The Office of Administrative hearings ruled today that a case accusing Republicans in the Minnesota Senate of using taxpayer money for campaign literature may go forward.
An administrative law panel ruled that all but one of the complaints against the Senate Republican Caucus, 15 Senate Republicans and the spokesman for the Senate GOP may continue.
The DFL Party filed the complaint in February after several senators handed out pamphlets at precinct caucuses. Those leaflets outlined the legislative successes of the first year in power for Senate Republicans but also linked to websites that solicited political contributions. Democrats argued the pamphlets violated state law that prohibits using taxpayer money to campaign for office. Republicans wanted the charges dismissed because they said the leaflets were constituent services pieces.
(Note: Senate GOP spokesman Steve Sviggum apologized in February and said he would refund the state of Minnesota).
The administrative law panel said there is enough evidence to proceed with a hearing but did dismiss a complaint against Senator Doug Magnus. He said he didn't prepare or distribute the materials.
A hearing date on the matter has not been scheduled yet.
Here's the ruling:
Tom, aren't you using an awfully generous definition of "apologized"? Making such an outrageously bogus claim about the cost is hardly apologizing. I could have accepted that someone screwed up about the rules, so they pay it back and no big deal, but lying like that is the issue.
Here's a report with the amount printed and cost, one of Tom's reports: http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/print.php?id=1486758
"4,725 fliers were printed at a cost of less than $50 to taxpayers." If these were printed for the sort of price a self-service copy shop would charge for plain black and white photocopies, say 7 cents, 4,725 would have cost $330.75. How much for color pamphlets, something nice? $50, no way. Sviggum is presenting a made up and impossible figure.
Take a look at US House member Erik Paulsen who leads US House members on spending taxpayer money on franking. This seems to be a rpoud GOP tradition. Spending taxpayer money is terrible, they say, yet seems to be just fine if it benefits GOP candidates.