ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A key Senate panel declined to recommend Gov. Mark Dayton’s pick to head the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday, in the first signal that the Republican-led Senate could reject a member of the Democratic governor’s cabinet.

The Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee forwarded former Sen. Ellen Anderson’s confirmation to the full Senate without recommendation after grilling her on issues ranging from her past positions on energy legislation to a part-time University of Minnesota teaching job. Anderson sponsored a 2007 renewable energy law considered one of the nation’s most aggressive standards at the time.

Her fate will be determined by the full Senate, which votes on whether to confirm cabinet appointees.

Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, said she was concerned that Anderson’s experience was biased toward a specific energy agenda. Rosen said the full Senate will now consider “whether she can in the future be an impartial authority, and put aside past biases.”

Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing, said senators have received more feedback on Anderson than on any other Dayton appointee.

Dayton named Anderson to lead the commission overseeing electricity, natural gas and telephone industries in March. The longtime Democratic lawmaker from St. Paul gave up her state Senate seat to take the job. When Democrats controlled the Senate, she headed the same panel that declined to recommend her.

Democratic senators defended Anderson.

“Nothing that was asked disqualifies her from the job in any way, shape or form,” said Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis.

Afterward, Anderson wouldn’t speculate on what the committee vote means.

“I’m very qualified for the position,” she said. “I appreciate the governor’s faith in me.”

Another Dayton appointee had an easier time earlier Thursday, when the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee unanimously recommended Public Safety Commissioner Ramona Dohman.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (22)
  1. Yelper says:

    Republicans are such whiners… Geez they won’t recommend her since she protects the public and is not a pawn for large corporation greed..


    1. Karen says:

      No, they are representing the people that put them in office. You are a minority now so sit back and learn.

      1. Yelper says:

        Hi Karen,

        Your going to get a big VETO. Who’s the minority now biaach….

        1. Karen says:

          did you even read the story you jughead, you can’t veto this. Time to get back on facebook and chat with the teens.

          1. Yelper says:

            Time to get back to your bottle of wine you jughead…

            People like you are so silly. Bet you shop at Walmart, eat second grade food, are over your head with your mortgage, unemployable….


            1. Dave says:

              Well, it’s nice to see a liberal display his “intelligence” level as well as his respect for females. Talk about coarse. You should know all about “second grade food”.

            2. Southern MN Mom says:


              I told you yesterday to quit whining, barking and thinking you big a big dog and go the puppy kennel the DFL built for you! NOW GO!!


              P.S. By the way, my pal Clint says, “You are a legend in your own mind.”

              1. Yelper says:

                There is a reason you republicans ‘just don’t get it’ despite being fed all sorts of valid proof of how wrong you are…

                It’s a saying from an old friend which is “Can’t Fix Stupid”

                LOL you republicans are such MORONS!

                1. Sick of sick of says:

                  What are we to do with you and your constant whining Yelper? Southern MN Mom is so right about you and your named calling! Is that all you have to share?

      2. Tired of polarized poeple says:

        Hey Karen, if the Democrats were a minority in this state how did Dayton get elected? Neither party is in control, they all need to work together. Just like your opinion, you need to learn to play nice in the sand box.

        1. Karen says:

          Dayton was elected with less than 50% of the vote, I believe 44% because of the three way race. This is a minority of the people of the state. As far as this issue in the story, the republicans are doing their job which is to review the appointments and approve or disapprove based on their beliefs. Thats what they are suppose to do. You may not agree but thats the way it works.

    2. Jayne says:

      no Karen, the replublicans are following a narrow agenda not the people’s wish I have known Ellen Anderson over 20 years & she is very qualidied thank god the 2012 will vote these narrow minded republicans out of office having them in office is due to all the people who didnot vote in 2010

      1. Karen says:

        If they get voted out in 2012 so be it. But until then the republicans will do what the people that voted ask for and just because you like Ellen Anderson does not make her the right person for the job. We elect these officials to make that decision. I know you have a hard time accepting the fact that there may be a differant opinion about an issue that other people believe as strongly as you but they do and they may be right.

  2. David says:

    The Republicans want to go back to the 1950’s, with its lack of environmental and energy regulation. Well, Los Angeles (and other cities) now have much cleaner,clearer air after the implementation of auto mileage standards and catalytic converters, which the large companies and Republicans fought for a long time. Look at the results, and then see who is really protecting you on these and related issues.

  3. John T says:

    “Look at the results, and then see who is really protecting you on these and related issues.”

    That’s the problem with republicans… they just look the other way.

    Look at that hypocrite Gingrich, wants to eliminate the EPA and protection for people… At the same time such a holy man that cheats on his wifes….

  4. GOPSUX says:

    GOP = dirty filth.

    1. Southern MN Mom says:

      Dear GOPSUX-

      Iowa Conservatives Took $3M In Tax Funds 1 hour ago

      GOP = dirty filth.

      It seems you are so busy sharing with everyone with your wonderful opinion that you have taken to just copying and pasting it. No comment on my part needed here-

  5. Scared of Idiots says:

    Nothing is going to get done in the state until after the elections in 2012 and the idiots are voted out. The idiots are back-dooring their narrow minded bigoted religious agenda from the mid-1900’s because they know they are doomed. (I expect them to bring back slavery, deny women the right (or as they claim privileged) to vote, make “mixed” marriage illegal (in this state they will probably also include no Swede marry a Norse), make it illegal for women to own property (can they go back 150 years?), etc.

    Get active, campaign for rational people. Eliminate the far right.

    @Karen – Terrible Pawlenty never was elected with a majority and look what he did to the state. MN use to be know for getting high marks for a state, now we are heading for Mississippi and lower.

    1. Karen says:

      Pawlenty only signed what the demacratic congress submitted. I dare say had he not vetoed many of the spending bills, this state would be near bankrupt like California, NY, Illinois, and Michigan.

      1. GOPSUX says:

        Any “bankruptcies” are due to slacker rich not paying taxes.

        1. Karen says:

          Poor baby wants big rich people to give them a bigger allowance.

  6. worryfree says:

    Dayton will just wait and make a recess appointment. The Repubs really need to stop with social engineering and time eating efforts like this and work on the budget and jobs.

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