Dayton uses personal e-mail account for state business

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Gov. Mark Dayton

Quick, subpoena him and find out what he hasn’t been telling us about Benghazi! WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler says our Governor is in the same boat as Hillary. “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has never used a state government email account provided to all state employees. He uses only one address — a personal account on In fact, it’s the same AOL account he set up 15 years ago. … The Dayton administration says his AOL messages to state employees are encrypted when they are received into the state system. And the governor says he’s added two additional spyware programs for added security.”

How many different types of allergies are there? Liz Collin at WCCO-TV reports, “A Minnesota family wants restaurants to make changes after an allergic reaction took the life of their son. Scott Johnson, 16, had a severe milk allergy since birth. He died last summer after eating restaurant pancakes that his family thought were dairy-free. … The complaint says Cindy Johnson asked the server if the restaurant’s gluten-free pancakes were also dairy-free. The server said, after checking with the cook, they were. Cindy then told the server the grill would have to be cleaned before Johnson’s pancakes were made.”

I won one … once. In the Strib, Sharyn Jackson writes, “The meat raffle: a quintessential Minnesotan bar tradition that plays out every night of the week in one working-class neighborhood’s watering hole or another. Though its origins are unknown, its existence is as homegrown as tater tot hot dish. Buy a ticket for a dollar — the proceeds go to charity — and get a chance to win a shrink-wrapped packet of raw, pink flesh from a table at the back of the bar. … Along with pull-tabs and bingo, meat raffles are a popular, almost expected form of recreation in bars, as well as fraternal and veterans’ clubs like the Eagles and American Legion. They are part of Minnesota’s $1.2 billion charitable gambling industry, one of the largest in the nation.” Plus … it’s meat!

Ouch! Garrison Keillor gave an interview to a Charleston, South Carolina paper. Elizabeth Pandolfi asked him, “Do you think the good old days really were better than the present?

GK: There was a clearer sense of country, of a common culture. We had more in common. There is not so much of a mainstream now. Journalism is all over the map. Washington matters less and less. The world of publishing is splintering. So is popular culture. There are no TV shows that even one-third of the nation watches, no singers whose voices can be recognized by even one-tenth of the nation. This was not always true. I worry about the future of democracy as journalism diminishes. How will citizens exercise their right to vote if nobody is trying to ferret out the truth about the workings of government? I live in St. Paul, a city with a dying newspaper. What happens when it fades?

Andrew Jackson on the $20, Lake Calhoun, and this. According to the AP, “A Minnesota Capitol mall statue honoring explorer Christopher Columbus is the target of new legislation that seeks to recast his role. A bill introduced Wednesday by more than a dozen lawmakers would order an architecture board to change the engraving on the 86-year-old statue’s pedestal. It would read ‘Christopher Columbus Landed In America’ instead of the current ‘Christopher Columbus Discoverer of America.’” Because, I mean, we’ve got your Kensington runestone right here.

The Strib editorializes (on its new, spiffy editorial page) on our reputation for sticking it to those who can least afford it  … the rich. “Average effective tax rates — that is, the percentage of personal income taxed on average by state and local governments — projected for 2017 are down compared with 2012 at every income level, with one exception. … The exception is the top 10 percent — those whose household incomes in 2012 exceeded $140,692. Their effective rates are due to climb modestly, from 10.5 percent to 10.7 percent. The bulk of that change happens among the top 1 percent of earners, whose incomes exceeded $493,603 in 2012. Their tax bite is projected to grow from 9.8 percent in 2012 to 10.5 percent in 2017.” Who said “class warfare” first?

City Pages’ Cory Zurowski is, uh, skeptical, about “The Commons,” Minneapolis soon-to-be-built “public park.” “The price tag for the two-block parcel is double the assessed value. City taxpayers are flipping the bill for yet undetermined construction costs. Estimates range from $6 to $20 million. Residents will also likely get stuck with annual operating costs topping out at $3 million, but they can’t use it a third of the time. Adding insult to injury is the fact taxpayers get no say in how it’s run or how it’s used for at least 30 years despite shouldering all the liabilities. By anyone’s definition, the Commons is a raw deal for those who actually pay the bills.”

Will they have an area in the mosh pit for walkers and wheel-chairs? Chris Riemenschneider of the Strib says, “Rolling Stones fans’ tongues are wagging over rising rumors that the bad septuagenarians of British rock ‘n’ roll are getting ready to announce a U.S. summer tour. There’s no official word yet, but local sources have pointed to the itinerary including a Minneapolis date at TCF Bank Stadium sometime in June. Adding more enticement to the tour rumors: There’s widespread speculation that the band plans to play its landmark 1971 album ‘Sticky Fingers’ in its entirety at shows this summer.” So the question becomes, how many of the Stones’ original fans can still kick in the stall all night?

Bye, bye Little Stores. Wendy Johnson in the Duluth News Tribune writes, “A longtime, family-owned Northland gas station and fuel oil business is in the process of being sold to new owners. Mike McKinney, director of operations for Cloquet-based Best Oil and Little Stores, confirmed this week that the business is positioning itself for a two-part sale in the month ahead. The retail end of the business, the Little Store chain of gas and convenience stores with 20 locations across the region, will be sold to TravelCenters of America LLC, also operating as TA and Petro stations. The sale is tentatively set to close on Monday.”

Likewise, the Jolly Green Giant. At Reuters, Olivia Oran and Anjali Athavaley report, “General Mills Inc is looking to sell its Green Giant frozen and canned vegetable business, people familiar with the matter said, as the maker of Bisquick and Betty Crocker cake mixes struggles with weak sales of products like cereal. The Minneapolis-based company is working with investment bank Rothschild on the potential sale, which is expected to take place later this summer, the sources said. They requested anonymity because the matter is private.”

On the morale of those left at Target, Peter Cox of MPR says, “Kathy Northhamer, of the Robert Half recruitment firm, said no matter how respectful the process or generous the severance, layoffs will affect those who get to keep their jobs. That means employees need to feel secure as soon as possible, said Mark Sheffert, chairman and CEO of Manchester Companies, a firm that advises companies on layoffs. ‘To the extent that they can communicate that … there aren’t going to be any subsequent layoffs in the near future, that really helps them in terms of making employees feel less angst and making them more productive,’ Sheffert said. But Target has kept mum on whether the slashing of 3,100 jobs is the end or beginning of its restructuring plan.” “Mum” means misery.

$2 million, probably well spent.  MPR’s Curtis Gilbert says, “The city of St. Paul will pay Comcast more than $2 million to upgrade the data network connecting more than 100 public buildings to high-speed fiber optic cable. … [Tarek Tomes, the city’s chief information officer] said the hefty price tag is well below the rates Comcast charges in the private market. The upgraded network will deliver speeds up to 1,600 times faster at some locations, he said.” You know how fast you can download the latest water-skiing squirrel video with speeds like that?

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Comments (19)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/12/2015 - 07:37 am.

    Which America did he land in?

    Perhaps the engravers may wish to get a bit more specific?

    “During four separate trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola. He also explored the Central and South American coasts. But he didn’t reach North America”

    • Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 03/12/2015 - 11:01 am.

      To the best of my knowledge….

      the Bahamas and what was once Hispanola are considered part of North America.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/12/2015 - 09:20 am.

    “Journalism is all over the map”

    That’s a good thing.

    I grew up in an era when ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post decided what was newsworthy. They usually agreed on what you needed to know and what didn’t matter.

    Although it made life easier for people who made their living in journalism or politics, it didn’t always guarantee that the people got the truth.

    Keillor laments, “How will citizens exercise their right to vote if nobody is trying to ferret out the truth about the workings of government?” Indeed. The genius of Roger Ailes is that he created Fox News as a niche for people who were looking for an alternate source of information. Turns out that niche is half the population. The reason the Left hates Fox News so much is because their news outlets, with their common point of view, no longer have a monopoly.

    We are a nation of 350 million individuals. We are not a collective. Having the same points of view and living in a common culture is only a good idea if we were.

    • Submitted by Josh McCabe on 03/12/2015 - 12:11 pm.

      Let’s discuss…

      The reason I dislike Fox News is that they seem to routinely spew inaccuracies or even outright falsehoods. I don’t mind if there are alternatives out there, that’s (as you say) a good thing. It’s just best if fiction not be represented as fact, or opinion represented as journalism. I’m a liberal, but I don’t claim to represent all liberals. I suppose some liberals might be upset that the older news sources don’t have any sort of lock, but not me.

      I think the problem is that the public perception of journalism is being degraded and diluted to the point where people can’t tell the difference between objective, researched and documented writing and biased, unsupported drivel that someone thinks should be true because of their particular worldview. This applies to the left, the right and the center political spectrums. Please note: I do NOT accuse our conservative friends of doing this, I accuse the general public of ceasing to think critically. This includes liberals AND conservatives.

      It’s disturbing just how easy it is to forget what journalism actually is, in a zealot’s quest to proselytize one’s point of view. A common sense of the truth would certainly help us all, but that discussion seems to now have turned into a cold civil war. It will not end well if we can’t communicate our ideas to each other any more.

    • Submitted by Curt Carlson on 03/12/2015 - 12:32 pm.

      Alternate source of what?

      Maybe Keillor subscribes to the old-fashioned notion that a well-informed citizenry is a good thing. Surveys have shown that Fox News watchers are most likely to be poorly informed about current events.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 03/12/2015 - 10:51 am.


    A sore point for me. I have been down on Mark Dayton ever since his early senate days when he refused to have an email account because he thought it was rude.

  4. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 03/12/2015 - 10:55 am.

    Does the Gov….

    know Hillary?

  5. Submitted by Michael Hess on 03/12/2015 - 12:05 pm.


    that doesn’t seem too secure to be conducting the states business. While the email to state employees may be encrypted what happens to official email to other non state recipients?

    • Submitted by Joseph Skar on 03/12/2015 - 12:28 pm.


      What happens if his unsecured AOL account gets hacked. Anyone with access to his account would have all his sent items and any inbound official state email. Lead by example and use the secure state email account.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/12/2015 - 03:08 pm.

      Hacked AOL email

      Hillary’s problem with holding and concealing national security information on her private email server was exposed when a hacker (Marcel-Lehel Lazar) gained access to her friend Sidney Blumenthal’s AOL email and discovered emails from Hillary, which apparently contained government-related conversations and his advice to her on a number of foreign policy issues.

  6. Submitted by Chris Mann on 03/12/2015 - 12:08 pm.

    Christopher Columbus on the Capitol Mall?

    Are we forgetting to mention that Columbus launched the European enslavement and genocide of the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere in the name of Christianity along with bringing the European diseases that devastated them? If there needs to be a statue of him at the Capitol (there doesn’t and shouldn’t), how about an engraving that reflects the repercussions of his landing on hundreds of thousands people?

    Why are Minnesota lawmakers working on legislation like this, that is an insult to many people in the state, instead of doing the right thing? Are they that clueless?

  7. Submitted by John Edwards on 03/12/2015 - 03:15 pm.

    Another false assumption

    I am not sure what surveys Mr. Curt Carlson is referring to, but the only ones dealing with the subject I could find happened several years ago. Politico debunked their conclusions.

  8. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/12/2015 - 03:26 pm.

    Clinton V Dayton

    Clinton’s account seems to be well secured. Dayton’s… not so much. Yeah, that’s a problem~ of course, I’d say the same about ANYONE in ANY capacity using an AOL account.

    He needs to change that, PDQ.

  9. Submitted by Tom Lynch on 03/12/2015 - 06:20 pm.


    —–“The genius of Roger Ailes is that he created Fox News as a niche for people who were looking for an alternate source of information. Turns out that niche is half the population”—-

    Half the population? Unless the country has shrunk to a population of 4-6 million people, I think your numbers are just a little off. There are a lot of dim bulbs in the country, but I doubt there are 160 million of them dim enough to give Fox any credibility.

  10. Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 03/13/2015 - 03:19 pm.

    Interesting to see critique of private sector email security

    And requisite praise for the security of government email.

  11. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 03/15/2015 - 09:32 am.

    Will there be more long white confetti blowing down Penn Avenue

    soon…shredded e-mail print-outs of former residents personal e-mail, a belated address to be sure, of past White House ‘boarders? At least imagine second copies which suggest better book-keeping maybe?

    I do wonder as long as private e-mail is an issue….. Dayton or HIllary, just tip of the e-mail pile and more to come?

    Why has anyone not yet checked on Cheney and his gang time in the White House…far more revealing e-mails may be father and daughter private e-mails or Dick C and his powerful wife…or George W. and his land grab in Paraguay 2006 negotiated by his daughter; all while serving the people in the White House? If the public goes this route to expose what has not been yet verified, there’s a high mountain to climb for those who want to know?

    Paper trails too?…Must be how many tons of paper shredders working overtime in how many administration has-beens’ basements; paper copies and and still cleaning out the garbage in a giant recyleing bin or two or three… who doesn’t make a second copy if it’s important ‘private’ e-mail?…then again who makes second copies anymore, who knows?

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