My Statement on Any Upcoming Vote on National Popular Vote

05/01 – After considering the overwhelming sentiment of my constituents I have decided to recuse myself from any upcoming vote on the issue of National Popular Vote. There are a few items that I would like to share regarding my involvement with this issue and my decision to recuse myself from the vote: 1) -My co-authorship of this bill preceded my employment with my employer by an entire legislative session. I have been a supporter of this policy before I even knew of the existence of my employer. 2) -I do not, and have never registered as a lobbyist for National Popular Vote in Minnesota or any one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. 3) -When I became aware of my employers involvement with National Popular Vote I sought multiple legal opinions regarding the Senate Rules as well as the law regarding conflict of interest. Both Senate Counsel and a third party law firm confirmed that I do NOT have a conflict under the law. These letters were provided to the Senate ethics committee. 4) -I shared with my Senate District Executive Committee last evening that I planned to recuse myself from the vote due to PERCEPTION of conflict, not out of a legal obligation to do so. I still wholeheartedly believe that enacting National Popular Vote is the right policy for the state of Minnesota. The American President ought to hear the voice of all people in all states. Today that is not happening. In fact, most of our nation is relegated to observer status in the election of our most powerful executive. However, my belief in this policy is not more important than the genuine concerns of my district. I understand the concern, and I will act to remedy it. In politics, legal responsibility is often not the only consideration as to what is the correct course of action. While I did due diligence on the legality of my situation, I underestimated the perception that my involvement would create. I understand the sentiment of many who feel that it is indeed a conflict. I respect this sentiment and I will abide by it. It is clear that my constituents are uncomfortable with my relationship to the issue of National Popular Vote. I will respect that and avoid any appearance of conflict on the issue by recusing myself from any action on the bill. My hope is that my recusal will allow a more thorough debate on the important issues remaining this session. My focus for the remainder of this year will be on those important matters of public policy.

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