Resign your position as Majority Leader
This petition had 704 supporters
You've lost the confidence of your caucus and the people of Minnesota. It's time for you to step down as Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate.
Representing a district, state, and party as the leader of a legislative body requires a person who is trusted. But you have not inspired trust. Governor Mark Dayton said this February, “I certainly learned a brutal lesson today that I can't trust him, can't believe what he says to me, and that he connives behind my back.” Sen. Scott Dibble wrote, “We were asked for trust on the last day of session. Despite misgivings, we gave that trust on every bill, save one (which we later learned had been hard wired with minority caucus votes) ... It is safe to say that trust is not at an all-time high right now.”
You used your position to exact political revenge. The Star Tribune reported your Chief of Staff told DFL Senators Jim Carlson and Sandy Pappas that they needed to vote for a dead-of-night amendment to a budget bill that effectively outsources the State Auditor's job to private firms. Rather than do so, they refused to sign the conference committee report; DFL Representative Carolyn Laine didn’t sign it either.
The amendment was a singular act of retribution for DFL State Auditor Rebecca Otto's Executive Committee vote against issuing 31 nonferrous mineral leases in northeastern Minnesota. Rather than standing for good and transparent government, you've pursued a vendetta against a statewide elected official from your own party, the party you represent as leader in the Minnesota Senate.
When budget negotiations with DFL Governor Mark Dayton became difficult, you cut your own deal with Republican Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt, and then announced it at the Governor's residence. You neglected to get the agreement of the Governor, and the resulting vetoes meant that a special session would be needed. Rather than stand with Governor Dayton, you chose to work hand-in-hand with the Republican House to undermine him.
You have divided your caucus. After making a deal on an Environment and Agriculture budget that rolled back environmental protections, you relied on the support of nearly 100% of the Senate Republican caucus to pass it. After he vetoed HF846, Governor Dayton stated that the worst provisions in the bill “more emanated from the Senate than they did from the House.” How can that be? 29 of 38 members of your caucus voted against HF846. You are supposed to lead and represent the will of your caucus as majority leader. Instead, you've substituted your own agenda for the agenda of your caucus.
For the good of your district, the Senate Caucus you represent, and the state of Minnesota, you should step down as Majority Leader and allow your colleagues to elect a new leader. Minnesota deserves a Senate Majority leader who can be trusted, who will not use the office to pursue political payback, who will work with Governor Dayton for the good of all Minnesotans, and who will unify the DFL caucus in the Minnesota Senate.
Photo by the Star Tribune's Glen Stubbe
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