Ethics complaint filed against Sen. Gretchen Hoffman

An ethics complaint was filed Friday against Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, over something she wrote about a DFL colleague on Twitter.

Hoffman wrote this about Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights earlier this week:

“Sen Goodwin just called people with mental illness- idiots and imbeciles- while debating HHS bill #offensive #mndfl #mnsrc #mnleg”

But it’s not what Goodwin said. Goodwin was talking about the history of developmental disabilities and mental illness in Minnesota during a debate over the Health and Human Services budget bill.

Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, officially filed the ethics complaint today. Here’s the complaint:

May20 Complaint

During the floor debate this week, Goodwin stood up to demand an apology from Hoffman.

Hoffman later released a statement through a spokeswoman, and Republicans released video of the comments they say Hoffman was concerned about.

Goodwin’s full comments are here.

And here’s the previous Capitol View post from Tom Scheck.

UPDATE: After the ethics complaint was filed, Hoffman issued this statement this afternoon:

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.

  • Theodore

    It saddens me to see the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower reduced to a point where malicious and criminal slander and/or libel (is Twitter considered libel?) passes for vigorous debate.

    I believe that Senator Hoffman’s remarks were part of the Republican job-creation strategy…too bad the jobs being created are all in the comedic arts, or are designed to be corporate welfare for the benefit of Jay Leno and David Letterman’s late night shows…

    …and the Brave New Workshop need not worry about their Christmas program this year, unless they are worrying about having so much un-cuttable material, the Christmas program would easily exceed the length of Wagner’s entire Ring of Nibelung cycle by 72 hours, excluding intermissions and dinner breaks…

    …caterers, security, parking attendants, public access reporters, and extra actors – there’s at least 600 more jobs for the holidays – thank you, Senator Hoffman!

  • Tom Goodwin

    According to the ethics complaint, Senator Goodwin ( not a relative of mine) did not call people with mental illness idiots and imbeciles. She said the hospitals were called that. Yet on Wednesday’s response Senator Hoffman again repeated what she has to know is a false statement.

    I do not understand how she could be so foolish as to publish a false statement a second time. Does she not know how inept she appears?