Twice in the past week, the City Council has had to vote on board appointments involving the campaign manager of Diane Hofstede's opponent.
Both times, Hofstede has voted no -- a rare occurrence for routine appointment votes.
It began last Friday, when the Council voted on the appointment of Jay Ludke -- who heads Hofstede opponent Jacob Frey's campaign -- to the Minneapolis Television Network Board. Colleagues sat in silence for 50 seconds while Hofstede searched through the agenda to find the three MTN appointments. She cast the only "no" vote.
On Wednesday, the public safety committee deliberated on the appointment of Ludke and five others to the senior citizen advisory committee.
"We had one appointment that was also appointed to the MTN board last week," Hofstede said. "I'm just wondering how many boards we're going to have this individual serve on?"
Hofstede asked whether there was a limit to the number of boards a person can join, noting that it clashes with the city's goals of broadening and diversifying participation on city boards. She then moved to delay the item until the city released new guidance regarding board appointments.
Her colleagues on the panel opposed the motion. On the appointment itself, Hofstede was again the only "no" vote.
In an interview Thursday, Hofstede bristled at the suggestion that Ludke's political work may have played a role in her vote.
“I voted against all of the appointments," Hofstede said. "I didn’t separate one from another. I voted against all of them in both instances. And my point in voting against them is the lack of diversity of the appointments.”
So why is Ludke suddenly getting two appointments? Ludke said in an interview that he applied for both of them prior to joining Frey's campaign. He got interested in doing more with the city -- and was approached by several boards -- after working to defeat the marriage amendment last year, he said.
"I don't know why she voted against me, if it's because of my involvement with her opponent's campaign now," Ludke said. "I haven't spoken to her about it, obviously."
Ludke said he has never met Hofstede.