Attorney General Lori Swanson (D-MN), who will leave office in January after 12 years in the position, published one last op-ed in The Star Tribune recently to thank her colleagues for helping her along the way.
Among those she thanked are Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN), former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), and disgraced former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who resigned from his seat in early January after facing multiple sexual harassment allegations.
“Against this backdrop, I’d like to relate some of what I learned over the last 12 years,” Swanson writes, taking a subtle jab at “political correctness.”
“I learned from Sen. Al Franken. In 2012, I was being attacked by several former White House chiefs of staff for my lawsuit against the politically connected Accretive Health. Yet, Al Franken held a U.S. Senate hearing so that patients could testify about the atrocities committed by the company, which had embedded bill collectors in the emergency rooms of Minnesota hospitals,” Swanson recalls.
The hearing “blunted the political mischief,” Swanson continues, thanking Franken “for showing others that you can succeed when standing up to powerful special interests.”
In November, Swanson convened a task force to discuss potential changes to Minnesota law surrounding alcohol and sexual consent. According to The Star Tribune, one of the changes being considered would make it easier for prosecutors to argue that victims of sexual assault were too intoxicated to provide consent.
That committee is expected to issue a set of recommendations for the consideration of the upcoming legislative session, as well as for Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN).
As Battleground State News reported in November, a handful of powerful Democratic donors were disappointed in Franken’s decision to resign, and didn’t believe he was treated fairly. Some even rebuked colleagues of Franken who called for his resignation, and said that they considered Franken one of their “best weapons” against President Donald Trump.
Swanson concludes her recent op-ed by thanking the people of Minnesota, saying she is “so honored and grateful that you elected me.”
“You taught me about the basic goodness of people and the exceptionalism of our state. You taught me that rural or urban, male or female, young or old, black or white, we mostly want the same things in life,” she concludes. “You taught me that the Minnesota spirit is resilient and hopeful. And you taught me that Minnesotans believe in individualism, but also in our shared humanity.”
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