A devoted reader of this blog just contacted me with information, saying that Dayton might be in the process of making a major mistake with one of his appointments.

I’m still working the information and my contacts for more on this but I wanted to tip people to this development. If what I’ve heard is true, and this source is very reliable, I can confidently say that this appointment would instantly undercut Dayton’s credibility.

What I can tell you is that this potential appointee isn’t a friend of agriculture and he isn’t a friend of business. This appointee would be, to no one’s surprise, appointed to one of the environmental regulatory agencies.

I’ll further tell you without hesitation that this appointee would be a major mistake on Dayton’s behalf and would hurt his public image from the start.

UPDATE: I’ve now confirmed that Dayton is thinking of appointing Paul Aasen of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy to be the commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Here’s what caught my attention about Aasen’s current organization:

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy is the legal and scientific voice protecting and defending Minnesota’s environment. We work in the courts, the legislature and state agencies using science and policy to develop, communicate and implement environmental change.

A brief google search brought me to this tasty tidbit of information:

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and two other organizations filed suit recently against the U.S. Forest Service for its travel management plan, which would add new roads and trails in northern Minnesota’s Superior National Forest.

The suit in U.S. District Court, which also was brought by the Sierra Club and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, challenges the government’s plan which would add more than 140 miles of roads to the forest’s official road system. Many of the new roads are old logging skid trails never meant to be permanent and which should have been reforested.

Some of the roads would skirt the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, contribute to unwanted noise and threaten the habitat of the Canada Lynx and the gray wolf, among other species, according to the lawsuit.

“Adding 142 more miles of roads to the already heavily-roaded Superior National Forest threatens wildlife and degrades wildlife habitat,” said MCEA attorney Matt Norton. “Residents and visitors want a natural experience and quiet when they’re in the woods, especially in the Boundary Waters Wilderness.”

It appears that MCEA is in the environmental litigation industry. I can’t picture Aasen getting confirmed in the Senate.

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7 Responses to “Dayton’s First Major Mistake?”

  • eric z says:

    This is a good sign. Polymet will not get a free ticket to be a bad citizen if there’s a good sheriff in town.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Free ticket??? Are you nuts??? PolyMet has invested millions of $$$ in studies already. That’s before tacking on the costs of fighting this attrition factory in courts. Aasen isn’t a good sheriff. He’s more like a well-funded bank heist man. He’s a strong believer in killing things he doesn’t like through attrition & strong-armed threats. If that’s your definition of a good sheriff, I’m thankful you aren’t picking sheriffs.

  • “Polymet will not get a free ticket to be a bad citizen if there’s a good sheriff in town.”

    Polymet won’t get a chance to do ANYTHING with this guy at the helm. Kiss any economic development in the North Woods good bye! No one will be able to do ANYTHING – except maybe move to Superior – with this guy in charge!


  • G says:

    Aasen, is one of the best appointee’s, and Marks doing a great job with the rest too. It’s about time we get someone in the MPCA that will make sure polluting industries are folowing the laws. The current MPCA has been sleeping with industry for far too long, way to go Mark.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Aasen is an ideologically-driven job-killing machine. His goal isn’t to prevent pollution. It’s to kill jobs. PERIOD. When MCEA’s attorneys filed lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit year after year after year until the Big Stone II power plant collapses, there’s only a couple conclusions: that Aasen doesn’t care about having cheap energy & that he sees his mission to kill jobs that don’t fit into his preferred list of industries.

    This proves that Gov. Dayton is an extremist who isn’t serious about creating jobs. He can stomp his feet if he’d like. He can throw the biggest temper tantrum in gubernatorial history but this extremist won’t be confirmed.

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