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Ethics complaint filed against senator for Twitter message

  • Blog Post by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
  • May 20, 2011 - 5:04 PM

A tweet sent during the Senate's Health and Human Services budget debate results in a complaint with the Senate's ethical conduct committee.

GOP Sen. Gretchen Hoffman tweeted from the floor that DFL Sen. Barb Goodwin had compared the mentally ill to "idiots and imbeciles."

Goodwin had been decrying cuts to services for the mentally ill in the Legislature's Health and Human Services budget Wednesday. She referenced the dark days when the afflicted were warehoused in institutions and labeled idiots and imbeciles.

When informed of the tweet on the 140-character messaging service Twitter late Wednesday night, Goodwin rose to her feet on the Senate floor to complain. She had also complained about Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb's decision to repeat Hoffman's tweet. No ethics complaint was filed against Brodkorb.

Hoffman since suggested she and Goodwin should meet.

Goodwin, who is still emotional about the incident, said Friday afternoon they have yet to meet.

In a statement Friday, Hoffman said: ""On Wednesday, May 18, Senator Barb Goodwin referred to people with mental illnesses as idiots and imbeciles in the Minnesota State Senate floor.  As a registered nurse who has worked with patients with mental illnesses for many years, I was offended by her remarks.  I shared Senator Goodwin’s remarks with my Twitter followers. Until the Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct completes their work, I have no further comment.”

Here's more background.

Here is the complaint:

May20 Complaint

 

 

Here are the tweets:

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