Emmer bypassing debate at Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities gathering

Officials of 75 Greater Minnesota cities will meet in Winona for a conference starting Thursday, with a truncated gubernatorial debate serving as a highlight of the gathering.

Republican candidate Tom Emmer won’t attend  Thursday’s 4 p.m. debate, citing a scheduling conflict, leaving DFLer Mark Dayton and Tom Horner of the Independence Party more time on the stage at the newly expanded Winona County Historical Society.

MPR reported that Emmer apologized to the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities: 

“They are very important. It’s just one of those scheduling things,” Emmer said. “We’ve had a candidate [Democrat Mark Dayton] now for a week and we’ve already had three debates.”

But Timothy Strand, mayor of St. Peter and president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities said this in a  statement:

“There is no better opportunity to explain why you will be a champion for rural Minnesota than by debating the other candidates for governor in front of the mayors, city council members, and city staff that make up the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. That is why we are disheartened that Rep. Emmer has declined this opportunity. We hope Rep. Emmer reconsiders his invitation and joins Mark Dayton and Tom Horner in an open and honest conversation on the critical issues that will affect the 2.4 million Minnesotans living in greater Minnesota. We also hope Rep. Emmer reevaluates the message that his absence at this critical forum sends to greater Minnesota communities.”

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities summer conference also will feature:

  •  A state auditor candidate forum
  •  2010 Jobs bill panel
  •  “Square-off” between Reps. Marty Seifert and Tom Rukavina on whether conservative or progressive policies are better for rural Minnesota
  •  Legislative awards dinner with keynote speaker Kerri Miller

Those attending the conference will also get to tour some Winona sites, including improvements to the city waste water treatment plant.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 08/18/2010 - 08:54 am.

    I’d guess he’d want to avoid facing officials of all those entities that will be affected by his slashing of the state budget. Notice he doesn’t say what the scheduling conflict is because that would allow people to see what his priorities are.

  2. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 08/18/2010 - 09:09 am.

    A terrific opportunity to hear a discussion between the two viable candidates in this election.

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/18/2010 - 05:04 pm.

    The Seifert-Rukavina tussle would be the most fun.

  4. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 08/19/2010 - 12:24 pm.


    The conflict was previously scheduled meetings with the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and the job creating Trucking Association. It was in the RedStar and almost all other media that reported it.

  5. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 08/19/2010 - 12:27 pm.


    As for all those entities that would lose funding…..excellent! Why is it that I am supporting towns all around this state that people no longer chose to live in and support with their own local taxes? People vote with their feet – why do I have to pay higher taxes at the local level for more people moving to my town, and then have to pay more taxes to support dying towns, ones which may have been destroyed by liberal policies such as high taxes, rampant unionization, and burdensome environmental and other regulatory rules?

  6. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 08/19/2010 - 12:29 pm.


    What right do these entities have to “state” money to begin with.

    Can we change the term to “my money” and “your money” so that we can have a more honest debate?

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