Gov. Mark Dayton sees good news in Medtronic's $43 billion deal to buy Irish medical device maker, Covidien.
"As I look at the project as governor of Minnesota, this is a good deal for the people of our state," the governor said on Monday.
Dayton said he was personally assured by Medtronic's CEO Omar Ishrak that, while the company would move its headquarters to Ireland, it would keep its operational headquarters in Minnesota. The result would mean that not only would the company keep its existing 8,000 employees in the state, it would also add an additional 1,000 Minnesota workers in the coming years.
Opponents of the income tax hikes the DFL governor pushed have laid blame on Dayton for the company's decision to move its headquarters to Ireland. Dayton said that blame is ill-founded.
"Minnesota taxes were not an issue in their decision, Minnesota taxes (on Medtronic) will remain essentially the same," he said.
Over the weekend, former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, one of several Republicans running for governor, blasted Dayton regarding the Medtronic news.
"Because of the failed policies of Mark Dayton and Barack Obama's destructive medical device tax, companies like Medtronic are forced to look outside of Minnesota to continue doing business. This is a sad day for our state's economy and its workforce," Seifert said in a statement.
Asked about the statement, Dayton said Seifert was merely, "proving that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about."
But Scott Honour, a former venture capitalist also running to unseat Dayton, said the governor is the one who doesn't understand what's going on.
"Governor Dayton is dangerously out of touch if he thinks it's 'tremendous news' when one of Minnesota's flagship companies moves its headquarters to another country. This is a slap across the face telling Minnesota and America to wake up," Honour said on Monday. "Our tax and regulatory policies are chasing away Minnesota's best companies."
Photo: Medtronic Twin Cities one-mile race, in 2013// Source: Star Tribune