Pat Kessler is a cautious man when it comes to choosing his words. When he puts a campaign ad through his truth detector, he’ll often say that the ad is deceptive. When the ad is worse than that, he’ll say that the claims in the ad are false. In this interview, Kessler zoomed past those terms. Check it out
Here’s the transcript from the interview:
KESSLER: Suddenly — and it was very odd to me — suddenly around December first, second, third, right around that time right after Thanksgiving, we suddenly at WCCO, were flooded, inundated with literally hundreds of people calling, saying “I can’t get on. This is crazy.” And I’ll just say it, I think they lied to us. I think they misled us. I think they misdirected, they camoflaged. They said “No there’s no problems, when, in fact, behind the scenes, they were sweating bullets because they couldn’t fix the problems. I think that this is one of the most closed, obtuse, misdirecting, camoflaging agencies I have ever dealt with.
That isn’t what I’d expect from Pat Kessler. I’d expect more cautious wording from him. That he’d jump there from the outset speaks volumes about what he thinks happened within MNsure.
Sunday night, KSTP ran an article about the lack of oversight into MNsure, which I wrote about here. According to KSTP’s Nick Winkler, “the MNsure oversight committee hasn’t met in 3 months and isn’t planning to do so for the rest of the year.” This information is especially lame:
Rep. Joe Atkins, a committee co-chair, said scheduling conflicts and holidays prevented meetings in November or December.
Scheduling a meeting isn’t that difficult, especially after questions about website security were raised. If people have other things going on, then those things need to be given a lower priority. Based on what we know now, I think it isn’t a stretch to think they just made excuses to protect Gov. Dayton’s signature ‘accomplishment.’ After the federal government shutdown ended, attention shifted to HealthCare.gov’s disastrous rollout. Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken and other high profile Democrats quickly emphasized as fact that MNsure wasn’t the disaster that HealthCare.gov was.
The truth is that MNsure was a disaster from the start. It just didn’t get the scrutiny that it’s getting this week. The oversight committee not meeting might well have been the DFL’s tactic to keep attention away from MNsure’s difficulties. With the DFL, there’s 3 ways of doing things: the right way, the wrong way and the way that helps them most politically.
Clearly, the committee didn’t want Todd-Malmlov to face difficult questions from Sen. Nienow. Clearly, Todd-Malmlov didn’t want to testify that they were doing everything they could to avoid answering the question in the letter Sen. Nienow and Sen. Benson sent her about website security.
Now that she’s resigned, MNsure and Gov. Dayton will be in the spotlight. Todd-Malmlov’s vacation was just the catalyst. Now that it’s out that MNsure is a disaster, Republicans will highlight the fact that Gov. Dayton championed the exchange. While he wasn’t the person who messed the thing up, he’s certainly to blame for pushing a state-run exchange.