Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the DFL category.

Categories

Archive for the ‘DFL’ Category

Anyone that thinks that the Minnesota Department of Human Services crisis will soon be a thing of the past is either delusional or they didn’t see Jodi Harpstead’s opening interview on Almanac Friday night. Fortunately for those that want to be well-informed but were otherwise detained, I DVRed the interview. This is that interview:

The first thing that Ms. Harpstead said is “Well, what I know first is that the people at the Department of Human Services are the same sort of caring and competent people that I work with at Lutheran Social Services.” When I think of Lutheran Social Services, aka LSS, caring and competent aren’t part of the list of nouns and adjectives I’d use to describe LSS. Unless there’s divine intervention at LSS and HHS, those words won’t become part of my list of nouns and adjectives describing those organizations.

When Eric Eskola asked Ms. Harpstead where the problem areas existed, Ms. Harpstead replied “Yeah, well, this year, there’s been a lot of change, a lot of public change, there’s been some morale issues and we need to get to work on all of that. When asked what was the first things she’d dive into, Ms. Harpstead replied “Well, the very first thing that I hope to bring is calm and healing and rebuilding teamwork among the people in the Department. They’ve been through a lot this year and they need to have a lot of that settle down so they can get back to their good and effective work.”

Notice that Ms. Harpstead didn’t mention a word about eliminating the corruption or fraud that Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles found. With Ms. Harpstead, it’s all about restoring morale to the workers. Up to this point in the interview, she hasn’t mentioned a word about eliminating the fraud and corruption identified within HHS. Pay attention to Ms. Harpstead’s underlying message. Hint: It doesn’t have anything to do with eliminating fraud or corruption.

Further, insisting that HHS has done “good and effective work” is like insisting that the Titanic didn’t sink that fast. Here’s more from the interview:

They’ve been through a lot this year. They’ve been through a lot of public scrutiny. There’s been all kinds of comments made about their work and we need to get past that and get back to the good work that they do. When asked about how she’ll deal with the “pretty low threshold” in terms of credibility, Ms. Harpstead replied “Well, first of all, I’d say that low credibility — I appreciate what you’re saying — has not been my experience working with the Department of Human Services and so I think we need to get in there and settle things down, get back to work and do the good work that the Department has always done and yet we still have to solve some of the problems that are there, move on from there and have the Department get back to the work it does.”

Later, Ms. Harpstead said that “The Department needs some space, though, to regroup and rebuild its teamwork to get back to its good work.” Please, someone on the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee that she isn’t walking into a smooth-running department with a reputation for integrity and excellence. She’s walking into a department in turmoil that’s known for “rampant fraud”, corruption and arrogance. They haven’t gotten this reputation by accident. They’ve earned this reputation.

Based on Ms. Harpstead’s statements, she seems oblivious to the things that need fixing. If she maintains that attitude, this crisis will get worse.

The forever-indispensable Harold Hamilton, aka Minnesota Watchdog, provided a ‘history lesson’ of sorts on HHS’s failings in his most recent commentary. In his commentary, Hamilton noted the following:

  1. October 2013: MNsure (Obamacare) web site launch failure. Ultimately, the web site would cost $190 million to get up and running.
  2. January 2016: A failure to properly determine eligibility for various programs results in at least $271 million in improper benefits being paid.
  3. July 2017: $7.7 million in fraudulent Medicaid payments discovered.
  4. April 2018: DHS writes off over $30 million in Minnesota Care premiums because of software problems.
  5. May 2018: The OLA reports significant problems with oversight of the DHS Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP). OLA noted, “DHS did not implement sufficient program integrity controls for licensing childcare providers and lacked some key controls to identify errors and to inhibit, track, and recover improper payments.”
  6. July 2018: Data breach at DHS exposes the personal data of 21,000 citizens.
  7. September 2018: Data breach at DHS exposes the personal data of 3,000 citizens.
  8. April 2019: Data breach at DHS exposes the personal data of 11,000 citizens.
  9. June 2019: Medical director at DHS demands more agency accountability measures – gets fired.
  10. July 2019: After placing the DHS Inspector General on investigatory leave, it’s revealed that the investigation has yet to even begin.
  11. July 2019: Top deputies resign.
  12. July 2019: DHS commissioner resigns after only months on the job.
  13. August 2019: DHS overpays two Indian tribes over $25 million, OLA starts investigation.

Think about all those crises. Then think about who was the person in charge of either the oversight of HHS or in charge of running HHS itself. The man’s name is Tony Lourey. First, he co-wrote the bill that created MNsure. Then he ignored the warning signs that the website wouldn’t run properly when it went live. Then he ignored Michelle Benson’s criticisms that MNsure needed legitimate oversight.

Meanwhile, the Dayton administration kept ignoring data breaches, most likely because they didn’t have the expertise required to fix these problems. In light of the Democrats’ failings, why should we have faith that the Department will suddenly get run smoothly? The truth is that the Party of Big Government, aka the DFL, aka Democrats, have a lengthy history of failing Minnesota’s taxpayers in terms of running government properly.

To be blunt, Tim Walz and Mark Dayton have failed the people. The people shouldn’t have trusted them whatsoever. Let’s forget their public personas. Let’s focus on their ineptitude instead. Let’s look at their handling of budget negotiations, too.

Dayton either shut down the government or he required a special session in 3 of his 4 budget sessions. In one of his budget sessions, he negotiated an entire week with Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. They couldn’t reach a deal. The final Friday of the session, they sat down and put together a bipartisan budget deal in less than an hour. Then Dayton rejected it, taking the legislature into special session.

This year, Gov. Tim Walz insisted on a $12,000,000,000 tax increase over 4 years despite the fact that his own MMB director said that the state had a massive balance in the state’s Rainy Day Fund and that we were projected to run a surplus in excess of $1,000,000,000. Gov. Walz and the DFL House still insisted on the tax increase after it was announced that revenues were coming in faster than projected. Paul Gazelka ended the argument with this great chart:

Let’s be blunt about this. The DFL has caused one budget disaster after another. Even when money is pouring in, the DFL has insisted on taking a higher percentage of your paycheck. Once the GOP has forced some sensibility into the budgeting process and the budget is signed into law, Gov. Walz and the DFL insist on running 1 fraud-riddled program after another.

To top this off, the DFL specializes in thwarting transparency. Gov. Walz even picked an anti-transparency expert to run the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services, the most anti-transparency and fraud-riddled department in the state.

What part of this suggests competence? What part of this suggests that the DFL approves of transparency? Here’s a hint: none of this suggests that the DFL is competent. None of this information suggests that the DFL approves of transparency.

Tim Walz’s campaign slogan of #OneMinnesota turned into a lie. It didn’t take long for Transparency Tim to turn into Cover-up Tim. It took less than 9 months.

When Tony Lourey resigned in disgrace, he left without an explanation. Earlier, when Lourey’s deputy commissioners left, they left without explanation. When the Department of Human Services improperly sent $25,000,000 to the White Earth and Leech Lake Indian reservations, the Walz administration was as silent as a mime.

Instead, the DFL is attempting to spin its way out of difficulty this way:


This spin just says that there are some important programs within Human Services. It doesn’t prove that those programs/departments are well-run or transparent. Why should I trust people that haven’t given me a reason to trust them? In fact, I’d argue that the DFL and the Walz administration hasn’t just not given me a reason not to trust them but it’s also true that the DFL and the Walz administration have given me tons of reasons not to trust them.

In my estimation, Democrats are both corrupt and inept. Jim Nobles, Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor, stated in a post-investigation report that corruption was “rampant.” Also, Gov. Dayton was easily the most inept governor in Minnesota history. By comparison, Jesse Ventura looked positively Reaganesque. Between Gov. Dayton and Gov. Walz, we’ve received the worst of both worlds.

Why hasn’t Gov. Walz investigated Carolyn Ham? What’s happening there is unacceptable. If that happened in the private sector, Ham would’ve been fired months ago. Ham has collected more than $42,000 since being put on paid leave pending an investigation. It’s noteworthy that the investigation was supposed to start more than 4 months ago. It still hasn’t started.

It sounds to me like Gov. Walz doesn’t want this investigation to happen. If he wanted it to happen, they likely could’ve gotten most of it done by now. It’s apparent that Gov. Walz’s rhetoric about transparency was just talk. His talk hasn’t translated into action. Without the investigation, the problem just persists.

I’m pretty confident that taxpayers want solutions, not excuses. To use a Texas saying, thus far, Gov. Walz has been all hat and no cattle. To steal a cliché from an ancient Wendy’s commercial:

Anyone that thinks that Ken Martin, the DFL State Party Chairman, is controlling his faculties is kidding themselves. Either that or they’re part of the Twin Cities media. Matt Dean retweeted Martin’s diatribe. After reading Martin’s diatribe, it’s difficult to think that he isn’t a lunatic. Read Martin’s statement, then tell me he doesn’t sound like he’s leading the DFL off a cliff:


Yikes! Reading his diatribe, I count too many lies to count. For instance, Martin insists that President Trump is “destroying this country.” Seriously? Martin apparently hates prosperity because this is the best economy of my lifetime.

Further, Martin ranted this:

The occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, has through his words and actions, given rise to hate speech and violence throughout this country- he is a White nationalist, racist, homophobic, zenophobe [sic], who is destroying our country.

That’s a lengthy list of accusations. Notice that Martin, or any other DFL politician for that matter, hasn’t offered even a tiny morsel of proof to substantiate this wild-eyed diatribe.

That isn’t to say there’s nothing noteworthy in Martin’s diatribe. Martin hasn’t figured this out but it’s what’s actually wrong:

If these shootings were perpetrated by black or brown men, you could bet would have acted by now. However, it seems that our leaders are ok not acting because white people killing people from marginalized communities.

Martin just accused the entire Republican Party of being racist. In his attempt to score political points for the DFL, he threw 40+ percent of Minnesotans under the bus. What a disgusting little man.


Good question, Matt. I didn’t know that it had become acceptable. That being said, I agree with you that the Twin Cities media will fall all over themselves attempting to protect the DFL chairman’s reckless remarks. In fact, a quick Google news search on Martin’s name for the past week shows zero results. It doesn’t get much more silent than zero coverage.

I didn’t realize just how much Gov. Tim Walz had bought into the DFL’s anti-mining agenda until now. According to this article, Gov. Walz has gone the full Al Gore on environmental stupidity.

Awhile back, Gore was in town for “the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training at the Minneapolis Convention Center.” Gore said Walz is helping Minnesota change the energy landscape, saying “What’s happening here in Minnesota represents some of the best of what’s happening all across the country. If Washington is not going to lead, Minnesota will.”

The ‘leadership’ that Vice President Gore is talking about is anything but leadership. It’s Democrat stupidity running rampant. During his presentation, Gov. Walz was interrupted by protesters who oppose the Line 3 Pipeline. When they were shut down, Gov. Walz tried winning their trust. Check out the video in this tweet:


Check this out:

Walz said even a head of state has to work in concert with lawmakers — and Minnesota is the only state in the nation where control of the legislature is divided. “We want to move to a totally carbon-free Minnesota,” said Walz, noting that the Republican-controlled state Senate has refused to hear a DFL-led climate bill modeled after aggressive plans in California and Hawaii. “We don’t have the Senate.”

Gov. Walz’s betrayal of his southern Minnesota farming roots is complete. He’s wholly owned by the environmentalist wing of the DFL. Long ago, the DFL sold out totally to the environmentalists. Further, the DFL doesn’t deserve its name because the Democratic-Farmer-Laborer Party has become the party of socialists. The DFL has abandoned farmers and laborers.

It’s impossible to picture a farm in a carbon-free environment. The protesters that interrupted Gov. Walz’s speech are protesting the Line 3 Pipeline. The DFL has already tried stopping the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. They stopped the Sandpiper Pipeline project. If they won’t support those types of projects, how can the DFL credibly call themselves pro-labor?

California’s once-great agricultural land is virtually worthless. They’re blaming it on climate change but it’s mostly attributable to foolish policies pushed by environmental activists. The last thing that Minnesota should want is to become a cold California. That isn’t anything that any state should aspire to. California is quickly becoming the capitol of homelessness, illegal immigration and rat infestation.

Tim Walz isn’t from southern Minnesota anymore. He isn’t pro-farmer. He isn’t pro-gun rights anymore. He’s quickly becoming the most progressive governor in Minnesota history.

The sellout is complete.

Rep. Nick Zerwas has had it with the DFL’s unseriousness about rampant fraud at the Department of Human Services.

Rep. Zerwas issued this statement to highlight yet another case of uncaught fraud:

Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, who serves on the House HHS Finance Division and has been outspoken on the issue of waste, fraud, and abuse at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), issued the following statement regarding this morning’s Pioneer Press report that DHS overpaid the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the White Earth Nation by $25 million for Medicaid services. Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles will be soon opening an investigation into the overpayments. According to a statement from Governor Walz, the overpayment issue had been occurring for five years.

“Republicans have been sounding the alarm about waste, fraud, and abuse across DHS for years—this is an agency that seems to have a blatant disregard for taxpayer dollars, and is simply not doing enough to stop activity that is costing taxpayers tens of millions each year,” Zerwas said. “It’s time for House Democrats to stop ignoring the turmoil at DHS, hold hearings, and get answers to the questions we all have about Minnesota’s largest state agency.”

All 55 members of the House Republican Caucus sent a letter earlier this week to House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, requesting hearings on the leadership shakeup at DHS.

It’s apparent that Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman haven’t taken this expanding scandal seriously. Jim Nobles has already issued a report that highlights rampant fraud within DHS. Apparently, he’ll soon be starting another investigation into this scandal.

At what point will the DFL, Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman put a higher priority on fixing this mess than they’re putting on playing CYA? Gov. Walz ran on the slogan of One Minnesota. Apparently, if you’re part of the government, he’ll fight for you and protect you. If you’re a taxpayer, Gov. Walz will let your hard-earned taxes get stolen by government grifters. Doesn’t it feel great to know that this administration protects cronies while shafting taxpayers?

This is just the latest incident where cheating was exposed. Nobles’ report is filled with other examples of fraud that weren’t detected until well after the fraud was committed.

This is just proof that the Party of Big Government, aka the DFL, is also the Party of Unlimited Slush Funds to their special interest allies. The DFL has proven that they just can’t be bothered with governing with integrity.

After the Metro DFL’s attempt to rewrite the mining permitting process, Iron Range politicians banded together to fire back at the anti-mining DFL politicians, even producing this factsheet to refute the Metro DFL’s lies.

John Marty, the crusading DFL legislator who never misses an opportunity to control other people’s lives, insists that PolyMet’s permits should be pulled because PolyMet’s parent company had a problem in South America. What Sen. Marty and other DFL legislators are attempting to do is rewrite permitting laws without going through the legislative process. These DFL politicians hope that they can talk Gov. Walz into ignoring existing state laws. But I digress. Onto the Iron Range factsheet:

The claims by metro legislators and anti-mining groups about PolyMet Mining are downright fabrications. It is very disappointing that people don’t know or don’t care what our strong rules and regulations require, and that the media continues to perpetuate the misinformation. The people of the Iron Range deserve better. The people of the state of Minnesota deserve better. There is no scandal. The agencies have done their jobs. The letter of the law was followed to a “T”. Enough of the fake news already. Here are the facts:

Fact: Our DNR required PolyMet Mining to post bankruptcy proof of financial assurance (only accessible by the DNR) before they even issued PolyMet’s permit to mine. It doesn’t matter who or what the ownership looks like the resources needed to close the mine if the company went bankrupt are currently in place and only the state can release the funds.

The Metro DFL is trying to relitigate this issue without the courts. If he had a spine, Gov. Walz would tell these busybody activists to take flying leap off a tall building. Thus far, Gov. Walz has shown he doesn’t have a spine. He’s got a spine of jello.

Fact: PolyMet has undergone the most thorough and transparent environmental review and permitting process more than any other project ever in our state. Extra-long public review periods, with thousands of public comments, all of which were responded to, and extra meetings were held around the state including the Twin Cities. When was the last time a project in the Twin Cities was required to hold public meetings on the Iron Range?

The Metro DFL doesn’t care about the Iron Range. They don’t care about Minnesota’s economy, either. Based on their actions, they only care about obstructing commerce.

The thing that the Twin Cities media doesn’t cover is that the Metro DFL doesn’t just care about regulating mining. They want to turn Minnesota into a regulation state. Here are the legislators who signed onto the factsheet:

One of the things that businesses should count on is that they shouldn’t have their projects shelved if they follow the rules. Apparently, that isn’t good enough for the anti-mining DFL. According to this Strib article, far outside-the-mainstream DFL politicians want PolyMet’s permits stopped:

Democratic lawmakers are calling for Gov. Tim Walz to suspend all state permits for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota, saying the state needs assurances “that the permits were not rigged.”

It’s the first move by lawmakers following recent disclosures about how state and federal regulators handled a crucial wastewater permit for PolyMet, which would be the state’s first hard-rock mine. Three inquiries into that episode are underway. Sen. John Marty, the Roseville Democrat leading the effort, said lawmakers were also motivated by Glencore’s recent purchase of PolyMet Mining Corp. and the catastrophic failure earlier in the year of an iron ore mine tailings dam in Brazil, a facility with a similar design to the tailings dam PolyMet would use.

Democrats have fought against PolyMet permitting since it started. This is just their latest attempt to halt the PolyMet project. It’s also the DFL’s latest attempt to keep Iron Rangers poor.

It’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care whether those living on the Iron Range live in poverty. If the DFL cared about people living in poverty, they would’ve helped get PolyMet permitted years ago.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, called the letter an “ideological attack.” “It’s disappointing that Metro Democrats are spreading misleading and false information about the environmental review process in an effort to derail this project and its tremendous benefits for Minnesota jobs and Minnesota’s economy,” Daudt said in a statement. “PolyMet is the most thoroughly reviewed industrial project in Minnesota history and has been going through the environmental review process for 14 years.”

When companies follow the state’s laws and the permits are issued, companies should be able to rely on that as a matter of good faith. Sen. Marty’s attempt to throw extra-legal steps into the process would make him an authoritarian. If Sen. Marty wants a stiffer set of regulations, then he should be required to follow the regular legislative procedure. If the rules can get changed by politicians without legislation or without a hearing, then there isn’t a true rule of law.

Then again, if Sen. Marty and the DFL is willing to ignore state law in their attempt to kill a properly permitted project, there’s no reason to think that they’ll follow routine procedures. This is Metrocrat machine politics at its worst.

Friday night, Almanac’s political panel included Republicans Brian McDaniel and Fritz Knaak and Democrats Javier Morillo-Alicea (from the SEIU) and Kenza Hadj-Moussa of TakeAction Minnesota. A healthy portion of the discussion centered on President Trump’s statement at the rally in Greenville, NC, and whether he’s an authoritarian. While nobody attempted to defend the chant that arose from the arena, Morillo-Alicea tried making the point that Lindsey Graham’s statement the next day, to Mr. Alicea, smacked of “authoritarianism.”

During the discussion, Kenza Hadj- Moussa insisted that Rep. Omar, if that’s her real name, has a message “of hope.” That sounds like the statement that TakeAction Minnesota issued on Rep. Omar’s behalf. In that statement, here’s what they said, in part:

Either we stand together with unbreakable solidarity across race, class, gender and geography, and rise up to meet the challenges we all face. Or we allow hatred and cruelty to win the day.

Silence isn’t an option. We choose love, courage, and solidarity. Like Congresswoman Omar.

When Rep. Omar co-sponsors a resolution that would significantly hurt the Jewish people, is that an example of loving one’s neighbors? When she makes one anti-Semitic remark after another, is that another example of loving one’s neighbors? When she belongs to a group of women that accuses Nancy Pelosi of being a racist, I’m fairly certain we’re talking about bigoted people. Bigots aren’t capable of being loving, courageous people. TakeAction Minnesota’s statement is more myth than factual.

You can watch all of the DFL’s ridiculous statements in this video:

I was surprised beyond belief that Javier Morillo-Alicea accused Lindsey Graham of speaking like an authoritarian. That isn’t a stretch. That’s just outright BS.

Finally, TakeAction Minnesota organized Friday’s staged triumphal rally for Omar. The Twin Cities media covered it like it was spontaneous. It was staged. Go figure.

Last night, the Democrat politicians in St. Louis Park voted to restore the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance before City Council meetings. In so doing, the Council officially recognized that reciting the Pledge was patriotic and inclusive.

Actually, that isn’t what they said. “At-Large Council Member Thom Miller, who introduced the amendment, said…the harassment from nonresidents was too much. “To be perfectly clear, I fully support the change we made in June to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from our standard meeting agenda.” Nonetheless, he voted to restore the reciting of the Pledge. Did he just say that he’s just another spineless politician? I think so.

What needs to be remembered is how this got started. This started with a terribly flawed process. No notice was given that this rule change was going to be voted on. In fact, citizens weren’t allowed to testify on the issue. That being said, the process was intentional. The City Council intended for citizens to not be able to testify. The last thing they wanted was for a bunch of uppity peasants to raise a ruckus. Like Rep. Omar, the St. Louis Park City Council thinks that they’re the citizens’ betters.

They aren’t the citizens’ betters. They’re just a bunch of arrogant politicians. Rep. Ryan Winkler, the House Majority Leader, is a total lightweight and a charlatan. He’s from Golden Valley. In the summer of 2017, Rep. Winkler criticized the Supreme Court for its opinion on the Voting Rights Act, saying “VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas.” When he was called on his usage of a nasty racist term, Winkler insisted that he didn’t know that Uncle Thomas was a racist term. At the time, I did a little digging into Winkler’s educational background. It turns out that Winkler graduated with a degree in History from Harvard. But I digress. Back to St. Louis Park.

The mayor, Jake Spano, missed the vote but issued a statement on the vote. He said that he wouldn’t have supported the rule change. That’s easy after the fact. Others were less diplomatic:

Ward 1 Council Member Margaret Rog echoed Miller’s sentiments, stating the feedback she’d gotten from residents had been “thoughtful and respectful” but that the same could not be said for those not from the city. “We don’t need to be at the epicenter of a manufactured standoff of what it means to be a good American,” she said, directing her message to St. Louis Park residents. “This circus needs to end.”

Stop making major decisions without asking for the citizens’ input next time. Had the City Council invited testimony before they voted, it’s likely they wouldn’t have made this mistake. Anne Mavity spoke out, too:

Anne Mavity, the councilwoman who proposed the original measure, remained defiant — even as she reversed her vote — and addressed the council’s critics. “I’m not sure that if you say the pledge three times a month instead of this two, you’re more patriotic,” Mavity said. “Or if you say it one time a month you’re less patriotic. That makes no sense.”

Defiant is exactly the right word. Mavity doesn’t care about the uppity peasants. That’s why she doesn’t understand them.

This is a fight over retaining one of the richest institutions of the United States. What other pledge states as a national goal “liberty and justice for all“? In Somalia, Ilhan Omar’s nation of origin, I’m betting that they’d be satisfied with liberty and justice once in awhile. By stating that each person is committed to liberty and justice for all, people are stating emphatically that our national goal soars high above our nation.

That’s why people want to come here. Yes, they enjoy the economic mobility, too, but most people fleeing their nations are fleeing nations where the laws are determined by dictators on a minute-by-minute basis.

That’s why it’s beyond odd that people want to eliminate the Pledge.