MPR’s Job Interview for Governor (CC)

Minnesota Public Radio conducts its “Job Interview for Governor” from Macalester College Chapel in St. Paul. MPR’s Kerri Miller and John Croman of KARE-11 pose questions to Democratic-Farm-Labor candidate Mark Dayton, Republican Tom Emmer and Independence Party hopeful Tom Horner.

Minnesotans from all over the state also ask the questions. The goal is to reveal which candidate has the skills, vision and style you’d like to see in Minnesota’s leader.

Transcript of “Job Interview” captioned video and replay of our live blog here.

To view our live blog in a pop-up window, Click Here

Captioned video:
Governor’s Job Interview, St. Paul, MN, October 27, 2010
Sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio
Speakers: Mark Dayton, DFL candidate; Tom Emmer, Republican candidate; Tom Horner, Independence Party candidate; Moderators: Kerri Miller, MPR; John Croman, KARE 11

Kerri Miller: I’m Kerri Miller of Minnesota Public Radio News. I’m here at the Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel at Macalester College campus. And I’m with a kind of Executive Search Committee made up of people just like you. I’m joined by John Croman, political reporter for KARE 11 News. Hi John. :023

John Croman: Hello Kerri, and we’ll stress again this is not a debate! This is a job interview for the CEO of Minnesota. And it’s a lot of employees. And the questions are going to be asked by the shareholders, the audience members here tonight representing real people all over the state. 00:39

Kerri Miller: All right, so let’s meet the candidates. I think we are familiar with them by now, but Mr. Dayton, welcome. Good to have you here. 00:48

Mark Dayton: Thank you very much. 00:48

Kerri Miller: Mr. Horner, thank you very much for coming. 00:50

Tom Horner: Thank you for hosting us! This is great. 00:52

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer, thank you very much for being with us. 00:54

Tom Emmer: Thank you Kerri. 00:56

Kerri Miller: John. 00:56

John Croman: Thank you both, all of you very much, and we’re going to stray from the normal format, we’re not gonna have every candidate answer every question. The audience members are going to be asking a question to one candidate, but if somebody else wants to chime in, or we decide we want to hear an answer from the other ones, we’ll get to that too. First question comes from Marcia Ballinger. And she is Doctor Marcia Ballinger with KeyStone, an executive search committee, so she knows a little bit about all of this. And what’s your first question, Marcia? 01:24

Marcia Ballinger: Well, I’m going to follow my colleague Lars’s advice and I’m going to ask a behavioral question, which is not an opinion, and it’s not a what-if. And it’s not an intention. And it’s not a discussion about one’s opponents. It’s a “tell me a time when.” My question is for Mr. Horner. Could you tell me about a time when you as the head of an organization hired an A+ team and achieved outstanding results? How did you assemble that team and what were the results? 01:51

Tom Horner: Great question, thank you. As the CEO of my company, Himle Horner, I was always in the position of hiring an A+ team. And felt that one of the things that we did very very well was to put together a team of diverse talents., a team that really brought different assets to the table, that had different strengths, different abilities, but also a team that that could merge all of those talents into a single cohesive unit. And I felt that in my role as the CEO of the company, it was my responsibility not only to make the right hiring decisions, but then to take it the next step and make sure that we were bringing everyone together as a team so that we could move forward together. 02:43

Kerri Miller: A followup, Marcia, or does that satisfy you 02:47

Marcia Ballinger: I would like to ask the second part of the question about some specific results that your team achieved when you were that CEO. 02:53

Tom Horner: Well, we were a very successful firm. The firm is still successful, even without me, which I suppose says something. Y’know the, the results we were able to achieve on behalf of our clients, we did a lot of work for example on older adult services. Where we helped redefine what it’s going to take to move Minnesota forward to create a different kind of outcome for older adult care, to engage people at different levels. There were a number of examples like that where we were able to bring our client – our team together with our clients to really make a difference in how the clients’ goals were achieved. 03:35

John Croman: I think Kerri’s got a questioner over there. 03:36

Kerri Miller: Yeah, I’m coming over here to Elizabeth. Elizabeth, what do you do? 03:40

Elizabeth: I’m retired. 03:41

Kerri Miller: Okay. Your question. 03:43

Elizabeth: My question is very simple, and it’s for Representative Emmer. What would you like most about yourself to change? 03:51

Tom Emmer: I think probably pace, Elizabeth. My pace is about, it’s about 150 miles an hour all the time. I think if there’s anything that I can do is learn how to pace that a little bit more. 04:09

Kerri Miller: Is that satisfactory? 04:10

Elizabeth: Uh, sure. (laughs, Emmer laughs) 04:12

Kerri Miller: She’s letting you off easy, I see! Over there. 04:17

John Croman: All right, back to this side of the room. We’ve got a question from Theresa Sheehy of Minneapolis, and you’re going to ask your question to whom? 04:23

Teresa Sheehy: To Mark Dayton. 04:24

John Croman: Okay. Go ahead please 04:26

Theresa Sheehy: I thought I’d go with a classic. Mark, what would your kindergarten teacher say about you? 04:31

Mark Dayton: Well, I remember when I went to my third-grade teacher when she was awarded a National Teacher of the Year years ago. And I went to a recognition there and she said that she always knew that I’d turn out to be no good. (audience, moderator laugh) So, this is after I’d run for the Senate the first time. So, maybe my kindergarten teacher would make the same prediction. 04:54

John Croman: And she was wrong, right? 04:56

Kerri Miller: Tom –

Mark Dayton: Opinions, opinions vary. 04:59

Kerri Miller: I want to ask Tom Emmer what you think your kindergarten teacher would say about you. 05:03

Tom Emmer: “He was -

Kerri Miller: Then, and now! 05:05

Tom Emmer: “He was a lot of work, and boy he turned out much better than I thought.” 05:08 (audience, moderator laugh)

Kerri Miller: Here’s a question from Nancy Engel of Rosemount. She submitted this query. “Tell us about a time when you made a serious mistake at work. What was the mistake, how did you handle the situation, what did you learn from the experience?” Mr. Dayton, to you. 05:27

Mark Dayton: Well, (long pause) 05:35

Kerri Miller: A serious mistake. 05:36

Mark Dayton: Yeah, I’m trying to think. Y’know, I’m reminded daily of my fallibility, but I can’t think of a serious mistake that I made at work. I made mistakes that in hindsight. But y’know I always take my work very seriously and I’ve always made what I believe are the best decisions at that time. 05:54

Kerri Miller: Mr. Horner? A serious mistake in your career. And what did you learn? 05:59

Tom Horner: Ah, y’know I do recall when I was Chief Staff to Senator Durenberger where I jumped to the wrong conclusion. It was about a significant issue involving a staff person where I really didn’t trust the person as much as I should have. And in the end the person was right. And it did have some serious implications. And it was a good lesson for a person fairly early in my professional career, had a lot of responsibility. A great lesson in understanding how to, the importance of trusting people, of making sure that you have all of the information collected before you jump to conclusions. 06:44

Kerri Miller: So you’re saying you learned not to make snap judgments? 06:45

Tom Horner: That’s a good way of putting it, Kerri. 06:49

Kerri Miller: All right. John? 06:50

John Croman: Well, this is a question submitted by Laura Grath, reads, kind of touches a little bit on the pacing issue that Representative Emmer mentioned a few minutes ago. But it is directed to Representative Emmer and the question is, and we’ve heard a lot about your strengths during this campaign, all three of you, but what, Tom, what would you think would be your greatest weakness if you’re elected? If you become Governor, what will be your Achilles heel so to speak? 07:14

Tom Emmer: Well, if I can rephrase it just a little bit, John, I don’t think that it will be the Achilles heel, the thing that I always have to be aware of. Is that you don’t have to take on every battle. You don’t have to, where you see something, that you believe is wrong, that needs to be righted, you don’t have to jump in on every single one. You’ve gotta be focused, you gotta have a vision, you have to have a plan on how to get there, and you need to stay on that, on that plan. So I would say from my life’s experience, I have a tendency to want to help wherever I can . And while I think while that’s a good thing, it’s a good quality to have, it’s also something that you have to be wary of, because not every fight is something that you have to get involved in. 08:01

John Croman: Tom Horner, have you that problem with not being able to let go, or being able to choose your battles? 08:07

Tom Horner: Well, I mean my biggest weakness I suppose would be eating ice cream out of the carton. (audience, moderator laughs) But beyond that , y’know it’s not so much letting go, I mean I think I do a good job of selecting where I ought to be focused and challenging myself to look carefully at the issues that I take on and put together the team. I think for me, the challenge always is, and it does go back to the lesson learned, to be patient. To understand that some issues, some people, some circumstances take time to unfold, and you have to give it that time to make sure that it’s unfolding in the right way. 08:48

Kerri Miller: Mr. Horner, do you think this is a time when a little impatience might be appropriate, given what’s going on with the budget and the issues of the state? 08:58

Tom Horner; Well, certainly, when you go around the state, and talk to people about the economy, talk to people about the need for jobs, absolutely. In those kinds of areas, without question, the next Governor needs to have a focus, needs to have a sense of urgency about creating jobs, reviving the economy. 09:16

Kerri Miller: So how do you balance that? 09:17

Tom Horner: Well, I think in some areas that is the issue, is where do you draw the line between where you’re going to push, where you’re going to act with urgency, and where you’re going to pull back a little bit, and give those issues time to evolve on their own. 09:30

Kerri Miller: Mr. Dayton, weakness that you will have to manage as the potential CEO of the state. 09:37

Mark Dayton: Well, very much impatience. And you’re right Kerri, there are times when that’s appropriate because there is an urgency, and the time is always limited in public office. And sometimes it’s also I’m demanding of myself, I’m demanding of the people who work for me and with me. And so I need to keep being aware of keeping that balance. 09:57

Kerri Miller: So too demanding sometimes? 09:58

Mark Dayton: As the French said about Charles de Gaulle, “He had the faults of his virtues and the virtues of his faults.” And some of these qualities are y’know appropriate in some situations and useful in some situations and less so in others. 10:10

Kerri Miller: What do you think you’ve learned about about yourself through that, and how will you manage that? 10:16

Mark Dayton: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 10:21

Kerri Miller: That’s the Serenity Prayer, right? 10:22

Mark Dayton: Correct. 10:24

Kerri Miller: John? 10:25

John Croman: Then there’s Serenity Now! from Seinfeld. (Horner laughs) We’ll go with that bill here, Bill Denny, and you’ve got a question for Mr. Horner. 10:34

Bill Denny: Yes, a leadership question for Mr. Horner. There are no Independence Party members in Congress, essentially how do you intend to bridge the political gap and how do you lead the state with no teammates? 10:44

Tom Horner: Well, I do have teammates. Five million of them. And that’s what all of the newspaper editorials have said in their endorsements of me, that I’m the one who can bridge that gap, precisely because I can engage the five million teammates that I do have. Look, I don’t think any Governor is going to be successful if his focus is on Democrats, Republicans in the Legislature. The next Governor is going to have to talk over the heads of the Legislature first, and engage the Minnesotans who have been pushed to the sidelines, bring them involve, find the points of consensus, find where there is common ground, educate them, lead them, be a CEO, be a leader, and then bring that public will, that political will back to the Legislature where then I work with Democrats, Republicans. But here’s the other element of leadership that I believe strongly in is that, I think when you look at what has happened over the last several years in the Legislature, one of the needs is for the Governor to be the political lightning rod. To be the one who’ll say “Look, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, you come to the table, you take the tough votes, I’ll be the political lightning rod. I’ll take the hits, I’ll give you political cover. Here’s my five million people who can give you political cover. And together we’ll get things done.” 12:01

Bill Denny: But you’re not going into it saying I’m gonna be a one-termer? 12:03

Tom Horner; I’m not going to, I would never promise to be a one-term Governor. Nobody can go into office promising one term; you’re a lame duck from day one. But what I’ve always said is that I will be that political lightning rod. I will give cover to those willing to take the tough votes. And if the consequences of that are that I’m not re-elected for a second term, I’m okay with that. 12:25

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer, aren’t a lot of politicians somewhat wary of being lightning rods, of being the ones to say “Yes, I’ll take all the blame, bring it to my doorstep.” I mean, after all, you usually want to get re-elected. 12:37

Tom Emmer: (laughs) The lightning rod question…for politicians, career folks, yes, they seem to be more concerned about the next election than about the decision that’s being made many times. And I would disagree with my colleague. I don’t think anybody who goes into this office will be talking over the Legislature or anybody else. I think this office that we’re interviewing with you for is not about being a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent. I’m very proud to be the endorsed Republican. But the next Governor of this state, this is about common sense. This is about articulating a positive vision for the future of this state and how you get us there, how you start growing jobs again, and how you get the business of government running the way it’s supposed to. And that’ s a common-sense message if you’re gonna be a leader, it’s about giving the team credit when the team is successful. In other words, those Legislators that you’re talking about, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, you gotta give them the opportunity to enjoy the success, be able to claim the credit . The other part about being a leader that I don’t think a lot of people in government show us very often is when the team does not do well, the leader needs to take responsibility for where the team’s at, and then show leadership in getting the team moving again and getting things done. 13:50

Kerri Miller: And you’re willing to take the heat if things go wrong? 13:52

Tom Emmer: Y’know, if my short time in the Legislature is any indication, the answer is yes. 13:57

Kerri Miller: Question, over on this side. You are? 13:59

Shannon McDonald: Shannon McDonald. I have a question about motivation. I think the Governor, the next Governor will have a lot of tough days ahead of him, and I think in the past I assume you’ve had days where you get up and you’re like “Oh man, this is going to be a tough day at work.” And what motivation will you have, and what will you take with you for htose days as Governor? 14:18

Kerri Miller: And who would you like to answer that? 14:19

Shannon McDonald: Mr. Horner, please. 14:20

Tom Horner: Well, my primary motivation is sitting over here in the second row. I’ve never had an interest in running for public office before. My service to Minnesota has been through community service and a whole variety of non-profit organizations. And my professional career, in what I do is part of the community. But last fall, as my wife Libby and I were talking about 2010, seeing how polarized the environment was, believing that if Minnesota just continues down this path of a Democrat or a Republican, it’s four more years of gridlock. And I think that’s what has been reflected in the newspaper editorial endorsements, from the community leaders who have stepped up. For me, it was how do we make sure we have a Minnesota that provides the same opportunities for my three kids at the beginning of their professional lives, as it has for Libby and me? And not just the business opportunities, not just the economic opportunities, but one of the things that we overlook too often is the great civic opportunities that Minnesota offers. The ability for people ot be involved in their communities in very substantial ways. And I think we’re losing that to our polarized environment. And I think a Governor can play a role, must play a role, in setting a new tone of civility, setting a new tone of discourse. I want my kids to have the opportunity to be involved in the community, to be involved in where they live, as well as to have the professional opportunities. That’s what motivates me as a candidate for Governor. But it’s also what has motivated me throughout my community service career, throughout my professional career. Because I know if my kids have those opportunities, kids across Minnesota are going to have those opportunities. 16:02

Kerri Miller: Mr. Dayton –

John Croman: Representative Emmer – are you going to go next here? 16:04

Kerri Miller. Go ahead.

John Croman: You’ve got a followup?

Kerri Miller: Yeah.

John Croman: Go ahead. 16:06

Kerri Miller: Right over here. 16:07

Anne Russell: Anne Russell. I have followed the race very carefully this year, and I think I know most of your positions on everything. But I want to know, and I think I‘d address this question to Mr. Emmer, how are you going to surprise us? 16:24

Tom Emmer: (laughs) Well, I suppose I’m going to surprise you by being something that most people that have gotten to know me understand I am. Which is just a Minnesota kid married to a Minnesota girl, trying to raise a Minnesota family. Not a Republican or a Democrat, just somebody who comes from the outside of government. So how am I gonna surprise ya? By actually doing the things that we’re talking about doing. The other place where I would really like to show a difference going forward, is we have these political meetings and Democrats, Republicans all over the state on a monthly basis. Y’know, they call them basic party organizational units where Democrats get together in one county and Republicans get together in another county. Y’know where I’m going to surprise you and I hope everybody else? If I’m elected Governor on November second, what I’m gonna do over the next four years is show up at meetings like that and not just Republican meetings. At Democrat meetings. And walk in the door, be willing, if you believe in the vision that you’re offering, y’know it’s – we have people who try to stake out a middle position and say that we can be everything to everybody. But you know what, what makes this country great, is we’re supposed to have different point of views. We all want the same thing, right? We want great education for our kids, we want clean air, we want clean water. We want good-paying jobs in the state of Minnesota. We just have different perspectives as to how you get there. And if I’m elected Governor of the state of Minnesota, I will set forth that vision that we’ve already put out in writing in terms of our budget and what we would do. And then I will actually go and meet people face to face, walk into a BPOU meeting of Democrats and maybe, maybe initially when I walk in, they might be a little taken back, but I think we’ve lost the ability – if you will talk to each other, even if you disagree, you can’t dislike each other. You might disagree, but you’re not gonna dislike each other, and I’d like to show you that. Hopefully that’ll surprise you. 18:17

Kerri Miller: Does that sound like a big enough surprise? 18:18

Anne Russell: Not quite. (audience laughs) Because I would expect that. What I – I’m a Democrat. I’m kind of a knee-jerk Democrat. And I want to know how you’re going to surprise me. What part of you is going to be attractive to me? What am I going to see in your Governorship where I say “Well, gee, there’s something here that I can appreciate.” 18:40

Tom Emmer: Well, and again, and that’s what it is, is that I’m going to show you that by rising above labels, by setting out that vision and then approaching both sides. And it’s in the Legislature, and it’s out on the street. It’s out on Main Street. If you believe in what you’re talking about, if you can share that with others, and bring them on board, get them invested in the message, I’ll give you a quick story by the way. I was on the City Council in Delano, Minnesota before I was elected to the State House of Representatives. And when you’re on a City Council you don’t necessarily declare that you’re a Republican or a Democrat. And the first year that I walked through the parade, the Delano Fourth of July parade, Jacquie remembers, I got to the end of the parade and a nice lady jumped out of her folding chair, ran into the middle of the street, gave me a big hug and said, “Why did you have to be a Republican? You could have made such a great Democrat.” Okay? I, it’s because you just apply a set of principles, and if you apply those principles and you’re willing to articulate clearly where you stand and find out what other people are thinking, and then work together to get to where we both need to be, it’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat, and make no mistake about it, I’m very proud to be the endorsed Republican, but it’s about rising above, showing common sense, and being able to get people to all join together on a positive vision for the future of this state. 19:59

John Croman: Thank you Tom. Senator Dayton, you probably have heard (unclear, 20:05) you have to look into the bright light, it’s like an interrogation. You’ve probably heard Representative Emmer say that he’s going to invite the Republican tracker to his Christmas party. Would you have the DFL tracker to your Christmas or holiday celebration? 2016

Mark Dayton: Absolutely! I’ll invite the Republican tracker as well. 20:20 (Croman laughs)

Tom Emmer: Actually, we invited Senator Dayton too. 20:21

John Croman: I’m sorry. The Republican tracker. I’m sorry. But you’d have that young lady and young man (unclear)

Mark Dayton: Absolutely, absolutely.

John Croman: Why would you have them over? 20:27

Mark Dayton: Well, because, you know, we’re all Minnesotans. I’ve been engaged in this process before. Y’know, this is the greatness of our country. Is the small-d democratic process. Y’know I’ve been all over the world. And I’ve been to countries y’know where the basic rights we have here, to gather together, is something that people can’t even imagine. Go to Iraq, right after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. And you mentioned the word “Saddam Hussein” in the room, and people they just wanted to disappear into the wall. And they didn’t breathe. And you realize how precious this is. I used to, I love it when young people would come to my office in Washington because I said “Y’know, in all the course of human history, all across this planet, this is the epicenter, this is the most advanced form of self-governance that the human race has ever been able to devise.” And because I wanted them to feel a sense of ownership and participation in that, and so, absolutely, y’know after the election we’re all Minnesotans, we all, we all, want you know, most of the same things for ourselves, for our children, our grandchildren, our communities. And that’s the time absolutely to come together and recognize our common humanity. 21:39

John Croman: Very good. 21:39

Kerri Miller: Mr. Dayton, I just wanted to follow up on something that Anne asked. People know you well in this state. Your name is a very familiar name, do you think you’re capable of suprising anyone in the state? 21:51

Mark Dayton: (laughs) Well, I’ll I’ll leave that for others to determine what surprises a person might not – 21:59

Kerri Miller: But I’m asking what you think. 21:58

Mark Dayton: Y’know, I’ll do the very best I possibly can every day. And every night that I’m Governor, and I hope it will, it will certainly surprise those who have been watching the TV commercials saying how awful I am. (Miller laughs) And I hope it’ll get people a sense, y’know, that I recognize what a credible opportunity it is if someone, a group of people, give you a chance to serve in public office. As I felt before, and so y’know I believe if it surprises people that I can demonstrate that commitment and will do so to the very best of my ability, for the four or eight years, the good Lord and people of Minnesota willing, then if people are surprised by that, then that’s all for the good. 22:37

Kerri Miller: Well then let me put it like this. Do you think you have hidden qualities that people might not know that would surprise them? 22:44

Mark Dayton: Y’know when Picasso was asked once a recent painting, how long did it take him to complete that painting, he said “All my life.” And I believe that my 63 years have been y’know a development, and y’know I’m proud of what I have accomplished, what I’ve been able to contribute. But I believe that I’m improved. And I believe my best years lie ahead of me. And I believe if I’m given this opportunity, I’ll demonstrate Minnesota qualities of leadership, an ability to bring people together,

Kerri Miller: But –

Mark Dayton: – to achieve that goals that I have, that will surprise people.

Kerri Miller: So is that a yes, I have hidden qualities

Mark Dayton: Yes.

Kerri Miller: – that people don’t know about – 23:15

Mark Dayton: Yes. 23:15

Kerri Miller: -that will surprise them.

Mark Dayton: Yes. 23:17

John Croman: I think that’s one of the, that’s one of the defaults of being a campaigner for 28 yers, going back to 1982. Or actually, you started in 1980, so people do feel they know you, and so they’re waiting for a surprise apparently. But (laughs) we’ll see how it goes. Y’know the next question is from, it’s Bill –

Audience member: John.

John Croman: Oh, John – 23:35

Audience member: – Dusek, yes.

John Croman: John Dusek? And go ahead and stand up, John. And this one is for Representative Emmer. Go ahead. 23:42

John Dusek: Representative Emmer, tell me about a time when you were less than honest during this campaign. And when is it acceptable -

Tom Horner: (laughs) 23:50

John Dusek: – to stretch the truth during a job interview? 23:51

Tom Emmer: (pause) I believe you’re wearing a Horner button. (Horner laughs) I wonder if it has anything to do with it. 23:58

John Croman: That is, for the radio,

Tom Emmer: Actually –

John Croman: – for the live radio audience, that is correct, John is wearing a Horner budg – button. 24:03

Tom Emmer: Actually, I’ve been forthright and honest in everything I do. And anybody who wants to ask me about that, I’ll be happy to talk to them about EVERYTHING that we’ve talked about. Actually, if you take a look, and I know that you’ve, you’ve got a Horner button on, and that’s great, that’s what makes this a wonderful country, a wonderful state, you get a choice. But take a look at the only honest budget that’s out there. The only honest budget that tells people “This is exactly what we will do if you elect us as Governor.” And it’s balanced. And it lives within its means. And it is designed to start growing jobs again in the state of Minnesota. So based on that, Ii think that, I think it makes the choice pretty clear. 24:41

John Dusek: I think the other candidates – 24:44

Tom Horner: I can’t afford, I can’t afford Abby and Ted the trackers, so I have to have people wearing buttons. 24:47 (audience laughs)

John Croman: (laughs) Sorry, well the others, I don’t know if you want to wade into the budget question right now, let the audience here know that if you have a question, raise your hand, let us know, or put it in the collection plate and pass it down the pew. But we’ll get to as many questions as we can. But you know the other guys, Senator Dayton and Mr. Horner have both said we need some type of revenue to make this all work budgetwise. And we just heard Representative Emmer say this is the only, he’s got the only budget plan that works, through cuts alone and reforms. What do you say about that, Tom? Horner? 25:26

Tom Horner; Well, in fact, I mean as many of the objective analysts of the three budget plans have said, that Representative Emmer’s budget ISN’T balanced. That it doesn’t add up. That he is ignoring the reality of the state’s fiscal forecast. And of what we’re actually spending today. So, y’know, lookit, I think that all three of us have done a good job of laying out a clear vision of how we would govern. Of where our priorities are. And, and I think Minnesota voters this year, maybe more than in any other previous Gubernatorial election, ought to know from all of our debates, from all of our budget plans, from all of our discussions with the media, exactly where we stand. Now, are all of the T’s crossed, the I’s dotted? No! Not in any one of the three plans. Do we have a clear sense, do voters have a clear sense, of where would we take the state? I think so. 26:20

John Croman: And Senator Dayton, would you touch on your income tax increase for a new bracket, of higher earners? 26:30

Mark Dayton: Well, it starts with the realization, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, that the top ten percent of Minnesota income earners pay about 80% as a percent of their income in state and local taxes compared to everyone else, and th e top 1%, people whose average income is over a million two hundred thousand dollars a year, pay two-thirds of what everyone else pays on average in state and local taxes. I think that’s unfair, and I think we go back to under Republican Governor Arne Carlson 16 years ago. The tax burden was pretty well evenly distributed among the taxpaying population. So y’know, where I’m taking, would propose to take Minnesota, would be to not even bring it back to an even level, where everybody’s paying the same percentage, it would still be regressive, but it would at least restore some of that equity. Whereas you know Mr. Horner would, by increasing the sales tax, or extending it to clothing and personal services like haircuts and car repairs, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, middle-income families pay 2? times a percent of their income in sales tax as do top income earners. And the property tax increase, most onerous on middle income, that’s about five times more than on top income earners. So I just think it’s a fairer approach. 27:54

John Croman: Thank you very much.

John Dusek: Thank you very much.

Kerri Miller: But let’s get back to some of the job interview

John Croman: I have a – I have a headhunting kind of question here –

Kerri Miller: Great!

John Croman: – from a person named Dave Johnson from Maplewood who works for 3M. And you actually have many patents to your name. 28:05

Dave Johnson: Yes I do. 28:06

John Croman: – and you have some, a question about inventiveness of our finalists in these job candidates here tonight. 28:11

Dave Johnson: Sure. My question is for Mr. Horner. And, innovation is a personal value of mine. And if there was ever a need for an innovator, I think now is the time. Could you give me a story? Could you tell me give me some examples or tell me a story how you’ve been able to successfully innovate? 28:27

Tom Horner: Well, thank you, that’s a great question. Because I agree with you, I think that this is a time for innovation. (Coughs) Excuse me. And so, yes, I mean I think you look at my campaign and it is a campaign of innovation. The way that we have reached out to people in new ways, with Twitter town hall meetings, with different kinds of outreach through social media, with the kinds of advertising that we’re doing. But I also think that we’ve been innovative in the campaign in the way that we’re talking to people about real solutions. In the way that we are willing to take a look at not an economic plan from 16 years ago, (laughs) I mean what business would write a strategic plan and say “Let’s root it in 1995! That’s the way to deal with the new economy.” You wouldn’t do it! Why would we have an economic policy for the state that is rooted in policies that maybe worked 16 years ago? And so I think the willingness to take on a transformation to a different kind of tax system, to move us more toward a consumption tax, that matches the economy that we actually are dealing with today, that is going to prepare us to be competitive in the future. With an incentive for investments by individuals, by small businesses. I think that’s the kind of innovation that we do need. A willingness to break free from the narrow liberal ideology of the left, or the very narrow conservative ideology of the right, and to say “We have to be different. We have to change. We have to be innovators.” 29:56

Kerri Miller: Let’s, let’s come over here for a question right on this side. 30:01

Dan: I’m Dan from Northfield, this is a question for Representative Emmer. Which former Minnesota Governor do you admire the most? Tell me what you liked and did not like about his leadership style. And compare, please, your leadership style to that Governor. 30:14

Tom Emmer: Thanks Dan. This question was asked of all three of us down in Mankato, and you may not like my response, but I absolutely look to everybody who’s ever served in this office as somebody that I admire. Why? Because now having done this, having gone through this, I realize what they put themselves through to set forth their vision for the future of this state. What they put themselves through when people don’t always agree with them, and what they put themselves through in their families. So I admire everybody that’s out there. And from my perspective, that quality, that quality of being out front with your vision and being able to talk about what it is you would do articulate very clearly. That’s the, I think that’s the quality I admire most and that’s what I’m gonna emulate. 31:03

Kerri Miller: I think we have an answer here. And he’s not very happy. 31:07

Dan: I’d like it be more specific. Can you tell me how you compare your leadership style to Governor Pawlenty and Governor Quie. Who are you more like, what do you like and dislike about each of their styles? 31:17

Tom Emmer: Dan, with all – 31:19

Dan: This is the job interview for Minnesota Governor, we need something more specific. 31:22

Tom Emmer: Right. I’ll give you more specific. I compare myself to Tom Emmer. I’m not Al Quie, I’m not Tim Pawlenty, I’m gonna be Tom Emmer. Tom Emmer is forthright and honest, again I’ve told ya, I have put out an honest, the only honest and complete budget, and I’m gonna keep talking about it, because it is the one that balances within government growth. John said earlier that it’s all about cuts and reform. Well you know what? 31:43

Kerri Miller. But but Mr. Emmer?

Tom Emmer: It’s not. 31:43

Kerri Miller: This is really about JOB INTERVIEW. Not necessarily the policy positions. To specifically that question. 31:50

Tom Emmer: And I think I answered it. 31:52

Kerri Miller: I think we’re hearing murmurs that you did not answer it. 31:56

(audience reaction)

Tom Emmer: I just, I just told you. Again, Dan, I’m sorry if you’re not satisfied. Maybe I’m not your guy. But I’m not gonna be Al Quie, I’m not gonna be Tim Pawlenty. I’m gonna be Tom Emmer. 32:06

Kerri Miller: Ah, Mr. Dayton, would you like to take a bite of that? 32:08

Mark Dayton: Well, the two I respect the most are Governor Rudy Perpich, who I worked for, I respect his proactiveness, he was a jobs Governor, he rolled up his sleeves from day one and he was a font of great ideas for Minnesota. And he had a sign on his office wall that I’ll put back up if I’m elected. Said “None of us are as smart as all of us.” And he was a great receptor for other people’s good ideas, in addition to his own. And I also admire Governor Harold Stassen. Who came in as reform Governor and reformed the, then the administrative system of the state, and made it a far more efficient, professional. And then showed the patriotism and the courage to resign his office in World War II and go serve his country in the Navy. 32:52

John Croman: All right, our next question is from Colleen over here, and Overhere is not her last name, actually. Your last name is? 32:59

Colleen Borgendale: Borgendale. 33:00

John Croman. Borgendale. And your question is for whom? 33:03

Colleen Borgendale: This is for Mr. Dayton. 33:04

John Croman: And it involves something (unclear, 33:06) went during the Ventura administration that we always heard about, people having a good Cabinet. But we’re going to make this more of a headhunting question, I think. Go ahead Colleen. 33:14

Colleen Borgendale: So the characteristics of a leader can be shown by the people he surrounds himself with as his advisers or his staff. And so I want to know, what are the qualities you look for in the advisers or the staff or the people you will surround yourself with while in office? 33:28

Mark Dayton: Well, the best possible people. And I can’t disclose names but in terms of the co-chairs of my transition office if I’m elected, they would be people of quality, people who have the previous skills of running and administering state government as well as in the private sector, who have political backgrounds but are not political people, that have not run for office themselves. And then, as I was when I was elected State Auditor, I hired a private professional search firm and went into the private sector to find auditors. I wanted a professional auditor in charge of the audit. I wanted a professional investigator in charge of the Office of Special Investigations. I wanted, actually it was unique to find someone who had both audit, CPA and a legal degree to be the General Counsel. So I want to look for people who have proven qualifications in those particular areas of expertise. So if it’s Commissioner of Agriculture, I want someone from an agriculture background. Someone who’s devoted their life career to agriculture, both administratively and as a practicing farmer. I want someone who as Commissioner of Education who is knowledgeable about education, who can listen to the stakeholders and who can lead – and help me bring people together. So as the same thing with the Natural, Department of Natural Resources and others. People who are professional, the best at what – proven to be the best at what they do, have a commitment to public service, have a commitment to listening to people, recognize that if we’re elected or appointed, we are paid with the tax dollars of hard-working Minnesotans, And we owe them the responsibility to provide the best possible service and to listen to all points of view. We can’t do what everybody wants us to do, but we can listen and we can bring people together. 35:08.

Kerri Miller: Is that what you had in mind with the question? 35:09

John Croman: Is that, was that your –

Colleen Borgendale: No. 35:11

John Croman: – didn’t drill down deep enough or- ? 35:13

Colleen Borgendale: Um, I , you, I feel like you kind of glazed over that. I mean I’m looking for What kind of characteristics in a person? Because whenever you’re hiring somebody up for a staff, you, you want them to fit well with the, with who you are, and to fit well in the office, but also, you know, be compassionate or work well with people. I mean those types of qualities, what do you look for when you hire a staff? 35:35

Mark Dayton: Honesty, integrity, proven commitment, a willingness to work very hard, compassion, an ability to work well with other people, to listen, and also to lead, willingness to make the hard decisions, a commitment to excellence, somebody who will lead by example, someone who will inspire other people to be their very best, and someone who has demonstrated expertise in a particular area or particular agency that she or he is being appointed to head. 36:05

Kerri Miller: That satisfy you? 36:07

Colleen Borgendale: Yes. 36:07

Kerri Miller: All right. 36:09

Mark Dayton (to Borgendale): Thanks. 36:09

Kerri Miller: Right over here. To Lawrence. 36:11

Lawrence: My question is a goals-slash-achievement question. And I direct it towards Mr. Horner. After four years as the Governor of the state of Minnesota, what would you have accomplished that would enable you to view your Governorship as successful? 36:26

Tom Horner: Well, that’s a great a great question, and thank you Lawrence for asking that. And it’s not only the goals that I want to accomplish, actually it’s a promise that I make to Minnesota, that I won’t run for re-election if I don’t accomplish this. And it comes in a couple of areas: One, is that absolutely I’m going to leave the next Governor with a budget that is balanced honestly, fairly, transparently. I’m not going to hand off to the next Governor the mess that is being handed off to the Governor in 2011. Secondly, that we will have schools in which children are coming in to kindergarten prepared for success, in which teachers are empowered to teach, and in which we’re graduating, we’re raising the graduation rates for high school. And beyond that, we’re having 12th graders coming out prepared for whatever their next step is in life: be it the military, a job, or continuing education. Thirdly, that we will have more jobs in Minnesota. And not just more jobs that pay a salary, but more career jobs. More jobs that families can raise their, that families, that parents can raise their families where they can have the good quality life. 37:36

Kerri Miller: What was– 37:38

Tom Horner; Those three things are my goals, but they’re also my promises, and if I don’t achieve them, I’m not running for re-election. 37:44

Kerri Miller: Is that what you wanted to hear? (audio low) 37:46

Lawrence: I thought it was pretty specific. 37:46

Kerri Miller: Okay, all right, good. Over here. To Deborah. 37:51

Deborah: I think one of the questions that we all have, I think a lot of us are just getting so sick and tired of the polarity of the, of all of this, and so the question that we would have for you Senator Dayton is what have you done in the past, in times of great challenge, which we’re in the midst of right now, to really bring people together rather than opposing each other? And, and a specific example. So think back and provide us a specific example where you’ve had to bring people together during difficult times, even though they may have been opposing each other 38:28

Mark Dayton: Well I’ve, served in the U.S. Senate for all six years under a Republican President. And for 4 ? of those 6 years, with a Republican majority in the Senate. And so I learned to work with people on both sides of the aisle. And I was able, in my last year in the Senate, to get the first Congressional funding for a pioneering program the Minnesota national Guard called Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, where they were providing supportive services to returning Iraq and Afghan war veterans and to their families, help them reintegrate into society. And I worked with Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona. Then, may he rest in peace, Senator Ted Stevens, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in fact I signed up for a trip to go to China with him as part of a Senate delegation, and specifically, well both the opportunity to learn more about the relations between our two countries, and also to build a relationship with him so that I was able to, with his support, obtain obtain that funding. 39:26

John Croman: Senator Dayton, (unclear, 39:31) I need to grab the panel’s attention. Marcia has another question that she wanted to offer originally, but we, we sidetracked her, so go ahead and stand up Marcia, and your question this time is for Tom 39:43

Marcia: Representative Emmer. 39:44

John Croman: Representative Emmer. 39:44

Marcia; Representative, you’ve talked a great deal about your ability to manage the budget, and so I’d like to ask an interview-style question. Tell me about the time where you as the head of an organization, not involved in an organization or sharing responsibility, but as THE head of an organization, have had successfully to slash a budget? What did you do? What was your thought process? And what were the results: 40:09

Tom Emmer: Well, the thought process is you can’t spend more than you have coming in, first off. And you have to do this in business. And what you do, and most recently I had to do it when I started running for this office. You can’t, you have to manage your business and what you have to do is look at the people that you have, look at what business you have, look at what money you have coming in, where you need the help, where you need the work, and then you make cuts accordingly. And it’s the same thing. I want to correct something though Marcia, because here we’re talking – we’re not talking about government revenues going down in the state of Minnesota, the next Governor, the next Legislature actually is gonna have 7 to 8% more in revenue to spend. The difference here in this job interview is that my two colleagues here believe that it should grow beyond the 7 to 8%. I have put forward a budget that would keep it within the 7 to 8%. 41:04

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer. 41:04

Tom Emmer: So making choices about – 41:05

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer. The question was really about tell us a situation.

John Croman: Have you had to lay anybody off? 41:10

Kerri Miller: When you had to do this?

John Croman: Have you had to lay anybody off?

Tom Emmer: It’s not laying people off. We’ve reduced the size of our business going forward at different times, based upon the revenues we were taking in versus the expenses we had, yes. 41:19

Kerri Miller: Marcia, is that sufficient? 41:21

Marcia: It’s partially sufficient. It’s the situation that you were in. I’m assuming that you mean in your law practice. 41:28

Tom Emmer: That’s the business that I was running, yes. 41:30

Kerri Miller: Okay.

John Croman: Cause there’s y’know businesses are cyclical, and Senator Dayton and Tom Horner, you’ve also probably also been in situations where things were being downsized for one reason or another. How did you handle those types of decisions and priorities that went into that? 41:44

Tom Horner: Absolutely. In the more than two decades that I helped run my business, we were in a business that had some ups and downs, that can be a cyclical business. One of the things I’m most proud of is that in those more than two decades, we never laid off a single person because of economic reasons. We always found other ways to manage the budget. So my first priority was to make sure that my employees could continue to earn a salary. Can continue to earn good benefits. Beyond that, we looked at where we could trim back. Oftentimes out of the owner’s pay, the owner’s benefits, oftentimes out of the office expenditures, how we could cut back, become more efficient. And sometimes, y’know that required us to make an investment based on faith. Where could we invest now, even in some lean times, where we thought we would get a better return down the road? And while I’m not going to give my political stump speech, (Emmer laughs) I think there’s some relevance to my campaign for Governor. That right now, it’s not just about cutting spending, it’s not just about government living within its means, of course we have to do that. But we also have to make investments for the future. 42:57

John Croman: Senator Dayton, did you want to take a crack at that one, or are you ? 43:00

Mark Dayton: Well, both serving as Commissioner of Energy and Economic Development, and then later as State Auditor, my budget was reduced by the Legislature in 1985 and then again in 86 the Legislature, the utilities were opposed to the promotion of alternative energy, the solar and other alternatives. And so they were able to get the Energy Division budget cut by two-thirds, and so I did have to lay off some people. It’s very ahrd to do, to tell people, y’know, that their jobs aren’t gonna be there. And we had to prioritize, and those were painful decisions to make, and I also took a couple of the positions from the Office of the Commissioner and gave up those positions rather than people who were actually on the line. And by comparison I looked recently at the current Department of Agriculture with 545 people that’s 14 people in the Commissioner’s office. Back with the Department of Energy and Economic Development we had 300 people, and had five people in that office.

John Croman: Very good. 43:58

Mark Dayton: So it’s the same thing. You have to make hard decisions, and as I say, they’re especially painful when they involve telling people that they’re not going to have a job. 44:05

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer,

John Croman: Kerri?

Kerri Miller: Here’s a question from Kristin, who says most positions are supervised by someone. Who do you think a Governor is supervised by, and how are you supervised to your best effect? 44:18

Tom Emmer: I think a Governor is supervised primarily by the people that put him into office. It’s just like any other elected official. And that’s the thing that needs to change when we talk about government itself. It’s about service, it’s supposed to be about service. It’s not supposed to be about a career. So first and foremost, it’s the people who elect you who are also supposed to be overseeing the work that you do. And they will respond to the results of the performance. 44:44

Kerri Miller: Well – 44:45

Tom Emmer: But then it’s also your team, Kerri. 44:46

Kerri Miller: What if a majority of your supervisors, the people of Minnesota, were not happy with something that you were doing? Would that be a signal to you to change? 44:53

Tom Emmer: I’m sure they’d let us know when they vote. But yes, absolutely, you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta be open, you’ve gotta listen, you’ve gotta be willing to say “You know what? Maybe there’s something you didn’t know. Maybe there’s something that you could learn.” But yes. The answer is yes. 45:05

Kerri Miller: But if you had an election two years away, you discover that the majority of Minnesotans did not approve of something you were going to do anyway. Would that prompt you to change your mind? 45:14

Tom Emmer: It, you’re asking a hypothetical without enough detail. Absolutely, you have to listen to the people, because that’s who you are serving. 45:23

Kerri Miller: All right. Over there. 45:25

John Croman: Very good, a lot of people are curious about Tom Emmer tonight. And, (laughs) including Jamie Bohner – Bohning, 45:34

Jamie: I get that a lot of times. 45:34

John Croman: I’m sorry, that was a (audience laughs) – this can be edited out, right? 45:36

Kerri Miller, audience laugh

John Croman: And your question for Representative Emmer is 45:41

Jamie Bohning: Yeah. Minnesota’s becoming an increasingly diverse state. And I’m wondering if you can tell me about a time where you’ve reached across a cultural difference, whether it be race, class, gender, sexuality, religion; something there where you’ve had to reach across a cultural difference to work with people who are different than yourself. 45:58

Tom Emmer: Every day. Every day. I mean you can’t go through a day in Minnesota, a day in the United States of America, where you’re not meeting someone who comes from a different background. You’re not meeting someone who comes from a different cultural background, a different racial background, a different religious background. Whatever it may be, it’s every day. And it’s not a matter, you don’t look at people based on what their cultural background is, what the color of their skin is, what their religious background is. I don’t look at anybody with that kind of a – “we’re diverse, so now I’ve gotta judge somebody based on how they look or where they come from.” We treat everybody with the same kind of respect regardless. 46:38

John Croman: Good answer for you? Or do you have, you want a more specific example? 46:44

Jamie Bohning: Yes, it still comes back to specifics examples. I agree with you, we do interact with different people daily. As do I. But I can come up with a specific examples of when I’ve had to actually say “Wow, you ARE different than me and I DO have to recognize your difference in order to really come together and compromise and find a solution together.” 47:00

Tom Emmer: Well, again, and I hope you’ll respect it because I respect the question. But I don’t judge anyone else based on their differences. I figure that we’re all human beings and the issue is not how we’re different, the issue is what do we have in common, and how we, how can we both achieve success as opposed to what I believe and what you believe? 47:20

John Croman: Kerri. 47:20

Kerri Miller: A question on this side of the room, right there. 47:24

Alex: Hello, my name is Alex I’m a student here. You’ve all done a very good job of articulating your vision. But if something unexpected, some kind of disaster, maybe a flood, or y’know something unforeseen should happen in Minnesota, how would you go about reacting to that? It would probably be a good time to draw something from your past in which a crisis really did occur, and how you you reacted to it at the time and what lessons you’ve drawn from that. 47:49

Mark Dayton: Go to the problem. Go right there. Y’know, when the flood occurred recently, I went to Owatonna to help with the cleanup. When the tornadoes struck in Wadena, I went up there, I went to help with the cleanup and asked the Mayor, y’know, “What what needs to be done?” I admire so much 9-11 (unclear 48:07) in Washington and when that plane hit the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld went right to the point. Then Mayor Rudy Giuliani went right to Ground Zero. That’s where your leadership really comes through, where you know instinctively that you react, you go to the problem, to the crisis. And you see what you can do. And by your presence also, you demonstrate y’know you’re willing to lead. 48:32

Tom Horner: Well, if I could jump in on that, because I slightly disagree. I think there are times when you go to the problem. I think there are times when you stay out of the way of those who are fixing the problem. And a leader understands the difference. We’ve seen too many times where politicians go to the site of a disaster only for their own self-aggrandizement, not to solve the problem. Y’know, in today’s era of technology, of communications, of the ability to reach out, there are so many times I think when a leader is best serves the state, best serves the people that he’s working for, when he figures out how to help solve the problem. Sometimes from a distance, sometimes onsite. It’s rallying the team. It’s putting together the resources. It’s making sure that you’re responding appropriately. Getting the information to be sure, letting those onsite know that you are available, and certainly, sometimes as Senator Dayton said, being onsite. But I think there are other times when we’re best served by standing back, collecting the information, assembling the experts, and then responding appropriately. 49:37

John Croman: A question from Helen Warren in St. Paul, and we’ll go with Senator Dayton on this one. And without getting too personal, describe a good day in your life away from the campaign trail. 49:50

Mark Dyaton: A day with my two sons and my two dogs. 49:54

John Croman: And your dogs?

Mark Dayton: My sons Eric and Andrew, now 30 and 27, so any way I can get them to spend time with me, and they’ve been wonderful in this campaign, and then I have two German Shepherds, Mesabi and Dakota. And they’re 8? years old. And I just learned last week that Dakota the female has cancer, so I spend every minute I can now because I appreciate so much the preciousness of her life, the limited time she has left. 50:17

John Croman: We’re sorry to hear about that. Do you know what the prognosis is, how long? 50:21

Mark Dayton: Not, not very well. Just a few months. 50:22

John Croman: Very good. Kerri?

Kerri Miller: Over on this side, Catherine. 50:26

Catherine: Thank you. My question is to Representative Emmer. Since a Governor represents and leads all of the people of our state, how would you rate your listening skills? 50:37

Tom Emmer: Are you giving me a scale of zero to 10? 50:43

Kerri Miller laughs

Catherine: In whatever way you wish to answer the question. 50:48

Tom Emmer: I have, I believe that I’m a good listener and always have been. I think you get it more with age and especially when you’ve been married for – 51:01

Kerri Miller: Should we take the microphone to Jacquie to find out if that’s true? 51:04

Tom Emmer: She, she’s smiling. (audience laughs) But especially when you’ve been married for, what is it Jacq, 25, 24, 24 years, and with seven kids, y’know your listening skills have to improve. But then it’s not just within the family. It’s outside. And I think it goes back to the question that was over here. Y’know when we were talking about diverse backgrounds, whatever, it’s about learning how to listen at a different level. It’s not just listening. It’s about hearing. It’s about hearing where other people are coming from, and hten being able to process that and figure out again where you have common values, where you have what, common experience. And then also, maybe where you don’t, because God forbid, you just might learn something from someone 51:52

Kerri Miller: Mr. Horner, what kind of a listener do you think you are? 51:54

Tom Horner: Well, I think that Libby, and most of the time my kids would say that I’m a very good listener. I think it is one of the skills that, coming out of my background in communications that you develop. That you understand that good communications only happen when you start with listening. When you understand – 52:12

Kerri Miller: You think that a Governor can really not just listen but hear, as Tom Emmer said? I mean you’re somewhat insulated, you have your staff around you that most of the time wants to say yes to you, how do you really hear what Minnesotans are saying? In that office? 52:30

Tom Horner; By reaching out on, in forums, unprotected from the staff, by getting out and talking to people, listening to people, where they are. Going out into the communities in different environments. So, can a Governor do it? Kerri, I don’t think a Governor in the next four years is going to be successful WITHOUT doing it. 52:50

Tom Emmer: Say Kerri. Kerri, can I just jump in on that quick? Because Dan, who had asked the question about which Governor do you admire, I’m just gonna throw this back at Dan and say as I’m listening to Tom Horner, it’s reminding me, one Governor that I absolutely admired for staying in touch was Rudy Perpich because he was the one that would disappear and wander off into the countryside and I think that was a GREAT quality to have. Because that’s how you do stay in contact. 53:17

Kerri Miller: laughs. (To Dan) Is that the quality you were thinking of? 53:22

Dan: I’d still like a very specific answer – 53:23

(Horner, audience laugh)

Dan: – about which Governor you admire and his leadership skills, but I don’t think I’m gonna get it tonight. But I think it’s a very important question! Y’know, in this forum it’s real easy to try to sidestep the questions. I once was in an interview when somebody told me I got the job because I wore wing-tip shoes. And that was just crazy! And I’m really looking for something specific that’s going to tell me something – you know I think you’re all of you are trying to avoid things. And I think if you, if we talk about other Governors, we might learn more about you. 53:53

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer, you want one more shot at that? 53:55

Tom Emmer: No, I believe I have answered 53:57

Kerri Miller: All right! 53:57

Tom Emmer – Dan’s question. 53:57

Dan: You had it! You had the chance. 53:59

Tom Emmer: I don’t think I might be Dan’s guy, but that’s all right. 54:01

Kerri Miller: (laughs) Over on this side. 54:03

John Croman: When I saw, when I saw Kerri move over by Jacquie Emmer I thought she was going to ask if she defines compromise the same way you do. 54:07

(laughter)

John Croman: We’ve all heard the quote. One of the, the Minnesota Incorporated, if we can call our state a huge company, and it is in some respects, has to have a global presence. And we have a question from an audience member over here who wants to know what would you do to, we’ll start with Tom Horner, but what would you do to increase Minnesota’s global presence, make us more of a factor, make our company more of a factor overseas and in international markets? 54:37

Tom Horner: Well that’s a great question. And I think it starts in a couple of ways. I think one of the ways is that it goes back to the question about who are the kind of people that I would select as part of my team? One of the qualities is to have a world view, to recognize that we are a state that has to compete in a global marketplace. And so I think that, that’s one of the criteria for putting together the team. Secondly, I do believe that a Governor needs to be an ambassador. Needs to reach out, needs to lead trade missions, I disagree with Senator Dayton, I think we need a trade office. I think that’s an important part of how we reach out to the world. Thirdly, I do think that we need to encourage all of our institutions and particularly education to take more of a global view. I know there’s a lot of controversy over programs like language immersion programs in our elementary schools; I think we ought to be encouraging that. I think that’s how we develop a culture of global outreach and global awareness. So I think it’s all of those ways. 55:42

John Croman: I heard on Minnesota Public Radio once that in Mandarin there’s no word for “stakeholder.” (Horner laughs) And I’m not sure if that’s true or not. 55:49

Tom Horner: You mean they don’t have politicians there? 55:51

John Croman: No, exactly. 55:52

Mark Dayton: But there is, you know, speaking of Mandarin, I’ve been to China six times this decade, and I remember meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Shanghai. And he said “First time stranger, second time acquaintance, third time friend.” So building those relationships, and those are relationships that a Governor can open, doors that the Governor can open on behalf of businesses, on behalf of others. He’s also the one, when I said “I’m from Minnesota, do you know where that is?”, he smiled and tapped his heart and said “Medtronic.” Y’know, these are the ways in which we can build relations and economic opportunies and friendships that will cement the ties all over the world. 10:24

John Croman: One of the trade issues though, was always protectionism, it’s called, or saving jobs at home. What would you do as the head of this corporation do to make sure we buy more American? 56:40

Mark Dayton: Well, y’know I think we should use public funds for public purposes, and public purposes are very much about employing Minnesotans. On a broader scale, employing Americans. I mean, that to me is one of the ways in which y’know, one of the criterias you use for public funds. On the other hand y’know now we want to encourage reverse investment. We want to, I went to Li Wu in China because at that time that Li Wu Steel owned a good share of a taconite plant up in northeastern Minnesota. Now Essar Steel, an Indian company, is considering a major investment there. When Godot Steel in Brazil was in a labor issue in Newport, we went to Sao Paulo Brazil and they said that helped break the impasse. So, definitely as Governor you’re going to be part of a global economy. 57:28

John Croman: Very good. Kerri. 57:30

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer, if, if you weren’t in the room, what do you think Jacquie would say was your greatest weakness? 57:38

Tom Emmer: Here, I’ll leave. 57:39 (everyone laughs)

John Croman: Should somebody play The Dating Game music now? 57:42

Kerri Miller: laughs

Tom Emmer: Actually, she would probably tell you that I care too much. I’ve heard the phrase during the course of our marriage 57:50

Kerri Miller: Is that really a weakness? I mean – 57:51

Tom Emmer: Well, it is. It is at times, because Jacquie’ll tell you that it’s that story about the cobbler’s kids have no shoes at times. Y’know it’s been a great ride so far for Jacquie and I, we’re blessed with this great family, but we’ve also become COMPLETELY absorbed within our community. It’s not just about our family. It’s all the kids she’s given me the opportunity to coach and – 58:13

Kerri Miller: But that sounds like an attribute, not a weakness. 58:15

Tom Emmer: Oh no, Kerri, again, take it for what you will, too much of anything can have negatives, and I think Jacquie would tell you that sometimes there’s a balance that you have to reach and that’s something we’ve learned over time. 58:27

Kerri Miller: Mr. Horner, how about you? Not Jacquie. 58:30

Tom Horner: I don’t know, you should – Yeah! (Emmer laughs) 58:32

Kerri Miller: What would Jacquie say about you, do you think? 58:34

Tom Emmer (to Horner) Jacquie knows you’re (unclear!) 58:34

Kerri Miller: (laughs) Maybe we should find out. 58:36

Tom Horner: Jacquie is more smart than me. 58:36

Tom Emmer: (unclear).

Tom Horner; Yeah.

Tom Emmer: She’ll tell Mark’s next. 58:39

Tom Horner: Yeah. You should ask Libby that question. 58:41

(off camera question)

Kerri Miller: Yeah. 58:53

Libby: Ah, I think impatience. In the general scheme of things, just impatience to things done and move forward. That’s – he’s a very impatient man. 58:57

(everyone laughs)

Kerri Miller: Annnnd….? 59:02

Libby: But he’s always on time! 59:03 (candidates, audience laugh)

Kerri Miller: John, over there. 59:07

John Croman: Did you roll the Pointer Sisters yet? (Horner laughs) Anyhow, one of the questions that came up involves natural resources. And it’s not really a headhunting question but it is a budget-cutting question. And that’s one of our most, greatest assets. In Minnesota. And if you start making these budget cuts, y’know regardless of who’s elected, there’s gonna be cutbacks, we know that. How do you, how do you deal with some of the things with water quality that are coming up? And that is really a matter of enforcement, of regulation. We’ll go first to Mark Dayton. 59:39

Mark Dayton: Well firstly, the people of Minnesota approved the Legacy Amendment, which provides funds specifically for improving water quality and other purposes, so y’know that’s an area where Minnesotans have said emphatically and properly so that they want us to move forward and make make the investments necessary. I think there are definitely some of the recent investigative pieces have disclosed, ways in which that needs to be improved, I remember reading one case, the requirement is to have a plan. It’s not to produce results, to clean up the water. It’s simply to have a plan, which is where you know sometimes government gets out of place with itself and focuses on the bureaucratic procedure rather than the result of the outcome. So y’know in that area especially we weill continue, and in fact intensify that commitment to clean up our waters. 1:00:30

Kerri Miller: Let me just say this. You’re listening to a Job Interview Forum at the Macalester College Chapel with Minnesota Public Radio News and KARE-11 and the three top candidates for Governor. Mr. Dayton, what’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned? 1:00:46

Mark Dayton: Well, I’m an alcoholic. That’s a hard lesson to learn. And my sobriety is essential, and that’s a hard lesson to learn, and it’s also been the source of my strength, and it’s been one of my gifts in life, although it’s hard to recognize that at times, but it’s required me to be disciplined, it’s required me to y’know recognize my shortcomings, and it’s also a great blessing, as it’s given me a connection with people all over this state. As when I made the disclosure last winter, y’know people came up to me from everywhere and shared with me their own life experience. And in going around the state, and y’know one of the ways in which really we understand the challenges and struggles that people have is they’re much more forthcoming, willing to share those, because they recognize that common humanity. 1:01:34

Kerri Miller: Mr. Emmer, what’s the toughest lesson you’ve ever learned? 1:01:37

Tom Emmer: I’ve learned a lot of tough lessons, Kerri. But I, as I’m listening to Senator Dayton, I’m just thinking to myself that probably the toughest lesson Is that we are not in control of everything in life. No matter how much we would like to believe we are. We can only show up every day and do the best we possibly can do and hope that we’re granted another day to give it another shot, so I think the toughest lesson – we learn ‘em every day – all of us learn ‘em – human beings are imperfect from the get-go. So I think the toughest lesson to learn is you age and hopefully get some wisdom along the way, is that you just can’t control everything that happens in life. All you can do is show up and give your best every day. 1:02:23

Kerri Miller: Mr. Horner? Toughest lesson. 1:02:25

Tom Horner: Well, actually I would agree with that. That life throws you a lot of curve balls. Libby is a cancer survivor. And you understand, going through that kind of episode, that when somebody so close to you, so dear to you, is suffering from that kind of challenge, you learn that you just have to have faith in God, you have to have faith in the strength of the family, you have to have faith that you’re going to get through this together. You can’t control everything. You can’t change some things. You can only hold on to each other very tightly. 1:03:05

John Croman: Very good. 1:03:08

Kerri Miller: Our last question from Lars Leafblad, the recruiter who started us off this morning. 1:03:10

Lars Leafblad: Good evening. My question, tonight we’re privileged to have copies of all your resumés in our portfolio. And as we assess, the one thing missing is that formal job description, of what the role of CEO is for the state of Minnesota. How would you describe the three top responsibilities for the job of CEO, and what job has best prepared you for this role? I guess, I’ll direct my question to Senator Dayton. 1:03:38

Mark Dayton: Well, the primary responsibility of the next Governor is to gonna be help put people to work all over Minnesota. And I had an opportunity to serve twice as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Economic Development. I believe there is a proactive role for government, starting with a bonding bill next year rather than waiting until the following year. I was down in Austin yesterday, meeting with local officials there about ways to restore the state partnership with local governments, with Chambers of Commerce. And looking for businesses to expand and create jobs. Secondly is fiscal management. The next Governor and next Legislature are going to have to balance a budget, I agree with what Mr. Horner said, in contrast to previously, looking back, where Governor Quie left even in the middle of a recession, his successor with a balanced budget, the next Governor and Legislature are going to have to take on a situation that’s seriously in arrears, and then the third is going to be an advocate for education. Y’know public education is the great cornerstone of our strength in Minnesota. It’s been the key to our future success by so many accounts, and to help people recognize the challenges in public education as well as the opportunities to take the University of Minnesota, the MnSCU systems, move them, move them forward to restore our public schools, the trust that people have in the public schools. When I was a Senator I had a Senator’s Award for Excellence in Education. And if I’m Governor I’ll restore that program because I want people to recognize those areas where there is really excellent teaching and educating going on in schools that are – I taught in New York City for two years, I have four different languages, there are 95 different languages in Minnesota schools today, I’m told. So the challenges of assimilating people from all different parts of the world. And some of them come here with no prior education at all. Is one that I want to make people aware of the challenges involved. 1:05:29

John Croman: Very good. Lars, I don’t know if you have a followup on that or we’ve got a question over here. In real life there’s really no last question. So we’ve got a question here from Trish from Robbinsdale has a question. For Tom Emmer. Come on up. 1:05:41

Trish: You can answer with a yes or a no. Make it very easy. If your team has come to a conclusion, a resolution to a challenge that’s put before them, and it goes against one of your core beliefs, if that decision is based on the will of the constituents, will you defer to their decision or will you push back? 1:05:59

Tom Emmer: I’m sorry, if it goes against my core beliefs? 1:06:02

Trish: If it goes against one of your core beliefs, will you defer if it’s based on the will of their constituents, or will you push back? 1:06:08

Tom Emmer: If we’re talking about my core beliefs being smaller more efficient government, individual liberty and economic freedom, no. 1:06:16

John Croman: Very good! We didn’t get all the talking points that time, that was great so. (audience laughs) So Kerri’s about to wrap this up– 1:06:24

Tom Emmer: Well John, I can give them to you. 1:06:25

John Croman: No, I know you can. (audience laughs) I’ve got copies. 1:06:29

Kerri Miller: Thank you all very much. For coming. To the candidates, thank you all in the audience for the excellent questions, and thanks for taking part in kind of a first of its kind! Job Interview for Governor. Thanks for being here. (Audience, candidates applaud)