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Gov. Mark Dayton has canceled a meeting with state Sen. Mike Parry after the Waseca Republican sent a fundraising letter accusing the governor of political payback in move to allow some in-home daycare providers to join a union.

Parry and Dayton spar over fundraising letter

Sen. Mike Parry

Gov. Mark Dayton has canceled a meeting with state Sen. Mike Parry after the Waseca Republican sent a fundraising letter accusing the governor of engaging in political payback in his move to allow some in-home daycare providers to join a union.

“It’s no secret that the labor unions helped buy the Governor’s Office for Mark Dayton,” Parry, who is running for the First Congressional District, wrote in the fundraising letter. “In the past few months, he began to return the favor, most recently by trying to help unionize some of Minnesota’s in-home, private child care providers.”

In the letter, Parry also tied the effort to DFL Congressman Tim Walz — the incumbent in the First District — who he said wants to “expand union control.” As with the governor, Parry wrote that he intended to push back on federal efforts to “force” unionization. Parry is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Walz in 2012.

This week, a judge blocked Dayton’s move to issue an executive order to allow the vote.

“As one of Governor Dayton’s most vocal critics on his backdoor-unionization attempt, I could not be happier and am proud to have pushed my colleagues to join the court challenge of the governor’s plan,” Parry wrote. “I can’t wait for the coming campaign when I can teach Congressman Walz the same lesson that we taught this week: you can’t force hard working Minnesotans into a union.”

Dayton fired back an e-mail to Parry, saying the solicitation was “inaccurate and deeply offensive.” He canceled a Friday meeting with the senator and Rep. Steve Drazkowski (Dayton offered to reschedule the meeting with Drazkowski).

“This is the second time you have falsely accused me in writing of actions which, since untrue, wrongly malign my character and integrity,” Dayton wrote. “I will not meet with you and provide further fodder for your political activities. If you have questions of me, submit them in writing, and I will respond in writing to them.”

Parry responded to Dayton in a letter, in which suggested the two meet for coffee and “bury the hatchet.”

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