Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vargas, has written an apology to Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights, for micharacterizing comments Goodwin made on the Senate floor. An ethics complaint was filed against Hoffman because she wrote on her Twitter feed that Goodwin was referring to people with mental health problems as "idiots and imbeciles." Goodwin was discussing the history of mental health coverage in Minnesota.
Here's what Hoffman wrote to Goodwin:
This letter is intended to be the written apology from me to you indicated by the Minnesota Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct in its resolution of June 13, 2011.
I am certainly sorry for my own misunderstanding of what you said and how I subsequently handled it.
I am sure you share my unhappiness that this matter was not resolved between us on the floor on May 18, 2011, when the underlying incident occurred.
Hoffman also deleted the tweet in question. It appears Hoffman deleted her entire Twitter account, set up a new one and then directed her new Twitter followers to read the Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct's report on the incident.
Hoffman has now fulfilled her obligations put forward by the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee said it would drop the complaint once Hoffman wrote an apology, deleted the tweet in question and directed followers to the report.
Here's Hoffman's letter to Goodwin:
Note: I update the above post to clarify how Hoffman met her obligations under the Ethics Committee.
OMG, it's a "non-apology apology"! Nooooo! "This letter is intended to be the written apology from me to you indicated by the Minnesota Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct in its resolution of June 13, 2011. " Passive aggressive. "This letter is INTENDED to be the written apology..." - but IS it? No. "I am certainly sorry for my own misunderstanding of what you said..." She's sorry she "misunderstood" but that's different from saying "I'm sorry I behaved the way I did." And finally "I am sure you share my unhappiness that this matter was not resolved between us on the floor" - that's the most passive aggressive part of all. "I am sure you share my unhappiness" is not an apology - it's actually somewhat of an accusation that Goodwin herself was part of the problem. Total non-apology apology. Total.
I agree, that is not an apology.
How does that fulfill the obligation to the Ethics Committee?
Senator Hoffman is NOT in compliance with the Ethics subcommittee's order.
1) She was ordered to put a tweet on her account pointing to the order. Instead she deleted the account and posted the link on a new account which has no followers.
2) The original tweet is still on her web site.
3) The "apology" letter is mendacious. There was no misunderstanding. Senator Goodwin waited after session two consecutive nights to speak with Hoffman who refused even when urged by Republican colleagues. This adds a new lie to the sorry history.
Therefore: Senator Hoffman should be found in contempt of the committee's order and further sanctions imposed.
The other commenters are absolutely right. Sen. Hoffman utterly failed to heed the subcommittee's order. Pathetic.
What a pathetic, childish human being is Senator Hoffman. She embarrasses herself and her Party. Let's see if Republican Leadership takes charge of this situation and requires some adult behavior of her. Of course, that would require Republican Leadership to exhibit adult behavior. What chance of that?
Just as the sun rises in the east, we can be certain that Democrat Party poseurs will be on hand to analyze the results.
I agree with what everybody else has written here, except for the Republican "ralph kramden" (you can tell he is a Republican by his use of "Democrat" as an adjective. Republicans do this all the time. They need to take a grammar class).
The Ethics Committee should not accept that insulting non-apology.