Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday was steadfast in his insistence that he did the right thing by keeping the target of his economic development trip last week a mystery.
"I went because I am trying to get jobs for Minnesota and part of that is meeting with businesses who don’t share my willingness to be put in the public limelight," he told reporters on Tuesday, the first day he met with the media since his mystery mission. "If I am going to have to disclose where I went in that kind of situation, it is going to cost me the opportunity to try to jobs in Minnesota."
Dayton, who left the state last Thursday for the day on an economic development mission but did not say where he went, flashed a bit of annoyance at the media for peppering him with questions about the trip.
"If we announced this and (said where we were going) I wonder how many of you would have even thought it was worth a story. It is really disappointing how it has been blown out of context," Dayton said.
The governor said that it was unreasonable to demand full disclosure about what companies he was working to woo and it would destroy the possibility of getting a company to pick Minnesota if that "by making the kind of disclosure you are asking for."
"Do you want us to go out there and try to get people more jobs in Minnesota or not?" he asked. He said that reporters have a "moral responsibility" as well as a "journalistic responsibility."
In response to questions, Dayton said he had not signed a confidentiality agreement with the company in question and had made no commitments to any state subsidy if the company comes to Minnesota. He would not disclose how many jobs were in the offing, saying only it was "enough to warrant my involvement."
The governor said he believed the company would make a decision on whether to expand Minnesota jobs within a few weeks.
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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is making a personal pitch to an out-of-state company to add jobs in his state though he isn't identifying his destination, recruitment target or what possible subsidies are on the table.