Archive for the ‘Cronyism’ Category
This Strib article is an excellent piece of reporting in that it explains what the Met Council is:
“It’s not about simply griping about allocation of transportation or parks money or housing in any given particular funding cycle,” said Dakota County Commissioner Chris Gerlach.
“We look at it and say, there is a fundamental problem with the way the Met Council functions. You think it’s one thing, but it’s really not,” Gerlach said. “You think that a Met Council is made up of 16 individuals and a chair appointed by various districts and therefore you have a diverse group that is going to advocate for the region. It’s not that at all. What it is, it’s a state agency.”
I can’t disagree with Gerlach’s statement. The Council is appointed by the governor. Political appointees don’t work on the behalf of these counties. In this instance, they work for Gov. Dayton and the DFL’s special interests. The Met Council either needs to be changed or gotten rid of.
Counties still aren’t happy, though. Four years ago, they were angry enough to take their case to the Transportation Department, which eventually affirmed, via a letter, that the current makeup is legal. That 2011 letter is still used by the Met Council to justify its decisionmaking process.
Changing the Met Council’s board would require a change in state statute; several proposals pending in the Legislature would examine the issue. The way the Met Council operates is extremely rare: A 2010 report paid for by the Federal Highway Administration found that 94 percent of organizations like the Met Council are made up of elected officials.
A government agency that doesn’t answer to the people is unaccountable. I wouldn’t trust them.
Of course, Gov. Dayton is upset because he didn’t pay attention to what’s happening:
Quarrels between cities and suburbs about how to spend public dollars are as old as the cities and suburbs themselves. But the decision by the four counties to hire a federal lobbyist, before checking with the governor, is viewed by Dayton as a nuclear option.
“It’s really, really reprehensible on their part to be sneaking off to Washington behind the back of, I don’t know if the people on the Met Council were aware of it, but at least behind my back,” Dayton said. “And then come to the state of Minnesota for funding for their projects and the like? If we have a disagreement within our family, then the place to resolve that is within our family. To go out to Washington behind our backs and trash our situation here in Minnesota, and denigrate Minnesota in front of federal authorities, and try to turn the federal government against Minnesota is really, really irresponsible. I’m appalled to just learn this.”
First off, this isn’t just a fight “within our family”:
WASHINGTON – Four suburban Twin Cities counties say they are agitated with the way the Metropolitan Council is making decisions and have hired a federal lobbyist in hopes of gutting the regional planning organization’s appointed board of directors. The lobbyist, who represents Anoka, Carver, Scott and Dakota counties, will work to make the case to the U.S. Department of Transportation that the Met Council, the seven-county regional agency whose 17 members are appointees of Gov. Mark Dayton, is violating a federal rule by distributing more than $660 million a year without appropriate input from elected officials.
Secondly, it isn’t these counties’ fault that Gov. Dayton is frequently asleep at the switch. It’s time to either restructure the Met Council or tear it all down.
The past 4 years have provided Minnesotans plenty of proof that the DFL is the party of corruption. Simply put, the DFL will do anything to increase or regain political power. During the 2012 campaign, 13 DFL state senate candidates coordinated their advertising campaigns with the DFL Senate Campaign Committee, which is illegal. Republicans filed a complaint about the DFL’s campaign committee hijinks. The end result was the DFL Senate Campaign Committee getting fined $100,000, the biggest fine in Minnesota campaign history.
Unfortunately, 11 of those 13 DFL state senate candidates won their election. In essence, these politicians bought their senate seats. Rather than apologize for their unethical actions, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin characterized the incident as a nuisance before declaring the need to get back to governing. That makes sense in Chairman Martin’s world because this was just a financial transaction to him.
DFL State Sen. Jeff Hayden is tangled up in multiple messes, starting with the corruption that shut down Community Action of Minneapolis. He’s also had ethics charges filed against him for pushing the Minneapolis school board into funding a program run by his friends and associates.
I’m not surprised. The DFL is as interested in providing oversight of their political allies’ nonprofits as Hillary is interested in turning over Bill’s email server.
During the final days of the 2013 session, hundreds of in-home child care providers of all political persuasions descended on the Capitol to tell the DFL not to pass the forced unionization bill. Mike Nelson and the DFL waged war on these women, essentially telling them that they knew what was best. On June 30, 2014, the US Supreme Court told Mike Nelson and the DFL that their legislation was unconstitutional.
Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME didn’t care about the Constitution. They didn’t care that private employers weren’t public employees. Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME just deemed private small business owners public employees. That’s because their first concern was accumulating political power. That’s why the DFL sided with the special interests. That’s why the DFL didn’t pay attention to women they simply disagreed with. They only cared about their big money benefactors.
The DFL’s cronyism knows no limits. Senate Minority Leader Hann’s op-ed shows how invested the DFL is in special interests:
Dayton recently awarded his commissioners salary increases as large as $30,000 each. He gave the chair of the Met Council an $86,000 increase, and the beneficiary just happens to be married to the governor’s chief of staff. One of Dayton’s deputy chiefs is married to a top official at Education Minnesota, the teachers union. Another Dayton staffer is married to the chair of the DFL Party.
Why should I believe that the DFL is the party of the little guy? The DFL sold out Iron Range families in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from environmental activists. The DFL sold out in-home child care providers in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from public employee unions.
Worst of all, Gov. Dayton’s administration is filled with the DFL’s biggest special interest allies.
Elizabeth Warren loves telling her audiences that the game is rigged. She’s right and she’s wrong. She insists that it’s rigged by Wall Street fat cats. The truth is that it’s rigged by the Democrats’ special interest allies. The truth is that Big Government is just as corrupt as Wall Street.
Technorati: Jeff Hayden, Community Action, Mike Nelson, AFSCME Council 5, DFL Senate Campaign Committee, Campaign Coordination, Special Interests, Education Minnesota, Environmental Activists, Met Council, Ken Martin, DFL Culture of Corruption, Election 2012, Campaign Finance Disclosure Board
Senate Minority Leader David Hann’s op-ed highlights the DFL’s culture of corruption and incestuousness. First, there’s this pattern of DFL corruption:
- The DFL Senate campaign committee was fined $100,000 last year for cheating with 13 DFL Senate candidates during the 2012 election.
- The DFL Legislature, with Dayton’s signature, spent $90 million on an unnecessary new office building, bypassing the normal process and allowing no public hearings.
- DFL Sens. Jeff Hayden and Bobby Joe Champion were accused of bullying the Minneapolis school board into funding a program run by their friends and associates. Hayden is also the subject of an ongoing ethics complaint that he received free trips and other inappropriate perks while serving as a board member for Community Action of Minneapolis, a government-funded nonprofit.
- DFL Sen. David Tomassoni attempted to take a job as a lobbyist for the Iron Range city association, even though he is a sitting senator representing part of the Iron Range.
- The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) was exposed for underwriting a business whose main client was Dollars for Democrats, an organization set up to help Democratic politicians win elections.
- Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman refused to investigate the misuse of public funds at Community Action of Minneapolis because of “political” concerns surrounding the executive director of the organization and his financial support for Dayton. By the way, Rothman used to be the treasurer of the DFL Party.
Apparently, there’s no definition for conflict-of-interest in the DFL’s dictionaries. Then there’s the incestuous nature of the Dayton administration:
Dayton recently awarded his commissioners salary increases as large as $30,000 each. He gave the chair of the Met Council an $86,000 increase — and the beneficiary just happens to be married to the governor’s chief of staff. One of Dayton’s deputy chiefs is married to a top official at Education Minnesota, the teachers union. Another Dayton staffer is married to the chair of the DFL Party.
Apparently, the DFL in Minnesota doesn’t think government of, by and for the people is worthwhile. It’s clear from the Dayton administration’s incestuousness that the DFL believes in government of, by and for their special interest allies. Why should Minnesotans living in Lindstrom, Little Falls and Litchfield think that the Dayton administration’s budget prioritizes their needs. Minnesotans living in Wadena, Willmar and Winona shouldn’t think that the Dayton-DFL budget puts a priority on their needs.
There’s plenty of proof that there’s plenty of plundering happening in St. Paul and Minneapolis. With the exception of David Tomassoni, all the other corrupt DFLers are from the Twin Cities. That’s because they’re the metrocentric party of corruption.
Gov. Dayton, the DFL and their allies are doing everything they can to rationalize Gov. Dayton’s decision to dramatically increase his commissioners’ pay:
Members of Gov. Mark Dayton’s Cabinet are getting raises of tens of thousands of dollars, a move the Democrat says is necessary to “keep and attract” the best candidates to the jobs. The pay hikes range between 19 percent and 58 percent, WCCO-TV reported Thursday. Lawmakers were notified of the raises 30 days after they took effect. “In state government we need to keep and attract the best, talented people. … It’s essential to pay them closer to what they are worth,” Dayton said. He added that commissioner salaries have not been raised in 10 years and said he thinks lawmakers deserve a raise, too.
The smallest raise was $22,407 to the Ombudsman for Mental Health, who will now earn $119,997. Top commissioners got 30 percent raises. Also getting a boost is the chairman of the Metropolitan Council, the regional planning agency for the Twin Cities. The job changed from part time to full time, and the pay increased by $83,577 to $144,991.
First, it’s outrageous that the ‘Party of the Little Guy’ quietly raised the pay for people making close to $100,000 a year in salary by 20-75%. House Republicans should immediately pass a bill retroactive to January 1, 2015 that rescinds Gov. Dayton’s pay increases for bureaucrats making $100,000 a year. They should immediately send the bill over to the Senate for their consideration.
When the Senate refuses to debate the bill, House Republicans should insist on its inclusion in the final budget. Let’s see if DFL legislators are willing to fight for those raises heading into an election year. The DFL might be willing to fight that fight. If the DFL is willing to fight for those overpaid bureaucrats’ raises, that’s fine. The House and Senate Republican campaign committees should hire Derek Brigham to create individualized mailers that highlights these DFL legislators as fighting for pay increases for bureaucrats and higher taxes for Minnesota’s small businesses (2013) and the middle class (2013 and 2015).
This table should be part of those mailers:
This warped thinking is what I’d expect from Gov. Dayton:
But Dayton defended the increase as necessary to keep and retain top executives given competition from the private sector.
“There’s no controversy as far as I’m concerned. They haven’t had raises for 12 years,” he said. He acknowledged the salary “are a lot of money” but added that state staffers have left state employ and been able to make twice as much in local government or at universities. The salary increases, he suggested, would stop that drain.
Put differently, Gov. Dayton just gave Myron Frans a huge pay increase:
For those that don’t remember, Commissioner Frans was the person who accepted as Gospel fact that e-tabs would produce enough revenue to pay off the state share of the Vikings stadium. He was off by a paltry 95%.
That makes Commissioner Frans the poster child for Gov. Dayton’s pay raises. Commissioner Frans is the perfect example of why we need to raise public employees’ pay to “attract and keep the best, talented people.”
Jim Knoblach didn’t waste time correcting the St. Cloud Times’ misstatements about him. Here’s what Jim said:
I was puzzled by one line in the recent St. Cloud Times endorsement editorial. It said I sometimes provided “minimal support for measures that directly benefited his district.”
During my time in the Legislature, I successfully authored more than $100 million in bonding projects for the St. Cloud area. This is far more than any representative in local history. St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical & Community College each received tens of millions of dollars from my efforts. Other projects like Quarry Park, the Beaver Islands Trail and various transportation projects also benefited.
Unlike past years, the Times Editorial Board never gave me the courtesy of an interview before announcing its endorsement. I was thus unable to respond to whatever concerns it had on this subject. Many other local candidates were granted interviews.
I hope in the future the Times gives the courtesy of an interview to all local candidates for endorsements.
Jim Knoblach is a House 14B candidate from St. Cloud.
Jim Knoblach is running for the state legislature, though you wouldn’t know it based on the Times’ reporting. The average citizen wouldn’t have known that Jim Knoblach wasn’t even asked if he’d like to be interviewed for the Times endorsement. I wrote here that the Times decided that they were endorsing Jim’s opponent long before they conducted a single candidate interview.
This year’s Times endorsements were utterly unprofessional. The Times endorsed Joe Perske to replace Michele Bachmann in Congress. Fortunately, he’ll get beaten like a drum next Tuesday. Here’s one of the Times’ rationalizations for endorsing him:
Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.
While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district. He’s similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy is “building relationships” a tough sell.
Summarizing, the Times endorsed Joe Perske because they think he’d bring home the pork the district is losing out on and because Tom Emmer is a political bully.
At this point, it’s difficult picturing the Times Editorial Board as anything more than gossip columnists. They aren’t professional. They didn’t do their due diligence. They didn’t even treat one of the major party candidates with respect. That isn’t just shameful. It’s disgusting.
Dick Andzenge’s monthly column includes this ridiculous statement:
The university’s Faculty Association complained that many student grades, given by classroom faculty, were changed by administrators without using the proper protocol for making such changes, and often without the knowledge of the professors who had assigned those grades. In some cases, the complaint was that some students’ names simply disappeared from class rosters.
While the dispute focused on faculty rights, compliance with due process and academic integrity, the investigation by the U.S. Department of Education focused on the possible violation of federal law.
It’s time to squash the administration’s BS that the US DoE investigation was about potential “violation of federal law.” First, Adam Hammer insisted that there wasn’t an investigation. Is Mr. Hammer willing to admit that he lied then? Second, when asked about the status of the transcript investigation, the administration said it wasn’t an investigation:
FA: I have a clarifying question. I heard you say this is a preliminary investigation at looking so once you do your preliminary then am I hearing you say then you will decide what your next step is going to be in terms of your going after other data collection for the past four years before this?
Admin: Sure so then we have as to what kind of data is relevant and we go there and we can collect the information so that it makes sense for you. The other thing is I won’t call it an investigation I would call analysis. So it’s a data analysis to understand if there is a spike and then understand whether it is due to factors outside our control or if it is factors of the band of discretion becoming wider.
In other words, the investigation that didn’t exist was always about whether federal laws were broken. Except when it was considered data analysis. Except when Devinder Malhotra emphatically insisted that transcript integrity was among SCSU’s highest priorities:
“Integrity of transcripts and the record is very, very important and so is the involvement of the faculty in that process,” Malhotra said. “There’s no question about that in my mind. And it’s our attempt to make sure that going forward we do our due diligence and we make sure that the faculty input is not only taken but recorded.”
Other than those things, Dr. Andzenge’s statement is fairly accurate.
This question has a simple answer:
Have the university’s administration and its academic faculty come to a mutual understanding about what actually happened regarding the grade changes and missing names class lists?
That answer is no. The administration is still spinning constantly that this was just an administrative misunderstanding. The administration insists that it wasn’t transcript corruption. It was just bureaucrats making wrong decisions.
The faculty, starting with Dr. Tamara Leenay and including Dr. Phyllis VanBuren, insist that students who did all their class work, took all their tests and who failed their classes had their participation in those classes deleted from St. Cloud State’s official transcript system. This isn’t about late drops and withdrawals, which is what President Potter and his administration have insisted. It’s about a system where the administration let students who failed their classes off the hook.
It isn’t logical to say that students who simply failed classes should benefit from administrative corruption.
Technorati: Earl Potter, Great Place to Work Institute, Transcript Scandal, US Department of Education, Investigation, Data Analysis, Devinder Malhotra, Potter Apologists, Tamara Leenay, Phyllis VanBuren, No Confidence Vote
Recently, I got another smear campaign mailer from the DFL smearing Jim Knoblach. It isn’t shocking that the DFL is into smearing Republicans. It’s that the DFL’s mailer has a picture of a senior citizen with the caption “Tell Jim Knoblach to keep his hands off our Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s painfully obvious that the DFL knows that state legislators don’t have anything to do with Medicare or Social Security. Just because the DFL is without character and can’t be shamed because they don’t have a conscience, that doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.
They’re just disgustingly unprincipled and utterly without virtue.
While it’s true that Jim Knoblach supported giving people the option of putting a portion of their FICA taxes into a government-approved equity account when he ran for Congress in 2006, that’s utterly irrelevant in this race. Jim Knoblach, if he’s elected, will never cast a vote on Social Security or Medicare because they’re federal programs.
This DFL’s intent with this mailer is to scare senior citizens into voting for Zach Dorholt. If’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care that it’s fearmongering at its worst. It’s important to remember what Howard Dean said after being elected chair of the DNC:
It’s a battle between good and evil…and we’re the good.
In Dean’s mind, the ends justified the means. If that meant smearing people with lies, that’s the path he’d take without hesitation. That’s the mindset that Ken Martin brought with him from ABM to the DFL.
In Martin’s mind, the only thing that matters is winning elections and checking items off the DFL’s ideological checklist. It’s irrelevant if it helps Minnesotans. It’s only relevant if it makes their special interests’ lives better.
The DFL insists that it’s for the little guy. That’s BS and it’s verifiable. The Metrocrat wing of the DFL, made up mostly by plutocrats and elitists, has done everything to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If the DFL cared about Iron Range voters, they wouldn’t say that building the mine is important but dragging the regulatory review for 9 years is more important.
If the DFL cared about the little guy, they wouldn’t have shoved forced unionization onto child care providers.
Zach Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of child care providers. He voted for major business-to-business sales tax increases and the Senate Office Building. After the session, he caught hell from St. Cloud businesses for creating these new taxes. These businesses lobbied him hard during the session. He ignored them then. It wasn’t until after the session that he started listening to these businesses.
Dorholt is chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That’s a position of authority yet he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the wasteful spending at MnSCU’s Central Office nor has he looked into the financial mismanagement at SCSU. Despite the fact that SCSU is facing $8,000,000-$10,000,000 of budget cuts this year and despite the fact that the Potter administration hasn’t published a budget report yet, Zach Dorholt hasn’t looked into these issues.
All he cares about is whether he can report that he increased spending on Higher Education.
How does that qualify as helping the little guy or middle class families? That’s before asking Mr. Dorholt how the Dayton-Dorholt-DFL budget is creating part-time, low wage jobs helps grow the economy from the middle class out?
The truth is that the DFL doesn’t care about prosperity. They don’t care about great jobs throughout the state. They don’t care if public institutions foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. How dare they send out mailers that frighten senior citizens while smearing a great policymaker.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Smear Campaign, Special Interests, Forced Unionization, Medicare, Social Security, Tax Increases, Higher Education, Ken Martin, ABM, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Small Businesses, Prosperity, MNGOP, Election 2014
Wednesday night, Jeff Johnson highlighted the differences between his main street governing approach and Gov. Dayton’s metrocentric governing approach. This video highlights that difference:
Here’s the transcript of Commissioner Johnson’s response:
There was an increase in local government aid last year under the all-DFL government we have but there was also the largest portion, I believe, that we’ve ever seen of local government aid going to Minneapolis. That’s at the direct expense of communities in Greater Minnesota. And that has been a pretty common theme in the Dayton administration. Greater Minnesota, in many ways, has become an afterthought in this state, whether you’re talking about where we’re spending our transportation dollars at, whether you’re looking at K-12 education funding formula, whether you’re looking at some of the regulations that are killing our farmers and our miners and our loggers in this state or whether you’re looking at LGA. There’s a very metrocentric philosophy at the Capitol right now.
That reply exposed the DFL’s metro-first governing philosophy while highlighting Commissioner Johnson’s prioritizing Greater Minnesota. A vote for Gov. Dayton isn’t just a vote for reckless spending. It’s a vote for the DFL to ignore Greater Minnesota for another 4 years.
This was the biggest jaw-dropping moment of the debate:
Earlier in the day, Gov. Dayton said that he hasn’t lost sleep over MNsure in his attempt to sound like MNsure’s problems are fixed. They definitely aren’t fixed. Here’s the next bombshell that Commissioner Johnson dropped on Gov. Dayton:
Saying that he’ll “fire the entire MNsure board and top staff because they’re incompetent” was definitely unexpected. It’s definitely justified, though. When Pat Kessler says that he thinks that people at MNsure lied to him. Jim Nobles, the Legislative Auditor, is auditing MNsure.
I didn’t notice this initially but it’s noteworthy because it’s Gov. Dayton’s government-knows-best moment:
This won’t hurt Gov. Dayton within the DFL but it might hurt him with women. It’s possible that they’ll say that they know what their families need and that they don’t need government telling them what they need.
It took more than 40 minutes but they finally got to the Dayton-DFL economy before jumping into PolyMet. Commissioner Johnson’s back-and-forth with Gov. Dayton was especially interesting:
Gov. Dayton better hope that people on the Range don’t hear him say that he’s opposed to pushing mining without a lengthy, expensive, environmental review. They’ve endured 9 years of review for PolyMet. There’s no question that it’s safe. The only people who think precious metals mining isn’t safe are the environmental activists in the Twin Cities, which is the dominant wing in the DFL right now.
Technorati: Debates, Jeff Johnson, Greater Minnesota, PolyMet, MNGOP, Mark Dayton, MNsure, MNsure Board, Incompetence, DFL, Jim Nobles, Legislative Auditor, MNsure Audit, Pat Kessler, MNsure Corruption, Election 2014
After fleecing taxpayers, Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis has shut its doors:
DHS auditors accused the corporation of spending more than it helped. The state wants Community Action Minneapolis to repay more than $850,000 in grant money that was spent incorrectly. The audit showed more than $200,000 paid for unallowable costs like cruises, golf trips and alcohol. William Davis, the Chief Executive Officer, is accused of receiving an excessive bonus and spending thousands on a personal car loan.
Initially, Davis tried rationalizing the expenditures:
Auditors blamed Community Action’s board, which includes several well-known politicians and community leaders, for a lack of oversight and for personally benefiting from $34,892 worth of activities that “do not appear to serve a business purpose, and are considered waste and abuse as defined in state policy.”
Those activities included two weekend trips, between 2011 and 2013, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, where board members and senior management spent $9,000 for lodging, $3,200 for food and $900 for spas.
Davis defended the trips as a “small gesture on our part to offer them a moment of relaxation or entertainment. It’s not like we do this every single week of the year.”
What’s telling is that Davis didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. The only thing more appalling than Davis attempting to rationalize his reckless spending was Gov. Dayton’s statement denying that something like this could happen:
Initially, Mark Dayton responded to Jeff Johnson’s call for an extensive audit of NPOs by saying “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”
Later, Dayton backtracked quickly:
Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday said that a Star Tribune report of a nonprofit using state funds to subsidize cruises, a director’s car lease and spa treatments was very concerning and alarming. “I was personally really appalled,” Dayton said. “I take it very seriously.”
Let’s revise Gov. Dayton’s statement. Gov. Dayton was “personally really appalled” the minute he thought that the fiasco might damage him politically. Prior to that, he pretended that Community Action was totally trustworthy.
The truth, I’m afraid, is that Gov. Dayton knew about this audit prior to the story going public. Since the Strib article was published, DHS has tried pushing the notion that they should get credit for spotting this during their audit of the organization. Gov. Dayton can’t first say that he’s surprised by this, then say that his administration spotted this during an audit.
I’ve never bought into Gov. Dayton’s I-didn’t-know-about-[Fill in the blank] schtick. I’ve always thought that he used that gambit to get through a politically embarrassing situation. See FarmFest. The DFL legislature should’ve taken their oversight responsibilities seriously. Then again, with tons of prominent DFL politicians and activists on Community Action’s board, it probably didn’t take much to get them to look the other way.
Technorati: Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis, William Davis, Arrowwood Retreat, DFL Legislature, Oversight Hearings, Jeff Hayden, Keith Ellison, Mark Dayton, Department of Human Services, Audit, DFL, Election 2014
Jeff Johnson’s campaign is highlighting what’s been happening with the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. This time, the Johnson campaign highlights Gov. Dayton’s past statements about the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis:
Johnson has proposed performance and fiscal audits of all state programs, beginning with human services programs, to determine which ones work and which ones are a waste of taxpayers dollars. In a September 14 Star Tribune story on Johnson’s audit proposal, Mark Dayton said: “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”
Actually, Gov. Dayton, Commissioner Johnson’s statement is accurate. Since Gov. Dayton made that ill-advised statement, he’s changed his perspective:
“It’s incredibly ironic that, after criticizing my plan to audit all state programs—beginning with human services programs—this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars has surfaced,” Johnson added. “My audit plan is clearly needed, and Mark Dayton is clearly out-of-touch.”
Actually, Dayton’s statements aren’t as much out-of-touch as they are a predictable defense of liberalism. The most important principle behind liberalism and budgeting is that every penny ever appropriated is forever justified. In fact, in 2007, the DFL legislature fought to have inflation calculated into the budget:
That’s bad enough but Democrats pushing to install “an automatic inflator put into the calculation of the state budget forecast” ain’t gonna fly. This is something that should be rejected before it’s ever proposed. There should be a public outcry against this type of reckless spending. We should recognize this scheme for what it is: an attempt to codify into law liberalism’s dream of ever-increasing taxing and spending.
The thought that government was spending money foolishly was the farthest thing from the DFL’s mind. I had multiple arguments with liberal commenters about that at the time. Gov. Dayton certainly would’ve agreed with the principles behind baseline budgeting, which is based on the thought that budgets must increase each year.
That’s the principle behind not spotting the mismanagement seen in the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. The DFL thinks that budgets should increase each year. Therefore, in the DFL’s thinking, auditing special interest organizations that get government grant money isn’t needed.
“I’m very troubled by and tired of Mark Dayton’s continuous pattern of creating or contributing to problems and then trying to claim credit for fixing them after the damage is done,” Johnson said. “Today, for the second time this week, Dayton’s DHS has employed its ‘arsonist with a fire hose’ strategy. Dayton’s ties to the leaders of Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis are numerous, and if he and his DHS commissioner were competent and aware of what’s happening, they would have discovered these issues long ago, without a tip from a whistleblower.”
It’s one thing for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to propose spending more money. It’s quite different, though, for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to initially pretend that money is being spent wisely, then expressing outrage once it’s proven that the money is getting spent foolishly.
It’s unacceptable that the all-DFL government didn’t care about Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis until it became a political liability. It’s better to be proactive in preventing these fiascos than to clean up the mess after the fact.
Jeff Johnson’s audit plan will identify organizations and agencies that are spending money foolishly. There’s no question that Jeff Johnson will implement proactive policies to prevent these things from happening. There’s no doubt that Gov. Dayton has operated government with a clean-up-the-mess-after-the-fact attitude.
It’s time Minnesota took a proactive approach to protecting the taxpayers. Only Jeff Johnson will bring that approach to governing. Gov. Dayton certainly hasn’t.