At a charity auction in 1994 or so I won the opportunity to have Mark Dayton take me and a friend to “power lunch for two” at the Minneapolis Club. The lunch occurred toward the end of Dayton’s tenure as the Minnesota state auditor. The lunch was extremely unpleasant because Dayton seemed to be unable to disagree agreeably. Dayton nevertheless put me on his Christmas card list for roughly the next five years.
Over those five years Dayton used his Christmas cards to discuss the dissolution of his two marriages, his entry into rehabilitation for alcoholism and related therapy issues. Dayton’s personal Issues were no secret to the many people on Dayton’s Christmas card list, including virtual strangers like me. The guy is a piece of work.
Dayton’s second divorce immediately preceded his return to public life as a (successful) candidate for the United States Senate in 2000. Dayton himself attributed his return to public life to the dissolution of his second marriage.
It turns out that affidavits filed by his wife were removed from the court file of his second divorce. They appear to have been removed by Dayton’s attorney on Dayton’s behalf [see correction below] and their removal was resolved by a subsequent court order returning most of the the divorce file to the parties.
At a press conference today Dayton dissembled about the affidavits. Now that Dayton is asking Minnesotans to vote for him once again, this time to serve in an executive capacity as governor of Minnesota, Minnesotans deserve to see the affidavits (and, for that matter, Dayton’s medical records as well), unless they raise issues that are purely personal to his ex-wife [see correction below].
JOHN adds: In 2006, Alan Fine was the Republican nominee for the Congressional seat that Keith Ellison ultimately won. At that time, the Minneapolis Star Tribune took a gleeful interest in Fine’s ten-year-old divorce proceeding. The Strib’s coverage was misleading at best, and was based on court files that may have been leaked illegally. Will the Strib show a similar level of interest in Mark Dayton’s personal history?
I know, I know. Just kidding.
CORRECTION: Luke Hellier has corrected his MDE post to reflect that the affidavits were removed from the court file by the attorney for Dayton’s wife, not by the attorney for Dayton. That seems to me to make it more likely that the affidavits raised issues personally sensitive to Dayton’s wife rather than to Dayton. I regret the error.
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