April 24: Welcome Minnesota Democrat Exposed readers. The current occupants of Michael Brodkorb's site--and Brodkorb is the communications director of the Senate Majority Caucus and the Deputy Director of the Republican Party-- have directed you here.
The assumption in that post is that you will make an ethical equivalence (as they do) between an insensitive tweet made by Nicole Kaplan, a DFL senate staffer, using her Android phone to no one in particular on Twitter this weekend, with an email from a state account that a former state employee Kim Kelley sent out to the Minnesota Nurses Association when the MNA was trying to set up a meeting for MNA members who are Senator Newman's constituents.
Let me spell out what the standard is here, since the writers at MDE are unable to make the distinction. It's called senate business.
Kim Kelley sent an email using an official State of Minnesota account (firstname.lastname@example.org) during working hours (Thursday, January 20, 2011 2:00 PM). In that email, the former GOP staffer told the MNA that Senator Newman's policy was to not meet with any group that endorsed his opponent in 2010. Remember, the MNA was trying to set up a meeting between the senator and nurses in his district.
Moreover, Kelley informed the MNA that she had spent time researching who had endorsed and contributed to Hal Kimball's campaign. Presumably, she did this as part of her employment. (Just to there's no confusion for readers, I'm adding the email that Kim Kelley sent at the end of this post, because MDE didn't send you to the first post about the episode, which contains this information; the Kaplan tweet follows it for comparison).
Kaplan's tweet was sent from an Android phone on a Saturday and was not directed to anyone in particular who had contacted Cohen's office for a meeting. Insensitive? Sure. Tweeted in the conduct of Senate business? Probably not.
Some good has come out of the unfortunate email episode. I'm told by an MNA staffer that Senator Newman has met with nurses who live here in our district.
The original post:
From the Strib, readers learn that the "freshman legislator" and his legislative assistant made an "innocent mistake" that Bluestem first posted about yesterday afternoon in UPDATED: Email to MNA: Sen. Scott Newman won't meet with groups that endorsed Hal Kimball.
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.
From: Eileen Gavin
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 5:47 PM
Subject: Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) Nurses Day on the Hill Tuesday, March 1 2011
Please mark your calendars for this year’s MN Nurses Day on the Hill, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. I will be in touch with your Legislative Assistants after session begins to schedule appointments to meet with nurses from your districts.[emphasis added by BSP] We look forward to meeting with you in the upcoming session.
Kim Kelley sent a message using the contact form at
Unfortunately, Senator Newman will not see any organizations that donated
to/supported his opponent Hal Kimball. After some careful checking, I
discovered that the MNA had donated to Kimball's campaign. Your association
will be unable to schedule an appointment with Senator Newman.
Kaplan tweeted on Saturday, “Ooh I wonder if Jesus will see his shadow tomorrow! That’s what this holiday is about, right?”