Reporting Pat Kessler
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is calling members of a Shakopee audience “rude” and “juvenile” after a raucous town hall meeting.
On Monday night, Dayton held the latest in a series of “Meetings with Mark” that he’s hosted around the state in recent weeks. The room apparently erupted into heckling and interruptions when Dayton was trying to explain his belief that state lawmakers should get a raise in pay.
The Minnesota Jobs Coalition, a Republican political committee working to unseat Dayton next year, recorded the meeting and publicized the governor’s comments.
In the 20-second video, released by Minnesota Jobs Coalition, Dayton tries to field a question about legislator salaries, but appears to be heckled and interrupted.
In a longer video released by Dayton’s office, some audience members are seen and heard jeering him, and at one point he says, “I’ve never had people behave this rudely.”
Asked Tuesday about the incident, Dayton said again that some in the crowd behaved rudely. He also compared them to junior high students.
“It reminded me of my 9th grade junior science classes in New York city you know, an undercurrent of grumbling and people shaking their head and talking. People interrupting me and wouldn’t stop making their presentation to the point of unanimity — it was rude,” Dayton said. “And if they can’t handle the truth, then they can’t handle the truth.”
Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke agreed some audience members were being — in his words– “rude and disrespectful.” He also called it “childish behavior.”
But the Mayor said many in the audience wanted to hear what the governor had to say, and were grateful that he came.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)