When Duluth Mayor Don Ness sent an email to the Duluth newspaper last week — urging an endorsement of incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar — he thought the communication would be private.
But the email, was leaked and then published on a Republican website, minnesotademocratsexposed.com.
The newspaper ended up endorsing Oberstar’s challenger, Republican Chip Cravaack.
Ness — who had once been Oberstar’s campaign manager — told the paper he’s “extremely disappointed” about the leaked email and considered it “a violation of trust.”
He said he’d heard rumors of the pending endorsement of Cravaack and wanted the paper’s editorial board members to know why he thought Oberstar was the better candidate.
In the original email, Ness wrote:
“When you consider that during the next two years it would be Jim Oberstar who would oversee the creation of the next surface transportation re-authorization bill, throwing an honorable man out of office at the very moment that he will author the defining legislation of his life would be nothing short of a cruel travesty — both to the man himself, but moreso to the state of Minnesota and the people of northern Minnesota.”
And he criticized Cravaack: calling him “well-practiced at tea-party and Karl Rove sound-bites.”
The paper’s editorial page editor, Chuck Frederick, said he had forwarded Ness’s email to members of the paper’s editorial board, which includes some citizen representatives.
One of those citizen representatives, Bob Hansen, told the paper he sent the message to his wife and a peer but asked that it be kept confidential.
The newspaper notes that “Hansen co-founded the Northern Liberty Alliance, which advocates for more fiscal responsibility and limited government. He also started the first tea party group in Duluth two years ago.”