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MN Senate to reimburse taxpayers for cost of 'partisan' literature

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: February 14, 2012 - 5:52 PM

The Minnesota Senate Republican campaign committee will pay the state back for the cost of printing literature given out at GOP caucuses last week.

Democrats complained the material was clearly partisan should not have been printed at taxpayer expense.

Steve Sviggum, Senate Republican spokesman, said the Senate Republican campaign committee will retroactively pay the cost of the flyers. Sviggum said the entire cost was $47.

Democrats said the content of the pieces, which were given to a handful of GOP Senators to give to voters, made them campaign material. The pieces thank people "for joining this Republican precinct caucus," and says "the Senate Republican majority delivered for Minnesota."

Sviggum said the language was vetted by the Senate counsel and found to be appropriate. But he said the hand-outs included a web link to the Senate's campaign website, which includes a form to donate to Republicans, and that was inappropriate.

"I take complete responsibility for a wrong," said Sviggum, a former speaker of the Minnesota House. He said that the Senate updated the link to a less partisan site Tuesday afternoon.

DFL Party Ken Martin said before Sviggum said the campaign committee will repay the cost that the issue goes beyond the dollars.

"I also think it is important for somebody, some administrative body, to hold these elected officials and this caucus responsible for their actions," Martin said. The DFL Tuesday filed a complaint over the flyers with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

 

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