Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, a DFL gubernatorial candidate, is skipping endorsement -- and was skipped over for a floor pass to the DFL convention floor.
Dayton, a hefty donor to the DFL party, said he asked party executives if he could have a guest pass to the floor to visit with the activists. But, he said, he was denied.
"I think it's very petty," Dayton said. "I've been to every DFL convention since 1976."
He said the denial "astounded" him.
But DFL officials said Dayton could have had full access to the floor -- if only he had decided to place his name in nomination for endorsement. Former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, like Dayton, is running in a primary regardless of whether he gets the endorsement. But Entenza, unlike Dayton, is vying for nomination and therefor got access to the floor along with his staff.
"He has chosen his own path," Andy O'Leary, DFL executive director, said of Dayton. "His path did not include floor passes."
Dayton was allowed access to the spaces surrounding the convention -- including the halls where many delegates hang out and a conference room in which to hold a press conference to express his dismay at not being allowed floor access.
The delegates confirmed the party's decision not to allow Dayton on the floor.
During convention business Friday, Bill Davis, a DNC member and Dayton supporter, asked delegates to change the rules to allow distinguished party officials on a few guest passes to get onto the floor.
The motion was "soundly defeated by the body," O'Leary said.