Back to politics for Steve Sviggum - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Back to politics for Steve Sviggum

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's been five years since Steve Sviggum served in the state legislature.  Now it's back to politics for the former Minnesota Speaker.  It's been a busy few days for Sviggum after being tapped to serve as the new spokesman for Minnesota's Senate Republican Caucus

On January 20, 2012 Steve Sviggum received a phone call from Sen. Dave Senjem, (R) Majority Leader, with a job offer.

"Just looked over the waterfront and Steve was there and available and, for goodness sakes, how could I pass up that degree of experience," said Sen. Senjem.

"And he's got all the relationships." said Sen. Carla Nelson (R) Rochester. "He knows many of us already."

"He's a professional, said Dan Sparks, (DFL) Austin. "He's been around a long time. I think he will bring some negotiation-experience with him."

Sviggum explained "I said Senator I'm interested," in response to Sen. Senjem's phone call.

Sviggum didn't accept the position right away without clearing up some of the issues. One of those issues that has been brought to attention is that he is still on the Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota.

"I don't see a nickels-worth of issues there. Gracious sakes," said Sen. Senjem. "Steve Sviggum is not going to be involved in policy or finance related to the university. It's just a non-existent issue as far as I'm concerned."

Sviggum said, "I did not punch my computer button to apply for the job, until it was 3:34 in the afternoon on that Friday two weeks ago, until I had been assured the policy was in line with a position in the Minnesota Senate."

The position Sviggum has taken formerly belonged to Michael Brodkorb who lost his job during the Amy Koch scandal in December. Brodkorb made roughly $90,000 a year. Sviggum stand to make $102,000 annually.

Sviggum explained "when speaking with the salary makers about what the salary was going to be, one of the items was to make sure it was significantly less than the democrat was making in the same position two years ago."

According to Sviggum, that difference is $2,500.

Putting the numbers aside Sviggum is thankful to be doing what he enjoyed doing for so many years.

"You got to have a reason to get up in the morning.  And I felt that I was missing that just a little bit, other than going to feed the cattle. "

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