Posted at: 08/18/2013 10:27 PM
Updated at: 08/18/2013 10:34 PM
By: Jay Kolls
Governor Dayton has made "secret" business trips in recent weeks, but he has made no secret about his desire to bring clean energy jobs to Minnesota.
Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Governor Dayton, or members of his Cabinet, have quietly made numerous trips out West and overseas to try and lure clean energy and technology companies to Minnesota.
Sources tell us there are "several California companies in play" to bring clean energy jobs to the state and those "could number more than a thousand jobs over several years" according to those same sources. We have also been told members of the Dayton Administration also courted clean energy technology in China.
In his State-of-the-State address last February, Governor Dayton challenged lawmakers to come up with ideas to bring clean energy production and technology companies to the state.
University of Minnesota political expert, Larry Jacobs, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the "Governor has business reasons to keep these trips secret because we face stiff competition from states like Ohio and Michigan, for those same jobs." Jacobs also says the Governor has political reasons to keep them quiet "so, it does not look like Minnesota lost out in its bid for clean energy jobs and then can be used against the Governor as he runs for re-election next year.
The Governor's Office declined our request for an interview. But, in a series of emails, a spokesperson denied the Governor traveled recently to California for clean energy jobs, but did not deny that his administration might still be pursuing such jobs for the future.