From today's St. Cloud Times
, an interview with Dean Johnson:
Shortly before adjournment, the Senate voted along party lines not to confirm Pawlenty's education commissioner, Cheri Pierson Yecke. While some criticized the move as purely political, Johnson said Democrats wrestled with the decision for months. No one was told how to vote, he said.
"We took our job very seriously � not a rubber stamp, but a constitutional ... advise and consent," Johnson said. Early on, Yecke had the support of four DFLers, he said. But as the session "went sour," that support dissipated.
Yesterday, Dick Day
discussing Sheila Kiscaden's ouster from the Republican caucus:
Last Sunday, in the final hours of this session, we saw just how independent Sen. Kiscaden really is. She had promised Gov. Tim Pawlenty that she would support his education commissioner, Cheri Pierson Yecke.
She also had received a letter from the superintendent of Rochester Schools, asking her to confirm this qualified and resourceful commissioner.
Yet in the wee hours of the morning, Kiscaden went along with what has been reported as intense DFL pressure to vote in lock step with her new caucus -- against the confirmation of Commissioner Yecke.
Add this to yesterday's note
on pressures from within the state and national party leadership. Pastor Dean isn't looking too good here.