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Mark Dayton Is Not Like The Last Guy

by Dan Burns on February 11, 2011

Yeah, there are people that post here that actually disrespect the political coverage at Minneapolis Star Tribune even more than I do, and that takes some doing.  But some good stuff still makes it into print/online over there, like this article about Mark Dayton’s first month as governor.  The author doesn’t go so far as to say so directly, but the general sense of “this is certainly a most welcome change after that last guy, talk about good riddance,” comes across pretty clearly.

Dayton does start his term with a goodwill that former Gov. Tim Pawlenty lacked from opposing lawmakers after years of budget battles.

It is a friendliness that Dayton has been careful to curry. He has assiduously avoided saying he will veto bills. That tactic stands in stark contrast to Pawlenty, who set the modern record for vetoes and took to labeling some bills “veto-bait.”

Said record is 96 vetoes.

Dayton did, of course, veto a major bill, yesterday.  The point is that he didn’t spout off, all along, along the lines of, “…you legislators are wasting your time, you peons need to knuckle under and realize that I’m ‘the man’ here…,” which was the gist of what his predecessor did, especially the last couple of years.

Of course, the end result is what matters.  I suspect that Dayton will end up making some deals with the devil, and that will piss me off.  But given the magnitude of the mess left by his predecessor, his options are limited and mostly unpleasant.  And in two years, with the legislature back in DFL hands, he can fix a lot of it, and hopefully extract some payback in the process.

On a related note, it appears that many of Pawlenty’s executive orders will be allowed to die quietly.

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