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Mayo allies take heat back in South Dakota

From staff reports

WASHINGTON -- Mayo Clinic's high-profile South Dakota allies in its fight with the Dakota, Minnesota &; Eastern Railroad are not helping their images back home, the Sioux Fall Argus Leader recently reported.

Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Bill Janklow, the state's former House representative and governor, have joined Mayo in its effort to stop more DM&E; train traffic through downtown Rochester. Yet they've earned criticism from some of South Dakota's biggest business names for potentially blocking the DM&E's; $6 billion upgrade project, one that could mean an economic boost to the state.

Wall Drug president Ted Hustead was succinct: "Why would they go to work for an entity that is opposed to the biggest economic opportunity in the state's history?" he told the paper. Others critical of the pair included the presidents of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and South Dakota Farm Bureau.

Daschle joined the Mayo board earlier this year, and Janklow was hired as a lobbyist soon after that. Daschle told the paper in an e-mailed comment that he supports the overall DM&E; project, but it should not jeopardize Mayo's Rochester campus. Janklow declined comment.

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"I don't talk to the Argus Leader," he told the paper.

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