Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Minnesota Gov Appoints Former Planned Parenthood VP to Franken's Seat

Lieutenant Gov. Tina Smith Lieutenant Gov. Tina Smith
Erik Tate | 15 December, 2017, 03:34

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has appointed Tina Smith, his lieutenant governor, to fill Al Franken's Senate seat after he steps down following allegations of sexual misconduct.

But Dayton has been under pressure from some in the party, to not do that, but to appoint someone who wants to run for seat and complete Franken's unexpired term.

Dayton praised her as a public official of "impeccable integrity" who'll make Minnesota proud in the Senate. There is no one I trust more to assume the responsibilities of this important office.

Governor Dayton has a news conference scheduled for 10:00 AM, Wednesday to announce the appointment. The seat will be subject to a 2018 special election and a 2020 regular election.

"I think in some ways, this sea change is being led by young women who tell women of my generation that maybe some of the things we put up with during our lives we shouldn't have to put up with", Smith said. At least eight women shared stories of him touching them inappropriately without consent during photo-opportunities, on a celebrity tour to military installations overseas or at political events.

Michigan Cops Handcuff 11-Year-Old at Gunpoint
Grand Rapids police detained the Honesti and two other women, including the girl's mother, as they exited the house. Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said the video was "deeply, deeply disturbing", The Washington Post noted .

"She genuinely likes people, and people like her", Dayton said of Smith, whose appointment was received with enthusiasm by Sen. A prank photo also showed Franken appearing to grab Tweeden's breast area while she was sleeping in a flak jacket and helmet.

MinnPost has a good primer on Smith that emphasizes her apparently wonderful interpersonal skills, which Dayton's speech reflected.

Before that, she served as Gov. Dayton's chief of staff and worked in the same role for former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak from 2006 through 2010. Republicans immediately floated former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty as a possible candidate, but many others were said to be weighing a race.

Smith graduated from Sanford University and earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. "I know that she will be a superb Senator, representing the best interests of our state and our citizens".

She also acknowledged that not all Minnesotans are benefiting from the current economy and vowed to be an advocate for "economic opportunity and fairness" for women and people of color.

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