1) Deloitte Consulting will take on a roughly $5 million contract to fix MNsure, the exchange announced on Wednesday.
The exchange’s choice of Deloitte came out last week, and it was one of seven companies who submitted proposals to the state, including another current vendor, EngagePoint. The MNsure governing board, which met on Wednesday, was optimistic that the company would be able to manage the project and evaluate how the state should move forward with automating much of the manual processes that are holding MNsure together.
Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, outlined three paths forward for fixing MNsure in an outside review of the system. The most drastic of those would be to scrap the system and hit reset. Deloitte’s first job will be to evaluate the best course of action, Steve Dahl, who will lead the firm’s team, told the governing board.
The other firms who applied to fix the exchange included: Cognizant Technology Solutions, Cognosante, EngagePoint; Infosys Public Services, KPMG and North Highland.
2) Businessman Mike McFadden, who is seeking to challenge DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken, put out a small cable advertisement — hockey themed — hitting the first-term senator for his votes on the Affordable Care Act, taxes and spending. The buy depicts McFadden skating up after an introduction and saying the state needs “someone who’s going to shoot straight in Washington.”
The buy was for $9,800 over 10 days, according to the McFadden campaign.
3) Republicans are criticizing U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan for a planned fundraiser with Peter Yarrow, a well-known musician and convicted sex offender, and a Duluth News Tribune editorial has joined the GOP chorus inveighing against Nolan.
Yarrow, who was in the 60s-era folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, is a supporter of Democrats. He has appeared as part of fundraisers for other national candidates after admitting to molesting a 14-year-old girl in 1970.
“Rick Nolan should immediately cancel his fundraiser with a convicted child molester and apologize to his constituents,” Republican committee spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement. “The fact that Rick Nolan even considered hosting an event with a child molester in the first place shows how wildly out of touch he is with Minnesota families.”
It’s unclear how things will proceed.
COMINGS & GOINGS
- Gov. Mark Dayton and a number of state officials and prominent figures, including Mall of America Executive Vice President Maureen Bausch, will hold a 1:00 p.m. Capitol press conference to announce a new tourism initiative for the state of Minnesota.
- Le Sueuer City Councilor Benjamin Rohloff wasted little time in announcing his intention to seek the seat currently held by Rep. Kelby Woodard, R-Belle Plaine, who will not seek re-election this year. The Le Sueuer News-Herald reports that Rohloff, a former House staffer and GOP campaign volunteer, is the first candidate to declare for the seat.
- Minnetrista Mayor Cheryl Fischer is resigning from that post, citing difficulty in working with her city council colleagues, according to the Star Tribune. Fischer’s departure leaves the handling of city business to acting mayor Anne Hunt.
- Former GOP Secretary of State candidate Dennis Nguyen has joined the board of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, a conservative advocacy and campaign spending group. Nguyen, once the frontrunner on the GOP side of that field, withdrew his candidacy earlier this year, saying he wanted to focus on business opportunities.
- The Green Party of Minnesota registered a political action committee geared toward Senate District 62, a Minneapolis district currently represented by some of the more liberal members of the Legislature.