Twitter Trouble at the Capitol

Devin Henry

A DFL representative has been reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee for disparaging remarks he made about colleagues on Twitter during a floor session in early May.

Paul Gardner, DFL-Shoreview, tweeted comments on May 8 about Reps. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, and Tom Emmer, R-Delano, two of the most vocal Republicans on the House floor.

Paul Gardner

Of Buesgens, he wondered why the representative was wearing sunglasses ("Black eye?" he wrote) and scolded Emmer for his remarks on the floor, posting, "Emmer seems to belittle his female colleagues (rage, sarcasm) on the floor more than the men."

The committee concluded that Gardner should appologize publicly to the House as soon as possible. They concluded he "did not exercise sound judgment by making statements about his colleagues that were not respectful and courteous and he did not show respect to the House of Representatives.”

Many lawmakers at the Capitol twitter, among them House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (@MAKMinnesota) and Gov. Tim Pawlenty (@pawlenty). During the session, lawmakers would tweet heavily during floor sessions commenting on the proceedings … while others use social networking for more intimate looks at their lives. Take this, from Pawlenty on May 30:

"Wrenched back playing hockey. Thankful for chiropractor. Getting old, but in the spirit of season of Lord Stanley’s Cup, will play hurt."

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-Devin Henry

Associate Editor