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As others see it: Reject Dayton's 'request'

Gov. Mark Dayton hasn’t done his homework. Minnesota’s chief executive, who ought to know better, has come to conclusions about the Fargo-Moorhead diversion that are not based on facts. His letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting that work be halted is a disturbing indication that he has accepted, without serious appraisal, the self-serving claims of diversion opponents.

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Dayton wants work halted until his Department of Natural Resources, which has an obvious and uninformed bias against the North Dakota project, completes an environmental assessment. The DNR work is a peculiar exercise since the corps has conducted its own very thorough environmental review. Furthermore, the DNR’s work, which was to be completed shortly, now won’t be done until late 2015. No surprise in that. The DNR bureaucracy likely is as incompetent as the agency’s leadership.

But Dayton, allegedly the responsible leader of a serious state, is the greater disappointment. Instead of first accepting an invitation to come to Moorhead and meet with diversion supporters and others in order to get a complete a picture as possible of the diversion’s benefits and challenges, the governor punted. Instead of embracing an opportunity to learn, he bought into a version of the project that is rife with misrepresentations, distortions and outright lies.

He also has pretty much snubbed his nose at North Dakota’s leadership, in particular Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who a few days ago reached out to Dayton regarding the prospect of civil discussion about the diversion. ...