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.