Bakk seeks inquiry of GOP campaign materials

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is asking Republicans leaders to provide a more thorough accounting of the cost of producing campaign materials distributed during last week’s precinct caucuses.

Bakk sent a letter yesterday to Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, requesting a Senate rules committee hearing to further discuss the matter.

“I commend the Senate Republican caucus for publicly admitting wrongdoing by Republican senators who used state resources to produce campaign materials at taxpayer expense,” Bakk wrote. “However, I remain deeply concerned by the failure to acknowledge the full cost to the Senate.”

Earlier this week, Senate GOP spokesman Steve Sviggum said that Republicans should not have used public money to print a pamphlet they distributed at GOP precinct caucuses last week. Fifteen GOP senators handed out the pamphlets that touted their 2012 legislative agenda, but also directed readers to a website that asked for campaign donations.

UPDATE

Sen. Senjem told reporters that he read Bakk’s letter but has not decided whether a rules committee hearing is needed. He also noted that the matter will be looked at by the Office of Administrative Hearings. Senjem said the caucus erred and is willing to accept the consequences.

“There’s no question the web site was on there. It was inadvertent, not intended but, it was on there. That’s the way it is. We can’t take that back.”

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