Attorney: Hoffman will apologize

The attorney for Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vargas, says his client intends to apologize to a DFL colleague for mischaracterizing her statements on the Senate floor.

Fritz Knaak says Hoffman is taking the steps put forward by the Senate Ethics Committee.

“She has drafted a letter,” Knaak said. “It is my understanding that she is sending one.”

An ethics complaint was filed against Hoffman after she wrote on Twitter that Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights, was calling people with mental illness “idiots and imbeciles.”

Goodwin and others complained that Hoffman mischaracterized her remarks because Goodwin was discussing the history of mental illness in Minnesota.

The Senate Ethics Committee has recommended that Hoffman write an apology to Goodwin, delete the Tweet in question and direct her Twitter followers to the ruling by the Ethics Committee.

But that hasn’t happened yet. As the Star Tribune pointed out last night, Hoffman didn’t just delete the tweet in question. She deleted her entire Twitter account. That could create a problem, since the ethics panel also wants Hoffman to direct her followers to the ruling.

Knaak said Hoffman is working to put the entire issue behind her and intends to comply with the ruling. He said people were complaining that the tweet in question was still posted, and she decided to take action.

“The first thing she did was to get her off the air, pull the pin and get the whole thing out of there,” Knaak said. “We’ll take whatever steps that are necessary to do what has to happen. She’s determined to get this whole episode behind her.”

When asked how Hoffman would direct her Twitter followers to an Ethics Committee ruling when she deleted her Twitter account, Knaak said “That’s why we have technical people that will talk to us about this.”

  • James Anderson

    One of the problems with media coverage is a lack of presence (and courage) of journalists to clarify what is in fact true and not opinion or perspective. So for example if a conservative claimed that the President is an alien from another planet (or more insidiously and more likely, that the President is a Neo-Nazi) the claim would be printed along with something like: “the White House vigorously denies these rumors” instead of “what is the origin and purpose of such absolutely ludicrous and slanderous statements?” On a decidedly more modest scale we have:

    “Goodwin and others complained that Hoffman mischaracterized her remarks because Goodwin was discussing the history of mental illness in Minnesota.”

    -instead of-

    Goodwin and others complained because Hoffman mischaracterized her remarks. Goodwin was discussing . . . .”

    As particularly our righ wing politicians become more and more detached from reality

    this intermediate role of explicating the truth and not just repeating opinions from either side is vital to public discourse.