Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday compared Minnesota's fight over child-care unionization to the national battle over the Affordable Care Act, saying conservative opponents to both programs will not accept a decision they disagree with.
In a speech before an organization of retired labor activists, and in comments afterwards, Dayton said both issues have been voted upon, challenged in court and upheld -- and yet opponents continue to battle to halt a vote on unionization and to halt the rollout of federal health care reform.
"There's no acceptance of the will of the majority, and there's no acceptance of the process of democracy, which is that you don't get your way all the time," Dayton said. "At some point you need to step aside and let things proceed."
He referred to an attempt to allow family child care providers to vote on unionization, a multi-year battle that is currently held up by an injunction. The National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, whose goal is to eliminate "coercive union power," is providing legal defense. Multiple legal challenges, some successful and some not, have been filed to block the vote.
"There’s a whole extreme right-wing element in this state and this country who believe they should dictate to people, 'No you don’t have that chance, to vote for yourself,' " Dayton said.
Dayton said he sees the same problem with the Affordable Care Act, which some GOP members of Congress continue to try to repeal, even linking it to a possible federal government shutdown next week. This follows Obama's first election, passage of the law in 2010, an unsuccessful U.S. Supreme Court challenge and the re-election of Obama last year, Dayton noted.
"How many more affirmations do we want before we say, we don't all agree with this, but this is the policy, we're going to support it, we're going to make it happen," he said.
When he was in the U.S. Senate in 2003, he said, he and most Democrats voted against a Medicare drug coverage bill, but then worked to put it into effect after it passed. "We had our debate, took a vote, one side prevailed," he said. "That's the way democracy is supposed to work."
He added, "But they go out, as they spend millions and millions of dollars to try to destroy the Affordable Care Act, to try to destroy the health exchange here in Minnesota, to pick up on any little glitch and dump all over it...."