Recall the post from a few days ago where State Senator Stace Nelson claimed to be akin to the Hulk going into a gladiatorial battle in the lead up to the latest Government Operations and Audit Committee?
(Yes, I thought he sounded like an idiot too.)
The version of the Hulk that Nelson tried to portray himself as must have actually been the version of the Hulk that sat there, did very little, and got scolded by Representative Jean Hunhoff. Because that’s what went on at the meeting.
Nelson was expected to have to take the stand under direct questioning from GOAC committee chair Deb Peters, coming after he demanded staff members and an attorney, but rebuffed by the LRC who pointed out that they just “asked what you know. Only you know what you know.”
While that’s what he expected, Peters played it in a bit more cagey manner. Peters asked him questions all day long about the validity of his sources. And it turned out that Nelson couldn’t actually support his allegations. Most of what he used for evidence was all rumor and supposition.. again.
When he wasn’t getting scolded by Jean Hunhoff. I’ll pull the clip of it. She let him have it for his silliness at one point.
Nelson spent time trying to use the testimony of LuAnn Werdel who apparently left the Department of Ed in 2011 before the Gear Up Grant in question was ever issued (There were two of them, the one in question was issued in 2012).
The problem is that Nelson and others who are trying to make hay over rumors is that they’re going for sensational grandstanding over the truth. That’s not the purpose of the committee. The purpose of the meeting is to identify what went wrong, and to fix the loopholes that allowed the wrong thing to happen.
And as related earlier by the Office of Legislative Audit, one important point that keeps getting overlooked is that there actually wasn’t any money taken from the Grant. The money was stolen from the Co-op. Westerhuis embezzled from Mid Central Co-op, not GEAR UP. He reported to Dan Guericke, who reported to a board made up of representatives from each member school district.
So, if Nelson and others who are sending out press releases honestly cared about it, why aren’t they showing up at the school board meetings for those districts who participated in Mid-Central, and asking those Districts about their manner of oversight over the Co-op?
If GOAC ultimately thinks we need more legislation for the oversight of grants administered through the state, then by all means, require more oversight. That’s easy. If there were laws broken, the Attorney General should and is already prosecuting. Again, easy.
But when it comes to the ridiculous and tiresome conspiracy theories and political theater that politicians are using to bolster their egos and political campaigns? Save it for the campaign trail.
And Hulk should go back to smashing. Because he stinks at the rest.