[Senate Document 109-29]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
From the Senate Documents Online via GPO Access
From the Senate Documents Online via GPO Access
S. Doc. 109-29
TRIBUTES TO HON. MARK DAYTON
U.S. SENATOR FROM MINNESOTA
IN THE CONGRESS OF
THE UNITED STATES
Delivered in Congress
United States Senator
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 2007
Compiled under the direction
Joint Committee on Printing
Farewell to the Senate................................
Proceedings in the Senate:
Tributes by Senators:
Alexander, Lamar, of Tennessee.................
Allen, George, of Virginia.....................
Byrd, Robert C., of West Virginia..............
Clinton, Hillary Rodham, of New York...........
Coleman, Norm, of Minnesota....................
Conrad, Kent, of North Dakota..................
Dayton, Mark, of Minnesota.....................
DeWine, Mike, of Ohio..........................
Dodd, Christopher J., of Connecticut...........
Durbin, Richard, of Illinois...................
Frist, William H., of Tennessee................
Hagel, Chuck, of Nebraska......................
Harkin, Tom, of Iowa...........................
Hutchison, Kay Bailey, of Texas................
Kennedy, Edward M., of Massachusetts...........
Kyl, Jon, of Arizona...........................
Landrieu, Mary L., of Louisiana................
Levin, Carl, of Michigan.......................
Nelson, Bill, of Florida.......................
Obama, Barack, of Illinois.....................
Reed, Jack, of Rhode Island....................
Reid, Harry, of Nevada.........................
Salazar, Ken, of Colorado......................
Stevens, Ted, of Alaska........................
Warner, John, of Virginia......................
Born January 26, 1947, Mark Dayton is the eldest of four
children born to former Dayton Hudson Corp. chairman Bruce
Dayton and the late Gwendolen Brandt Dayton. He is the
great-grandson of George Dayton, a one-time banker who
opened a dry goods store in 1902 that became a national
Mark attended Long Lake Elementary School in Hennepin
County and then Blake School in Minneapolis, where he
graduated, cum laude, in 1965. Like many Minnesota kids,
Mark was a hockey fanatic. He spent his free time on the
ice practicing to be a star goalie. His hard work earned
him a place on Blake's ``All State'' first team in his
Following high school, Mark attended Yale University
where he majored in psychology, played varsity hockey, and
graduated, cum laude, in 1969. While at college, he joined
Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, whose then-president was
now-President George W. Bush.
After working as a hospital orderly for three summers
during high school he thought he wanted to become a doctor
so he completed pre-med course requirements while at Yale.
However, Mark decided medicine was not the right fit for
him so after graduation he took a job teaching at P.S. 65,
a tough school on New York's Lower East Side, and lived
part of the time with a family on welfare. With 3 years of
teaching under his belt followed by experience as a
counselor for runaways, then as chief financial officer of
a Boston social service agency, Mark felt a call to public
Mark's interest in public service led him to join the
Washington staff of then-Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale
in 1975. He focused on education, children and youth, and
small business. Mark never dreamed that a quarter-century
later, he would inhabit his own office in the same
building as Senator Mondale once did.
When Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter selected
Senator Mondale as his running mate the following year,
Mark joined the campaign. At the campaign headquarters in
Atlanta, he worked as a driver, midnight-to-dawn telecopy
operator, and all-around go-fer. Immediately following
Carter's election victory, Mark returned to Minnesota to
work for incoming Governor Rudy Perpich and was asked to
head the Minnesota Department of Economic Development. He
served in that position for nearly 2 years.
In 1978, Mark married Alida Rockefeller, whose brother,
Senator Jay Rockefeller, is currently one of Mark's Senate
colleagues. They have two sons: Eric, age 23, and Andrew,
age 20. Alida and Mark were divorced 8 years later;
however, they remain dedicated parents and close friends.
Spurred by a growing recession and national energy
crisis that hit rural Minnesota particularly hard, Mark
founded and led the Minnesota Project in 1979. This
economic development and public policy organization
continues to support the social, environmental and
economic health of Greater Minnesota communities.
Soon after Ronald Reagan was elected President, Mark
began his own campaign for the U.S. Senate. He defeated
former Senator Eugene McCarthy in the DFL primary; but in
the 1982 general election, lost to incumbent Senator David
The following year, reelected Governor Rudy Perpich
appointed Mark the commissioner of an expanded Minnesota
Department of Energy and Economic Development. During his
tenure, he set up the newly created Minnesota Economic
Development Authority, which offered tax and other
financial incentives to businesses willing to locate or
expand and create jobs in Minnesota. He developed the
Minnesota Star City Program, an initiative begun by his
predecessor, which trained local officials, business
owners, and other community leaders throughout the State
to retain existing businesses and recruit new businesses
into their cities. He also organized another new program
established by the legislature, under which he named the
first enterprise zones in Minnesota.
Mark left State government 4 years later and founded the
Vermilion Investment Company. During this time, he also
went through a 28-day alcohol treatment program. For the
next few years, he devoted himself to his recovery,
business, and family.
In 1990, Mark ran for State auditor and won. He served
one 4-year term in a position he describes as ``the
taxpayers' watchdog.'' During this time, he formed a
special investigations unit to uncover misuse and theft of
public funds in cities, counties, townships, and school
districts throughout Minnesota. He also served on the
boards of the State Executive Council, the State Board of
Investment, the State Land Exchange Board, the Public
Employees Retirement Association, and the Minnesota
Housing Finance Agency. Mark also successfully led the
opposition to corporate attempts to use public pension
funds to prop up their financially ailing operations.
Following his time as State auditor, Mark co-chaired the
reelection committee of his long-time friend, Senator Paul
Wellstone, and served as its finance chairman. In 1997,
Mark launched his own campaign for Governor of Minnesota;
however, he lost in the DFL primary to then-Attorney
General Skip Humphrey.
In early 2000, Mark was eager to once again have a role
in statewide politics. Early in the year, he announced his
candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat then held by Senator
Rod Grams. After hearing from hundreds of Minnesotans
during his gubernatorial campaign, Mark launched a series
of bus trips to Canada, funded by donated Senate salary,
called the ``Rx Express.'' These trips continue today to
provide seniors with a way to buy much-needed prescription
medicines at substantially lower prices. He also created
the ``Healthcare Help Line,'' which is in its 4th year of
assisting Minnesotans with problems they have with their
In September, Mark won the DFL primary and 8 weeks later
was elected to the U.S. Senate. On January 3, 2001, he was
sworn in as the 33d Senator from Minnesota and as the
1,846th Senator in the Nation's history.
Mark served on four Senate Committees: Agriculture,
Nutrition, and Forestry; Armed Services; Governmental
Affairs; and Rules. He was also a member of the House-
Senate Joint Committee on Printing, which he chaired in
Farewell to the Senate
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Mr. DAYTON. Mr. President, it has been almost 6 years
since I was sworn in as Minnesota's 33d U.S. Senator with
my friend and colleague Paul Wellstone at my side. I began
my term hopeful and optimistic. The Senate was evenly
divided, with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, and
President-elect George W. Bush was promising to change the
tone in Washington with a new era of bipartisan
Our country enjoyed peace and relative prosperity.
Outgoing President Bill Clinton, a Republican-controlled
Congress, and over 6 years of economic expansion had
combined to create the first annual surpluses in the
Federal Government's on-budget account in 39 years, and
they were projected by OMB to continue for at least the
The Social Security trust fund's annual surpluses were
going to be saved in a lockbox for the upcoming
retirements of a large baby boom generation. There was
even discussion of paying down the national debt to
further strengthen our financial position. Yet we still
would be able to increase funding for such essential needs
as public education, affordable health care, seniors' drug
coverage, and infrastructure improvements.
Just 6 years later, our country's condition has changed
drastically, and mostly for the worse. We are mired in a
disastrous war in Iraq despite the heroic efforts and
sacrifices by our Armed Forces. The fiscal integrity of
the Federal budget has been destroyed, with record-high
annual deficits continuing, despite budget gimmickry and a
modest economic recovery. The Federal tax base has been
decimated by huge tax giveaways to the rich and superrich
that will burden our children and grandchildren. The
Social Security trust fund's surpluses have been spent
every year on what the nonpartisan Concord Coalition has
called ``the most reckless fiscal policy'' in our Nation's
The Bible says if the leaders don't lead, the people
perish. Unfortunately, the Bush administration and the
Republican majority in Congress have not led this country
well, and our people are suffering the consequences: lost
jobs, businesses, and farms; lost incomes, standards of
living, and security; and lost loved ones killed or maimed
We have lost the national unity which followed the
terrible atrocities of September 11, 2001, and the Bush
administration has lost the world's support which they had
after that awful attack. The President's decision to
invade Iraq unilaterally, the absence of weapons of mass
destruction that had been the initial justification for
that invasion, and his administration's disastrous
mismanagement of Iraq following the overthrow of Saddam
Hussein has squandered most of our national unity and
The Congressional Record will show that I opposed those
failed policies and supported other and better
alternatives. I was 1 of 23 Senators to vote against the
Iraq war resolution. I opposed the large tax giveaways to
the rich and superrich. In fact, during my 6 years in the
Senate, I voted 29 times to raise my own taxes. Why?
Because our country needs those tax revenues, and I can
darn well afford to pay my fair share of them, as can all
other Americans with my good fortune.
I tried seven times unsuccessfully to get the Senate to
honor its 30-year promise to school districts and
schoolchildren and fully fund special education. The
Senate did pass my ``Taste of Our Own Medicine'' amendment
limiting Members of Congress's prescription drug coverage
to what they provided to senior citizens through Medicare.
However, my amendment was discarded by the House-Senate
It has pained me deeply to see the Senate's majority
lead our country into what I consider the wrong direction.
Our Nation's founding principle was ``we the people,'' and
it remains so today. If we are not always united by the
common cause, we are bound together by a shared destiny.
If the laws this Senate passes are successful, ``we the
people'' benefit together. If those laws fail, we suffer
together. Some Americans will suffer more than others as
unfair victims of social and economic injustices, but
ultimately all Americans cannot escape our common national
fate. United we stand and succeed; divided we fall and
fail. I regretfully believe that during my Senate term
this administration and its congressional followers have
caused too many divisions, declines, and failures.
Thus, I leave the Senate with strong feelings of
frustration and disappointment. I have been unable to pass
most of what I believe was most important to Minnesota, to
our country, and to the world. I remain convinced that
those policies would improve the lives of most Americans
far better than what the majority here enacted.
A cornerstone of democracy, which I honor, is that the
majority prevails. Winning, however, does not make them
right and, unfortunately, it does not make them wise. In
those decisions with which I have disagreed, time will
tell us and the American people who was right and who was
I do want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the
aisle for the privilege to serve these last 6 years with
them. I am grateful for the friendships I have made, which
I hope will continue after my departure.
I thank my excellent staff, those here in Washington and
those in Minnesota, for their tremendous dedication and
many hours of hard work. Most of the successes I have
enjoyed here have been the result of their dedication and
their abilities, and I thank them again for their support.
I especially want to thank the people of Minnesota who
gave me this extraordinary opportunity to serve them in
the Senate. Our democracy is, through all of human
history, throughout the entire world, the most advanced
and successful form of self-governance that human beings
have ever devised. It is far from perfect, but it is far
better than anything else. We who are elected as its
leaders and its stewards have sacred duties to uphold its
principles, to elevate its policies, and to improve its
practices before we bequeath them to our successors. I
have done my very best to fulfill those duties before I
pass them on to my outstanding successor, Senator-elect
Amy Klobuchar. We in the Senate and in the House of
Representatives also have the duty to serve the best
interests of all Americans. To be successful and
sustainable, our Government must improve the lives of all
of our citizens.
Unfortunately, here in Washington, the people who
already have the most keep getting more than anyone else.
The excessive influences of their money and political
power on the Federal Government are serious threats to our
democracy. They skew decisions and laws in favor of the
rich and powerful, often at the expense of other
Americans: the hard-working people who pay their taxes and
hope their elected representatives will look out for them
in Washington. It isn't too much for them to expect.
However, it is too often more than they are getting.
They are told repeatedly that new laws and policies will
improve their lives. Yet their real lives become worse,
not better. They experience a deep disconnect between what
they are told will happen and what is actually happening
In attempts to hide those disparities, the words used in
Washington are often carefully selected by very clever
people in order to disguise reality rather than to
describe it. For example, legislation that stripped many
Americans of their bankruptcy protections for major
medical expenses was named the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention
and Consumer Protection Act. Another bill that would have
increased industrial pollution was entitled the Clear
Skies Act. No Child Left Behind has knowingly underfunded
Head Start, title I, and special education, which has left
millions of schoolchildren behind.
These discrepancies and the disparities they create will
be even more destructive to the American people's trust in
their Government in the years ahead. That is because the
choices facing Congress will become even more difficult as
the needs of an aging population grow but revenues do not.
In about a decade, the Social Security trust fund's large
annual surpluses will be replaced by deficits, and its
IOUs from the general fund will add to that fund's own
chronic deficits. If combined with today's enormous and
unsustainable balance of trade deficits and a continuing
erosion of our manufacturing job base, the consequences
could be catastrophic.
That somber forecast has replaced my hope and optimism
of 6 years ago to my deep regret. Following the wisdom of
``speak truth to power,'' I present my truth to the
world's most powerful legislative body, the U.S. Senate,
and one of the two institutions that must act to keep our
Nation strong. I hope that you will. I will pray for your
wisdom to discern what is right, for your courage to act
accordingly, and for your success on behalf of our great
Nation and the world.
Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the
absence of a quorum.
Proceedings in the Senate
Friday, September 29, 2006
Mr. BYRD. ... Mr. President, I say farewell to Senator
Dayton. Seldom has a freshman Senator made more of an
impression on me than has Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota
who has announced that he will be leaving us at the end of
this session of the Congress.
From the start of his service in this Chamber, I have
been struck by Senator Dayton's determination to learn the
rules, to learn the traditions, to learn the customs of
When Senator Dayton presided over the Senate, which is
one of the responsibilities of freshman Senators, he
always did so with attention and dignity. His demeanor was
inspiring. It reassured my belief in the future of this
When I meet with new Senators, as I often do, about the
duties of the Presiding Officer, I urge them to use that
gavel on that desk vigorously to bring the U.S. Senate to
I recall one instance when Senator Dayton banged the
gavel so hard that he nearly fell out of his chair. That
is the way it should be. I thought to myself: Bang that
gavel, bring the Senate to order so that the Senate can
conduct the Nation's business.
I am also impressed about the reverence that Senator
Dayton shows for our Nation's most basic, most important
document, the Constitution of the United States.
Many people who have served in this Chamber will have to
answer to history for the way they have ignored and
trampled upon our Constitution. As President Lincoln once
reminded the Members of Congress: ``We cannot escape
I am confident that history will hold Senator Dayton in
Time after time, this freshman Senator has stood with me
and the Constitution of the United States on the important
issues before us. Senator Dayton was one of the lonely 23
Senators who voted not to go to war with Iraq. I have
been, as I say, 48 years in this body, and it is the
greatest vote I ever cast, the vote of which I am most
proud of all the 17,000 and more votes that I have cast.
Senator Dayton was willing to defy public opinion and
the forces of war because he, Senator Dayton, was
determined not to hand over to President Bush, or any
President, Democrat or Republican, any President, the
power to declare war. No. Why? Because the Constitution
says Congress shall have the power to declare war.
With firm belief in our constitutional doctrines of the
separation of powers and checks and balances, Senator
Dayton was the only person on the Senate Governmental
Affairs Committee who voted against the flawed Department
of Homeland Security bill that this White House pushed.
How I have admired the courage and the fortitude of this
man, Senator Dayton, this Senator and his firm belief in
our constitutional system.
How I have wished that he would change his mind. I have
spoken to him numerous times about that. I wish we had
more like him, more who would say: Come one, come all,
this rock shall fly from its firm base as I.
I thank Senator Dayton for standing shoulder to shoulder
and toe to toe with me on so many constitutional issues,
and I thank him for the reverence he has shown this
institution, the U.S. Senate.
Senator Dayton is a descendant--get this--Senator Dayton
is a descendant of Jonathan Dayton, who was a delegate to
the Constitutional Convention of 1787 from the State of
New Jersey. I know that Jonathan Dayton is up there
somewhere today looking down and smiling upon his kinsman
who has worked so hard to preserve and to protect the
Constitution, the sacred document that he, Jonathan
Dayton, helped to create along with George Washington,
Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison.
Senator Dayton has brought to the Senate a vigor and a
vision of public policies that is both refreshing and
needed; yes, needed.
Mark Dayton has devoted his life to public service. And
why he ever decided to leave the Senate is beyond me. I
have done the best I could talking with him time and time
again, but he remains firm.
His public service included teaching school in the lower
east side of New York City, also known as the Bowery, and
serving as a social worker in Boston, the great city of
Boston. Senator Dayton's social and political activism
landed him on President Richard Nixon's infamous ``enemies
list''--which he, Senator Mark Dayton, probably considered
a badge of honor--and on the staff of Senator Walter
Mondale, one of our fine Vice Presidents.
Senator Dayton brought his concerns for the less
fortunate and the powerless with him to the Senate. As a
freshman Senator, he proposed a new farm bill to help
struggling family farms. He proposed a prescription tax
credit plan to help Medicare beneficiaries offset the
costs of their medications. He established a health care
help line to assist working families in his State in
getting health coverage from their insurance companies
that they had paid for. He proposed a global trade
agreement to limit the President's ability to negotiate
trade deals by giving the Congress the power to reject
parts of negotiated trade deals if they violated existing
I expected great things from this Senator. He had been
serving in this Chamber for only 2 years, when on March
13, 2003, I predicted that Senator Dayton would have a
``long career, if he wishes to make it a long one.''
I was surprised, I was disappointed, I was saddened to
learn that he has chosen instead to make a short career in
the Senate. I hope he does not retire from public life
because our country--especially our less fortunate--will
always need public servants like Mark Dayton.
But whatever he chooses to do, I wish him happiness and
success. And I will always be grateful for my friendship
with Mark Dayton and the work--yes, the work--that we have
Mr. DAYTON. Mr. President, will the Senator yield
Mr. BYRD. I do yield.
Mr. President, how much time do I have remaining?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 8\1/2\ minutes
Mr. BYRD. I yield to the Senator 2 minutes. Is that
Mr. DAYTON. I will be very brief.
I thank the Senator from West Virginia for those
gracious words. I am deeply honored because they come from
the mouth of one of the greatest Senators in the history
of this country. And whatever I have learned to apply with
my understanding of the traditions of the Senate, the
integrity of the Senate, the dignity of the Senate, I
heard first and foremost from the great Senator from West
Virginia, who has been a mentor, a guide, a leader, for
whom I have the utmost respect. And when I did preside and
listen to the Senator speak about such subjects as the
U.S. Constitution, I learned more from his wisdom than I
have learned in the previous 55 years of my life.
I was honored to stand with him, really behind him, when
he led the public outcry against the war resolution. And I
was honored to be 1 of those 23 Senators, and history has
proven us also correct. For his incredible service to his
State for which he was cited as the Greatest West
Virginian of the last century, and I expect will be cited
as the Greatest West Virginian of this century as well,
and for that same quality of devotion to our country and
incredible leadership to our entire Nation, we are all--
all of the country men and women--in great debt to him. I
am, again, deeply honored by his words.
Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished
Senator, and I will always cherish, as long as I live, his
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
Mr. COLEMAN. Mr. President, I see my colleague from
Minnesota, Senator Dayton. He will not be here in January,
and I come to the Senate to associate myself with the
praise of my distinguished colleague from West Virginia
[Mr. Byrd] for Senator Dayton.
We live in very partisan times. We live in times where
there is great cynicism about politics. We come from
opposite sides of the political aisle, and there are
moments we are butting heads on issues and press releases,
but I have to say my colleague's heart is pure. On issue
after issue, when Mark Dayton, the Senator from Minnesota,
says something, he says it because he believes it and he
is passionate about it.
We worked together to try to make sure our troops, when
they were on leave from Iraq, came home at no cost. We
Earlier today, we were in the Senate talking about
agricultural disaster assistance for Minnesota farmers.
The public does not see all the times we work together.
They do not look into a man's heart. I have been here 4
years, and what I call the pureness of the heart, the
commitment to public service, a lifelong commitment to
public service, again and again at level after level on
the State and now in the U.S. Congress is something to be
I express to my colleague and my friend--and we use that
word rather loosely on occasion here, but he is my
colleague and my friend--thanks for your service. Thank
you for giving me the opportunity to work with you on
behalf of the people of Minnesota and the people of this
Mr. DAYTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent I
might have 1 minute to respond.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so
Mr. DAYTON. Mr. President, I thank my friend, and I mean
that sincerely, and my very distinguished colleague from
Minnesota for those very kind words.
The Senator said we don't agree on everything, but we
are not meant to agree on everything. That is part of the
wisdom of the process here.
I have endless respect for the Senator from Minnesota.
He was elected to the Senate by the people of our State
under very difficult circumstances in the immediate
aftermath of the tragic death of his predecessor. He
handled that situation with great dignity and class, and
he has continued to do so.
He represents our State with effectiveness, success
beyond his young years. That is demonstrated by the high
regard he is held in by most of the citizens in our State.
I thank him for his friendship. I thank him for the
opportunity to work with him. I wish him continued success
after I leave the Senate.
I yield the floor.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President ... As we recognize, it is a
distinct privilege and high honor to serve our country in
any capacity, and certainly none higher than in uniform.
But it is especially important that we recognize those who
have given years of their lives, sacrificing their
families, their own time, to help make a better world for
all of us. I know of no capacity in which we serve our
country that has given those who have had this rare
opportunity to serve in the Senate anything more noble
than trying to shape a better world from this Senate.
These individuals who will leave the Senate, some on
their own terms, some on the terms of the election, but,
nonetheless, in their own specific way have contributed a
great deal to this country.
I take a few minutes to recognize each. ...
Senator Mark Dayton from Minnesota, a neighbor. I served
on two committees with Senator Dayton, the Rules Committee
and the Foreign Relations Committee. He is a unique
individual who served in many ways, beginning with his
service to Senator and then Vice President Walter Mondale.
Senator Dayton has a rich history and understanding of
this institution and his State. We will miss Senator
Dayton's character, his ability to also cross party aisles
and help resolve the issues of our day. ...
Mr. President, in conclusion, it is not easy to put
one's self on the firing line and offer one's self as a
candidate for any office. It takes a certain amount of
courage and, I suspect, a little dose of insanity. But
nonetheless individuals who believe deeply enough to
commit themselves to a cause greater than their own self-
interests need to be recognized. Having nothing to do with
me or you or any one individual, but it is the essence of
our country, it is the very fabric of our democracy that
makes it all work and probably gives rise to, more than
any one reason, why we have been such a successful nation
for over 200 years--because people from all walks of life,
in every community, in every State, offer themselves for
office. Whether it is a mayor, a Governor, city
councilman, county official, a sheriff, these individuals
We all make mistakes. That is who we are. But in the
end, it is not unlike what Teddy Roosevelt once referred
to in his magnificent quote about the man in the arena.
And it is the man and the woman in the arena who change
our lives. It makes a better world that shapes history,
that defines our destiny. And for these individuals who
will no longer have that opportunity to serve our country
in the Senate, we wish them well, we thank them, and we
tell them we are proud of them and their families and wish
Mr. President, I thank you for the time and yield the
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Mr. REED. Mr. President, this is an opportunity to
recognize the service of several of our colleagues who are
departing from the Senate. To Senator Jeffords, Senator
Frist, Senator DeWine, Senator Talent, Senator Santorum,
Senator Burns, and Senator Allen, let me express my
appreciation for their service to their States and their
service to the Nation and wish them well. I particularly
want to comment, though, on three colleagues with whom I
have had the privilege of working very closely. ...
Finally, let me say a word about my colleague and
friend, Senator Mark Dayton. He is retiring after 6 years
in the Senate. He began his public life much earlier, in
1990, as a public school teacher in New York City, and
throughout his work he has dedicated himself to help the
people of Minnesota and the people of this great Nation.
He has placed himself on the front lines to provide better
health care for seniors in Minnesota. He has worked
closely on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program,
LIHEAP. He has a good head and a great heart and he served
with distinction. I wish him well as he leaves the Senate.
To all my colleagues who served and conclude their
service, let me once again express deep appreciation for
their friendship and for their service to the Nation.
I yield the floor.
Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, we are coming to the end
of the session and 10 of our colleagues are retiring. I
want to say a word about them ...
Mark Dayton's interest in the environment in Minnesota
has been so exceptional. ...
When the most recent class of Senators was sworn into
office nearly 2 years ago, in the gallery were three
women. One was the grandmother of Barack Obama. She was
from Kenya. One was the mother of Senator Salazar, a 10th
generation American. One was the mother of Mel Martinez,
the new Republican National Committee chairman, who, with
her husband, put her son on an airplane when he was 14
years old and sent him from Cuba to the United States, not
knowing if she would ever see him again.
In a way, each one of us who is here is an accident.
None of us knew we would be here. Each of us is privileged
to serve, and one of the greatest privileges is to serve
with our colleagues. We will miss them and we are grateful
for their service.
I yield the floor.
Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, as the time for my departure
from the Senate draws near, on behalf of the greatest
blessing in my life, my wife Susan, and on behalf of
myself, I thank all of my colleagues for their many
courtesies and friendships that have been forged during
the past 6 years. I offer a few concluding reflections
about our time here together, as well as about the future
of our Republic. ...
Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, I see others who
wish to speak, and I will make a couple of brief comments.
In the comments of the Senator from Virginia [Mr.
Allen], his final couple of comments recalled for me a
statement made in the closing of the Constitutional
Convention in Philadelphia, when on the back of the chair
of the presiding officer was a sunburst. Someone opined in
that Constitutional Convention: Dr. Franklin, is that a
rising sun or is it a setting sun? And Franklin ventured
to say that with the birth of the new Nation, with the
creation of the new Constitution, that he thought it was a
Indeed, it is that hope of which the Senator from
Virginia has just spoken that motivates this Senator from
Florida to get up and go to work every day, and to look at
this Nation's challenges, not as a Democratic problem or a
Republican problem, but as an American problem, that needs
to be solved in an American way instead of a partisan way.
We have had far too much partisanship over the last
several years across this land, and, indeed, in this
Chamber itself. And of the Senators who are leaving this
Chamber, I think they represent the very best of America,
and on occasion have risen in a bipartisan way. It has
been this Senator's great privilege to work with these
Senators: Allen of Virginia, Burns of Montana, Chafee of
Rhode Island, Dayton of Minnesota, DeWine of Ohio, Frist
of Tennessee, Jeffords of Vermont, Santorum of
Pennsylvania, Sarbanes of Maryland, Talent of Missouri.
As the Good Book in Ecclesiastes says: There is a time
to be born and a time to die. There is a time to get up,
and a time to go to bed. There is a time for a beginning,
and there is a time of ending.
For these Senators who are leaving, it is clearly not an
ending. It is an ending of this chapter in their lives,
but this Senator from Florida wanted to come and express
his appreciation for their public service, to admonish
those where admonishment is needed when this Chamber,
indeed, this Government, has gotten too partisan, but to
express this Senator's appreciation for the quiet moments
of friendship and reflection and respect in working
together, which is the glue that makes this Government
Whether you call it bipartisanship, whether you call it
friendship, whether you call it mutual respect, whatever
you call it, the way you govern a nation as large and as
complicated and as diverse as our Nation is--as the Good
Book says: Come, let us reason together--that is what this
Senator tries to be about. And that is what this Senator
will try to continue to do in the new dawn of a new
Congress. So I wanted to come and express my appreciation
for those Senators who will not be here, for the great
public service they have rendered.
Mr. President, I am truly grateful for their personal
friendship and for their public service.
I yield the floor.
Mr. DURBIN. ... Mr. President, Mark Dayton served
representing the State of Minnesota. Business was his
background, not politics. But Senator Dayton developed a
passion for politics at an early age. While his parents
supported Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968, Senator Dayton
found another hero in Bobby Kennedy. As a college student
at Yale, he protested the Vietnam war. He began using a
share of his family's fortune to support progressives.
In return, he made it on an enemies list. He was
investigated by the FBI, targeted by the IRS, and had that
dubious distinction of being on Richard Nixon's enemies
list, a distinction that he now wears as a badge of honor.
He has devoted his entire adult life to public service,
broadly defined. Born into privilege, he fought for those
less fortunate from the start, especially for poor
children. After college he taught science in New York City
and counseled runaway children in Boston. Returning to his
Minnesota roots, he served as an aide to Walter Mondale,
then as Minnesota's State economic development
commissioner, and later State auditor. Mark Dayton was
elected to the Senate 6 years ago on his second try. His
first 2 years in the Senate he had that great colleague,
Paul Wellstone. For the last 4 years, Mark Dayton, like
many of us, has tried to carry Paul Wellstone's standard,
to fight for the people that Paul Wellstone used to call
``the little fellers,'' who don't have expensive lobbyists
to watch out for them in the Senate.
Mark Dayton has been a consistent voice for fairness. He
has used his own Senate salary to pay for seniors to
travel to Canada to purchase less expensive prescription
drugs. He has been a strong advocate for ethanol,
renewable energy, strengthening America's energy security,
reducing global warming, and boosting the income of family
Senator Dayton was 1 of only 23 Senators who voted
against the Iraqi war resolution in 2002. He has used his
seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee to ask hard
questions of those who planned and are overseeing the war.
He has demanded accountability from them while he has
continued to show consistent support for the men and women
I look forward to seeing how Senator Mark Dayton will
serve America next, and I wish him the very best. ...
I wish all of my colleagues who are retiring well as
they begin the next chapters of their careers.
Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, I rise today to bid farewell
to several of my friends here in Washington. Too often we
get caught up here in the back-and-forth of politics and
lose sight of the contributions of those with whom we work
every day. It is only at moments such as these, at the end
of a cycle, that we have a moment to reflect on the
contributions of our colleagues. And while we may not
always see eye to eye, this Senate is losing several
admirable contributors who have made many sacrifices to
serve our democracy. ...
Then there is my colleague on the Agriculture Committee,
Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota. For much of his life,
Senator Dayton has dedicated himself to public service,
both in Minnesota and in Washington--as a leader on
economic development for his home State and later as State
auditor before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000.
The Twin Cities may be cold this time of year, but we all
know that Minnesota DFLers will welcome him home warmly
after his service in the Senate. ...
America, when held to its finest ideals, is more than a
place on the globe or a work in progress. It is the
inspiration to those around the world and here at home to
seek out excellence within themselves and their beliefs.
It has been a pleasure to work alongside each of these
gentlemen, who have helped me as I have found my way,
sometimes literally, through the halls of the Senate, in
the pursuit of these greater ideals that we all share:
security, prosperity, and an America that we leave better
than when we arrived. These ideals will resonate here long
after we all are gone and another generation stands in our
place making the decisions of its day.
Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, I rise today to bid farewell
to a decent and principled Member of this body, Mark
Dayton. Over the past 6 years, Senator Dayton has proven
his dedication to the highest ideals of this body through
his devotion to economic justice, education, and health
In October 2002, Mark Dayton voted against the Iraq war
resolution, despite the fact that President Bush was
presenting fairly convincing evidence that Saddam Hussein
had weapons of mass destruction and most of the Nation was
supportive of the decision to go to war. Mark Dayton held
to his convictions, and history will judge him favorably
because of it.
As a Senator, Mark has donated his entire Senate salary
to help his constituents pay for prescription drugs. His
salary goes to the Minnesota Senior Federation for ``Rx
Express'' bus trips to help senior citizens buy cheaper
prescription drugs in Canada. In the Senate, he has fought
to make such trips less necessary by proposing the Meeting
Our Responsibility to Medicare Beneficiaries Act to permit
the Government to negotiate prescription drug prices with
pharmaceutical companies. He has also introduced the Taste
of Our Own Medicine Act to require Members of Congress to
share the same prescription drug benefits as Medicare
Mark Dayton's 6 years in the Senate are a continuation
of his lifelong commitment to public service. He
previously worked as a teacher on the Lower East Side of
New York, as a counselor for runaways, and as the chief
financial officer for a social service agency in Boston.
He worked for Senator Walter Mondale and campaigned with
him during his Vice Presidential bid with President Jimmy
Carter. Mark also served twice as commissioner of the
Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development.
Mark Dayton has used the economic experience he gained
as commissioner, and as Minnesota State auditor to help
American workers during his time in the Senate. He has
supported extended unemployment assistance and an increase
in the minimum wage while opposing outsourcing of American
Senator Dayton has been a strong supporter of increased
funding for education. He introduced the Nontraditional
Student Success Act and the Restore the Dream Act to help
students pay for higher education. He has repeatedly
insisted that Congress live up to its promise to America's
public schools and children by offering amendments to
fully fund the Federal Government's commitment to special
education. Mark has also fought for additional career and
During his time in this body, Mark Dayton has nobly
stood up for the American people. In a speech on the
Senate floor, he noted:
A government of the people, by the people, and for the
people is a government that tells the truth to its
citizens. If it doesn't, it is not a government of them,
not by them, and certainly not for them. It is imperative.
Although Mark Dayton's voice will no longer be heard on
the Senate floor, I know that he will continue to do great
work for Minnesotans and for all Americans. I am proud to
have served with him and wish him all the best.
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I have had the privilege of
being here for the 28th year beginning shortly. I
calculated not long ago that I have served with 261
individuals. I am not about to try and review all of the
many magnificent friendships I am privileged to have
through these years. Indeed, if one looks at the rewards,
of which there are many serving in this historic
institution, the Senate, it is the personal bonds, the
friendships that we so firmly cement and that will last a
lifetime as a consequence of our duties of serving the
United States of America and in our respective States.
We are called ``United States'' Senators. I often
believe it is the first obligation, our Nation, the
Republic for which it stands. ...
I would also like to pay tribute to nine other U.S.
Senators who will retire from the Senate in the coming
Now, I would like to take a few moments to salute our
majority leader, Senator Frist, as well as Senators
Chafee, Burns, Santorum, DeWine, Jeffords, Talent, and
Dayton. Each and every one of these U.S. Senators has
served his State and his country with great distinction.
Without a doubt, I could speak at-length in honor of
each of these outstanding individuals. In light of time
constraints, however, and the fact that so many of my
colleagues wish to similarly pay tribute, I shall endeavor
to keep my remarks brief. ...
Senator Dayton was elected to the Senate in 2000, and
throughout his years in the Senate I have had the
privilege of serving with him on the Senate Armed Services
Committee. As a hardworking member of that committee, Mark
was a strong advocate for our Armed Forces. Notably, he
was a strong supporter of increasing the death benefit
gratuity for survivors of deceased members of the Armed
Forces from a little more than $12,000 to $100,000. Thanks
in part to his efforts, this increased death benefit
gratuity is now law.
Senator Dayton also reached across the aisle and worked
closely with me in support of efforts to provide Medicare
beneficiaries with a prescription drug benefit. Together,
we introduced legislation to provide America's seniors
with a refundable tax credit to help offset the costs of
In conclusion, over the years I have served with each of
these 10 Senators, each has not only been a trusted
colleague, each has also been my friend. I will miss
serving with each of them in the Senate but know that each
will continue in public service in some capacity. I wish
each and every one of them well in the years ahead.
Mr. President, I see a number of colleagues here anxious
to speak, and I have taken generously of the time the
Presiding Officer has allowed me to speak.
I yield the floor.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I welcome this opportunity
to commend our colleague Mark Dayton, the Senator from
Minnesota, for his distinguished service in the Senate and
for his commitment to helping our country live up to its
highest ideals at home and abroad.
Mark's life has been about service to others. Whether as
a teacher in the bowery of New York, a counselor to
troubled teens in Boston, an aide to our beloved Fritz
Mondale, a State economic development leader working to
bring quality jobs to his constituents, or a Senator, Mark
Dayton has consistently answered the call of public
service throughout his long and outstanding career.
He has been a champion of the right to quality and
affordable health care for all Americans, and I know how
frustrated he has often been by our inability to make
greater progress on this critical domestic issue. Sadly,
it will be harder to get there without him, but I am
optimistic that we will still be able to accomplish it,
and I have no doubt that Mark will continue with his
commitment and compassion to help lead the charge from
outside the Senate.
As a Senator, he had an indispensable role in our effort
to expand the availability of prescription drugs. His
heart went out to the senior citizens in Minnesota whose
only hope to afford the drugs they desperately needed was
to cross the border into Canada. Fortunately, in its
effort to build a legal fence to keep them out, the drug
industry more than met its match in Senator Mark Dayton.
Even my constituents in Massachusetts loved Mark, as they
boarded buses from Boston to Minnesota to catch the
lifesaving bus to Canada to get their medicine.
Mark also has had the courage to stand against the
administration when it launched the tragic and misguided
war in Iraq.
He never wavered in the Senate from what he believed was
right, and we will all miss the skill and eloquence, the
decency, honor, and generosity he brought to our Senate
We regret very much that he won't be here with us in the
debates ahead, and we wish him well. Perhaps he will be
able to make that Arctic trek to the North Pole that he
had to put on hold when he came to the Senate 6 years ago.
But I know that whatever new course he chooses, he will
continue to be a strong and vital voice in improving the
lives of others.
As Robert Kennedy said:
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to
improve the lot of others, or strikes out against
injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and
crossing each other from a million different centers of
energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can
sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and
Throughout his brilliant career, Mark Dayton has sent
forth many ripples of hope, and I'm certain he'll send
forth many more in the years ahead. We'll miss you, Mark.
Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, today I wish to pay tribute
to a retiring colleague, Senator Dayton of Minnesota.
Mark Dayton has made a career of public service, in the
very best sense of the term. After graduating from
college, he taught public school in New York City and
served as a counselor to teenage runaways before returning
to Minnesota. For 20 years, he served in a variety of
positions in State government in Minnesota, from
commissioner of economic development to State auditor.
In the Senate, Mark Dayton has been an independent voice
in the tradition of our former colleague, Paul Wellstone.
He eschewed political expediency and instead relied on his
conscience in making important decisions. For example, he
agonized over his vote on the Iraq war, before ultimately
deciding to join the small minority of Senators who voted
I have worked most closely with Mark on agriculture and
other issues affecting rural Americans. Throughout his
Senate service, he has been a strong and consistent voice
on behalf of family farmers. He has helped lead the fight
for much needed disaster relief. He has opposed misguided
cuts to commodity and conservation programs. And he has
been a leader in calling for a significant expansion of
ethanol and other renewable fuels that can benefit our
rural economies and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Senator Dayton has also been a strong voice on behalf of
our troops and their families at home. He has called for
better armor and equipment. He has insisted on better care
for veterans. And he spearheaded efforts to ensure that
soldiers on leave could get all the way home to visit
their loved ones rather than simply being dropped off at
remote cities and asked to pay last-minute airfares to get
Mark Dayton has insisted on integrity and honesty in
every aspect of his public life. He has been a true
champion for Minnesota. Lucy and I wish him well as he
goes on to other ventures. ...
Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I rise today to honor the
great service of retiring Senators Paul Sarbanes, Mark
Dayton, and James Jeffords. ...
I will also express a fond farewell to Senator Dayton.
It has been an honor to serve on the Armed Services
Committee with Senator Dayton.
He has done a wonderful job for the people of Minnesota.
In his time in the Senate Senator Dayton worked hard to
live up to the legend of Senator Wellstone, to honor the
values that Senator Wellstone championed in this body.
One example: I was grateful to Senator Dayton for his
support of the Nontraditional Student Success Act, a piece
of legislation to help more people attend college while
working and raising families--to open the doors of
opportunity wider for more and more Americans.
I am grateful to Mark Dayton for his work to honor his
values, and I know he leaves this body having made the
people of Minnesota proud. ...
Finally, I also wish the very best to my Republican
colleagues who will leave the Senate at the conclusion of
this Congress. The Senate, at its best, is a body that
promotes bipartisanship, deliberation, and cooperation,
and the dedication to shared values. It has been a
privilege to work with my departing colleagues on the
other side of the aisle.
Friday, December 8, 2006
Ms. LANDRIEU. ... To all of our retiring Members, I say
thank you. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of my
State when you were needed and thank you for your service
Mr. HARKIN. ... Mr. President, I would like to follow
that up by expressing my respect and admiration for a
longtime friend of mine, my neighbor to the north, so to
speak, who is also retiring this year; that is, our
Senator from Minnesota, Mark Dayton.
Senator Dayton is a public servant in the purest sense
of that term. He did not come to the Senate 6 years ago in
search of status or celebrity or power for power's sake.
He has never sought the spotlight. He came here for one
reason: to serve the people of Minnesota and of the United
States. He has done so in a diligent, consistent, and
I especially appreciate the way Senator Dayton has
followed in the progressive tradition of Minnesota's great
Senators, Hubert Humphrey, Gene McCarthy, Fritz Mondale,
and Paul Wellstone. On issue after issue, he has fought
for working people and their families, for seniors, and
for the least fortunate among us. To take just one case in
point, no Senator has been more persistent and eloquent in
fighting to allow seniors to purchase prescription drugs
in Canada where pharmaceuticals are oftentimes less
expensive. He has donated his entire Senate salary to the
Minnesota Senior Federation to help finance trips on the
``Prescription Express'' to purchase cheaper drugs in
Canada, and he has gone to bat for seniors when they were
harassed by border agents upon their return.
To his everlasting credit, Senator Dayton voted against
a resolution effectively authorizing the war in Iraq. He
spoke out passionately against the dangers of launching
that war. He has used his seat on the Armed Services
Committee to take the administration to task for its
multiple mistakes and failures in conducting that war.
There has been a singular absence of effective oversight
of this war on the part of this Congress, but as an
individual Senator, Mark Dayton has done his best to fill
that vacuum. On the Armed Services Committee he has been
courageous and outspoken, and we will remember him for
Throughout his adult life, Mark Dayton has been devoted
to serving others and looking out for those in the shadows
of life. After graduating from Yale, he could have gone on
in the family retail business. He could have coasted on
his family's wealth, but he chose a very different course.
He chose to work as a teacher for 3 years in a pretty
tough public school on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Later
he went to work as a counselor for runaway young people,
as chief financial officer of a social service agency in
Boston, and then as a staffer to Senator Walter Mondale.
After returning home to Minnesota, he also served as the
commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Energy and
Economic Development. He was elected State auditor in
I think the first time I met Mark Dayton, I was a
Congressman in Iowa and he was running for the Senate in
Minnesota, and that was 1982. I went up to campaign for
him. I had been involved in agriculture and agricultural
endeavors, and so I went up to meet with them and met this
young guy running for the Senate. He was unsuccessful that
year--I hope not due to the fact that I went to campaign
for him. He was unsuccessful that year, but he never gave
up. He never gave up trying to find new avenues to serving
the people of Minnesota.
As I said, that culminated in him serving as the
commissioner of the Department of Energy and Economic
Development for a number of years under Governor Perpich
and then being elected in his own right as the State
auditor in 1990. Under his leadership as State auditor of
Minnesota, he did a lot to make sure that State government
was running efficiently and effectively and transparently
and making sure the auditor's office kept a check on all
the different agencies in Minnesota to make sure they were
expending the taxpayers' dollars wisely and legally and
So I was delighted when, even though in 1982 he didn't
make it to the Senate, he then made it in the year 2000.
In the last 6 years, again, as I said, Mark Dayton has
devoted himself selflessly to helping people less
fortunate in our society. His common theme has been
amplified powerfully: his passion for public service and
his commitment to looking out for others. So I have no
doubt that Mark will pursue other avenues of public
service in the years ahead.
I will miss his friendship here on the Senate floor, but
our friendship will continue. I know that in whatever
capacity he can find, he will do what he can to make
Minnesota and our country a better, fairer, and more just
place for all its citizens. I certainly wish my good
friend Mark Dayton the best in the years ahead.
Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I also will say a word about a
couple of my colleagues who are leaving, and I will be
I know we all move on at some time and that none of us
is irreplaceable. But by the same token, these colleagues
of ours who will be leaving will be missed and they will
be remembered for their great service to the Senate, to
their States, and to the United States of America.
I yield the floor.
Mr. DeWINE. ... Mr. President, I want to wish the best
to all of my fellow Senators who were defeated this fall
or who are retiring this year--Senators Frist, Santorum,
Talent, Burns, Allen, Chafee, Dayton, and Jeffords. They
are all good people and all good friends. I wish them
Mr. DODD. ... Mr. President, today I pay tribute to my
departing colleagues who have, for a time, lent their
talents, their convictions, and their hard work to this
distinguished body. I may have had my disagreements with
them, but the end of a term is a time for seeing
colleagues not simply as politicians, but as partners who
have ``toiled, and wrought, and thought with me.'' Each,
in his own way, was distinctive; and each, in his own way,
will be sorely missed. ...
I would also like to recognize Senator Mark Dayton of
Minnesota. Senator Dayton's talents have long been
apparent, whether graduating cum laude from Yale
University, starting in goal for the college hockey team,
or spending time as a teacher on the Lower East Side of
New York City. Senator Dayton has long been involved in
public service and Minnesota politics, serving on Walter
Mondale's Senate staff in the 1970s and working in the
1980s and 1990s for economic development in his home
State. Senator Dayton was elected State auditor in 1990,
serving a 4-year term fighting the misuse and theft of
public funds. In 2000, he once again entered State
politics, defeating an incumbent to win a term in the
Mark Dayton took many principled stands during his time
in the Senate, from his opposition to the Iraq War
resolution to his work to fully fund special education.
Senator Dayton was also known for his engagement with the
needs of his Minnesota constituents. He won $3 million for
a Minnesota National Guard program to provide soldiers
with postcombat counseling and support, worked to hire 148
additional patrol agents to secure the United States-
Canada border, and even donated his Senate salary to pay
for bus trips to Canada so seniors could buy cheaper
Senator Dayton chose to retire after serving out his
term, but he declared that ``everything I've worked for,
and everything I believe in, depends upon this Senate seat
remaining in the Democratic caucus in 2007.'' Senator
Dayton's wish came true when Amy Klobuchar won an election
to fill his seat; and I trust she will continue in Mark
Dayton's tradition of capable and hard-working
representation for the people of Minnesota. Senator Dayton
is returning to private life in his home State, and I wish
him all the best. ...
Mr. REID. Mr. President, the great Senator Daniel
Webster once remarked that the Senate is a place ``of
equals of men of individual honor ... and personal
He was right, and we can see what he was talking about
in the fine men the Senate is losing to retirement at the
end of this Congress: Senator Frist, Senator Sarbanes,
Senator Jeffords, and Senator Dayton.
On previous occasions, I have talked about how much I
appreciated serving with Senators Frist and Jeffords.
Today, I would like to say a few more words about Senators
Sarbanes and Dayton. ...
Mr. President, Mark Dayton has served in the Senate just
one-fifth of the time Paul Sarbanes served here. But he,
too, has made his mark. He's been a fine public servant,
and an even better friend.
Of course, Senator Dayton's service has always been
closely intertwined with that of our dear departed
colleague Paul Wellstone. Paul was a legend in our
country, but Mark has kept his legacy alive these last 4
years by fighting for the working people of Minnesota.
Mark was born in Minnesota in 1947. He graduated from
Yale University in 1969, where he majored in psychology
and played varsity hockey. Mark had many options coming
out of college, but he chose to become a teacher at a
public school on New York City's lower east side.
It was an unselfish choice, and it would not be the last
time Mark chose a path in life that put the public's
interest ahead of his own self-interest.
In 1957, after his years of teaching, Mark came to
Washington, where he worked on the staff of then-Senator
Walter Mondale. When Mondale was selected the running mate
of Jimmy Carter in 1976, Mark was there to serve.
In 1990--following jobs in the Minnesota State
government and the private sector--Mark ran for Minnesota
State auditor and won. In 2000, he came to the Senate,
where he has served ever since.
Mark is known here as a strong advocate for the people
of Minnesota. He has used his Senate salary to send
busloads of seniors to Canada for prescription drugs. He
has used his power in the Senate to help low-income
constituents get the oil they need to heat their homes.
And he has created a ``healthcare help line,'' which is
available to Minnesotans who have problems with their
Mr. President, Mark Dayton, like Paul Sarbanes, like Jim
Jeffords, like Bill Frist, will be missed.
The Senate--and our country--are better off because of
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, as Senator Mark Dayton
prepares to leave this body, I would like to share with my
colleagues a few thoughts about his service. In September,
I had the pleasure of speaking on Senator Dayton's behalf
at a dinner paying tribute to the retiring Senators, and I
ask that my remarks from that event be printed in the
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be
printed in the Record.
On the night six years ago when Minnesota voters chose
him as their 33rd Senator, Mark Dayton told the cheering
crowd: ``No matter what your political party or personal
philosophy, no matter who you voted for today or even
whether you voted at all, I'll work for you. When, next
January, I become Senator Dayton, please--call me Mark.
Because I'm your public servant. I'll work for you.''
For the past six years, Mark has kept that pledge,
because those words were not the rhetoric of a campaign;
they were a reflection of Mark's deeply-held beliefs. Mark
Dayton treats everyone--from the wealthiest to the least
fortunate--with the same sense of fairness and compassion,
and he carries himself with a humility to which we can all
aspire. Mark's lack of guile has characterized his service
here, where political calculating is an accepted reality.
When Mark came to the Senate, he brought with him a
broad range of experience. In the private sector he had
worked as a public school teacher in a challenging New
York City school; as a counselor to runaway youth; as a
chief financial officer for a non-profit group; and as
head of an investment group. In public life, he had served
as a Senate aide to Walter Mondale; as head of Minnesota's
Department of Energy and Economic Development; and as
State Auditor, among many other capacities.
That path of service to Minnesota led to his own
election to the Senate. Mark and I serve together on both
the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent
Subcommittee on Investigations. As the ranking member on
both committees, I have witnessed in Mark a Senator who is
passionately dedicated to public service. Mark reads the
long reports, he attends the dry meetings, he masters the
difficult material, and he asks the tough questions with a
disarming directness and quizzical curiosity.
On the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Mark
has been a strong voice in our hearings examining abusive
tax shelters and offshore tax havens. Mark has been a
leader on prescription drug issues, and he even donates
his Senate salary to help seniors buy prescription drugs
they could not otherwise afford. And Mark has been a great
battler on issues common to our two States, including
fighting on behalf of our steel and mining industries and
to strengthen our Northern Border.
As part of our work on the Armed Services Committee,
Mark traveled with Chairman Warner and me and six other
Senators to Iraq, where we saw firsthand Mark's deep
dedication to the men and women of our Armed Forces. After
allegations surfaced that our troops in Iraq had been
given contaminated water by a contractor, it was Mark's
insistence that led to an ongoing investigation into the
contractor's actions. And Mark has been a true champion
for our National Guard and Reserve forces, working
forcefully to ease their difficult transition back to
civilian life when their tours of duty finally end.
As Mark writes the next chapter in his own life, he can
return home to the people of his beloved Minnesota knowing
that he has served them honorably and well. Some of them
will probably insist on calling him ``Senator.'' But, for
most, this idealist with a good heart never stopped simply
We shall miss Mark Dayton and wish him well as he leaves
Mrs. HUTCHISON. ... Mr. President, I wish Senator Dayton
well as he departs from the Senate.
During his 6 years serving the citizens of Minnesota as
their Senator, I got to know Senator Dayton by working
together with him on the Committee on Rules and
Administration. I have seen firsthand Senator Dayton's
tireless efforts to protect the interests of his State.
During his political career, Senator Dayton has held
many leadership roles for Minnesota, including
commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Energy and
Economic Development, State auditor, and, most recently,
As the eldest of four children, he grew up knowing what
it meant to set a good example. I have no doubt that
Senator Dayton will continue to serve as a shining example
for his two sons.
I know that Senator Dayton's love for public service--
and for Minnesota--will remain strong in the future, and I
wish him well. ...
UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT--TRIBUTES TO RETIRING SENATORS
Mr. FRIST. I ask unanimous consent that the tributes to
retiring Senators be printed as a Senate document and that
Senators be permitted to submit tributes until December
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Mr. STEVENS. ... Mr. President, Senator Mark Dayton's
path to the Senate was marked by years spent in service to
others. As a teacher, a counselor to troubled children,
and then as an administrator of a Boston social service
agency, Mark has long fought for those less fortunate--and
his service in the Senate reflects this commitment.
It was my pleasure to travel to China with him this past
August for meetings with the U.S.-China Interparliamentary
Group. He was a fine addition to our bipartisan
delegation. During those meetings he brought a unique
insight and perspective to many issues.
I commend Senator Mark Dayton on his public service to
the people of Minnesota. Catherine and I wish him the best
in the years ahead.