Updated: September 23, 2020 06:56 PM
Created: September 23, 2020 06:34 PM
Gov. Tim Walz toured a transitional housing facility in north Minneapolis on Wednesday touting grants to low-income families to get the technology they need for distance learning.
A public-private partnership called Connected MN is providing $2.1 million in grants to 23 nonprofits to help fund internet access and computers.
After the event, the governor spoke with reporters about the difficult job of replacing three cabinet members at once, including two who were removed by the Minnesota Senate and one who resigned. In the middle of a pandemic, a budget crisis and a looming legislative session, he said it won't be easy.
"How do I attract talent to do this?" Walz questioned. "We'll do it and we'll send out a search and there will be people who want to serve the state. But it makes it hard. I mean you put yourself out there and then you get caught in the politics of this and you get embarrassed and removed."
On another topic, Walz said he continues to endorse controversial Minnesota House DFL candidate John Thompson. Thompson was caught on video at a Black Lives Matter rally in Hugo shouting profanities and beating pinatas of Lt. Bob Kroll, the president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, and Liz Collins, his wife and reporter at WCCO.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association continues sending letters to other DFL House candidates rescinding their endorsements of those candidates who still support Thompson. Walz said he hasn't spoken to the police association about the issue.
"At this moment, we have not rescinded the endorsement," Walz told reporters. "But as I've said for the last several weeks, at some point in time I need to sit down and figure this out. I myself have not had a conversation with Mr. Thompson either. But I will re-stress this. There is no place in our political debate for rhetoric that moves beyond just debate. I will condemn it on the left and I will condemn it on the right."
Thompson has not responded to KSTP requests for an interview but remains in a race for a House seat in St. Paul.
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