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klobuchar: franken replacement should be 'qualified,' regardless of gender


nobody was surprised sunday when a news conference in st. paul by sen. amy klobuchar, d-minn., highlighting a bill aimed at helping people with alzheimer’s or autism culminated in questions about a replacement for her colleague, sen. al franken.franken, d-minn., said last week that he would resign after allegations of inappropriate conduct with women before his time in the senate. gov. mark dayton has said he will appoint a successor who could be a viable contender in the 2018 elections.“the governor has made it clear it’s his decision,” klobuchar said when asked if she had any input in the decision. dayton said he will decide “in the next few days,” she said.it is important to have two senators, she said, citing the six months she was the lone senator from minnesota during the recounts an






klobuchar, franken accepting applications for us attorney


minneapolis — u.s. sens. amy klobuchar and al franken say they are accepting applications for the top federal prosecutor's job in minnesota.the two democratic senators made the announcement tuesday.minnesota's former u.s. attorney, andrew luger, was appointed by president barack obama. he was among dozens of federal prosecutors who resigned under the new administration.klobuchar and franken recommended luger for the position in 2013. the senators say they spent weeks working with the white house to see if luger could return to his post. earlier this month, luger announced he will resume practicing law in the twin cities.now that discussions for luger's reappointment have ended, klobuchar and franken will accept applications for u.s. attorney for minnesota. applicants should submit a letter






klobuchar, franken both get high marks from minnesotans


large majorities approve of the job performance of sen. amy klobuchar and sen. al franken, according to a new star tribune minnesota poll.the senators, both dflers, earned higher marks than they have in any previous star tribune minnesota poll.klobuchar, long a champion of bipartisanship and politically popular proposals, scored an approval rating of 72 percent for her work, according to the statewide poll.the numbers illustrate republicans’ challenge in finding a credible opponent to klobuchar as she seeks election to a third term in 2018.franken, who has taken a combative approach to the new administration of president donald trump and especially his cabinet appointees, won the approval of 58 percent of minnesotans, according to the poll.the high marks at home underscore why klobuchar an






franken, klobuchar deny blocking trump's federal nomination


st. paul, minn. — minnesota sen. amy klobuchar said thursday she's still considering the nomination of a state supreme court justice to a federal post, echoing comments from fellow democratic sen. al franken as republicans accuse the pair of blocking a conservative appointment.president donald trump nominated minnesota supreme court justice david stras to a vacancy on the 8th u.s. circuit court of appeals, which serves minnesota, north dakota, south dakota, missouri, nebraska, iowa and arkansas. elevated to the state's highest court in 2010 by then- gov. tim pawlenty, stras was also on trump's shortlist for the u.s. supreme court.but more than three months later, stras' nomination is still in limbo. klobuchar and franken haven't given stras their sign-off through so-called blue slips — a p






in minnesota, franken feels heat _ but no broad call to quit


st. paul, minn. — minnesota sen. al franken faces a certain ethics complaint in congress but uncertainty among party leaders and voters in his home state — most stopping short of calling for his resignation — after a los angeles radio anchor accused him of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 uso tour.leeann tweeden said thursday that franken kissed her while rehearsing a sketch over her protests, and later on the tour was photographed with his hands over her breasts, grinning at the camera, as she slept on board a military aircraft.franken immediately apologized, saying he feels "disgusted with myself" for the photo, though he disputed tweeden's recollection of the skit rehearsal. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell soon called for an ethics investigation of franken — a request the minne






key federal law enforcement jobs sit vacant in minnesota


key federal law enforcement posts in minnesota remain unfilled months into the new presidential administration with little indication when that will change, even as president trump has nominated dozens of candidates for u.s. attorney posts and federal judgeships across the country.earlier this year, minnesota’s three republican congressmen aligned behind minneapolis attorney kevin magnuson to fill the state’s vacant u.s. attorney position. but at least three candidates backed by democratic sens. amy klobuchar and al franken also met with white house officials to interview for the same job, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the process.initially, klobuchar and franken unsuccessfully lobbied for the reappointment of former u.s. attorney andrew luger, who was one of 46 u.s. atto






key federal law enforcement jobs sit vacant in minnesota


key federal law enforcement posts in minnesota remain unfilled months into the new presidential administration with little indication when that will change, even as president trump has nominated dozens of candidates for u.s. attorney posts and federal judgeships across the country.earlier this year, minnesota’s three republican congressmen aligned behind minneapolis attorney kevin magnuson to fill the state’s vacant u.s. attorney position. but at least three candidates backed by democratic sens. amy klobuchar and al franken also met with white house officials to interview for the same job, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the process.initially, klobuchar and franken unsuccessfully lobbied for the reappointment of former u.s. attorney andrew luger, who was one of 46 u.s. atto






key federal law enforcement jobs sit vacant in minnesota


key federal law enforcement posts in minnesota remain unfilled months into the new presidential administration with little indication of when that will change, even as president donald trump has nominated dozens of candidates for u.s. attorney posts and federal judgeships across the country.earlier this year, minnesota’s three republican congressmen aligned behind minneapolis attorney kevin magnuson to fill the state’s vacant u.s. attorney position. but at least three candidates backed by democratic u.s. sens. amy klobuchar and al franken also met with white house officials to interview for the same job, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the process.initially, klobuchar and franken unsuccessfully lobbied for the reappointment of former u.s. attorney andrew luger, who was one






minnesota justice david stras set for senate confirmation hearing wednesday


after months of uncertainty, minnesota supreme court justice david stras is expected to be on capitol hill wednesday morning for a hearing on his nomination to a federal appellate court seat.the senate judiciary committee will take up president donald trump's selection of stras, announced last may, to fill a vacancy on the eighth circuit court of appeals — despite objections from sen. al franken, d-minn., who is also on the committee.earlier this month, committee chairman sen. charles grassley, r-iowa, said he would proceed with hearings for stras and another appellate court candidate despite objections from home-state senators which, by senate custom, would stall their hearings.calling stras "exceptionally well-qualified," grassley said he would not allow senators to wield the traditional






with spotlight on stras' eighth circuit nomination, new uncertainty for other mi


key federal law enforcement posts in minnesota remain unfilled months into the new presidential administration with little indication when that will change, even as president trump has nominated dozens of candidates for u.s. attorney posts and federal judgeships across the country.earlier this year, minnesota's three republican congressmen aligned behind minneapolis attorney kevin magnuson to fill the state's vacant u.s. attorney position. but at least three candidates backed by democratic sens. amy klobuchar and al franken also met with white house officials to interview for the same job, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the process.initially, klobuchar and franken unsuccessfully lobbied for the reappointment of former u.s. attorney andrew luger, who was one of 46 u.s. atto






franken, klobuchar question gorsuch on big business


washington – minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge neil gorsuch during wednesday’s supreme court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he’d be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.amy klobuchar and al franken are among the nine democrats on the 20-member senate judiciary committee, where president trump’s nominee coasted through three days of hearings and will receive a vote next month before his confirmation goes to the full senate.franken assailed corporate policies that prevent customers and employers from filing lawsuits and restrict them instead to settle grievances through arbitration – what he called a permission slip for corporations to opt out of the civil justice system.he asked gorsuch if it was fair to enforce arbitrati






franken to vote against gorsuch nomination


washington - as democrats line up to oppose neil gorsuch's confirmation to the supreme court, sen. al franken is vowing to vote against gorsuch and sen. amy klobuchar appears to be leaning against him.in an interview on wcco this weekend, franken said he feared that the federal appeals court judge from denver would join chief justice john roberts in making 5-4 rulings that favored corporations.the senator criticized gorsuch for his dissenting ruling in a case involving a trucker for transam, alphonse maddin, who argued that he was wrongfully fired for disobeying a supervisor’s orders to stay with a faulty trailer for hours in subzero temperatures. concerned for his safety, maddin drove away and was later fired.“he really did not put himself in the shoes of that driver,” franken said of gor






sens. franken, klobuchar question neil gorsuch on big business


washington – minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge neil gorsuch during wednesday’s supreme court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he’d be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.amy klobuchar and al franken are among the nine democrats on the 20-member senate judiciary committee, where president trump’s nominee coasted through three days of hearings and will receive a vote next month before his confirmation goes to the full senate.franken assailed corporate policies that prevent customers and employers from filing lawsuits and restrict them instead to settle grievances through arbitration – what he called a permission slip for corporations to opt out of the civil justice system.he asked gorsuch if it was fair to enforce arbitrati






sens. franken, klobuchar question neil gorsuch on big business


washington – minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge neil gorsuch during wednesday’s supreme court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he’d be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.amy klobuchar and al franken are among the nine democrats on the 20-member senate judiciary committee, where president trump’s nominee coasted through three days of hearings and will receive a vote next month before his confirmation goes to the full senate.franken assailed corporate policies that prevent customers and employers from filing lawsuits and restrict them instead to settle grievances through arbitration – what he called a permission slip for corporations to opt out of the civil justice system.he asked gorsuch if it was fair to enforce arbitrati






franken, klobuchar join dems to urge trump veto of internet privacy repeal


senators al franken and amy klobuchar are among 46 u.s. senate democrats who have signed a letter asking president donald trump to veto a congressional resolution that repeals new internet privacy rules that would have been enforced by the federal communications commission. the rules were crafted during the obama administration and were about to take effect. they would have made internet service providers get customers' permission before gathering their personal data and web browsing habits and selling them to third parties. republican majorities in the senate and house nixed the rules on what were virtually party-line votes, leaving trump as the last hope for those who fear companies will profit from people's personal details without them knowing. in general, internet providers can collec






gov. mark dayton likely to tap lt. gov tina smith as franken replacement


lt. gov. tina smith is likely to be gov. mark dayton's choice to replace sen. al franken if he resigns as expected, which would set in motion a cascade of job openings and reshape minnesota politics.a high-ranking democratic source told the star tribune on wednesday that smith, a close ally to dayton and longtime dfl insider, is his likeliest choice to replace franken. under that scenario, smith would serve as a temporary replacement who would not run for the seat in a november 2018 special election.franken's plans were unclear wednesday night, as his office pushed back against reports that he planned to resign thursday. franken's office would say only that he planned an announcement, and that no final decision had been made.dayton's office did not respond to a request for comment.franken'






democratic leaders unite to tell sen. al franken that it's time to go


washington – democratic party leaders united wednesday in calling for sen. al franken to resign from the u.s. senate, an extraordinary rebuke to the minnesota democrat as he faced a new allegation of sexual harassment.franken planned to make an announcement about his future thursday. a top democratic official told the star tribune that franken planned to resign, but the senator’s staff insisted no final decision had been made.it was clear that franken’s political career was hanging by a thread, as a wave of democrats throughout the day — first female senators, followed by many male colleagues and then other party leaders, said it was time for him to step down from the seat he’s held since 2009.“i believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistrea






as al franken begins senate exit, debate builds over his successor


washington – facing a barrage of sexual harassment complaints and calls to step down from friends and foes alike, sen. al franken took to the floor of the u.s. senate thursday to announce he would resign — a swift and historic fall for an unlikely minnesota politician who had become one of the democratic party's most recognizable leaders.franken was quick to explain that he was stepping down not because he thought he had done something wrong, but because he had determined that minnesotans deserved a senator who wasn't distracted by mounting allegations and a looming senate ethics committee investigation."minnesotans deserve a senator who can focus with all her energy on addressing the challenges they face every day," franken said in a speech that lasted just over 10 minutes, as his wife an






the latest: 2 gubernatorial candidates ask franken to resign


st. paul, minn. — the latest on sexual harassment allegations against minnesota sen. al franken (all times local):7:40 a.m.two democratic gubernatorial candidates in minnesota are calling on u.s. sen. al franken to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment.state auditor rebecca otto and state rep. erin murphy issued statements saying their fellow democrat should lead by example and step down. otto calls franken a friend, but says "we can't have a double standard."gov. mark dayton, u.s. sen. amy klobuchar and other top minnesota democrats have called for an ethics investigation but stopped short of asking franken to resign.los angeles radio news anchor leeann tweeden alleged thursday that franken forcibly kissed her during a skit rehearsal when they were on a 2006 uso tour. tweeden also






franken, klobuchar, others in congress react to trump's firing of comey


“it is deeply troubling that president trump just fired the person in charge of investigating his ties to russia.” - sen. al franken, d-minn. “we need an independent commission and a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of russian interference in our election.” - sen. amy klobuchar, d-minn.“given the recent controversies surrounding the director, i believe a fresh start will serve the fbi and the nation well.” - sen. lindsey graham, r-s.c.“were these investigations getting too close to home for the president? … this does not seem to be a coincidence.” - sen. chuck schumer, d-n.y.“removal … only confirms need for select [committee] to investigate #russia’s interference in 2016 election.” - sen. john mccain, r-ariz.“trump’s decision to fire him now, in the midst of an investigation into …






democratic leaders unite to tell sen. al franken that it's time to go


washington – democratic party leaders united wednesday in calling for sen. al franken to resign from the u.s. senate, an extraordinary rebuke to the minnesota democrat as he faced a new allegation of sexual harassment.franken planned to make an announcement about his future thursday. a top democratic official told the star tribune that franken planned to resign, but the senator's staff insisted no final decision had been made.it was clear that franken's political career was hanging by a thread, as a wave of democrats throughout the day — first female senators, followed by many male colleagues and then other party leaders, said it was time for him to step down from the seat he's held since 2009."i believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistrea






what the senators calling for al franken to resign are saying


numerous democratic senators and other political figures on wednesday called for the resignation of sen. al franken, dfl-minn., after a former democratic aide accused him of trying to force a kiss on her after a recording of his radio show in 2006. it is the latest in a slew of accusations against the senator. franken emphatically denied the democratic aide's claims.franken's minnesota colleague, sen. amy klobuchar, stopped short of calling for franken's resignation.here's what the senators calling for franken to step down are saying. this list will continue to be updated.sen. kirsten gillibrand, d-n.y."obviously, there were new allegations today, and enough is enough. we need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is ok, none of it is acceptable and we, as elected leaders, should a






sen. al franken plans a morning announcement on the senate floor


washington – democratic party leaders united wednesday in calling for sen. al franken to resign from the u.s. senate, an extraordinary rebuke to the minnesota democrat as he faced a new allegation of sexual harassment.franken planned to make an announcement about his future thursday morning on the senate floor. a top democratic official told the star tribune that franken planned to resign, but the senator’s staff insisted no final decision had been made.it was clear that franken’s political career was hanging by a thread, as a wave of democrats throughout the day — first female senators, followed by many male colleagues and then other party leaders, said it was time for him to step down from the seat he’s held since 2009.“i believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear mess






sen. al franken plans a morning announcement on the senate floor


washington – democratic party leaders united wednesday in calling for sen. al franken to resign from the u.s. senate, an extraordinary rebuke to the minnesota democrat as he faced a new allegation of sexual harassment.franken planned to make an announcement about his future thursday morning on the senate floor. a top democratic official told the star tribune that franken planned to resign, but the senator’s staff insisted no final decision had been made.it was clear that franken’s political career was hanging by a thread, as a wave of democrats throughout the day — first female senators, followed by many male colleagues and then other party leaders, said it was time for him to step down from the seat he’s held since 2009.“i believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear mess






6 democratic women senators call for franken to resign


several democratic u.s. senators, all women, are calling for sen. al franken to resign after another sexual harassment allegation surfaced against him.sens. kirsten gillibrand of new york, kamala harris of california, claire mccaskill of missouri, mazie hirono of hawaii, maggie hassan of new hampshire, and patty murray of washington all called for franken's resignation in a series of social media posts wednesday morning."while senator franken is entitled to have the [senate] ethics committee conclude its review," gillibrand wrote on facebook. "i believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn't acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve."franken's office did not immediately respond to the social med






a tale of two democratic senators


washington – sen. al franken, d-minn., has been collecting national headlines and tweets full of speculation that he should run against president trump in 2020.it’s largely because of his relentless approach to trump’s cabinet picks, calling new education secretary betsy devos “the most incompetent cabinet-level nominee i have ever seen,” and battling sen. (now attorney general) jeff sessions, r-ala., and sen. john cornyn, r-texas, with the clips going viral.franken brushes off the presidential speculation.it’s a notable contrast with sen. amy klobuchar, a fellow democrat who last week issued one news release after another touting her bipartisan work with republican senators, with headlines including “klobuchar, cornyn bipartisan legislation to protect seniors from neglect and financial ex






franken denies new allegation he forcibly tried to kiss aide in 2006


a group of democratic u.s. senators, all women, are calling for sen. al franken to resign after another sexual harassment allegation surfaced against him.sens. kirsten gillibrand of new york, kamala harris of california, claire mccaskill of missouri, mazie hirono of hawaii, maggie hassan of new hampshire, and patty murray of washington all called for franken's resignation in a series of social media posts on wednesday morning."while senator franken is entitled to have the [senate] ethics committee conclude its review," gillibrand wrote on facebook. "i believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn't acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve."franken's office did not immediately respond to the soci






gov. mark dayton likely to tap lt. gov tina smith as franken replacement


lt. gov. tina smith is likely to be gov. mark dayton's choice to replace sen. al franken if he resigns as widely expected on thursday, setting in a motion a cascade of political job openings that will reshape minnesota politics.a high-ranking democratic source told the star tribune on wednesday that smith, a close ally to dayton and longtime dfl insider, is his likeliest choice to replace franken. under that scenario, smith would serve as a temporary replacement who would not run for the seat in an expected november 2018 special election.franken's exact plans were unclear wednesday night, as his office pushed back against reports by the star tribune and others that he planned to resign on thursday. franken's office would say only that he planned to make an announcement thursday, and that n






klobuchar talks about how she'll approach gorsuch hearings


when the senate judiciary committee holds confirmation hearings next week for supreme court nominee neil gorsuch, sen. amy klobuchar is among those who will have a few questions.she sits on the committee, along with fellow minnesota democrat al franken.“it’s where you can make sure someone knows the law and get a sense of what they’re like,” she said friday. “that’s the whole reason for the hearing. if it was just the credentials, we could just look at his résumé.”generally, nominees don’t reveal their views on constitutional issues. “so you try to ask questions in a way where you can get the most interesting response in terms of what their philosophy is,” she said.on the legal questions, the most important thing to consider is the nominee’s past opinions or rulings, she said. “are they na






klobuchar, franken call travel ban 'probably unconstitutional'


standing next to a mother whose 4-year-old daughter could be stranded in uganda as a result of president trump’s executive order targeting citizens from seven predominantly muslim countries, sens. al franken and amy klobuchar on sunday morning blasted the order and called for it to be rescinded.“this order was put out in a way that is terribly confusing. it is possibly, very probably, unconstitutional in that it targets country of origin and religion, both of which are unconstitutional,” franken said. “this is not our country.”the mother, samira dahir, a somali refugee who e to minneapolis in 2013, said her 4-year-old daughter mushkaad was scheduled to fly with an escort from kampala to minnesota on monday, but her status is in doubt.the had to stay with family friends in uganda because da






franken says sessions must resign if he lied under oath


washington — sen. al franken said thursday that attorney general jeff sessions must resign if he lied under oath about contacts with a russian government official.it was in response to questions from franken in january, during senate judiciary committee confirmation hearings, that sessions said he was not aware of any contacts between the campaign of then-republican candidate donald trump and the russian government. the washington post reported late wednesday that sessions, then a u.s. senator from alabama and a top adviser to trump’s campaign, had conversations in july and september with russian ambassador sergey kislyak.“we now know that statement not to be true, and if it is determined that you lied under oath to the committee and the american people, it is your responsibility to resign






ag sessions is ‘avoiding’ the senate judiciary committee


sen. al franken (d-mn) on wednesday said he thinks attorney general jeff sessions is “avoiding” the senate judiciary committee, refusing to appear before the oversight council charged with investigating russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.franken appeared with msnbc’s chris hayes to discuss his committee’s investigation, and donald trump’s potential replacement for fired fbi director james comey.franken noted the senate judiciary committee has “oversight over the justice department” and “would also like to get the attorney general to appear before [them] again.”
“is sessions just avoiding your committee now?” hayes asked the democratic senator.“i don’t know, i think so,” franken admitted. “i don’t know. we want him to appear before us, i certainly have some questions for him






dayton reaches out to franken amid misconduct stories


st. paul, minn. — minnesota gov. mark dayton says he reached out to sen. al franken "on a personal level" after a swirl of allegations of improper conduct.the democratic governor said wednesday he has no insight into how franken will respond to pressure over questions about misconduct.franken was accused last week of forcibly kissing a woman during a 2006 uso tour and was photographed reaching out as if to grope her as she slept. a second woman said franken squeezed her buttocks while posing for a photo at the 2010 minnesota state fair.dayton says he didn't discuss strategy or planning with franken, whom he called a longtime friend.dayton has not called for franken's resignation. he says an ethics investigation is proper.






minnesota sens. franken, klobuchar grill gorsuch on second day of hearing


supreme court nominee neil gorsuch says white house chief of staff reince priebus doesn't speak for him on abortion law.priebus said in february at a conservative conference that with president donald trump's nomination of gorsuch, "we're talking about a change of potentially 40 years of law." that's a reference to the 1973 landmark abortion decision roe vs. wade that legalized abortion."mr. priebus doesn't speak for me and i don't speak for him," gorsuch said in response to minnesota sen. al franken's question on priebus' comments.gorsuch added: "i don't appreciate it when people characterize me ... i am a judge, i am my own man."when franken asked if he was comfortable with priebus describing his nomination that way, gorsuch said "there is a lot about this process i am uncomfortable with






son of us man wanted in nazi case wants evidence released


minneapolis — the son of a minnesota man sought by polish authorities in a nazi massacre is asking that evidence against his father be released.a court in poland recently issued an arrest warrant for michael karkoc, opening the way for his possible extradition on war crimes charges.karkoc's son, andriy karkoc, said saturday that his 98-year-old father is innocent. he's asking sens. amy klobuchar and al franken to intervene. a spokesman for klobuchar says the senator believes the matter should be addressed in the criminal justice system.the associated press previously identified karkoc as an ex-commander in an ss-led unit that burned polish villages and killed civilians in world war ii. andriy karkoc says the ap's stories are "cruel fiction."ap spokeswoman lauren easton says the ap stands b






second woman accuses sen. al franken of inappropriate touching


a second woman has accused minnesota sen. al franken of inappropriate touching.lindsay menz tells cnn that franken placed his hand on her bottom as they posed for a photo at the minnesota state fair in 2010, two years into franken's first term.the 33-year-old menz told cnn that the interaction made her feel "gross." she says she immediately told her husband that franken had "grabbed" her bottom.franken told cnn he didn't remember taking the photo with menz, but that he feels badly that she felt disrespected.los angeles broadcaster leeann tweeden accused franken last week of forcibly kissing her during a uso tour in 2006, before he was elected to the u.s. senate.franken's office has not responded to associated press messages seeking comment monday.






casseroles clash at franken's annual hotdish competition for minnesotans in cong


washington – it was hard to imagine which minnesota politician’s hotdish casserole would taste the best.would it be sen. amy klobuchar’s minnesota melting tot, baked with laotian rice, swedish meatballs, ukrainian sausage and lingonberry jam?would it be freshman rep. jason lewis’ “minnesota wild” rice and pheasant hotdish?“that’s just classic minnesota — i think that one’s got the edge,” lewis said, during his first visit to sen. al franken’s annual hotdish competition on wednesday, now in its seventh year at the u.s. capitol.would it be rep. keith ellison’s solidarity kugel, with its parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and apple?“there is no doubt victory is in my grasp,” said ellison, as a trio of judges sampled casseroles baked by the 10 members of minnesota’ congressional delegation. “i’