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Klobuchar touts Clinton's work against human trafficking

By J. PATRICK COOLICAN

Star Tribune staff writer

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar used a high-profile speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to tout nominee Hillary Clinton's decades-long battle against human trafficking and the exploitation of women and girls. 

"When women are held back, democracies falter. When woman are bound and treated as sex slaves, tyrants rule," Klobuchar said. She cited recent reports that ISIS is kidnapping girls and selling them as sex slaves. 

Klobuchar, a former Hennepin County District Attorney, pushed for a bill last year that sought to curb human trafficking. 

Minnesota's senior senator then introduced a survivor of human trafficking.  

Tuesday night at the convention has featured a series of speakers highlighting Clinton's policy fights and achievements during nearly four decades of public life, interspersed with some attacks on her GOP opponent Donald Trump. 

At top, Associated Press photo by J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., spoke about human trafficking in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, the second day of the Democratic National Convention.

Rybak apologizes to delegates on behalf of DNC over emails

PHILADELPHIA -- Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told DFL delegates here on Tuesday that he was sorry for revelations uncovered in leaked emails that DNC leaders conspired with the campaign of Hillary Clinton over challenger Bernie Sanders. 

"I want to issue you a formal apology on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, and I want to look in the eye of every single person that believes in politics here and say your trust was violated," Rybak said. "What happened was wrong, wrong, wrong."

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned her post Monday after emails published by Wikileaks pointed to DNC coordination with Clinton's campaign while Sanders was still in the race. 

Without naming Wasserman Schultz directly, Rybak said the change at the top was needed. He pointed out he had been a detractor for some time; last October, Rybak went public with pointed criticisms of Wasserman Schultz's leadership of the party. 

"I have felt this needed to happen for a while, to be blunt with you, and I got some grief for saying that," Rybak said. 

Minnesota's delegation to Philadelphia is well-stocked with Sanders supporters, and many were upset coming into the convention as the emails became public. That played out in a rocky start to convention proceedings Monday night, when Sanders supporters booed a series of speakers. 

DFL Chairman Ken Martin said he was hopeful that Sanders' speech to close Monday night's convention, where he reaffirmed his backing for Clinton, would pull Democrats back together. Rybak, in his remarks to the DFL breakfast meeting on Tuesday morning, appeared to achieve some unity between the two candidates' factions in the DFL delegation.

"I worked for Obama and I was not a strong Hillary person," Rybak said. But he said he finally fully came around last fall while watching Clinton face down Republican members of Congress at a hearing over Benghazi. 

"There's not a man who would ever have been put through what she's been put through," Rybak said, as Clinton and Sanders supporters alike rose to their feet and applauded. "As a father who wants his daughter to be president, you're sure as hell right it matters to have a woman be president of the United States of America."