Twitter usually isn't a dangerous place for Representative Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington), who typically risks being mistaken for the better-known Pat Garofalo, former Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund who now works in U.S. News & World Report‘s opinion section as an Assistant Editor.
Today, his reputation as a lawmaker may be eclipsed by his failure as a twitter legal eagle with a series of egregiously mean and misinformed posts about Governor Dayton's selection of David Lillehaug as a state supreme court justice. Perhaps the worst goof was claiming gender discrimination on Dayton's part, while failing to acknowledge Wilhelmina Wright, the governor's first appointment to the state's highest court.
Where's Ralph Ellison when you need him?
David Lillehaug, a Minneapolis attorney and former U.S. attorney for Minnesota, will be appointed today to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court. . . .
Lillehaug is currently a partner with the downtown Minneapolis law firm of Fredrikson and Byron, specializing in real estate law and what the lawyers call "complex litigation." He has been very active in DFL politics including, notably, legal work on the high-profile recounts surrounding the election of both Sen. Al Franken in 2008 (which included final argumentsw before the state Supreme Court on which he will now serve) and Gov. Dayton in 2010. . . .
Lillehaug was also a finalist for the Supreme Court vacancy that Dayton filled last year with the appointment of Wilhelmina Wright, who had been a member of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. . .
Garofalo apparently didn't see Wright swearing in the new speaker in January (photo above and here at MPR). Rough to be in the minority.
Here's the series of unfortunate tweets. The worst, in which he fails to recognize the gender of the first Dayton appointment, has now been deleted:
With Dayton's new appointment to MN Supreme Court, there is now only 1 woman on the court - Chief Justice Lorie Gildea— Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 26, 2013
Of course, we have a screenshot:
The response on twitter was brutal:
@patgarofalo wow...so what does that make Wilhelmina Wright?— Mitch Billings (@minnesotamitch) March 26, 2013
.@patgarofalo you're probably better off not tweeting about MNSC anymore, clearly you are under-informed.— Tony Petrangelo (@TonyAngelo) March 26, 2013
@patgarofalo Now waiting for your congratulations on Gov Dayton's highly qualified picks for the Supreme Court.— Ryan Winkler (@RepRyanWinkler) March 26, 2013
@patgarofalo Are u awake Pat?Come out from under the rock your living under.Dayton appointed Justice Mimi Wright last yr. Wrong again Pat— Ken Martin (@kenmartin73) March 26, 2013
An earlier tweet about partisan appointments:
@patgarofalo Were you decrying the same thing with Pawlenty appointed his in-house judicial selection commission member as chief justice?— Ryan (@RyanBrown812) March 26, 2013
I think @patgarofalo's threshold of believability is adjusted for maximum outrage.— § (@lawremipsum) March 26, 2013
@patgarofalo What an unbelievably short memory you have.Stras, Dietzen, and Magnuson were not highly political appointees? Get a clue!— Ken Martin (@kenmartin73) March 26, 2013
One lone tweep raises a point about campaign contributions:
In the end, Garofalo admitted, "My bad":
My bad - Wilhelmina Wright and Lori Gildea are both on court.This is why I left law school after 1 semester, ;-)— Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 26, 2013
Apologizing again, while citing a Strib article he thought was more recent than it was. Yeah, okay then:
My apologies for inaccurate post earlier.This was the source.Didn't realize it was from August.My bad. startribune.com/politics/state…— Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 26, 2013
Photo: Associate Justice Wright swears in Paul Thissen as Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
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