After an Alpha News investigation, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen called out Gov. Tim Walz for what he called a “continued history of failure and dereliction of duty.”
Jensen and his running mate, Matt Birk, hosted a press conference Thursday where members of the press heard some of the stories Alpha News has been reporting on in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, retired Command Sergeant Major Tom Behrends told Alpha News reporter Liz Collin how he tried to get the word out on Walz’s misleading statements before the 2018 election.
He said the story was all but ignored.
Back in early 2005, a warning order went out to southern Minnesota’s First Battalion-125th Field Artillery to mobilize for a mission to Iraq, Behrends said. Walz served as the unit’s highest non-commissioned officer after he was conditionally promoted to command sergeant major on April 1, 2005, records show. On May 16, Walz retired from the guard, avoided the deployment, and ran for Congress.
“The public needs to know how pathetic his leadership was as a National Guardsman,” Behrends said in that report.
A second whistleblower came forward last week and detailed his dealings with Walz in the National Guard. Retired Command Sergeant Major Paul Herr said he participated in several meetings with Walz, who initially indicated he would be going on the deployment. However, Walz retired before the time came to deploy, and Behrends took Walz’s place.
According to Herr, Walz had been conditionally promoted to the rank of command sergeant major (CSM) before the deployment but never actually finished the requirements to call himself a CSM.
Herr predicts Walz fulfilled, “literally boots-on-the-ground time spent as a CSM,” about 14 days total in meetings and other service duties.
Jensen and Birk were joined by other concerned veterans at the Capitol.
“Unfortunately, Gov. Walz has shown a disturbing pattern of avoiding his duty when the going gets tough,” Minnesota GOP Chairman David Hann said during Thursday’s press conference.
Behrends has started a petition calling on Gov. Walz to resign.