OK, so I missed last week. I make the rules at CornerHouse so this week we will have two Dooker’s. Actually, a tie.
We expect our government agencies and officials to serve us-the public. Many of those people claim to be ‘public servants’, or like to say they are ‘serving the public’.
Two of Minnesota’s government officials failed the ‘public servant’ test miserably this last week. Of course that would be Minnesota Commissioner of Health, Dianne Mandernach, and her boss, Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Why are they this week’s honorees?
From the June 17, 2007 Star-Tribune
The state Health Department found that additional Iron Range miners had a deadly asbestos-related cancer, then sat on the information for a year.
By David Shaffer, Star Tribune
The Minnesota Health Department suppressed research about additional deadly cancers among Iron Range miners for a year, even though a top government scientist warned that the findings raised significant new health issues.
The department discovered in March 2006 that a rare, asbestos-related cancer had stricken 35 more miners than the 17 previously known. All of the miners have died. The state didn’t release the new information until March of this year, a decision that some health experts are now criticizing. Read the entire article here.
The news of Commisioner Manderach’s decision to withhold the information about the 35 additional miners striken with the deadly cancer known as MESOTHELIOMA immediately garnered plenty of criticism. Commisioner Manderach originally defended her actions during an MPR interview on June 18th but then issued an apology on June 20th .
Nine state legislators have sent a letter to the Governor calling for her resignation and the United SteelWorkers have called for legislative and criminal investigations. While the governor has been critical of her actions he said they don’t rise to the “level of termination”. What don’t these people get? The Minnesota Department of Health has suffered a serious blow to its credibility and precious time was lost to secure funding for further research. Important stakeholders were shut out of the decision making process. Governor Pawlenty should ask for her immediate resignation and make it a priority to find funding instead of playing the GWBush card, ‘I didn’t know so it’s not my fault’. It is his team and he should take full responsibility.Because of their actions Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dianne Manderach and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty are the:
Big Dookers of the Week
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