Tina Smith Responds to Criticism from Senate Challenger Richard Painter

Painter says Smith's support of mining is dangerous to environment

Adam Carter
May 02, 2018 - 1:37 pm

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Senator Tina Smith responded to criticism from the man who is now challenging her for the US Senate seat she holds.

Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota Law Professor, officially entered the race for the Senate seat formerly held by Al Franken. Painter, who once served as an ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, entered the race as Democrat.

On Monday, Painter told WCCO's Chad Hartman he has issues with Smith support of copper and nickel mining in Minnesota.

"(The mines) do serious environmental damage," Painter said. "These are foreign owned companies, some of them with connections to the Russians. These people want to do business in our state, and nobody is standing up against them, no one is standing up for the environment."

Smith responded today, disputing any ideas that she's beholden to foreign mining companies.

"I think it's something like 90-percent of the dollars I have raised have come from small individual donors, and I think that is a sign of the grassroots support that I'm earning. I'm really proud of that, and I'm going to keep focused on that."

Smith, who was serving as Lieutenant Governor, was appointed to fill the Senate seat by Governor Mark Dayton after Franken resigned. She announced early on that she would run for the seat in November.

Stillwater State Senator Karin Housley is running for the seat on the Republican side.


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