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Dayton chooses ‘pass/fail’ grading option this time

He won’t be fooled again.

Asked to give himself a grade for this year’s legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton opted not to go with the lettering grade system that caused him so much grief before, said the Fargo Forum’s Don Davis.

Dayton got himself into no end of political trouble in 2006 after serving one term in the Senate, by telling a school group that he’d give himself an “F” for his performance in Washington. He meant he was not satisfied with his accomplishments, but that self-assessment came back to haunt him in political ads from the opposition during his run for governor.

Davis gave him another chance to mark his own report card, but Dayton didn’t bite:

“Given the condition as that surrounded me, I would give myself a very good grade,” Dayton told Forum Communications. “I learned from my previous experience not to get reduced down to a letter because it is more complex than that.”

 Added Davis:

Beyond that, Dayton learned how to accentuate the positive. “Four of my five major objectives were achieved: a balanced budget, a reasonable budget, a bonding bill, elimination of the social policy items that I couldn’t accept and getting Minnesota back to work.”

 The governor said he fought long and hard to raise taxes on Minnesota’s top earners, but Republicans would not go along.

 “I don’t fault myself for that,” he said. “I did my utmost for six months. They have a majority in the House and the Senate. They voted in lockstep. … People of Minnesota put them in the majority.”

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