Republican freshman legislator Scott Newman said Tuesday it was all an innocent mistake.
He was referring to an email sent by his office to the Minnesota Nurses Association telling them that Newman “will not see any organizations that donated to/supported his opponent” in the November elections.
“Your association will be unable to schedule an appointment with Senator Newman,” the Jan. 20 email from his office stated. The email was signed by Newman’s legislative assistant.
Newman, who is from Hutchinson and sits on the influential Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said he had first heard of the email early Tuesday morning. “It’s just an error, that’s all,” he said.
“I’ve tried to limit the lobbyists that are coming in to see me involving committees I’m on and issues that are important to me,” he said. “I literally feel besieged” by lobbyists.
“I don’t have time to talk to constituents. I don’t have time to get any work done,” said Newman.
“It’s clearly my responsibility,” he added. “But this is a brand new [legislative assistant]. . .what she put out is not – it is not my policy.
“If this nursing organization wants to see me, they will see me,” said Newman. He said he was unsure whether similar emails were going to other groups. “I certainly hope not, but I don’t know,” he said.
Andrea Ledger, a political organizer for the Minnesota Nurses Association, said the organization was surprised to get the email. “I am stunned by this response,” she said of the email. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
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