As much as yarn teller Senator Gretchen Hoffman may have told the local newspaper that the ethics committee ruling--and her apology--have closed the issue of the ethically challenged tweet, her supporters are not moving on.
In Wednesday's Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Perhaps it's Goodwin who should apologize, a letter to the editor from Sue Barasch, told readers:
Having met Sen. Hoffman, I found it hard to believe this story as presented originally. For an unfortunate number of years the media has been biased in the political area and I, for one, would appreciate getting a more complete report of happenings. It is up to “we the people” to decide … kudos to Hoffman. Perhaps an apology from Sen. Goodwin and those who misrepresented this situation is in order?
So much for the old saying that people can have own opinions, but not their own set of facts. Having read letters of opinion, and having met Hoffman, she knows that media reports about the ethics charge and the committee's resolution are simply wrong.
However, Bluestem suspects that Sue Barasch can hold her breath until her face turns the color of our namesake prairie grass before Goodwin apologizes, since the bi-partisan ethics committee didn't so much mull over the facts of the matter itself, as it considered the suitable way to discipline Hoffman during its meeting to consider the complaint.
Minnesota Public Radio reported in Ethics Committee says Hoffman should apologize over Twitter comment:
The Senate Ethics Committee says it will dismiss a complaint against Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vargas, if she apologizes to Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights, in writing for a comment she wrote on Twitter about Goodwin. The Ethics Committee also says Hoffman has to delete the tweet in question and link to the Ethics report on Twitter. Hoffman was facing an ethics complaint for mischaracterizing on her Twitter feed that Goodwin called people with a mental illness "idiots and imbeciles" during a Senate floor debate.
Godwin says she's satisfied with the action taken by the Ethics Committee.
"We want to make sure that we prevent these kinds of things in the future," Goodwin said. "I'm hoping for a decent apology and that it's a sincere apology."
The committee of two Democrats and two Republican met to discuss an ethics complaint against Hoffman. Hoffman tweeted the comment in May when the Senate was debating a Health and Human Services budget bill. Goodwin said Hoffman mischaracterized her comments because she was discussing the historical context of mental health treatment in Minnesota.
Hoffman complied and the case was dismissed. But in the Tales of Hoffman's supporters, Goodwin should apologize. Yes, really.
Barasch is an infrequent letter writer, though her viewpoint consistently favors Republicans. In 2004, for instance, two of her letters were published in the FF Daily Journal, Swift Boat Veterans are on the mark and Two points for Bush. Neither link produces the text of a letter, but the headlines suggest that she supported George Bush's re-election. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth 527 group is described here.
One wonders who established the narrative of the case that they all take as gospel, and when that individual or individuals crafted this yarn.
Photo: Gretchen Hoffman.