Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate, has sent a memo to staff officials asking that media requests for information and other data requests be routed to a top assistant because “we are in the middle of a political environment.”
On Monday, Ludeman defended the unusual memo, which he sent a week ago to the Senate sergeant-at-arms, payroll manager and director of the Senate’s information office and others. He said the memo was the result of the three-to-five media and data requests that Senate officials were receiving a week.
Because of the “political environment”, wrote Ludeman, “it is important to remember that comments made by the Secretary of Senate staff can be taken out of context for a political purpose.”
Senate DFLers had earlier complained of Ludeman’s selection to serve as Secretary of the Senate, saying the appointment unnecessarily politicized a job that had traditionally been non-partisan. Ludeman was appointed after Republicans assumed a majority in the Senate in January.
Ludeman said Monday the memo was not intended to create a “chilling effect” for Senate staff members. “We just want to [provide information] consistently,” he said. “I guess anybody can read into that what they want.
“But I want to know what we’re telling everybody,” he said. “Maybe, that’s just me.”
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