Ludeman sends memo cautioning of "political environment"
March 14, 2011 — 6:53pm
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.”
A state judicial panel has recommended Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and three others to Gov. Mark Dayton as he looks to fill two vacancies on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.