Duluth city councilor posts campaign column to school district social media
Duluth City Councilor Howie Hanson, who is running for re-election, posted a campaign column he wrote for the Duluth News Tribune on the Duluth school district's Facebook page over the weekend. State statute says school districts cannot campaign ...
Duluth City Councilor Howie Hanson, who is running for re-election, posted a campaign column he wrote for the Duluth News Tribune on the Duluth school district's Facebook page over the weekend.
State statute says school districts cannot campaign for candidates. Hanson, who has been paid to contribute to the district's online presence since 2009, said it was an accident.
"In today's tech world we've all sent things to the wrong people or businesses by simply pushing a button, and I pushed the wrong Facebook address," he said. "It wouldn't have crossed my mind to use it as a campaign strategy. It was strictly a business error."
He said he was logged into the district's page, and thought he was logged into his own personal page.
The column was posted for several hours Saturday morning, eliciting several concerned comments from readers about its presence on a district-maintained site. It was removed when Katie Kaufman, the district's head of communication, was notified by others. The Facebook page later displayed a message from Kaufman that explained the content had been posted without the district's knowledge.
Kaufman said Hanson was long ago informed that any content posted should involve only Duluth public schools. She said Hanson didn't post the column intentionally.
Hanson, who typically posts sports content, began working with the district in 2009, and was paid $19,000 that year to further the district's internet presence. Kaufman said Hanson was paid $8,800 last year, and “it's been in the $7,500 to $8,800 range for several years.”
Hanson is running against challenger Renee Van Nett for the 4th District seat.