Feud erupts between Gov. Dayton and GOP Sen. Mike Parry

Fighting words — in writing — were flung around the Capitol today between Gov. Mark Dayton and state Sen. Mike Parry.

After being accused of political shenanigans by Parry, Gov. Mark Dayton lashed out at the Waseca Republican and said he won’t meet with Parry anymore.

Parry had attacked the governor on the child care unionization issue, writing in a fundraising email:

“It’s no secret that the labor unions helped buy the Governor’s Office for Mark Dayton In the past few months, he began to return the favor, most recently by trying to help unionize some of Minnesota’s in-home, private child care providers.”

Dayton responded today by canceling a scheduled meeting with Parry and ripping him in an email of his own:

Sen. Parry, this email is inaccurate and deeply offensive. This is the second time you have falsely accused me in writing of actions which, since untrue, wrongly malign my character and integrity. It is one thing to issue a statement critical of my decision, as you and Sen. Hann did yesterday. That’s politics.

It is entirely different, however, to make malicious, false accusations about someone, who is not even up for re-election, for your own crass political purposes. I will not meet with you and provide further fodder for your political activities. If you have questions of me, submit them in writing, and I will respond in writing to them.

 Parry quickly sent a follow-up letter to Dayton in which he doesn’t apologize but does offer to meet for coffee to “bury the hatchet and find areas where we can work together.”


Dayton has invited Parry to have breakfast at the governor’s mansion on Dec. 15, and Parry has accepted.

Said Parry, in his acceptance letter to the governor:

Thank you for the letter and your reconsideration of your previously stated position to forego any future meetings with me.

The unique founding principle of our democracy is that we can disagree politically, but there will always be a fair, open, and transparent legislative process for sorting out those disagreements and arriving at the best solutions for the citizens of our state. While we have our disagreements, it is important that we maintain that democratic spirit and continue to work together to better our government and our way of life. As a Senator and as Chair of the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee, I remain committed to doing so.

I am writing to let you know that I accept your offer to meet next week for breakfast at the Governor’s residence on December 15th , a date you proposed in your letter.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Jeff Wilfahrt on 12/09/2011 - 02:20 pm.

    Sen. Parry has not exactly proven himself to be of great intellect over the course of time. Bluestemprairie blog has pretty well documented this fact in a series of pieces.

    This will probably garner Parry a few bucks so he can keep Brodkorb fed and housed. There are plenty of voters who are gonna’ lap this up and cut checks for the pizza boy from Waseca.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/09/2011 - 03:38 pm.

    Petulant children.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/09/2011 - 07:05 pm.

    I don’t see why Dayton would find this out of line; it’s exactly what everyone is saying.

  4. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 12/10/2011 - 09:46 am.

    The governor sees that labor has been under attack for decades from those who support the interests of corporate America. He chooses to take the side of workers, since corporate power against them in our country is overwhelmingly strong.

    Parry is part of the attack. He obviously believes that the Koch Brothers and other National Chamber of Commerce members need to be protected from their workers, who must be neutralized lest they exercise their rights to form and join unions and to strike when employers are abusive.

    Should be an interesting discussion.

  5. Submitted by will lynott on 12/10/2011 - 08:46 pm.

    Hard for me to believe, but Parry is even more odious than his predecessor.

  6. Submitted by Cyndi Cunningham on 12/12/2011 - 12:26 pm.

    I’m tired of fightin words and politics in my business. I am a self-employed, small business owner. Almost all pro-unionization voices are either organizers, providers who are receiving financial gain or politicians who hear “union” and have to back it. This is not a “union” in any sense of the word. There is no labor law, no process just an elected official deciding to empower the unions. (Oh, by the way I am supportive of traditional union, not this “new” union.) We have no right to grievences, decertification or oversight by any labor board. A “fair” vote is not possible when all of the resources and “power” is in the hands of the unions. They have hundreds (or at least it seems) on the ground talking to providers. Much of what is said is inaccurate at best, lies at worst. The primary goal is financial gain for those organizing, impacting public welfare policy in the form of subsidies, dues, and fair share dues. I have sat in the meetings where union organizers express that this is payback for helpin elect Gov Dayton, however you want to believe that they believe it to be true.

Leave a Reply