Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Promises, Promises, and Deanisms

The Star Tribune finally acknowledges the elephant (switched to a democrat donkey) in the room about Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson. The story comes on the heels of Senator Johnson's admission of "sanding off the truth" in describing conversations with Supreme Court members. Johnson was secretly recorded in making statements about pledges he received from the former Chief Justice and others, pledges which apparently never happened. Star Tribune reporter Mark Brunswick delicately relates that Johnson is "known for changing his mind."

But there is one story that they missed. Recall that Johnson promised, in the presence of witnesses, that he would not bring former Minnesota Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke's confirmation to a vote unless the votes existed to confirm her. Then he brought the vote to the floor anyway, where her confirmation was rejected.

Yecke said she was shocked when she heard the vote tally. She said Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, told her in a private meeting earlier this month that he would not call up her confirmation for a vote unless she had the votes necessary to prevail. But Johnson said he phrased it more as a challenge to Yecke to go out and gather the needed votes as opposed to a pledge that her job was safe.

Perhaps Dr. Yecke wishes she had a tape recorder at the meeting.


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