In his attempt to downplay the full-fledged crisis within the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Sacrifices Services, Gov. Walz said “There’s going to be a desire to find more drama than what’s there. Those of you that know me, I don’t do drama.” Gov. Walz, you’d better do drama because there’s tons of it surrounding Human Services. As I wrote last night, Jim Nobles, Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor, “found ‘pervasive’ fraud in a state-administered child care program.”

When the top 3 people in the biggest department in the state resign within a week, there’s drama. When those people resign without warning and without giving anyone a heads-up, that’s major drama. It’s time for Gov. Walz to act like he gave a damn. Thus far, it’s looked like he’s been totally disinterested. That’s certainly the picture that he’s given towards DHS Inspector General Carolyn Ham. Saying that House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt was upset is understatement. Here’s what he said about Ham:

Four months went by when she drew a paycheck where no investigation happened. That’s the problem. No one was investigating. Nobody cared. And she just kept drawing a paycheck.

When you combine “pervasive fraud” with these resignations, it’s safe to say that major changes need to get made. At their press availability yesterday, Daudt, Rep. Mary Franson and Sen. Michelle Benson said that someone from the private sector should be brought in to provide a new direction for the Department.

In his resignation letter, Commissioner Lourey said that there was a need for “new leadership”. That’s understatement. During their press availability, Sen. Benson criticized the Department:

Sen. Benson said “It has failed over and over and over again. Taxpayer money is wasted and people are hurt and it’s time for the Governor to grab the leadership and move this to a better place. And that’s all I want.”

It’s apparent from Sen. Benson and others that Human Services wasn’t well-run. Based on Sen. Benson’s statements at Monday’s press availability, it isn’t difficult to think that too many of the people there were arrogant and/or distant. That attitude must immediately change. Period.

Gov. Walz better start doing drama because he’s got a major crisis on his hands, despite the Twin Cities media’s attempts to spin it otherwise. When Jim Nobles’ investigation says that they found widespread fraud, especially in the child care programs, rest assured that he’s got plenty of proof to support that statement. A politician’s instinct is to downplay this. That instinct is wrong. The best way to deal with this is to admit that there’s a full-fledged crisis, then state emphatically that you’ll get to the bottom of things ASAP.

Doing something like that would increase Gov. Walz’s credibility. Instead of actually dealing with this crisis honestly and openly, Gov. Walz is being secretive. What a stupid decision.

2 Responses to “Tim Walz: “I don’t do drama””

  • Rex Newman says:

    Translation: I don’t do my job, either.

  • Rex Newman says:

    The Presidency switches parties regularly. When a President under-performs (Carter, Obama, e.g.) or even appears to have under-performed (Bush 41, Clinton), we switch.

    But clearly that doesn’t work for Governor here in Minnesota. Even at my age, I can’t remember a Governor worse than Mark Dayton. And yet we re-elected him in 2014. And now we have his ideological tag-team partner, Tim Walz in charge. In charge of what, you say? Not DHS – he doesn’t do drama. Not MnLars – the guilty still have their jobs. Not MnSure – it’s all better now, right? He did find some time for massive, completely unnecessary tax hikes like on gasoline. But even here, when the going got tough, he abruptly walked away, surprising even his own party leadership.

    He’s said to be affable and likeable in person. He certainly enjoys the pomp and ceremony of being Governor, just not all those droll day to day duties and responsibilities he was elected to perform.

    Remember Maynard G. Krebs, anyone?

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