District 2B Rep. Steve Green (R-Fosston) and District 2A State Rep. Matt Grossell (R-Clearbrook) voiced their host of grievances Tuesday during a confab with the Hubbard County Board.
“The governor’s been sitting on CARES money for many weeks now, and as you know, with Hubbard County the numbers did come out to a little more than $2.5 million for the county. Park Rapids itself is about $300,000. The smaller townships, depending on their population, will be getting some as well,” Green said. “From talking to your businesses and from people in the area, I assume if you don’t get it, it’s going to hurt and it’s there for you.”
Saying he had no idea what the governor’s thoughts were, Green urged county commissioners to put pressure on Walz.
Green also said local law enforcement is “very concerned” with bills proposed in the Legislature. “Some of the bills that are coming out from St. Paul that would be devastating to our police officers,” he said. “We need to stand up for our law enforcement.”
Green noted that some Minneapolis officers’ names were released “as a form of intimidation.”
Grossell, a retired Clearwater County sheriff's deputy and former Blackduck police chief, said there is some legislation regarding union representation during complaints against police officers.
“All the stats that have been presented to me show that, more so than any other public job, if there’s complaints brought forward against police officers, they are upheld at a higher percent,” he said. “So to say that arbitration is not working, they’re wrong.”
Grossell said officers are being asked to perform many duties, like social work and EMTs.
“When does the public stand up and do their part, too? When does the public start to step up and meet them halfway?” he asked. “It’s getting quite ridiculous.”
Grossell said he blames current and previous Minneapolis City Councils for not listening to “boots on the ground” and not funding an adequate number of officers to safely police a community of that size.
“You have to use force under certain conditions. You only do enough that a reasonable person would see needed. You have one person not do it the right way, and they want to use that to go after every law enforcement officer,” Grossell continued. “No one polices themselves better than officers do. A good officer does not tolerate someone who is not doing their job right.”
County commissioner David De La Hunt asked, “Don’t you think the unions have something to play in this in addressing the bad apples?” – adding that the Minneapolis police chief commented that “he was very shackled in his ability to address bad apples.”
Grossell again referred to arbitration statistics from the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
Board chair Char Christenson said, while there is nationwide talk of defunding police departments, she has not seen an alternate plan for safety.
Green said Antifa and Muslim organizations plan to “police Minnesapolis under Muslim rule.” He also claimed some House representatives have a bill that would impose eminent domain on every business destroyed during the George Floyd protests, the city would purchase them and “only sell back to people under conditions” imposed by the city.
“What you’re looking at, in my humble opinion, is communism moving into Minneapolis and St. Paul,” Green said.
He, again, encouraged county officials to form coalitions to pressure the state government. He noted that Becker County passed a resolution to open businesses, Mahnomen County passed “a watered down one” and Clearwater County was considering it.
“Our governor has subverted our constitution, and that more than anything else, should scare you,” Green said.
De La Hunt commented, “The most disturbing part to me is because of these emergency orders the people have lost their voice.”
Christenson said, “Never has it been illegal to work until this year.”
County commissioner Tom Krueger said the law for overturning a state emergency order must be reformed.
Green speculated that Walz’s goal is to implement complete mail-in voting “and remove the county and local precincts.”
“I don’t think there’s any question there’s voter fraud in Minnesota,” he continued. While most Minnesotans are honest, Green said he’s seen “the videos of busloads of people going from precinct to precinct.” When votes are verified later, “we’ve got into the tens of thousands that come back after elections that nobody lives where they were registered to vote.”
Green added he’s “never liked mail-in ballots anywhere.”
Green said he proposed state funds to help counties and townships upgrade internet services for e-polling.
Grossell said, if voters don’t wish to go to the polls due to COVID-19 concerns, there’s already means for them to vote.
De La Hunt said the shutdown has caused unjust damage to businesses and school districts, adding that state officials either “don’t understand” the consequences or “have devious intentions.”
Green claimed State Attorney General Keith Ellison “may try to close down all of northern Minnesota. I don’t think that would bother him a bit.”
The board passed a resolution “advising and encouraging” Walz to let the March 27 executive order closing bars, restaurants and public accommodations to expire and also allow the reopening of places of worship.
The resolution further demanded that all CARES money be released.