2a: one that bears the blame for others
b: one that is the object of irrational hostility
Both oddly enough, seem to appropriately fit the threat looming from the Republican Majority Controlled Senate in regards to the future of Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. This creates a conflict over funding for frontline COVID workers and the call for a Special Legislative Session to do so. Because Republicans will not agree not to bring this forward as an item for consideration Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) is reluctant to call a session.
On this topic, new Senate Majority Leader-elect Jeremy Miller (R-28, Winona) has said publicly, “We take that responsibility very, very seriously and at this point in time Senate Republicans are not willing to take that off the table for a special session.” And he added, “We feel we are obligated to do that.”
Republicans are looking for someone to blame for our state’s response to the COVID pandemic and since they can’t forcibly remove Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) the next best route is to take their ire out on his commissioners. They already can claim credit for this on two other occasions in the case of a direct rejection of a former colleague Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley, and indirectly, because she resigned rather than state for a vote Pollution Control Commissioner Laura Bishop.
The biblical reference is also something to consider, since the Republican Party claims to be closer to God, but this reference is from the Old Testament in Leviticus and we have seen many times where the party on the Right, which claims to be Christian, is far more fire and brimstone than loving and embracing of their deity.
Malcolm is a person with a storied history in state government, having been first appointed by Governor Jesse Ventura (I-MN) in 1999, then recalled into service in 2018 by Governor Mark Dayton (DFL-MN) and retained by Walz.
If she is scapegoated, then voters in Minnesota will have something to actually measure the Republican Controlled Senate by, in the 2022 elections. As we see it, Republicans will still have Donald J Trump (R) as a millstone around their proverbial necks and this too has a biblical reference this time in the New Testament in Matthew.
The literal hanging of a millstone about the neck is mentioned as a punishment in causing the miscreant to be drowned.
The honest telling of Malcom’s public service can best be found in the Legislative Manual, and since the 2021 version isn’t available electronically at this time, we only have two past listing to report.
As far as an understanding of the Health Department (mn.gov) re will refer to this site. (Courtesy of the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library).
On page 196 of the 1999-2000 Legislative Manual (Blue Book) is the following entry.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
85 East 7th Place, #400, St. Paul 55101, (651)215-5803, Web site: www.health.state.mn.us
Law provides: The department is responsible for the development and maintenance of an organized system of programs to protect, maintain and improve the health of the citizens. (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 144)
Commissioner: Jan Malcolm
Biography: Education: Dartmouth College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1977); vice president for public affairs, Allina Health System (1994- 99), senior vice president, HealthPartners (1990-94), PARTNERS National Health Plans of Dallas, TX (1988-90), American MedCenters, Inc. (1984-88), MedCenters Health Plan (1982-84), InterStudy (1978-82).
Appointed: 1999 Salary: $97,300
Deputy Commissioner: Vacant
Function: The department identifies public health problems through collection and analysis of health data; provides services to prevent and control disease; establishes and enforces standards for health care facilities and for environmental health hazards; monitors the state’s health care delivery system; provides technical assistance for health care facilities and professionals; 1administers the office of health facilities complaints; disseminates public health information; coordinates, integrates and evaluates local, state and federal programs and services affecting the public’s health; and advises the governor and the legislature on matters affecting public health.
On page 307 of the 2019-2020 Legislative Manual (Blue Book) is the following entry.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Commissioner: Jan Malcolm
Salary: $150,002 Appointed: 1999, 2018, 2019
Commissioner Malcolm has served as Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in now three administrations, including Governor Jesse Ventura (1999-2003) and Governor Mark Dayton (2018). Before rejoining MDH in 2018, Malcolm was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She served as a Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop initiatives that strengthen the nation’s public health system, and as the CEO of the Courage Center. She served as a board member for many local nonprofit organizations, such as the Bush Foundation, United Way, MN Alliance for Patient Safety, and Stratis Health.
625 Robert St. N., Suite C500, St. Paul 55155 Phone: (651) 201-5000 Toll-free: (888) 345-0823 TTY/TTD: (651) 201-5797
Website: health.state.mn.us Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Commissioner: Margaret Kelly
Law provides: The department is responsible for the development and maintenance of an organized system of programs to protect, maintain, and improve the health of citizens. (Minnesota Statutes, 144) Function: The department identifies public health problems through collection and analysis of health data; provides services to prevent and control infectious and chronic disease; promotes healthy behaviors; establishes and enforces standards for health care facilities and for environmental health hazards; monitors the state’s health care delivery system; provides technical assistance for health care facilities and professionals; administers the office of health facilities complaints; disseminates public health information; coordinates, integrates and evaluates local, state and federal programs and services affecting the public’s health; and advises the governor and the Legislature on matters affecting public health.