be funny.  And you are really pathetic, besides.  What does you being a veteran have to do with anything?  I hurl personal attacks at you (regardless of your veteran status) because you are obviously a primitive, hypocritical, tea-bagging, GOP shill.  Kinda like when you said people pick on Bachmann because she is a woman.  Anybody that thinks she's a crazy idiot must be a sexist, right?  And. like I've told you before, I'm not a fucking Democrat.  I make my own way in life and don't need any party or organization to define my ideaologies for me....and that is the biggest difference between you and me (although I am thankfully certain that there are many more).  But if you would like a pity party...here you go: poor you.  You're the victim.  You're just a hero trying to express you humble opinions on here and you never attack anybody out of the blue.  Feel better?  Now quick...tune in Hannity and come back with some more of your zingers.

webcelt
webcelt

The biggest spending --- that is exactly the same as the prior biennium. Never mind there has been inflation,l population growth, and accounting shifts to move expenses into this biennium. As long as you're recommending other people get their heads out of their asses...

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Dayton did that only according to Dayton's spokesperson. "Politics in Minnesota" reported from official documents and in those documents the "Chef" was listed on the taxpayer role. I don't have a problem with housekeeping but "Merry Maids" or another private service will be able to do that cheaper.Maybe we can sell the Mansion and eliminate the upkeep.

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