Corey Mock, Grand Forks, letter: Mismanagement plagues state officeMine has been the type of campaign that people want to see — one focused on the issues and not personal attacks. I wish the same could be said of my opponent.
By: Corey Mock,
GRAND FORKS — Harry Truman said it best: “I don’t give them hell. I tell the truth. They just think it’s hell.”
I have run a campaign that is completely focused on the issues. Bringing out what I see as failures in the office of the secretary of state is not running a negative campaign. Mine has been the type of campaign that people want to see — one focused on the issues and not personal attacks.
I wish the same could be said of my opponent. Instead of addressing the issues of the campaign, he and the Republican Party have attacked me personally by taking two columns I wrote in the Dakota Student out of context. Unable to defend himself against any of my claims against him, he chose to launch a smear campaign rather than address his own poor leadership. I’ve addressed the recent claims on my website, CoreyMock.com.
Earlier this year, we learned that a four-year contract signed by Secretary of State Al Jaeger outsourced our ballot printing to a bankrupt company out of Minnesota. My opponent disputes this, but the documents do not lie, and you can view them on my web site.
The financial mismanagement does not end there. Jaeger recently admitted that his office spent nearly $800,000 on a computer system that did not succeed. After spending an additional $1.3 million on a new system with the same company, they had financial problems and have stopped the project indefinitely.
Jaeger admits these circumstances, and the lack of planning by his administration has North Dakota waiting until 2015 for 2006 technology to finally arrive.
Taxpayers and business owners alike have suffered throughout these recent blunders. Business registrations were delayed six weeks, and North Dakota taxpayers have paid for a 242 percent increase in overtime while he performed election-year triage.
I was surprised recently when he called his office technology “innovative.” A few minutes on his web site will show he has offered three media releases in four years, his election training manual is from 2006, voting questions were sent to an employee who quit more than a year ago, and information for young voters brought you to a Japanese life insurance page.
These are just a few of the issues, and the sentiment that Jaeger expressed when he first ran for the office 18 years ago is more applicable now than ever before: Each of these blunders would be an issue, but taken as a whole, it points to a pattern of mismanagement that is unacceptable.
We need to update the office. We need to become more efficient and a better steward of taxpayer dollars. We need to have an office that matches the vibrancy in our state.
It’s time for a fresh start, and I hope North Dakota voters agree. I look forward to working with them to help revitalize the engine room of our state.
State Rep. Mock, D-Grand Forks, is the Democratic candidate for North Dakota secretary of state.