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The $6.9 million vacant Tim Walz morgue

Just as fear was subsiding over Gov. Tim Walz’s wild prediction of 50,000 Minnesota COVID deaths, he scared everyone all over again by buying a morgue for $6.9 million to house up to 5,100 bodies that he claimed would soon be piling up due to the pandemic.

The $6.9 million bought plenty of fear, with Walz officials evoking images of “shallow graves,” “full and overflowing” funeral homes and bodies “stacked in U-Hauls.”

Six months after purchasing the building the state is using it to store PPE instead of bodies, and that’s why it’s earned a nomination for a Golden Turkey Award for wasteful spending.

Nice work if you can get it: two tweets a month for $57,000

State government must be flush with cash if we have $57,000 lying around to pay celebrities to tweet about the State Fair. That’s exactly what Explore Minnesota (our Department of Tourism) did recently with a contract to pay celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern to tweet twice a month as a “social media influencer.”

In addition to important messages about the Superbowl and the State Fair, he also used your money to congratulate his favorite DFL politicians after they won elections.

We wonder if Chef Zimmern will tweet any ideas on how to best prepare Golden Turkey to honor Explore Minnesota’s nomination for this award?

Nice work if you can get it II: $900,000 to let your grass grow wild

You’ve heard of the government paying farmers not to farm, right? Minnesota added a new twist to this concept by giving homeowners $350 grants to not grow grass in their yards.

According to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF), the Lawns to Legumes program “seeks to combat population decline by creating new pollinator habitat and habitat corridors that provide food sources and nesting space for pollinators.” The $900,000 program was targeted at saving the Rusty patched bumblebee which recently made the federally endangered species list.

The ENRTF gets nominated for a Golden Turkey Award for paying your lazy neighbor to let their lawn grow wild.

$1,000 to explore our feelings about climate change

Every year the Legacy Fund doles out millions of dollars of sales tax revenue to projects for clean water, outdoor heritage, arts and cultural heritage, and parks and trails. And every year, there are some really questionable expenditures that qualify for Golden Turkey Awards.

This year, the Legacy Fund set aside $1,000 of your money for a woman to host a hands-on climate mapping workshop where participants create maps of their personal emotional terrain of climate change.

Does anger over really wasteful spending count as “personal emotional terrain?”

About Center of the American Experiment

Center of the American Experiment is “Minnesota’s Think Tank.” For more than 25 years, the Center has been the most impactful and effective public policy organization in Minnesota, leading the way in creating and advocating policies that make Minnesota a freer, more prosperous and better-governed state.

The Center is a civic and educational 501(c)(3) organization located at 8421 Wayzata Blvd #110, Golden Valley, MN 55426.