Minnesota taxpayers will pay $60,000 in legal fees for those who successfully fought an executive order by Gov. Mark Dayton calling for a unionization vote of home child care providers.
The plaintiff’s convinced the court that the governor exceeded his constitutional authority when he called for the unionization vote two years ago.
“This fee payment illustrates that the real extremist in the child care unionization scheme is the governor, who ignored the constitutional limitations on his own authority to do political favors for his union friends,” said plaintiff Becky Swanson. Dayton did it at the expense of “us self-employed child care providers who resisted this overreach.”
A spokesman for governor Dayton said the plaintiff’s originally wanted $214,000 to pay for legal fees and costs, but the governor’s staff negotiated the the amount down to $60,000.
“If anybody drove up the costs for taxpayers, it was the plaintiffs and not the governor,” said Dayton spokesman Matt Swenson
Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature have fought bitterly for years over efforts to unionize 4,300 home child care workers who get state subsides. The unions pushing the measure argue they have the muscle to help home child care workers secure better reimbursement rates at a time when state leaders are relentlessly trying to trim costs.
Republicans said the measure would merely strengthen unions from the increased dues they would collect and drive up government costs through the higher reimbursement rates.
“This is a victory for the hardworking child care providers of Minnesota,” said Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria. “Governor Dayton’s attempt to unilaterally impose a union election on child care providers needlessly wasted $60,000 of taxpayer dollars .... Now the taxpayers are on the hook to clean up his mistake.”
After a judge threw out Dayton’s executive order, the newly-elected Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a measure calling for a similar unionization vote for state-backed home child care workers and home health aides. Dayton signed the measure into law.
A group of home child care operators filed a new lawsuit to block the vote.
Minnesota Sen. Julie Rosen said on Tuesday that she's still considering whether to make a run for governor.
"I'm getting real close," said Rosen, R-Fairmont. "It's not too late."
There was little buzz about Rosen when Republicans gathered over the weekend for a non-binding straw poll in the governor's race. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson won that preference poll and former Rep. Marty Seifert came in a surprising third place as a write-in candidate. Seifert, of Marshall, is not yet running but may jump into the race soon.
Rosen said on Tuesday that she has spent much of the last month traveling outside of Minnesota. Her trips included a visit to Istanbul and one to Las Vegas, where one of her rodeo bulls (yes, she has a stake in rodeo bulls) performed well in a national competition.
"I have been out of the loop a lot," she said. But she added that she has not taken a campaign off the burner and if a candidate has the basics in place, there is still time to jump in. She said she had many -- but not all -- of the basics in place.
If she ran, Rosen would be the first woman to enter the Republican 2014 contest to take down DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. According to the University of Minnesota's Smart Politics blog, Minnesota is one of just 10 states that has never had a female nominee for governor from one of the major parties. (In 2010, the DFL endorsed House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher but she lost to Dayton in a primary.)
Rosen is best known for her sponsorship of the Vikings stadium legislation, which had bipartisan support when it passed in 2012. The Vikings deal has been considerably tarnished since its passage and begot jeers from Republican activists on Saturday's gathering.
Like Seifert, Rosen is from greater Minnesota. Currently, school teacher Robert Farnsworth, of Hibbing, is the only Republican candidate for governor to hail from outside the metro and suburban areas.
State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, is also considering a run, he said over the weekend. He said he would make a decision on whether he will make a bid within the next month.
Gov. Mark Dayton said on Tuesday that a hobbled hip will not deter his determination to run for re-election.
"Last I read, brain cells were located in the head, not the hip," Dayton said in a wide-ranging question and answer session with the media.
Dayton has said repeatedly that he plans to run for re-election and has raised $628,000 for the effort, but some doubters still question whether the 66-year-old will vie for a second term.
The governor has repeatedly insisted that he will -- this spring he even told supporters that, "If I am breathing, I'm running."
On Wednesday, Dayton will go to Mayo Clinic to receive an injection for a hip injury that has left him limping since this summer. The procedure will keep him out of the public eye for about two weeks.
"I'm pretty tough. Hopefully this will correct it and if not, I'll limp along with it," Dayton said. Late last year, the governor had surgery to fuse vertebra in his back.
Hobbled for months by a hip injury, Gov. Mark Dayton will get an injection that should help him heal. His office says he will have limited mobility for two weeks following the procedure, and that he will refrain from public events and conduct business at the governor's residence during that time.
From the governor's office:
"On Wednesday, October 23rd, Governor Mark Dayton will undergo a procedure at the Mayo Clinic that is designed to promote healing of the torn muscle in his left hip area. It is called a “Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection” (description below).
The procedure is expected to last approximately one hour, under local anesthesia. Afterward, he will return by car to the Governor’s Residence. The general post-procedure instructions call for the PRP recipient to refrain from placing any weight on the hip for the first two days, followed by up to two weeks of very limited mobility. As such, Governor Dayton will conduct State business from the Residence during that time, and will not be holding public events.
Excerpted from Mayo’s “Description of PRP and Predetermination of Benefits”
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a non-toxic, non-immune substance that accelerates healing. PRP is produced from the person’s own blood using a process called platelet enrichment activation. This process allows the extraction of platelets from regular blood and their concentration to over 5 times normal. These concentrated platelets are then injected into the injured muscle to promote healing."
Over summer, the governor popped out his hip, which he later learned was the result of an injury to his Sartorius muscle in his left hip.
Since then, the 66-year-old governor, who is running for re-election, has limited his physical activity but the hip has not healed.
Teasing about a presidential run, comparing the federal shutdown to an act of terrorism, former Gov. Jesse Ventura's is back.
"Even though I don't agree with President Obama on many issues, I do know that he was re-elected because We The People, the majority, wanted the Affordable Care Act. The bill was passed. And now, it's Congress, standing in o
ur way. They're holding the country hostage. Isn't that terrorism?," he said in an online petition that's gained a few thousand signatures.
Ventura, the one-term Independence Party governor, has said of late that's he is a "maybe" for a 2016 run.
Ventura-ologists have been here before. The former governor has long teased about higher office.
A selection from his flirtations:
Back in 1999, he said on ABC that he would be willing to run as vice president if General Colin Powell ran for president. "I told him I would never run for president. I never said anything about vice president," he said.
But in 2004, finishing up a stint at Harvard University, Ventura both said he was considering running and listed reasons he wouldn't -- "I wouldn't be able to get up in the night and drive to the 7-11 for a Slurpee," and his wife would never move to the White House.
In 2008, he said "I may go down and file" for the U.S. Senate. (He didn't.)
In 2011, upon losing a suit over the Transportation Security Administration's pat-downs, he said he was "thinking about" a presidential run to change the security rules. He also said that he would "fly commercially again." That same year, he said on "Good Morning America" that he would "give great consideration" to being Ron Paul's running mate.
Despite his frequent thoughts about higher office, the former governor, who had served as Brooklyn Park mayor before running the state, has not actually taken the leap.
Still, there's already this -- http://jesseventura2016.com/