Email crashes Senate system

Secretary of the Minnesota Senate Cal Ludeman said this afternoon that the Senate is getting an “unprecedented volume” of email. So much so that brought down the email system overnight.

The issue became public on MPR’s Midday program this morning, when Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, charged that the Senate was “deleting” emails.

He was talking about the upcoming campaign over the same-sex marriage amendment.

“I absolutely think we can have a good campaign and win,” Dibble said. “I think the evidence of that is hundreds of thousands of emails have come in the aftermath, so many so that the Republican caucus is deleting them before their members even get to see them.”

That’s not the case, Ludeman told MPR News. He said the volume of email had crashed the Senate’s system early this morning. Ludeman said emails were coming in in batches of 50 or 60 at a time. He didn’t know if it was related to same-sex marriage, Ludeman said, because they aren’t looking at what’s in it.

“It’s not erased. It’s in an archived file, separated so that we can manage the flow of these emails back into our system when we have the capacity, over time, to be able to do it,” Ludeman said. “It will take care of itself. After midnight tonight we know that our business part of the traffic will not be higher, so we’ll be able to put that traffic back into the system.”

Ludeman said deletion is up to senators themselves, on a personal basis.

“That’s their choice” he said. “But our system is not doing an erasure. We do have a block in place. It’s only for volume, not for the content reasons. It’s not anti-spam blocking for the content, only the volume.”

House officials say they’ve got a different system, that they have different email servers for each caucus and for the non-partisan staff, so they can handle peaks as issues draw more traffic to the inboxes of Representatives.

  • Rob

    Regardless of whether the emails are being deleted or not this – sadly – is what happens when you appoint a poiltical operative to what has always been a non-partisan post.

  • Cat

    I bet it was email regarding the Repubs killing of the Defense of Property bill. I finally called and was told a lot of email and calls were coming in on that subject.

    Really, the world does not revolve around ‘gay marriage’

  • jason

    Hold on… Did they freeze all emails, or just certain ones? A filter implies they are picking and choosing based on content or origin. If its just based on volume them ALL emails should be blocked until after the session is out.