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Cheers and jeers: Wily politicians

Cheers to Minnesota’s own Mayo Clinic, which achieved the highest honor in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of top hospitals, making it the best hospital in the country.

Mayo Clinic earned more No. 1 rankings than any other provider, ranking  No. 1 or No. 2 in 11 of the 12 specialties based on reputation, services and volumes, safety and clinical outcomes.

 “These rankings reaffirm what millions of patients and doctors around the world already know,” said Gov. Mark Dayton.

“Mayo Clinic offers the best medical care in the world. Thanks to the wise investment made by our State Legislature in the development of a Destination Medical Center, I am confident Mayo will continue its tradition of excellence into the future. Congratulations, Mayo!”


Jeers to Josh Tilson, Minnesota commissioner for the Bureau of Mediation Services — the state agency that administers union elections, resolves collective bargaining disputes, and oversees labor mediation and arbitration activities — for moonlighting as a consultant in other states.

Republican candidate for governor Jeff Johnson said he is appalled because as a consultant, Tilson takes fees from the very people he regulates in Minnesota — the unions. He blasted Gov. Mark Dayton for appointing him.

Last year Tilson was paid almost $7,500 from AFSCME in Iowa, while overseeing AFSCME matters in Minnesota.

“This is a gross conflict of interest. Commissioners have a full-time job and are paid a handsome full-time salary by the taxpayers,” Johnson said. “They shouldn’t be doing outside work in any case, and certainly shouldn’t be taking paychecks from the people they are supposed to regulate.”


Cheers to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar for introducing legislation to improve the North Country Scenic Trail route through Minnesota.

The trail currently extends from New York to North Dakota, but was never built along certain sections in Minnesota because the current route includes wetlands that are difficult to build through, raising conservation concerns

Legislation would reroute the trail to avoid Minnesota wetlands by incorporating 400 miles of existing hiking trails in the Boundary Waters and North Shore of Lake Superior.

It would not affect the trail route in this part of the state, which goes through Becker County.

“This common-sense legislation will use existing scenic trails to make sure Minnesota can finally be a part of the North Country Scenic Trail,” Klobuchar said. “Including the Arrowhead region on the trail will boost tourism, benefit local Minnesota businesses and allow people to share in our state’s natural beauty all while conserving our wetlands.”

The North Country National Scenic Trail is the nation’s longest hiking trail, currently running 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota and passing through 12 National Forests. The trail was created by Congress in 1980 and has been largely built by volunteers.