Dayton picks up campaign contributions from Mayo Clinic leaders

Gov. Mark Dayton has been a big supporter of the major expansion plans for Rochester’s Mayo Clinic. And he’s been a frequent patient there, with three procedures in his first term at the health care giant, which was recently ranked No. 1 in the country.

Now, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports:

“Mayo Clinic execs open their checkbooks for Dayton’s re-election.”

Says the story:

The list of donors to Dayton’s campaign reads like a who’s who in Destination Medical Center leadership. In 2013, Minnesota lawmakers and Dayton approved a $585 million package to support Mayo Clinic’s planned 20-year expansion in Rochester. Dayton was a strong supporter of the project, and his running mate, Tina Smith, is chairwoman of the Destination Medical Center Corp. Board.

The story notes that the Mayo-related contributions make up just a fraction of the governor’s overall re-election fundraising.

On the list of Dayton contributors:

  • Mayo CEO Dr. John Noseworthy
  • Mayo Clinic Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Bolton
  • Mayo Health System President Robert Nesse.
  • Patricia Simmons, chairwoman of DMC Economic Development Agency’s board of directors;
  • Lisa Clarke, executive director of the DMC EDA;
  • Kathleen Harrington, Mayo Clinic division chair of government relations;
  • Erin Sexton, Mayo Clinic’s lobbyist

Dayton’s personal medical trips to Mayo include: hip surgery in February,  back surgery in Dec. 2012 and a platelet injection last October to help heal a torn hip muscle.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by John Appelen on 09/10/2014 - 12:40 pm.

    Conflict of Interest

    In the Private sector that would be called a perceived conflict of interest… And very much frowned upon.

    A similar one is when the local Teacher’s Union gives money to get their candidate voted in right before the board signs off on the Union contract… It never made sense to me how this can be legal.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/10/2014 - 03:58 pm.

      Conflict of Interest, part 2

      A similar one is when a business group gives money to get their candidate voted in right before the Legislature considers legislation that relates to their business interests… It never made sense to me how this can be legal.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 09/10/2014 - 11:06 pm.

        I do not disagree

        So does that mean you agree with me the “employees” should not give their future bosses money?

        I thought I would try it at work, but I think I would get fired. “Hey boss, Here’s a $1000. Now go get me a promotion and a big raise…”

        By the way, aren’t the Mayo folks doing just what you said… And isn’t Dayton accepting the money from those business leaders… Good point.

        Well on the upside, apparently both DFL and GOP candidates participate in the “conflict of interest” game.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/11/2014 - 12:09 pm.

          Inherent flaw

          Unless all campaign contributions are banned, or unless all campaigns are 100% financed by the state, this is going to be a feature of political campaigns. The best we can hope for is transparency. Knowing who gets money from whom is important for accountability.

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