Mark Dayton "Stabbed in the Back" by Democrats as Pay Raise Drama Heats Up

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Dayton photo by Gov. Dayton via Flickr, Money photo by Phillip Taylor via Flickr, Knife graphic by Hatalar205 via OpenClipArt, image by Ben Johnson
This is starting to feel like it needs a nickname. Raiseghazi?
The drama over Gov. Mark Dayton's politically ill-advised decision to dole out gigantic raises to the state's top employees continued to rage at the Capitol yesterday.

It started when Senate majority leader Tom Bakk (D-Cook), the most powerful Democrat at the Capitol other than Dayton, distanced himself from the governor's unpopular decision by sponsoring a measure delaying the raises until July 1. It passed the Senate on a 63-2 vote.

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Dayton's Huge Pay Raises Sparks Year's First Legislative Slap Fight

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Dayton's Huge Pay Raises Spark Year's First Legislative Slap Fight

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Official state photos. From L to R: Rep. Peterson, Gov. Dayton, Rep. Anderson
Ahhhh, politics
Last week Gov. Mark Dayton's private decision to give each of the the state's 26 commissioners and agency heads massive, five-figure raises became public, which set off the best round of petty political slap-fighting we've seen since, well, last year.

There've been passive aggressive open letters -- so many letters! -- political hardball, and some classic mudslinging. Let's all take a deep breath and examine the anatomy of our state's robust political discourse:

See also:
Gov. Dayton Isn't Running For Reelection So He Gave Huge Raises to His Top Employees

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Gov. Dayton Isn't Running For Reelection So He Gave Huge Raises to His Top Employees

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Dayton photo Creative Commons via Gov. Dayton Flickr, Money photo Creative Commons via Phillip Taylor. Image by Ben Johnson
Dayton is in full-on DGAF mode
With no more elections to worry about, Gov. Dayton decided to hand out five-figure raises to each of the 26 state commissioners and agency heads last month.

The pay increases total more than $800,000 for a group of public servants who were already all making more than $88,000 annually. The sole exception was the Met Council Chair, who made $58,000, but Dayton shifted that job to full-time and increased the salary to $145,000.

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Dayton to Park Board: Get Behind Southwest Light Rail or It'll Cost You

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Rep. Glen Gruenhagen Says Funding "Traditional Families" Helps Kids Learn to Read

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Public domain, via Pixabay
Gruenhagen gonna Gruenhagen
Gov. Dayton's massive education plan has Rep. Glen Gruenhagen pining for the good ol' days, when kids from "traditional families" learned how to read by hammering phonics and grammar, instead of having to learn fancy garbage like creative writing.

Gruenhagen was one of the Republicans in a two-hour hearing yesterday who began picking at the governor's plan to use more than $400 million of the state's surplus on various education initiatives. He had some interesting ideas on how to redirect some of those funds.

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MNGOP Rep. Glen Gruenhagen Misses the Days When Teachers Hit Students

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Dayton to Park Board: Get Behind Southwest Light Rail or It'll Cost You

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Minnesota National Guard via Flickr
Dayton cranks up the heat on threats to SWLRT
The feud between Governor Dayton and the Minneapolis Park Board over Southwest Light Rail just got real.

Today as part of Dayton's $42 billion, two-year budget proposal he recommended slashing $3.77 million in state funding for the Park Board unless it drops its insistence on tunneling the tracks underneath the Kenilworth Channel.

See also:
Met Council Ignores Tunnel Drama, Presents SWLRT Bridge Designs

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Dayton Slams "Despicable" Anti-Transgender Bigots in Awesome Rant

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file photo
"The idea that Clay Matthews is going to change gender status to go trample young girls on a basketball course is ludicrous"

Governor Dayton called out anti-transgender protesters for their "hate-mongering" at the end of a press conference about Minnesota's budget surplus yesterday.

After talking about the budget surplus for roughly 15 minutes, Dayton asked if there were any other questions. A reporter asked about the Minnesota State High School League's decision yesterday to allow students who were born male but identify as female to participate in female sports.

Dayton responded with a strongly worded two-minute speech. Some excerpts:

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Newspapers Across MN Run Another Anti-Transgender Ad

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Cannabis Supporters Take One Final Shot at Mark Dayton

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Pat McClellan wants to see more medical cannabis

As the television camera lights shine on Pat McLellan's face, he holds up a set of four sheets of paper, each a signed pledge from a gubernatorial candidate saying that they support expanding Minnesota's medical cannabis laws.

He takes a breath, then spreads the papers out across the podium in front of him. They're all here, he says. GOP candidate Jeff Johnson. The Independence Party's Hannah Nicollet. Libertarian Chris Holbrook and Grassroots Party candidate Chris Wright. But one's missing: incumbent Mark Dayton.

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Marijuana Policy Project PAC Throws Gov. Dayton Under Bus


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Marijuana Policy Project PAC Throws Gov. Dayton Under Bus

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-- Update at bottom with comment from Rep. Branden Petersen --

In a press release sent our way by an MNGOP-affiliated source, the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project PAC pledges to make a maximum financial contribution of $4,000 to Jeff Johnson's gubernatorial campaign.

But lest you think the nation's largest marijuana policy organization is some sort of surprisingly right-leaning group, the release also notes that the PAC plans to give a matching contribution to the Senate DFL PAC. Take that, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton!

See also:
Independence Party becomes first major party to support legalization of marijuana


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Minneapolis Cops, Once Pawlenty Fans, Endorse Governor Dayton

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Minnesota Media Services Inc.
Dayton, pictured here with John Delmonico directly to his right, has the endorsement of the Minneapolis cop union.
The Minneapolis cop union -- officially known as the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis -- has unanimously endorsed the reelection bid of Gov. Mark Dayton.

In a news release, union president John Delmonico says his organization, which is the largest police union in the state, "endorses people, not parties." That comment is borne out by the fact that the federation endorsed Republican Tim Pawlenty in 2002 and 2006.

See also:
MN Police Order Endorses Republican Candidates for Office ... and Mark Dayton


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MN Police Order Endorses Republican Candidates for Office ... and Mark Dayton

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MFOP.com
The Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police is to cops what the Elks Lodge is to boozehounds. It's a members-only clubhouse, where the brothers and sisters can remove their badges, talk fundraising and good deeds, and -- inevitably -- debate politics.

This summer, the order's members surveyed the upcoming election and endorsed all Republican candidates for national offices -- plus Mark Dayton.

See also:
Minneapolis Police Federation endorses Mark Dayton



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