Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Sen. Gretchen Hoffman issues apology in Twitter controversy

State Sen. Gretchen Hoffman has sent a written apology to state Sen. Barb Goodwin, in what observers hope will be the final chapter in a Twitter controversy that came up near the end of the legislative session last month.

An ethics panel ordered the apology.

So Hoffman delivered it today:

“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 June 13, 2011.

“I am certainly sorry for my own misundertanding 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.”

The flap came during a floor debate on the Health and Human Services bill.

Concerned about cuts to mental health programs, Goodwin said: 

“This is how far we’ve come. The way state institutions used to be — they were called ‘Institutions for Idiots, Imbeciles and the Insane.’ ’’

Hoffman, a first-term senator, then tweeted: “Sen Goodwin just called people with mental illness-idiots and imbeciles …’’

An ethics complaint was filed, a hearing held, and the apology demanded.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by John Bristow on 06/16/2011 - 06:34 pm.

    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.See More

  2. Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 06/16/2011 - 09:51 pm.

    That wasn’t an apology.

  3. Submitted by will lynott on 06/16/2011 - 09:59 pm.

    Now that she mentions it, why didn’t she resolve it on the senate floor when it occurred? She certainly could have had she wanted to.

  4. Submitted by Tim Walker on 06/17/2011 - 09:16 am.

    I agree with John (#1), and my already low opinion of Sen. Gretchen Hoffman has sunk even lower.

  5. Submitted by C.S. Senne on 06/17/2011 - 11:00 am.

    Why do mature adults use “communications” as lame as Twitter to “tweet”? People, grow up! This is the equivalent of note-passing in junior high school. Senator Hoffman was simply acting out as the Mean Girl. Integrity? Not so much.

  6. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 06/17/2011 - 11:56 am.

    Hoffman’s is flagrant violation of the ethics committee findings.Hoffman is just another politician who thinks rules and laws don’t apply to her.

  7. Submitted by will lynott on 06/20/2011 - 09:46 pm.

    Ann Rest, are you listening….?

Leave a Reply