Reality Check: Dayton’s Trade Mission A Double Standard?

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton left Friday for a nine-day trade mission to South Korea, his first overseas trip as governor — something previous Minnesota governors have done. However, as a candidate, Dayton criticized former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s trade missions.

Pawlenty went on nine separate international trade missions, which Dayton — the candidate — called “political.”

“Since I am not running for president,” said Dayton in September 2010. “I will not need a trade office to support my international trade junkets, aimed at improving my presidential ‘gravitas.'”

That was then. This is now.

Leaving Friday morning on the South Korean trade mission, Dayton told WCCO-TV that international trade and a Trade Office are critical.


Not only did Dayton keep the Trade Office that candidate Dayton said he would abolish, he appointed his campaign finance chair Katie Clark as the Trade Office director, at a salary of $90,000 a year.

Also, when the new Republican state legislature eliminated the Trade Office this year, Dayton vetoed the bill.

“The Trade Office provides vitally important services to many Minnesota businesses,” he wrote in his veto letter. “I insist on continuing the funding for this important office.”

Dayton still maintains Pawlenty’s trade missions were political. As for the promise from candidate Dayton to abolish the Trade Office: he said he’s ordered a review to evaluate its efficiency.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Murph

    Pawlenty was in it for himself! In Wisconsin, GOP governor Scott Walker has some ethical problems being investigated surrounding his aides [for now] but some of them have been granted immunity! So poor little Scotty may not be around long enough to suffer a recall vote! I doubt Dayton will have those kinds of problems,just the ones left over from Pawlenty, and there are plenty of those! We can only hope that a great many GOP operatives all get stiff jail sentences.

    • Just asking the question

      I guess we should inquire why Dayton spends so much time at the trade office. Just curious if his wife knows. $90,000 bucks a year. Nice job

      • What

        What Wife. Did he get married since taking office;

      • richard

        To “just”…Typical repub…don’t know what you’re talking about but still fell the need to “take a shot”.

      • richard

        To ‘just asking”…Typical repub comment….don’t know what you’re talking about but still feel the need to “take a shot”. I guess you just don’t want to be confused by the facts.

  • Mr. Mustache


    Another cry my eyes out Loberturd who sucks off the tit of the working man. Dayton is the worst Governor along with being the worst Senator from this state. Thats why he has the title Governor Goofy.

    • One eyed Jack

      I don’t think Murph read the story. Ultra libs are in denial and don’t want to know anything about budgets, hypocrisy or the fact that this Gov. is inept. Don’t hold a questionable “executive order” union meeting for the day care people on the tax payers dime but go ahead and take a 9 day tour and pay someone 90 grand for something you thought you hated. Goofy does not describe the idiot we have here.

      • gordon

        Did you two small baimed idiots fault Pawlenty for taking 9 trips as trade missions and having given friends jobs? Did you cry fowl (indended spelling) when Pawlenty went overseas to inspect the guard troops on your dime. Were the two of you bright enough to complain about the medicority of the work of Pawlenty who could only sqwack “No new taxes” It is the people like you guys who are so partisan that they can even see the poor excuse for a candidate your own party has. Mr Mustache can’t even realize while he complains about people who suck off the tit of the working man, the money man has lifted his wallet.

        • One eyed Jack

          “baimed”? I’m not familiar with your slang. Is Pawlenty still our Gov? I digress.

        • stubby

          wake up gordon, the story was about dayton saying he would get rid of the trade office…it wasn’t needed and it was a waste. It was about how he kept the office, after elected, and is paying 90,000 to katie to run it. It was about how he was critical of Pawlenty and then does exactly the same thing. It wasn’t about whether the office is needed or not, it was about saying one thing and doing another/

  • Reality Check: Dayton’s Trade Mission A Double Standard? « CBS Minnesota

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  • » Blog Archive » Reality Check: Dayton’s Trade Mission A Double Standard?

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  • Mike

    The right wing nuts never raise a peep when Gov. Pawlenty spent millions of taxpayers dollars taking political trade missions that never resulted in any jobs. Than spent over a year traveling the US. pretending he wasn’t running for the Presidency. Hypocrisy has no boundaries with the party of greed and bigots.

    • sid

      The beauty is, the party you so eloquently described, is the party that will be running the country in 2013 because of the failed policies of the Obama/Amy/Franken/Dayton team. Lol.

  • Corky

    More liberal hypocrisy!

  • Gov. Dayton To Return To MN This Weekend « CBS Minnesota

    […] Mark Dayton is set to return from a controversial trade mission in South Korea this […]

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