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Thu Jan 17, 2019, 02:02 PM

About Gillibrand and Franken - a letter, not mine. [View all]

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York won’t get my vote in any Democratic presidential primary election (“Gillibrand says she is running in 2020,” Jan. 16). More than anyone else, she is responsible for the abrupt resignation of Sen. Al Franken following several allegations of inappropriate conduct toward women several years ago. Franken’s earlier conduct, when he was a comedian, even if proven, was minuscule, apologized for, and he was prepared to go before the Senate Ethics Committee for a fair hearing. The fusillade led by Gillibrand struck him hard, and he resigned. I submit that he would never have been forced to resign after a Senate hearing. His long record of USO volunteering, progressive stances and civic involvement were disregarded by Gillibrand.

Franken had literally become a “Giant of the Senate,” the title of his latest book, during his short tenure, and that trait had displayed itself in several areas, not the least of which was as a member of the Judiciary Committee.

There is no question that one is responsible for one’s conduct, and that the #MeToo movement has opened our eyes to abuses that have been overlooked for decades. You can’t outrun your past. Which is why, as I look over Gillibrand’s past, I wonder how she rationalizes her legal work defending Philip Morris in the 1990s when the damage of nicotine was first being brought to public attention, or her then-100 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association, or her outspoken opposition to amnesty for undocumented immigrants, or her strenuous opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage. I’m sure she says that she has grown since then. She’s had the chance that she denied Franken, to explain away her shortcomings on those important social issues.

In her words, as she castigated Franken, “Sometimes you just have to do what’s right — even if it’s painful.” Exposing hypocrisy is painful, but attacking a peer as she did is a two-edged sword. She will not get my vote, even if it’s painful.

Alan Miller, Eagan

http://www.startribune.com/readers-write-kirsten-gillibrand-and-the-presidency-border-wall-liberty-and-inequality-technology-and-global-competitiveness/504453152/

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