Entries in Mark Dayton (5)


Minnesota Governor Denies Pill Popping Accusation

United States Congress(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Controversy has flared up in Minnesota after a congressional candidate accused Gov. Mark Dayton of taking “15 to 16 pills” at a breakfast meeting – a charge that Dayton, who says he takes only prescribed medications and antacids, has denied.

During a stump speech at an Aug. 6 fundraiser, candidate Mike Parry called Dayton “a scary man for the state of Minnesota.” Parry not only slammed the Democratic governor’s record, but also accused Dayton of taking drugs during a meeting. It was not specified when this meeting took place.

“When you sit across from him and you watch him pop 15 to 16 pills while you’re having a meeting, it’s scary,” Parry said of Dayton.

Parry’s speech was caught on video and put up on YouTube by the night of the fundraiser.

Dayton has openly stated that he takes medication for depression and also takes antacids. A number of Minnesota lawmakers have gone on record saying that Dayton does not have a drug problem and is entirely competent to serve as governor.

According to the Star Tribune, the governor denounced Parry’s claims as the “worst form of gutter politics” and “a lie” during a regularly scheduled campaign event on Aug. 7. While Parry has conceded that the governor may have taken less than 15 or 16 pills, he has stood by his statement.

“I have all the sympathy in the world for people that have issues like that,” Parry told local reporters. “What I was speaking about was that it would be very scary, very scary if our governor ended up with a House and a Senate that was controlled by one party.”

The governor has stated that he does not recall a breakfast meeting where Parry was in attendance, and also can’t think of a meeting in which he popped a number of pills. He did say, however, that he does “take medicine as needed for stomach acid,” and that “sometimes when I’m meeting with legislators, I need more of them.”

Parry will face off against Allen Quist in the Republican primary on August 14. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Rep. Tim Walz in November.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Minnesota Government Open Again for Business

DC Productions/Thinkstock(ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a budget plan Wednesday, ending the country’s longest state shutdown in a decade.

The approval came after a final legislative session that dragged on late into the night.

Minnesota closed all its state parks, suspended its lottery system, blockaded highway rest stops, suspended Department of Motor Vehicles operations, shut down approximately 100 road construction projects, closed state offices and laid off some 22,000 state workers on July 1 after Republican and Democratic lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a new two-year budget.

The dispute in Minnesota mirrored the battle being waged in Washington over debt ceiling legislation.  Republicans sought significant spending cuts to erase a $5 billion deficit while the Democrats, including Gov. Dayton, sought to close the shortfall by raising taxes for the state’s wealthiest individuals.

In the end, a compromise was reached that calls for a budget of $35.7 billion over the next two years.  It’s more than state Republicans wanted, but many GOP lawmakers praised the final plan because it doesn't raise any taxes.

To come up with the last $1.4 billion of the spending plan, the state plans to borrow some $640 million against future payments from a legal settlement with the tobacco industry and also delay $700 million in state aid payments to local school districts.  Many members of both parties criticized the compromise, saying it simply pushes Minnesota’s financial problems into the future.

Gov. Dayton said he was “not entirely happy” with the deal, but did acknowledge it “gets Minnesota back to work.”

Officials estimate it may take several weeks for state agencies to clear up backlogs of paperwork and get current on business.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Minnesota Lawmakers Reach Tentative Deal to End Shutdown

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(SAINT PAUL, Minn.) -- Minnesota Republican leaders have tentatively agreed to Governor Mark Dayton’s offer to end the state’s two-week-old government shutdown.  Final approval is up to a special session of the Republican-controlled legislature.
The deal closes a $1.4 billion dollar budget difference by delaying payments to schools and borrowing against future revenues from a state tobacco settlement.  
As Washington is sure to notice, both sides backed down on key demands.  The Democratic governor ended his call for higher taxes, and Republicans dropped proposals to dramatically cut the state workforce and implement conservative policy changes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Vouches for Former Colleague at Minnesota Rally

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MINNEAPOLIS) -- President Obama told an audience at the University of Minnesota that he knows Democrat Mark Dayton can deliver change and stand up for the middle class as the state's next governor. 

“I know this man. And I know that he’s been fighting for the people of this state his entire career,” said Obama.  "Everybody else in this race might be talking about change, here's the only candidate who can actually deliver change."

Dayton holds a slight lead in a three-way race for governor.   Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is a possible presidential contender in 2012, decided not to seek reelection this year. 

The president served with Dayton in the Senate and traveled to Minnesota to give his old colleague’s gubernatorial campaign a last minute boost. 

Referencing health care and Wall Street reform as major accomplishments, Obama acknowledged the country's mood headed into the election.  He pleaded with the crowd for more time to bring about the change he promised two years ago.

The events wrapped up a four day, five state campaign swing by Obama to energize the Democratic base headed into the Nov. 2 election.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Third Party Candidate Gains Ground in Minnesota Governor's Race

Photo Courtesy - Tom Horner for Governor of Minnesota(WASHINGTON) -- In an election year dominated by polarized politics, candidates staking out the middle ground haven't gained much momentum with voters. But in Minnesota, an independent candidate for governor is bucking the trend.

Tom Horner, a 60-year-old public relations executive who's never held office, has overcome virtual obscurity among voters in recent weeks and surged in the polls to position himself as a viable third-party contender.

Although Horner trails Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer by double digits, his support has climbed steadily to around 17 percent of likely voters. Aides say the steady flow of campaign donations and endorsements from prominent state moderates are signs his candidacy is on the rise.

Polls show large numbers of Minnesota voters remain undecided about their choice for governor, and neither Dayton nor Emmer has broken out with a clear majority. The situation reflects moderate voters' relative distaste for their choices, experts say.

Independent candidates in the last two gubernatorial elections failed to gain traction with voters.

Those skeptical of Horner's chances say it will be more interesting to see from which opponent he draws more votes.

Minnesota is one of two states where the independent candidate for governor has been surging in the polls this year. Former Rhode Island Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee is building momentum to become his state's first independent governor.´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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