In Duluth debate Dayton calls Johnson a ‘huckster’; Johnson calls stadium deal ‘a disaster’

Now now Governor, we must rise above such language. The AP’s Brian Bakst covers this morning’s gubernatorial debate up in Duluth. He writes, “In the first one-on-one debate of the campaign, Dayton labeled Johnson a ‘huckster’ for promising mining permits on the Iron Range before environmental studies have been completed as a way to endear himself to a Democratic voting stronghold in northeastern Minnesota. … The Hennepin County commissioner called Dayton a decent man whose privileged roots have shielded him from having to scrimp like many families to pay a mortgage or college tuition.” Our Cyndy Brucato reports here.

For the PiPress Bill Salisbury says, “Johnson rattled off numbers indicating that in the past year Minnesota is near the bottom among states in creating good-paying jobs. Dayton and the DFL-controlled Legislature have ‘created a tax climate that is so uncompetitive with the states that surround us and a regulatory climate that is just overbearing,’ he said. The governor replied that Minnesota is better off now than when he took office, and a ‘preponderance of the statistics’ confirms that claim. He accused Johnson of ‘being so desperate to find something to make Minnesota look bad that you jump on whatever (numbers) you can find.’ “

For the Forum News Service, Don Davis writes, “When talking about a Vikings football stadium that costs more than $1 billion, half funded by tax money, Johnson explained the situation that was similar to other issues: ‘This is another example of how we are going to differ as much as we can possibly differ.’ On the stadium, Johnson said taxpayers should not have paid for it, citing a new New Jersey stadium construction project that involved no government funds. ‘This whole deal has been a disaster.’ 

We’re No. 1! … in farmed elk. John Enger of MPR writes, “Minnesota’s herds of farmed elk might be the largest in the country, but they’re not large enough. Demand for elk meat and other elk products is at an all-time high, according to Brenda Hartkopf, executive secretary of the Minnesota Elk Breeder’s Association. Elk farmers are bombarded with orders.” Apparently elk has gone “artisanal.”

How potboiler mysteries begin: Paul Walsh of the Strib writes, “Human remains “several decades” old have been unearthed at a construction site in east-central Minnesota, authorities said Tuesday. The discovery was made about 10:30 a.m. Monday in the 15000 block of Sunset Trail, a road dotted with lakeside homes just west of Pine City, according to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office. ‘It appears the remains have been at that location for several decades,’ read a statement from the Sheriff’s Office, issued late Tuesday morning … .”

Coincidentally enough … Jenna Ross of the Strib writes, “Billboards will blanket the St. Joseph, Minn., area in a new effort to find Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted 25 years ago this month. Officials will announce the new campaign at a Tuesday news conference in St. Cloud. The six billboards will feature a photo of Jacob as a kid and a picture of what Jacob might look like at age 36.”

Them who gives the money gets to give the names. At The Business Journal’s Jim Hammerand writes, “The Minnesota Masonic Charities will put its name on the University of Minnesota’s children’s hospital with a $25 million donation. The renamed University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital will use the gift to support pediatric research in neurobehavioral development, rare and infectious disease, and stem cell therapies.” Remember stem cells as a culture war issue?

The Glean$2.81 in Duluth. Says Dave Shaffer in the Strib, “Minnesota’s av­er­age price for un­lead­ed regu­lar gaso­line dropped be­low $3 this week, ac­cord­ing to pric­ing ser­vices and the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. … GasBuddy’s chief oil an­a­lyst, Tom Kloza, had pre­dict­ed gas prices would drop dra­mat­i­cal­ly this fall through Christ­mas. He said in an inter­view Tues­day that it has hap­pened rap­id­ly, and may not be over.” The Saudis wouldn’t be trying to take the investment thrill out of fracking and deep sea drilling, would they?

Kind of cool … A time-lapse of the sod going down on the Saints’ new Lowertown ballpark. Says MPR’s Tim Nelson, “[Nick] Nelson shot the time-lapse with a GoPro camera installed in the stadium stands just behind home plate. The CHS Field got about 95,000 square feet of sod installed from a Wisconsin farm. It grows the turf for Wrigley Field and Miller Park, as well.”

Does the U of M have legal standing to prevent any sight of the Washington team name in TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 2? City Pages’ Jesse Marx thinks so. “ … the actual contract between the university and the Vikings … suggests that the university would be within its rights to prevent the [name] and logo from appearing in the stadium. Consider this: The section in the contract laying out advertising and sponsorship restrictions says the Vikings cannot engage in any action or use any language inside the stadium that might reasonably be expected to offend contemporary community standards, such as use of words regarding sexual acts, defamatory language, or language that might denigrate any class or group of people.”

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by E Gamauf on 10/14/2014 - 03:18 pm.

    What would have been a sterling stadium deal?

    I submit there is no such thing.

    Some of the people on right opposed the stadium only because they knew the governor would be forced into cutting a deal. They never had to present an alternative.

    Had he opposed the stadium, it would have brought public outcries from fans. Left it a lose a little – or lose much more scenario.

    That’s a really ridiculous to gripe about as part of a campaign to try and unseat him.

  2. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 10/14/2014 - 03:28 pm.

    The sterling stadium deal..

    would have been if the Wilfs paid for it themselves or moved the Vikings to LA.

    Name calling by Governor Dayton!! Looks like Mr. Johnson took the high road on this one.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/14/2014 - 03:43 pm.

      What Dayton actually said was “I’ve been working on behalf of northeastern Minnesota for 37 years and I’ve seen the hucksters go up there and promise chopstick factories … and all those other things because they are dangling out the prospects of jobs.”

      Sorry – but you could just as easily read that as him calling the *copper-nickel mining companies* the potential “hucksters”. Which was – in fact – exactly how I took it.

      But if Johnson is so eager to claim the title for himself – well, I suppose he can knock himself out grabbing for it. Not sure why he’d want to, though.

      (Oh – yeah . . . . . cheap political points!)

      • Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 10/14/2014 - 04:01 pm.

        What has he done…

        for northeast Minnesota in the last 37 years? One only has to look at the unemployment there for the answer.

        • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/14/2014 - 05:00 pm.


          I want a governor who has magical powers sufficient that he can just warp the entire world economy to create massive prosperity, but only in ONE section of Minnesota – the Northeast.

          Then he can use those SAME magical powers to protect the environment from the degradation that Polymet would INEVITABLY bring,…


          make sure that all the profits from copper/nickel mining don’t go out of state,…

          and that, when the ore runs out,…

          Polymet and/or its holding company or parent company don’t just declare bankruptcy ,…

          leave the state,…

          and leave the State of Minnesota with the nasty choice to either spend $millions (or more) over the foreseeable future to try to keep Northeastern Minnesota from turning into an environmental wasteland,…

          or let all the destruction copper/nickel mining has caused everywhere else it’s been pursued wreck havoc on an entire region of our state.

          Sad to say, neither Gov. Dayton, Mr. Johnson, nor Hannah Nicollet seems to have the kind of magic I need,…

          so I supposed I’ll have to settle for the one of them who seems to have his feet firmly planted on the ground,…

          is aware of what’s possible,…

          and is constantly working to make life better for ALL the citizens and regions of the state of Minnesota,…

          with the courage to look long term,…

          and the wisdom to put the brakes on when mining companies and labor, working in cahoots,…

          are trying to turn Northeast Minnesota into the equivalent of the Williston ND area,…

          an area which, in twenty or thirty years, will be left a wasteland unfit for human habitation.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 10/14/2014 - 06:58 pm.


          those folks should move to where there are more opportunities. Isn’t that what you “pull yourselves up by the bootstraps and take responsibility for your own life choices” people are always preaching?

      • Submitted by Bruce Bruemmer on 10/14/2014 - 04:35 pm.


        Was Dayton referring to Perpich as a Range huckster? If memory serves the chopstick operation, if not idea, was pushed by Rudy P.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/14/2014 - 05:14 pm.

    As to Mr. Johnson Creating Good Jobs

    All we need do is look at the track record of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty,…

    and the absolute zero temperature of the efforts of the Republican-led legislature of a couple of years ago,…

    whose “jobs! jobs! jobs!” promises did not result in one, single proposal, bill, or change in policy that had a snowball’s chance in what is reputed to be a very warm place of creating even a single minimum wage job!

    Republicans have never, yet, awoken from their “tinkle down” economics fever dream.

    The ONLY thing Mr. Johnson, should he become governor, would be able to bring himself to do, would be to further enrich the already fabulously wealthy, while pursuing policies that would further damage and destroy the lives of the poor and middle class,…

    all the while believing that the mistaken and misguided things he was doing were the ONLY possible ways to help those he was damaging most.

    To his approach, the citizens of Minnesota can all-too-easily reply,…

    “been there, done that, woke up dog sick with a massive [economic] hangover that we’ve only begun to recover from under Gov. Dayton.”

    We need MORE of that recovery,…

    not a heavy dose of “new and improved” (same old, same old, just as toxic to our well being) Republican “tinkle down” snake oil (and don’t even ask what’s in that bottle),…

    though some among us are so addicted to that snake oil that they’re all too anxious to “tie one on” again, even if it destroys their lives or kills all of us.

  4. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 10/15/2014 - 10:17 am.

    Candidates gating in the issues?…

    I find it difficult to get excited about state elections when in the content of their debates, rarely or maybe never do you find any critique or careful analysis by candidates on global issues and our extended involvement as self- described”super power…if our position is significant; important on the greater scale called the world, why are such discussions within our state campaigns devoid of a greater reference to the global issues we so often; too often were so involved in for whatever trumped up reasons by the Pentagon and the White House whomever?

    When one looks in the mirror and sees the shadows of our wars or exploiative interventions do we not have the capacity to see the shadows that haunt us…black sites, our prisons beyond our borders where torture can be acceptable if we keep our eyes closed and avoid the shadows. Past mistakes that thrived during the Bush administration and extend their damages into the present administration…where are the points of view within our state campaigns?

    I often read the cynic, poet journalist supremo, Pepe Escobar over at Asia Times who writes too often what I do not care to hear or do not dare to see – shadows in the mirror… a harsh one this morning and a little piece of word magic a couple days ago on his trip to Iran.

    We need to see ourselves as others see us even if we don’t like it at times?

    M Albright is speaking in Mpls soon I read earlier…at least ask her a few questions; candidates whomever?

    “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support women”…so drag that statement into the public arena and think ‘Bachmann” …way to go Madeline…she who believes war is the answer to all ills here or abroad?

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