Letter to the editor: Dotseth dropped ball


June 30, 2023

Unsurprisingly, Republican leadership has weighed in to make excuses for Rep. Jeff Dotseth’s legislative failures regarding funding for the female offenders program included in the Carlton County Justice Center (Pine Knot, June 9, 2023). Rep. Urdahl was quick to gloss over the fact that Dotseth was late to the table with the required legislative ask for funds. He waited all the way until March 23 to introduce the bill, at which point the legislative session was well beyond halfway over.

Thanks to the diligence and persistence of Carlton County staff in pursuing the option of having Rep. Lislegard champion the cause for the necessary funding, the impact on local property taxes will be minimal. Despite the bill earning a broad bipartisan vote in the House, Rep. Dotseth appears to have lost credibility within the legislature by voting against the Capital Investment packages when they came up for the first vote. It’s fair to wonder: Did partisan or political ideologies prevent our representative from protecting the interests of Carlton County taxpayers?

Last year, the Minnesota House did in fact vote for the funding, but it was rejected by the Republican-dominated Senate. I’m grateful to the DFL majority in that chamber for their support this year. I’m equally grateful for the guidance and support of House Speaker Rep. Melissa Hortman in helping protect the interests of Carlton County taxpayers.

Let’s keep in mind who made the legislative mess while thanking those who did the hard work of cleaning it up. Rep. Dotseth clearly dropped the ball. Thankfully, Carlton County staff, commissioners, House leadership, and Rep. Lislegard all picked up the ball and ran with it, and prevailed for Carlton County residents.

Mike Sundin,



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