Dayton rips Parry for fundraising letter, cancels meeting

Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, are having another war of words.

This time, Dayton is taking issue with a fundraising letter that Parry sent out. Parry, who is running for Congress in Minnesota’s 1st District, says Dayton was engaged in political payback when he issued an executive order that allowed a vote for some in-home day care providers to join a union.

“It’s no secret that the labor unions helped buy the Governor’s Office for Mark Dayton,” Parry wrote in the fundraising letter. “In the past few months, he began to return the favor, most recently by trying to help unionize some of Minnesota’s in-home, private child care providers.”

Parry also called the measure a “backdoor-unionization attempt” and worked to tie 1st District DFL Rep. Tim Walz into the issue. Parry said Walz, his possible opponent for Congress, also wants to “expand union control.”

Dayton wasn’t happy with the fundraising letter.

“Sen. Parry, this email is inaccurate and deeply offensive,” Dayton wrote in an e-mail to Parry and Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa. “This is the second time you have falsely accused me in writing of actions which, since untrue, wrongly malign my character and integrity.”

Dayton canceled his meeting with Parry and Drazkowski as a result of Parry’s fundraising letter and suggested he won’t be meeting with Parry in the future.

“I will not meet with you and provide further fodder for your political activities,” Dayton wrote. “If you have questions of me, submit them in writing, and I will respond in writing to them.”

Parry, who chairs the Senate State Government Innovation and Veterans Budget and Policy Committee, responded to Dayton by saying the two need to work together to put the state on a sustainable fiscal path. He suggested they meet for coffee in the coming weeks to “bury the hatchet.”

This isn’t the first time Dayton and Parry have clashed. The two had a deep disagreement over the impact of the GOP budget plan on the state’s Veterans programs.

I contacted the governor’s office to get more details on the letter and this morning’s meeting. I’ll post an update if/when I get one.

Update: Gov. Dayton sent a follow up letter to Parry defending his executive order. He also said Parry’s e-mail “slurs against my ethical conduct and my character.” The governor said Parry should provide proof that Dayton is “returning the favor” to labor unions or retract his statements.

Dayton also said he’s be willing to host a breakfast with Parry and Drazkowski on Dec. 14 or Dec. 15.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    [Parry]suggested they meet for coffee in the coming weeks to “bury the hatchet.”

    First character assassination, then “let’s bury the hatchet.” Does Parry think people are so dense they don’t recognize his malicious and manipulative act?

  • I certainly looks, sounds and smells like payback. Maybe the governor has a different reason, but the public sees payback.

    If the governor really just wants to enable a dialogue, as he’s claimed, he could withdraw his executive order, stop fighting the court and establish a taskforce to address the concerns of childcare providers. He doesn’t need a union representing providers to talk to. There are several associations that already represent childcare providers.

  • Jim Carson

    Not even a month ago, Mark Dayton falsely accused Republicans, David Hann in particular, of withholding funding for sick Minnesotans. Hint: NONE of the money was to provide medical care. Now, he squeals about a perfectly legitimate charge of pandering to the union bosses.

    Even by political standards, Governor Dayton’s hypocrisy is in a class by itself.

  • Derkdog

    The governor should step aside on the union issue but Parry is as usual out to lunch. Tell him Mr Walz received money from Crystal Sugar.

  • jmn

    I am so glad Dayton batted this fool’s lies back at him. About time. Parry: prove it or shut up.

  • Ken Lehman

    The DFL are such big babies when the truth comes out. Especially Dayton when he don’t get his way.

    I don’t have to prove it. It’s public record and it’s up to the public and the press to pay attention and do journalism.

  • Janesmith

    Funny how people make a huge deal if a union gives a campain donation to a politician but no one says a word when people like McGrath and big business donate larger amounts of money to the republicans. I think that’s just a little hypocritical.

  • Jim Carson

    Janesmith, there is no such hypocrisy; there is only your ignorance. The problem with union donations to politicians is that that money is coerced from the membership. A large number of union members vote GOP; did you know that? Finally, unions give far more in MN politics to Democrats than “big business” gives to Republicans.

  • craig

    dayton your a phony. now tell us whats in it for you on the daycare thing.

  • Minnesota Central

    Is there a link to the candidate Parry fundraising letter and to Governor Dayton’s letter ?

    Without reading the actual documents it makes commenting more of a gut reaction. As a voter in what most likely will be candidate Parry’s district, I need to see the facts.

    I am more concerned by the Mankato Free Press report that candidate Parry has already flipped on the Grover Norquist tax pledge now stating that he will sign it.