In Tuesday's Star Tribune, J. Patrick Coolican reports in Speaker Daudt's crash last January reveals spotty driving record:
The crash marked the latest in a long line of driving-related maladies for Daudt, the highest-ranking Republican in the state. In recent years, Daudt has been cited with four moving violations and two license suspensions for failure to pay fines in Minnesota.
Daudt has received two tickets driving at least 15 miles per hour over the limit, a third for speeding and a fourth for texting while driving, all since joining the Legislature in 2010.
The speaker declined to comment on the story, but sent a statement through his spokeswoman. House GOP spokeswoman Susan Closmore said the crash was unremarkable, but that political rivals are using the incident to try to damage Daudt politically.
While only a poor country blogger rather than a political rival, Bluestem pauses to join the dog pile.
On April 28, 2015, Daudt voted against an amendment to SF 878, offered by Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, which would have increased fines for texting while driving that occur within one year of the first violation. Under the amendment, a second violation within one year would incur a fine of $350, and a third or subsequent violation within one year would incur a fine of $500.
Did Daudt's dubious driving record influence the Speaker to vote against the Atkins amendment? Or was it just one of those partisan-line votes?
For an early throw-back Thursday, check out Bluestem's 2012 post, Why, yes he's on the Public Safety & Crime Prevention Policy & Finance Committee: Daudt's driver's license suspended 4 times since 2006. It's worth comparing Daudt's staff reaction to that of then-Mayor of Minneapolis R.T. Rybak, who said told the Star Tribune in 2008 (emphasis ours):
"I paid my speeding ticket and I fully intended to pay the right amount," he said. "People shouldn't speed, people should pay their speeding tickets, and I shouldn't have sped. There's no excuse."
. . ."I'm in the public eye and rightfully have to be held to a very high standard," he said. "I will get it fixed."
Perhaps Speaker Daudt, who reportedly has gubernatorial ambitions, might think about that concept.
Photo: Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt in a pout.
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