Gov. Dayton says former Republican House Speaker Steve Sviggum's dispute with the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents is embarrassing Sviggum and the school.
Sviggum is both a university regent and works as chief spokesman for the Senate Republican Caucus. The board of regents is meeting today <<11 am>> to discuss whether the two jobs are in conflict.
A three member regents panel said last week that Sviggum does have a conflict of interest. Sviggum has rejected that idea, but Dayton says he told him that there is a problem.
"I think he's got to make a decision between one and the other," Dayton said. "I told him I have great respect for his years of service and we always gotten along very well and my advice as a friend is that this was an embarrassment to him and to the university and he needed to resolve it."
Sviggum said he will not step down regardless of any action taken by the board of regents.
Update: Sviggum resigned from the board this morning.
The problem with Mr. Sviggum's situation isn't that a clear conflict exists. The problem is that HE doesn't see that a clear conflict exists. And further, that HE believes he doesn't need to abide by the Board of Regent's decisions. That blindness and hubris is so egregious, and a clear indicator that Mr. Sviggum does not have the integrity to be on the Board of Regents.
I think it was last week when Sviggum made a statement about this and it was typical mean-spirited and highly partisan Republican blather, demonstrating for us all why he shouldn't keep both jobs.
It appears to me that the conflict is "Republican" in nature, and does not exist.
@Kathy, if Mr Sviggum does not have the integrity to be on the Board of Regents, it's all the more appropriate that he speaks for the Senate Republican caucus.