Gov. Mark Dayton looks for inspiration on jobs from the late Rudy Perpich, the last DFL governor, who served from 1976 to 1979 and then again from 1983 to1991.
“[Perpich] was a jobs governor,” Dayton told the Bemidji Pioneer. “I came in with him in ’83 in the throes of another serious recession, and he was a proactive governor that made things happen.”
The paper interviewed him in the wake of Bemidji Day at the Capitol last week, when high school students as well as city officials and area residents came to St. Paul. Perpich was a big topic for the new governor, the paper noted:
“I learned some important lessons from him. First of all, the importance of a job to someone who doesn’t have one. My job as governor is to do everything I can to provide jobs for the people of Minnesota — those who are unemployed, those who are underemployed, to those who want better opportunities for those young people from Bemidji High School who were here and are going onto college and need a better job environment when they graduate.”
Dayton says, “Whatever I can do to make a difference and to be proactive” will frame his administration.
“It’s easy to say no to this and no to that and no to everything, but Perpich said, ‘What can I do?’ to try to make a difference. I hope I can follow in those footsteps.
“I won’t be building chopsticks factories or visiting castles in Switzerland. Rudy had, as the French said about [de Gaulle], the faults of his virtues and the virtues of his faults. We all have our faults, and we hope for a lot more virtues than faults.
“I still have great respect and high regard and personal affecttion for him,” Dayton said of Perpich, who died in 1995. “And learned a lot from him.”