Fairview and Sanford CEOs: (Unintelligible whispers)
(Stage lights come on)
Minnesota Attorney General : Hey guys, I heard you’re talking about a merger that impacts lots of Minnesotans. What’s in it for them?
Sanford CEO: It’s our destiny to be big and go east.
Fairview CEO: Mumble, mumble, the talks are only in the early stages.
Minnesota Attorney General: But what’s in it for Minnesotans? They paid for that University Medical Center.
Sanford: We’re not feeling welcome. I declare these merger negotiations over.
(Curtain falls abruptly)
[Joe Loveland, "Sanford CEO Needs to Look in the Mirror," Wry Wing Politics, 2013.04.11]
Loveland isn't razzing Sanford boss Kelby Krabbenhoft out of anti-merger fervor or Minne-xenophobia (a term from another Loveland post on the Sanford-Fairview merger). He just wanted to learn more... and thinks Krabbenhoft botched the PR that could have educated and won over Minnesotans and their duly vigilant attorney general:
I’m disappointed that the drama ended the way it did. Like many Minnesotans I had concerns, but I also had interest. I wanted to see if there was a way a merger could improve things for Minnesota patients and taxpayers. But Mr. Krabbenhoft didn’t appear to be interested in engaging in that topic.
...Rather than blaming Attorney General Swanson, Mr. Krabbenhoft should look in the mirror, because his public relations and government relations was embarrassingly bad. That, not Attorney General Swanson, is the biggest reason why these merger talks never went far enough to be able to fairly evaluated [Loveland, 2013.04.11].
Dang: building your business in a state that demonizes openness and regulation can blind you to the expectations that sensible citizens in other states may have for your expanding operations.