More folks are beginning to dig into Keith Dixon’s past. I’d heard a rumor that one of the reasons that the Minnesota Dept. of Education approved the Red Plan was because Dixon threatened to sue the poor bureaucrats if they didn’t. The MDE knew the plan’s magnitude, its fiscal arrangement and the non vote was unorthodox to say the least. They kept telling Let Duluth Vote to hire lawyers because they, the staff, wouldn’t offer opinions about the legality of the Red Plan. Oh, they did tell us that the District had very smart lawyers. Its obvious that they didn’t want to fight Dr. Dixon’s lawyers in court.
Certainly when the Red Plan was challenged by Rep. Mike Jaros in the legislature last spring JCI was quick to hire a big shot GOP lobbyist to win Governor Pawlenty over to help quash a referendum.
A Faribault school board member told me that they once observed the current MDE Commissioner Alice Seagren visibly recoiled when seeing Dr. Dixon. This Board member wondered what that was all about. It turns out that the smooth talking Dixon, called the “Silver Fox” in Faribault by his detractors, met Alice as early as June of 2000 when they along with former Governor Arne Carlson testified before a Congressional Hearing about “school choice.” Alice was a GOP member of the House Education Committee at the time. That’s the sort of contact a school superintendent would be eager to cultivate.