Gov. Mark Dayton is living in interesting times.
His approval rating of 53 percent makes him the United States' eighth most popular governor among the 40 governors tested by Public Policy Polling, yet 59 percent of voters reportedly oppose the public paying for any portion of a new stadium for the Vikings, something Dayton is pushing hard for.
But if Dayton wants the Republican-controlled Legislature to get behind a stadium bill in any way, he sure has a funny way of reeling them in.
On Monday, the Democratic governor blasted Republicans after they rejected the appointment of Public Utilities Commission Chairwoman Ellen Anderson - the first time a Dayton appointee has been rejected by the GOP-controlled Senate. He went so far as to call out Senate GOPers for their "leadership scandals" and said they are "unfit to govern."
Residents of Minnesota, after what transpired in last year's legislative session, knew better to assume this year's session would be free from partisan gridlock and would eventually include some nastiness and perhaps even some name calling, but we had no idea it would start on Day 1 - when Republicans called for more than $444,000 in cuts from the DFL staff budget - and continue to get worse.
We can appreciate the governor's frustration and don't mind when he goes after Republicans on political issues, but we question the direction he took in bringing up the Amy Koch scandal.
Did Koch make a horrible personal decision? Yes.
Was she right to resign her post as Senate Majority Leader? Yes.
Do we have to keep bringing it up? No.
Shouldn't the leader of our state rise above that?
Between Koch, former GOP Chairman Tony Sutton and the Republican Party's financial woes, it has become very easy and terrificly tempting for Democrats to cast stones, but Dayton, as the state's commander in chief, should have taken the high road by letting those fires die down and showing his fellow DFLers that he won't "go there" this session. Instead, he sprinkled the flames with a little gasoline.