Minnesota politicians react to Franken's resignation announcemen - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Minnesota politicians react to Franken's resignation announcement

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ST. PAUL -

Politicians from around the state are sounding off after Al Franken announced he will be resigning from the U.S. Senate in the coming weeks.

On Thursday morning, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith both released statements, saying:

"I extend my deepest regrets to the women, who have had to endure their unwanted experiences with Senator Franken. As a personal friend, my heart also goes out to Al and his family during this difficult time.  In other respects, Al Franken has been an outstanding Senator. He has been, as Senator Paul Wellstone used to say, 'A Senator from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.' He is very smart, very hard-working, and very committed to Minnesota. I wish him well in his future endeavors.  Events have unfolded quickly; thus, I have not yet decided on my appointment to fill this upcoming vacancy. I expect to make and announce my decision in the next couple of days.  I will have no further comments on this subject until that time."
--Governor Mark Dayton

"Senator Franken has been a servant to the people of Minnesota, and a champion for working people during his time in the Senate. I thank him for his service. On this difficult day, I am holding Senator Franken, his family, and those who have worked beside him over the last decade to make this country a better place, in my thoughts.  I also am thinking today about the many women around the country who have come forward in recent months to share their stories about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can never be tolerated in our politics, our businesses, or anywhere else.  Now, it is on all of us to come together and make the progress necessary to live up to the values we believe in. Governor Dayton and I remain committed to ensuring that Minnesota is a place where everyone has the opportunity to realize their full potential."
-- Tina Smith

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar issued the following statement:

"Today Senator Franken acknowledged that he could no longer serve in the Senate and resigned. As he and I discussed yesterday, this is the right decision. Senator Franken has worked for years on behalf of the people of Minnesota and he has been a leader on issues that are fundamental to Americans' lives, including education, privacy, healthcare and mental health.  He has been a friend to me and to many in our state.  As the women who have come forward to tell their stories across America have made clear, sexual harassment is never acceptable.  In every workplace in America, including the U.S. Senate, we must confront the challenges of harassment and misconduct.  Nothing is easy or pleasant about this, but we all must recognize that our workplace cultures-and the way we treat each other as human beings-must change.  For Franni, the Franken family, Senator Franken's friends and supporters in our state, it's a very tough day. I want you to know I remain as committed as ever to working together and standing up for people, for common decency, and for our democracy during an incredibly difficult and divisive time in our country. And as we go forward together, we must never forget the words of Senator Paul Wellstone, whom Senator Franken quoted in part today, 'Politics is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people's lives.'"

In addition, Congressman Rick Nolan issued a statement, saying: 

 
"Senator Franken has determined that he can no longer effectively represent the people of Minnesota. He has done the right thing for Minnesota and our Nation by stepping down."

Minnesota's DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin also spoke out:

"Senator Franken made the right decision today. He has been a tireless and strong progressive leader on behalf of Minnesotans in Washington, but that in no way excuses his behavior toward the women who came forward. His resignation today is an important part of the healing process.  While sexual harassment and assault are dominating headlines recently, they have dominated the lives of women in our country for far too long. This much-overdue reckoning will not be easy-in fact, people will be angry, shocked, and saddened, as some remember personal experiences similar to those being shared in the news. But the strength of this movement is the power of once-silent voices being heard loud and clear.  And it's our duty-as Democrats, as political leaders, and as Americans-to hold those in power accountable for their actions."
 

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