A Minnesota think tank launched a new “scandal tracker” so residents can keep up with the latest reports of fraud and mismanagement coming out of the state’s agencies.
The Center of the American Experiment announced the resource in a Wednesday press release after the publication of a new article by investigate journalist Tom Steward, who exposes “how nearly a decade of inept decision-making in St. Paul continues to produce a pile of epic policy disasters.”
“Minnesotans want to think our state is functioning, if not perfectly, at least better than most. But a historical review of the evidence shows pervasive mismanagement, incompetence, and even corruption at the highest levels of state government,” said Center of American Experiment President John Hinderaker.
He said at least a billion dollars “has been wasted by state government since 2016 alone,” while nearly 60,000 Minnesotans have been put at risk of identity theft since 2013 because of data breaches at government agencies.
“State government is lighting fire to taxpayers’ hard-earned money and failing the people it is supposed to be helping—and Minnesotans deserve to know,” Hinderaker added.
The “scandal tracker” is a live Google Doc that is updated as new scandals are reported and so far documents nearly 50 instances of scandal in Minnesota’s state government dating back to 2013. The scandal-plagued Department of Human Services appears on the tracker 23 times—the most of any state agency.
Minnesota’s state agencies saw seven instances of scandal in 2018, compared to the 23 scandals already reported in 2019. This year’s uptick in scandals has been driven by what Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles recently described as a culture of “troubling dysfunction” at DHS.
“Minnesotans still think of their state’s government as progressive, clean, and relatively efficient,” said Hinderaker. “That description might have been accurate 40 or 50 years ago, but no longer, as Steward’s article shows. Minnesotans need to begin demanding more from their government.”
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