I have to be honest, I haven’t been following the “Newman Scandal” very closely but all of the coverage and questions I have seen have been directed toward Senator Newman and what he knew about this particular email sent to the Minnesota Nurses Association. While those are all legitimate questions I have to wonder if the people writing about this aren’t asking the wrong questions.
From what I understand about legislative assistants at the capitol they are hired on a partisan basis and can be partisan. Additionally, they are trained by each caucus. The only apparent restriction placed on them is that they cannot fundraise or solicit votes. So, if we take Mr. Newman at his word that he had no knowledge of this email and it was all the doing of his legislative assistant, shouldn’t the question be WHO IS TRAINING THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT ARE THEY TELLING THEM TO DO ON BEHALF OF THE ELECTED OFFICIAL THEY SERVE?
- Does the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus train its legislative assistants to deny access to certain people and organizations?
- What does the training manual for the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus say about denying access to certain people and organizations?
- Given the dual role of “Executive Assistant to the Majority Caucus” and “Vice Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party“, has Michael Brodkorb been whispering in the ears of legislative assistants? Did those assistants take his advice a little too far?
A large number of these legislative assistants are on twitter and tweeting throughout the day so maybe someone could start asking them directly what they were told to do about organizations and individuals who opposed the elected official for whom they work. If this legislative assistant simply “made a mistake” then I have to wonder how her training was conducted to make her think this type of behavior was appropriate. These are the questions we should be asking…