The #MeToo movement comes for Dan Schoen, as do calls for his resignation

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Dan Schoen denies 'unequivocally' ever touching a woman 'inappropriately,' which means his story differs wildly from that of one accuser. David Joles, Star Tribune

Once again, Dan Schoen insists on continuing to do something even though the other people involved have asked him to stop.

This time, the activity Schoen (DFL-St. Paul Park) won't quit is being a state senator. Following numerous complaints of sexual harassment, legislative and political leaders, previously his allies in the Capitol, are calling for Schoen to resign.

Schoen, now in his first Senate term after two terms in the House, had refused that idea as of Wednesday night -- though calls for his resignation continued to pile up as the night wore on.

MinnPost broke the harassment stories Wednesday night, detailing two incidents when Schoen came on to young women, and a third which saw a young woman warned to be wary of Schoen, who has earned a reputation around the Capitol.

The sources of the story are prominent women in Democratic circles: One, Lindsey Port, was a DFL candidate for state House in 2016, and the other two -- Reps. Erin Maye Quade (Apple Valley) and Jamie Becker-Finn (Roseville) -- are Schoen's Democratic colleagues in the Legislature. 

Recalling a DFL Party function in 2015, Port told a story of Schoen commenting on her having a "good door-knocking ass," a reference to the effect campaigning had on her body part. Later, Port says, Schoen grabbed this same body part to confirm for himself.

Maye Quade, who was elected in 2016, recalled a night in 2015 when she received numerous text messages from Schoen inviting her out for a drink, which she declined. Schoen then invited Maye Quade to his house, adding that his "kids weren't home" that night. When she said no again, Maye Quade received one more text which she deduced was meant for someone else, in which Schoen wrote he was "working on her pretty hard, but I almost got her."

Since then, Maye Quade has "avoided [Schoen] like the plague." Becker-Finn, also a freshman in the Legislature, has avoided Schoen, after she says lobbyists warned her "about Dan Schoen," and to "be careful" around him.

In a statement to MinnPost, Schoen, who also works as a police officer in suburban Cottage Grove, said the accusations are "either completely false or have been taken far out of context," and denied "unequivocally" that he has ever made "inappropriate contact" with a woman, as Port says he did. 

“Despite this," Schoen continued, "if any of my actions or words have ever made another person feel uncomfortable or harassed, I deeply regret it and truly apologize.”

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) says he and other DFL Senate leaders are "united in our call for Sen. Dan Schoen to apologize, step aside, and seek care to address these actions.”

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin echoed the same sentiment, saying in a statement issued late Wednesday: "The DFL stands strongly with the women who bravely shared their difficult stories, and all others who may have been harassed by Senator Dan Schoen. There is no room in our party for sexual harassment. The DFL calls for Senator Schoen’s immediate resignation.”


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