December 07, 2017 12:46 PM
(ABC 6 News) - Minnesota lawmakers and Democrats were quick to issues statements reacting to the news that Senator Al Franken will be resigning in the coming days.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton wrote, “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 [...] 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.
Adding, “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."
Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith issued a similar statement saying, "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."
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar referenced a conversation she had with Franken the day before his announcement, "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."
Klobuchar went on to write, "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."
Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin agreed that Franken made the right decision to step down writing, "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.”
Martin also noted, "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.”
Created: December 07, 2017 12:46 PM
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