Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, a DFL candidate for governor, says he has severed all political ties with state Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley.
Dayton said he told Chaudhary yesterday that they should go their separate ways after a Minnesota Senate ethic panel reprimanded the state legislator. The panel determined Chaudhary’s end of session push for legislation to restrict fishing on a lake where he owns a cabin was a violation of the “accepted norms of Senate behavior” and a threat to “public confidence” in the Legislature.
“The action of the Senate ethics committee was very concerning to me,” Dayton said.
DFL leaders Senate District 50 are expected to decide later this month whether to revoke their endorsement of Chaudhary. In addition to the fish controversy, they plan to make an issue of Chaudhary’s public support of Dayton, who is running against the DFL endorsed candidate for governor, Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Party bylaws describe such support as grounds for endorsement revocation.
But Dayton described the DFL threat as petty vindictiveness.
“This is a very different and much uglier tone that the party has established this year,” he said.
Minnesota DFL spokeman Donald McFarland responded to Dayton with the following statement:
“Senator Dayton chose not to participate in the endorsement process, and we are respectful of that choice. But to stand on the sidelines taking cheap shots and using smoke and mirrors to try to deflect from the fact that he just threw one of his biggest supporters under the bus is as petty as it gets. This is an important election year for Minnesota and there is too much at stake to play these kinds of games. We invite Senator Dayton to join us as we work to defeat Republicans this November and put our state back on the right path.”