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Stevens County Times Editorial: Let Franken go

Let us say this up front. The risk of advocating for Sen. Al Franken to continue with his planned retirement can put newspapers and folks in a rather unusual role. Newspapers have been known to be strong advocates for due process and innocent until proven guilty.

We believe it's fundamental that those accused of criminal actions are afforded due process.

But in Franken's case, we agree with his resignation. We urge any supporters who still believe Franken should retain his Senate role to abandon that support and move on with Tina Smith.

Yes, the allegations of sexual misconduct are allegations. But wrap the allegations against Franken in with allegations against defeated Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama and allegations of various Hollywood figures such as Harvey Weinstein and legislators such as Republican Representative Tony Cornish and Democratic Senator Dan Schoen of Minnesota and we've got a big, ugly mess.

If Franken or his supporters cling to the Senate seat then the mess gets uglier.

Does Franken's resignation, or the resignation of any state or federal legislator accused of sexual misconduct, circumvent due process? Perhaps. But people elected to public office have an obligation to do what's best for their state and country.

This situation does not call for Franken to hold firm as if he were a public person or public official accused in the McCarthy Era when accusations of communism were rampant and created unwarranted and unjust fear and hatred in America.

Franken has does some very good things for Minnesota and the U.S. His resignation will be one of them. Let him go, supporters who want him to stay.

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