Rochester's Senjem feuds with Dayton civic center funding


Rochester state Sen. David Senjem claims that in 2012, his hometown Mayo Civic Center lost out on a grant because of political gamesmanship by Gov. Mark Dayton. Now the claim has erupted into a verbal battle between the two.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin gets in on the action, with Senjem telling the paper that Dayton demanded that expansion of the civic center be ranked lower on a list of projects, an allegation the governor's office calls "dishonest" and "shameful."

Senjem, a Republican who at the time was the Senate Majority Leader, talks about some $47.5 million that was to go toward various projects, and the Mayo center was at the top of the list. Dayton wanted that changed, Senjem claims, and one state commissioner resigned over the snafu, according to the paper.

In the end, reports the Post-Bulletin, the Mayo Civic Center missed out on $25 million that went instead to the proposed St. Paul Saints ballpark in St. Paul.

MinnPost reports that the governor's office quickly refuted the claims, saying Senjem didn't support his own city's request.

Senjem says the Governor, in closed-door dealings, promised the funding would go to the Saints ballpark in exchange for five votes he wanted for a vote on the new Vikings Stadium.

In a written statement, according to MinnPost, Dayton's spokesman says, "Senator Senjem's accusations are completely untrue. Governor Dayton had no involvement in the review or rating of projects ... nor did he in any way alter their rankings."

Next Up

police lights

Police recover more than 14 pounds of meth, 4,000 pills during drug bust

Three people have been arrested and charged in connection to the drugs.

Gopher hockey

Gophers respond to drop in rankings with 10-goal outburst

It had been 17 years since the Gophers last scored 10 goals in a game.


Winter storm watch issued where snow could exceed 6 inches in MN

Snow will spread from west to east starting Saturday morning in western Minnesota.


President Biden signs more COVID executive orders: here's what they are

The new president has set a target of administering 100 million doses in 100 days.

police tape, crime scene

1 dead in stabbing, another dies in separate shooting in Minneapolis

One person has been arrested in connection to the shooting.

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.


Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.