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Dayton told Sviggum, 'You're embarrassing yourself'

As our James Nord is reporting, Steve Sviggum has decided to drop his Board of Regents job. At the Strib, Mike Kaszuba says Gov. Dayton was blunt with the former speaker when they bumped into each other a few nights ago. “Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday he told Steve Sviggum, the Senate Republican official and University of Minnesota regent, that he was 'embarrassing' both himself and the university by attempting to hold both jobs. The DFL governor made his comments as the university’s board of regents was scheduled Thursday to consider the situation regarding Sviggum, who became the Senate Republican communications director in January while he continued to serve as a university board of regent. A three-regent panel said Sviggum’s attempt to hold both offices created a ‘fundamental, systemic conflict’ and that he should choose between the two jobs. ‘I saw him at the Gophers hockey game last Friday and I told him that this situation was embarrassing him, embarrassing the university, and he needed to resolve it,’ the governor said. ‘I think he should make a decision between one or the other.’ Dayton said his comments to Sviggum were ‘my advice as a friend.’ ”

The state’s GOP legislators are now laser-focused on paying back a chunk of that school money. Baird Helgeson’s Strib story says: “The head of the Minnesota House and a powerful committee chairman want to drain the state’s budget reserves to help repay money owed to public schools. Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, and House Education Finance Committee chairman Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, have introduced legislation that would shift $430 million to repay K-12 schools. A House committee is discussing the proposal Thursday afternoon. Minnesota state government owes public schools about $2.3 billion after state leaders withheld payments over the last couple years to deal with back-to-back budget deficits. Repaying public schools has been a chief concern for Republicans and Democrats over the last few months. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he would be open to shifting money from reserves. But he prefers a DFL proposal to close corporate tax loopholes and use that money to repay schools.” Oh sure, another war on the job creators.

The wily hunter who gunned down a cougar last year in southwestern Minnesota has pleaded guilty. At the Worthington Daily Globe, Justine Wettschreck reports: “A Round Lake, Minn., man charged with the shooting of a cougar in Jackson County entered a written plea of guilty to taking a cougar in a closed season and waived his appearance in Jackson County District Court. Daniel B. Hamann, 27, was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and another $1,000 in restitution to the state, according to court documents. In a written plea, Hamann admitted to shooting the cougar on Nov. 27, 2011. ‘I flushed, with help, a cougar that was hiding in a culvert in rural Jackson County,’ Hamann wrote. ‘I shot and killed it. While the cougar was in the culvert, there was no imminent risk of harm. I recognize there is no open season for killing cougars in Minnesota.' " I'm pretty sure that under an expanded Castle Doctrine, no jury in the state would have convicted this guy.

Speaking of … the AP is reporting that our fine neighbors to the east have a lot more deer than they need. “Wisconsin wildlife officials estimate that the state had 1.14 million deer after the 2011 hunting seasons, essentially unchanged from last year but 44 percent higher than the state's goal. The state Department of Natural Resources is required to manage the deer herd to a population goal of 796,000.”

Every industry, it seems, is pointing to a survey or digging up numbers to prove how valuable it is to the greater good of the state. The agriculture “industry” chimes in, via an AP story: “The Minnesota Agri-Growth Council is sharing new data on the importance of agriculture to Minnesota. The industry group this week released some highlights of a study it conducted with the University of Minnesota that follows up on a similar survey in 2003. The report puts total direct added economic value from Minnesota animal agriculture at nearly $8 billion. It says animal agriculture directly supports nearly 35,000 jobs and many thousands more in indirect employment.”

Go ahead, be the first to make the obvious dumb joke. According to heavyweight news organization TMZ, The Bieb’s snake is now on display in Minnesota: “Get your head out of the gutter, people: We're talking about the Justin Bieber's now-infamous pet boa constrictor, Johnson. According to TMZ, Johnson, who made his red carpet debut at the 2011 VMAs, has retired from showbiz and is currently enjoying some rest and relaxation at the Rad Zoo in Owatonna, Minn. As you may recall, the Biebs auctioned off the reptile immediately after the awards show. A rep from the zoo told TMZ that the lucky benefactor held on to Johnson for a while, but ultimately decided the snake would have a better home at the zoo.”

Cue Lee Greenwood, or John Ashcroft … . A story in the Alexandria Echo Press says: “Bald eagles are migrating back to Minnesota and may be seen in large numbers across parts of the state over the next few weeks, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). ‘It's definitely time for folks to keep their eyes out,’ according to Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer, DNR regional nongame wildlife specialist. ‘Usually we see these bigger pulses of migrating eagles a little later in March, but it appears that timing may be early for a lot of natural events this year due to the mild winter.’ Only two states, Florida and Alaska, have greater nesting populations of bald eagles than Minnesota. In 2005, researchers estimated there to be more than 1,300 active nests in this state.”

Mary Kiffmeyer will not have any compromise talk on the Voter ID question. The AP reports: “State Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer is batting down an election integrity proposal from Secretary of State Mark Ritchie as an unacceptable substitute to ... her proposed constitutional amendment to require voters to bring photo IDs to the polls. Kiffmeyer says Thursday that Ritchie's ‘electronic poll book’ voter verification proposal could complement a photo ID requirement but isn't an alternative. Ritchie is scheduled to tout his proposal at an afternoon press conference with fellow Democrat, Gov. Mark Dayton, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.” I mean, the ALEC’s rules on this stuff are clear and unconditional.

That vice- and anvil- and God-knows-what else-slinging suspect has been tracked down and arrested in New Prague. Paul Walsh of the Strib reports: “A Bloomington man charged with throwing dangerous items at oncoming vehicles numerous times this year was tracked down and apprehended late Wednesday at a relative's home in Scott County, authorities said Thursday. Gerret Parks, 39, had been at-large since he was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County with throwing objects ranging from a box of baking soda to gallon water jugs and something resembling an anvil along a busy 14-block stretch of Normandale Boulevard in Bloomington this winter. Authorities located Parks at his sister's home in the Scott County portion of New Prague, and he surrendered peacefully at about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, said Sheriff Kevin Studnicka.”

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Comments (14)

Bless His Heart

Dayton said his comments to Sviggum were ‘my advice as a friend.’ ...and then he trotted off to tell a reporter all about it.

Just doing his job

He was doing his job protecting the U, Sviggum was padding his resume. No class, no clue. Typical GOP

Just doing his job

He was doing his job protecting the U, Sviggum was padding his resume. No class, no clue. Typical GOP

Note to Rep. Kiffmeyer

Even though you fought mightily to limit the number of Democratic voters throughout your time as Minnesota's Secretary of State, you are NO LONGER in that position.

Somehow the voters saw fit to relieve you of the ability to disenfranchise massive numbers of voters as you would have continued to try to do had you continued in that Office.

Although you and the entire Republican leadership of Minnesota seem to believe that bankrupting the state government by giving massive benefits to our state's wealthiest citizens (in the form of the Moe/Swiggum/Venutura tax cuts back in a time of plenty - tax cuts which created ZERO jobs and NO increased prosperity for the state, and which you refused to allow to be undone when times got tough for everyone but the beneficiaries of those tax cuts),...

in other words giving our state's wealthiest citizens even more massive amounts of money to squirrel away in their attempts to make themselves feel impervious to "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,"

you seem absolutely convinced that any benefit the average middle to lower class citizen might receive from the government is never, ever, ever, justified.

Your "free market" solution of one dollar, one measure of political influence and control amounts to nothing short of economic fascism.

By contrast, I prefer actual representative Democracy, where all eligible citizens are allowed to vote without undue impediments (the system we currently have). So did our state's founders and earlier generations of Minnesota Republicans.

I can only hope that, when it comes to Democracy, someday you and your friends will return to the true faith.

Well said

Mary Kiffmeyer has built a career around making it harder to vote.


And they are giving us an amendment with no parameters other than you vote yes and we will decide next year how to implement it.


To a Republican, a vote for a Democrat is voter fraud.

William Pappas

These voter ID bills that have been handed down to Republican Statehouses are onerous enough that they'll never withstand the scrutiny of fair judges when our own constitution is applied to them. I expect all of them to be declared illegal and a violation of the Voting Rights Act which was enacted 47 years ago. Republicans can try to turn back the clock to midevil times with respect to the middle class and their human rights in an attempt to create a feudal society but fortunately I believe our laws will prove too resilient.


Wisconsin is overrun with deer, yet they, like Minn., are preparing to open fire on wolves just so gunslingers can get their jollies killing a top predator.



What if we armed the wolves and made it a fair fight?

Wouldn't it be something?

Imagine what a photograph of GeorgeSoros hosting an ALEC convention at his compound would be worth!


I don't think he makes enough to run with that crowd.

Wouldn't it be something, redux?

I like Mr. Swift's idea. And after we have the Soros/ALEC gathering, let's have the brothers Koch host an "Occupy" gathering at the compound of one of them.

George Soros

would never want to be SEEN with that crowd.