Dayton on the run again after legal settlement that put US taxpayers on the hook

posted at 10:55 am on October 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Mark Dayton finds himself on the run again, six years to the day after he skedaddled out of Washington DC because of a security briefing just before the 2004 elections.  This time, though, Dayton walked away from reporters looking to get more information on a secret settlement of a wrongful-termination lawsuit involving a member of his Senate staff, who developed a heart condition and found himself fired over it.  Dayton refused to answer whether taxpayers had been put on the hook for the payment, a question eventually answered in the affirmative later , as WCCO reports (via Shot in the Dark):

Mark Dayton, the Democratic nominee for governor, said Monday he will reimburse taxpayers for a settlement reached with a staffer he fired midway through his term as a U.S. senator.

The confidential settlement of the former staffer’s lawsuit was reached in early 2009, two years after Dayton left the Senate and about a month after he filed papers to begin his run for governor. Republican leaders raised the issue Monday, questioning whether public funds were used and if the man’s claims had merit.

Dayton accused the GOP of revisiting an old case “in desperation.” Even so, he issued a statement indicating he would “reimburse the U.S. treasury for the full amount of the settlement to relieve taxpayers of any such burden.” Dayton refused to take questions about the matter in person, but his spokeswoman said the original settlement called for him to pay the government back an unspecified amount.

The settlement was reached at least a year ago, but only now do we find out that it put taxpayers on the hook for Dayton’s decision? Note also that Dayton apparently was satisfied to have everyone else pay for his alleged bad management practices. The former Senator didn’t commit to reimbursement for a full year, and probably wouldn’t have done so at all if not for the exposure of the settlement.

The secret deal to shut down the lawsuit raises other questions as well. Did Dayton really fire the staffer because of his poor health? What, exactly, were the terms for which Dayton left taxpayers responsible? Did the settlement require the plaintiff to keep silent about Dayton’s activities as Senator, especially the bizarre episode in which Dayton shut down his office six years ago today and warned Minnesotans not to travel to DC? If Dayton wants Minnesotans to trust him in the governor’s office, he should answer these questions and level with us about this settlement and its terms.

The state’s Republican Party commemorates the 6th anniversary of the event that caused us to dub Dayton Brave Sir Mark:

There are two ways to look at this episode. One, Dayton sincerely believed that he had to run away from DC, in which case it spotlights his irresponsibility and lack of toughness. The other, which I suspect is closer to the truth, is that Dayton did this to grandstand three weeks before the presidential election in an attempt to damage George W. Bush’s re-election bid by making it look as though security was collapsing at the capital. I’m not sure which is worse, but in both cases, Dayton proved himself unworthy of public trust. The secret settlement and the belated offer to reimburse taxpayers for it is just the most recent proof that Dayton needs to be sent packing by Minnesota voters.

Tom Emmer is his opponent, and be sure to lend your support if this secret settlement offends you.


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I can’t’ for the life of me understand how this guy is leading.His previous stint as Senator should have been enough to have him disqualified in the mind of the voters.

sandee on October 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I don’t mind “revisiting” if we can get a few bucks.
That’s like saying the IRS is revisiting my tax returns from two years ago, and complaining…tough.

right2bright on October 12, 2010 at 11:05 AM

The rock group Slade had this guy Dayton pegged years ago!

I like black and white (dreaming of black and white)
You like black and white
Run run away

See chameleon Lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away

If you’re in the swing (money ain’t everything)
If you’re in the swing
Run run away

See chameleon Lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away

If you gotta crush (don’t beat about the bush)
When I gotta crush
Run run away

See chameleon Lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away

Oh now can’t you wait (love don’t come on a plate)
Oh now can’t you wait
Run run away

See there chameleon
Lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away

Run run away
Run run away
Run run away

pilamaye on October 12, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Dayton walked away from reporters looking to get more information on a secret settlement [Don't look at a member of a Chamber of the US govt, instead look over there at the Chamber of Commerce] of a wrongful-termination lawsuit involving a member of his Senate staff, who developed a heart condition and found himself fired over it [Dontcha know, democratics are the party of compassion wingnuts].

Branch Rickey on October 12, 2010 at 11:06 AM

…yet the old media tell us that O’Donnell and Angle are the ‘crazy’ ones. This loon should be in a straitjacket. They’re coming to take me away ha-ha, hee-hee, ho-ho.

slickwillie2001 on October 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM

What is wrong with the voters in Minnesota that they would even consider electing this obvious loser to another position in their government?

If they elect this moron, they deserve the misery that’ll be coming their way.

AZCoyote on October 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Mark Dayton, the Democratic nominee for governor, said Monday he will reimburse taxpayers for a settlement reached with a staffer he fired midway through his term as a U.S. senator.
============
That sounds alot like the UN Resolutions against
Iraq(yes,I’m being really sarcastic)and you know,
coming from a Liberal,I wouldn`t bank on it!!

canopfor on October 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

You give Dayton too much credit. I don’t think the 2004 episode was planned at all.

Mark Dayton is an on and off the wagon alcoholic, seemingly with some sort of mental problems. It’s all the explanation you need for any strange behavior.

Kohath on October 12, 2010 at 11:11 AM

If they elect this moron, they deserve the misery that’ll be coming their way.

AZCoyote on October 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM

AZCoyote:Excellent point,I`m glad the Great Grand Purge
Policy is in effect,to root out that particular
problem,with Team Right.And enough is enough with
this type of character and integrity issues!!

Team Left,will continue to swirl in the Political
Sewage with these types!!

canopfor on October 12, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I’ve said it before, it you ever actually met Dayton in person you would see something strange in the man’s eyes. He isn’t right in the head and I mean that seriously.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Shouldn’t he be disqualified or forced to drop out of the race? If this isn’t criminal, it’s criminally stupid.

Cody1991 on October 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

I’ve said it before, it you ever actually met Dayton in person you would see something strange in the man’s eyes. He isn’t right in the head and I mean that seriously.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

While there are a few notable exceptions politics seems to be the refuge for the ethically and mentally challenged – nationally.

Surely in a country of this size we can find better representatives. We must.

Cody1991 on October 12, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Tom Emmer is his opponent, and be sure to lend your support if this secret settlement offends you.

Tom Emmer is one of two opponents. If you’re only voting against Dayton, then make a choice between those opponents. On the other hand, if there’s a reason to vote for Emmer, then vote for him.

If the best Emmer has going for him is that he’s not Mark Dayton — well, everybody who’s not Mark Dayton has that going for them.

notropis on October 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM

I can’t’ for the life of me understand how this guy is leading.
sandee on October 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Yes you can, Sandee. It begins with an M and ends with an A.

Extrafishy on October 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM

The sad part is that this lunatic will probably win the governor’s seat because there are a lot of Repubs planning on voting for the indie candidate.

So yet again Minnesota will have to endure a weirdo in the Big Chair, a trust-fund baby whose sole campaign idea is to raise taxes on everything and everyone. Just as we’re trying to get back on our feet, dunce Dayton will waltz in and crash it all down.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 11:34 AM

If all the documents in the case have been destroyed what is to keep Dayton from paying any nominal amount back and calling it good?

fourdeucer on October 12, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Tom Emmer is one of two opponents. If you’re only voting against Dayton, then make a choice between those opponents. On the other hand, if there’s a reason to vote for Emmer, then vote for him.

If the best Emmer has going for him is that he’s not Mark Dayton — well, everybody who’s not Mark Dayton has that going for them.

There are a bunch of reasons to vote for Emmer. He’s smart, principled, is the only candidate in the race to actually offer a budget plan that works, a rock solid conservative and a man of accomplishment in the private sector. He’s actually similar to Chris Christie in some ways.

Emmer’s problem is that Dayton’s family spent millions on attack ads in the beginning of the election cycle and he’s been trying to fight past that ever since.

The other guy, Tom Horner, is a politically-connectd public relations man who is essentially a DFL-lite guy. He’s not nuts, but from a policy perspective he’s just Dayton on the installment plan.

Mr. D on October 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM

My strong feeling is that Dayton had something else going on that necessitated his removal from DC, and came up with this lame excuse.

Dan Collins on October 12, 2010 at 11:42 AM

I can’t’ for the life of me understand how this guy is leading.His previous stint as Senator should have been enough to have him disqualified in the mind of the voters.

sandee on October 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

The only conclusion I can come to is….some wake up. Some are rational, and begin to see it for what it is. The rest of them…are just stuck on stupid, and you can’t fix that. *sigh*

capejasmine on October 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM

I’ve said it before, it you ever actually met Dayton in person you would see something strange in the man’s eyes. He isn’t right in the head and I mean that seriously.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Bishop:Yup,this gem took some digging,enjoy!!:)
============================================================

Stephen – The Mad Irishman – Braveheart

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs8QKXtCN9w&feature=related

canopfor on October 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM

The other, which I suspect is closer to the truth, is that Dayton did this to grandstand three weeks before the presidential election in an attempt to damage George W. Bush’s re-election bid by making it look as though security was collapsing at the capital.

Ok.
I agree. I certainly suspect that’s the real deal here but … suppose there was a real threat.

One, Dayton sincerely believed that he had to run away from DC, in which case it spotlights his irresponsibility and lack of toughness.

Does it? Isn’t one of the great benefits of living in the internet age and video conferencing the fact that we don’t have to keep all our eggs in one basket? If there were credible reason to believe that a WMD attack on Washington was imminent shouldn’t the machinery of our government be distributed and scattered to prevent a single strike from wiping out swaths of our body of representatives? What are we – 19th century Paris with the need centralize everybody in one place?

dieudonne on October 12, 2010 at 11:56 AM

If there were credible reason to believe that a WMD attack on Washington was imminent shouldn’t the machinery of our government be distributed and scattered to prevent a single strike from wiping out swaths of our body of representatives?

There’s your problem, there wasn’t credible anything to lead Dayton to believe he was in danger, or any other senator or congressman for that matter. The guy literally fled D.C. as if Bin Laden were chasing him with a machete.

Meet Dayton in person sometime and you’ll understand.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

I already said I thought the threat wasn’t credible. That being said – if it ever were credible at some point in the future – why should it be cowardice rather than common sense to scatter the machinery of state? To expect them to all remain in one place like a plump flightless goose doesn’t seem to be the reaction I would want.

dieudonne on October 12, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Meet Dayton in person sometime and you’ll understand.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Hallucinogenics >>>> Paranoia.

slickwillie2001 on October 12, 2010 at 12:22 PM

dieudonne on October 12, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I agree with you on dispersal, but in Dayton’s case it was truly cowardice or craziness or both. He packed up his senate office and left, just left, completely out of touch with the machinery of federal government, and ran back to Minnesota to hide at his lake home, even his staff didn’t know where he was.

So sure dispersal makes sense, but in this particular instance it was flight and abandonment.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM

So sure dispersal makes sense, but in this particular instance it was flight and abandonment.

Bishop on October 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM

OH yeah. Certainly. This wasn’t the way to do it if it were a real threat.

And Catholic guilt is making me acknowledge that I hadn’t seen the pictures of him when I made the comparison to a fat flightless goose.

dieudonne on October 12, 2010 at 1:03 PM