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Hot Dish Politics

Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Sen. Franken to vote against Education Secretary nominee

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Al Franken said late Wednesday that he was going to vote against Betsy DeVos, president-elect Trump's pick for Education Secretary.

Franken was critical of DeVos on Tuesday during her confirmation hearings, saying it was unacceptable that she couldn't adequately talk about whether she preferred proficiency or growth models when measuring student success.

"After a full examination of Ms. DeVos' record, and based on Tuesday's hearing ... it's clear to me that she is not qualified for the demanding job of education secretary," Franken said, in a statement. "which bears responsibility for schools and students in Minnesota and across the country."

MyPillow mogul denies report that he might run for Minn. governor

Mike Lindell, the informercial king who sells a pillow he dubs "guaranteed the most comfortable pillow you'll ever own," denied a report from conservative Web site that he is mulling a run for governor of Minnesota. 

Alpha News reported Tuesday that when Lindell was asked about a jump from his pillow success to politics, he said, "I'm not ruling it out." 

Lindell said it's a misunderstanding. "People have called me, and I’ve said absolutely not," Lindell said in a telephone interview from Washington. He is attending the inauguration of the next president; he was a major backer of Donald Trump during the campaign and spoke at Trump's last minute Minnesota rally at the Twin Cities airport.  

"I want to get this nipped in the bud," Lindell said of the speculation. 

Lindell  rocketed to fame with his Chaska-based MyPillow, fueled by heavy rotation on late night TV ads. Last year, the company paid $1 million in civil penalties to settle a deceptive ad case over its health claims brought by prosecutors in nine California counties.

Trump's unconventional electoral success would seem to make a Lindell candidacy more viable. 

Lindell said he is too busy with his company and the continued rollout of the Lindell Foundation, which he founded in 2016. The foundation will soon provide help for the needy of urban Minneapolis and St. Paul, he said. 

Despite his denial that he is considering a run, he declined to close the door completely, citing the possibility of divine intervention: "Anything can happen with Mike Lindell," he said.

He added: "If God had me do something, I would do it."