Dayton’s secret trip

Gov. Dayton’s office announced today that Dayton will be traveling out of state Wednesday “for a meeting regarding a possible economic development opportunity for Minnesota.”

The information, which was released on Dayton’s daily public schedule, also said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben and another staffer with DEED will attend the meeting. Dayton’s spokesman Bob Hume would not disclose where Dayton was headed.

One possible destination is Illinois since Dayton signed a bill into law in May that would provide millions in taxpayer subsidies to Baxter International to expand in Brooklyn Park. Dayton and DFL legislative leaders also worked to keep the name of Baxter quiet as they worked to come up with a slate of subsidies for the company. Brooklyn Park city manager Jamie Verbrugge told MPR News last week that they were still working on a deal to convince Baxter International to expand in his city.

Dayton's trip could be to target another company as well. A new set of tax incentives was passed into law last session that aimed to convince larger companies to relocate or expand in Minnesota.

The secret trip highlights Dayton’s campaign pledge to “go anywhere in the state, nation or world if there’s a job to be gained in Minnesota.”

But failing to disclose where he’s going breaks another campaign pledge. During the campaign, he told the Associated Press that he would disclose his private schedule so “people have a right to know what I’m doing with my time” and should know who he’s meeting with privately. Dayton reversed course on releasing that schedule when he took office.


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