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Dayton, on a mystery trip, was in San Francisco on Wednesday

  • Blog Post by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
  • July 31, 2013 - 6:11 PM

Gov. Mark Dayton, on a mystery trip out of state, was seen boarding a plane out of San Francisco bound for Minnesota Wednesday afternoon.

A fellow passenger at the San Francisco International Airport spotted the governor and spoke to him.

Dayton has taken two mystery trips in the last two weeks to different places to woo jobs to Minnesota. He has not revealed where he has gone or what companies he is working to lure.

"If I am going to have to disclose where I went in that kind of situation, it is going to cost me the opportunity," Dayton said on Tuesday before he departed the state for a second time.

Dayton and his staff have said there have been no subsidies promised to the companies that he has visited nor were the nondisclosure agreements in place to would bind him from discussing his trips.

Both last week and this, all the governor's office publicly disclosed about the travels was that he was "traveling out of state" for meetings "regarding a possible economic development opportunity for Minnesota." 

The trip last Thursday and the one to San Francisco were one day round-trips on commercial airlines.

The mystery travels have raised questions about when it is appropriate for a governor to trade the possibility of economic development for secrecy.

Dayton had pledged to be transparent as governor but has decided that the job prospecting wins out over full transparency.

"Do you want us to go out there and try to get people more jobs in Minnesota or not?" he asked reporters peppering him with questions about his secret travels on Tuesday.

© 2014 Star Tribune