In vetoing lawmakers' lawsuit regulation measures Friday, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton reached beyond the four bills to call Republican lawmakers too extreme to lead.
"It is hard for me to believe that this rush it to pass it strategy had any expectation of creating law. Instead, it appears to be just another political ploy by the Republican majorities as they provide their special interest friends, the rich and powerful, with more favoritism and favors at the expense most other Minnesotans," Dayton said.
He said the measures were a "sop" for the insurance industry and three of the four tort-related measures came directly from the conservative American Exchange Legislative Council. The governor said the measures fell on the side of wrong-doers, not on the side of Minnesotans.
At the same time, Dayton levied his harsh charges against Republicans he said he wanted to work with them on other issues.
"He can pick a fight with us all he wants. He can call us names," said House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. But, Zellers said, he owes businesses across Minnesota an explanation.
"The governor in vetoing them is no friend to Minnesota businesses," said Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen.
The idea of "tort reform" has support from business groups across the state and is part of age-old fight at the Capitol.
While Republican tend to have more campaign backers among business groups than Democrats, Democrats tend to have far more support from lawyers and lawyers' groups.