ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton has criticized a self-described millionaire who says he legally qualified for food stamps and took them to prove the system is vulnerable to abuse.
Rob Undersander of Waite Park told a legislative committee Wednesday that he and his wife collected about $6,000 in benefits they didn't need over 19 months, then gave the equivalent to charity. Minnesota doesn't use a person's assets to determine food-stamp eligibility. He said they qualified because his retirement income was low. He was testifying for a bill to require that assets be counted.
"I [collected food stamps] primarily to make a point and raise public awareness to ensure that the truly needy receive the benefits that are available, and that's not happening right now," Undersander said in a recent interview with MPR News host Tom Crann.
Undersander said he's not opposed to the food stamp program, now called SNAP, he said he just wants it to go to the right people.
The governor on Thursday joined other Democrats in condemning Undersander's actions.
Dayton said, "If I were him I would have been ashamed to show up and disclose what I'd done."
He said public policy shouldn't be made on anecdotes.