Gov. Mark Dayton’s pointed comments Monday that Senate Republicans were “unfit to govern” may affect one of the biggest issues at the state Capitol – whether to pass legislation for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Dayton’s statements came after Senate Republicans rejected former state Sen. Ellen Anderson as the governor's choice to chair of the Public Utilities Commission. The Senate Republican opposition to Anderson was led by Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, who is also the chief Senate author of stadium legislation.
The DFL governor said he warned Republicans that ousting Anderson was “going to severely damage our relationship” and added that “I’m not going to be able to trust that you mean what you say when you say you want to be bi-partisan.”
Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the chief House stadium legislation author, said Dayton’s language was, at best, “not healthy” when trying to negotiate a stadium deal.
“I can understand the governor being upset about it. My own view is he totally overreacted,” Lanning said.
Lanning, Rosen and the governor have been working closely on stadium legislation for the Vikings, which has not yet been introduced.
“Some of the language he used in showing his [being] upset was pretty harsh,” said Lanning. “We’re in a climate right now where harsh language from either side is not healthy when it comes to any issue – when it comes to any controversial issue.”