Mark Dayton hopes voters judge him fairly in run for gov

Mark Dayton, the former U.S. senator who wants to run for governor next year, says Minnesota’s next governor will face a tough time with looming deficits.

“That’s the challenge of leadership,” he told the Brainerd Dispatch. “There are no easy answers. There are better and worse answers.”

He admit to mistakes during his Senate years in office (2001-2006) — the paper reminds us that he closed his Washington Senate office in 2004 for security concerns when the remaining 99 senators kept their offices open, leading Time magazine to call him “The Blunderer” — but he said he hopes voters judge him fairly on a record of 30 years of public service.

“I’ve had my share of mistakes and failures,” he told the paper. “Hopefully, people will judge my career in balance.”

On health insurance reform, the paper says:

Dayton said he has serious reservations about President Barack Obama’s health care plan on the basis that providing subsidized health insurance to 47 million Americans isn’t “fiscally sustainable” although he said he would probably support it if it contained a public option.

His own preference would be for a single payer, nationwide health care plan although he said the broad legislative approach is better than the status quo.

Still, the price tag of health care concerns Dayton.

“The Republicans are right,” he said. “We’re digging ourselves into a financial abyss.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Howard Salute on 09/21/2009 - 12:00 pm.

    I, like Mark Dayton, am hopefull people will judge his career in balance. He has a history of buying jobs and letting the public fund his on-the-job trianing.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 09/22/2009 - 05:47 pm.

    The Senate was in recess when Dayton told his employees to close the office and go home because of a security threat. That he was the only senator to worry enough about a possible threat to his staff is to his credit.

    The “financial abyss” is where we might fall unless the final plan has a way for ANYONE, not just some people who are both uninsured and low income, to buy into an inexpensive public health plan like Medicare (in fact, Thom Hartmann asks why it shouldn’t BE Medicare). Without a strong public option to provide affordable insurance to small business owners and low- to medium-income people, we’ll have to give the insurance companies billions upon billions in subsidies to pay for their expensive (and rising yearly) premiums.

    Only a single payer plan would really save money ($400 billion per year). That it’s off the table shows our country’s unfortunate preference for market fundamentalism over pragmatism.

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