Skip to main content
Publish date:

Lori Swanson under more pressure after another ex-staffer speaks out

She's been accused of using Attorney General office staff to aid her political campaigns.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lori Swanson is under more pressure on Friday after another report she pressured staff at the Attorney General's office to assist with her political campaigns.

Minnesota's Attorney General was the subject of an article by The Intercept earlier this week in which several staffers – most of them speaking anonymously – said they felt pressured to help Swanson with her campaign efforts, and claimed those who did help were more likely to get promotions and pay raises.

Swanson rejected the claims, saying her office had only ever given promotions based on merit and suggested the revelations were "politically-motivated," as well as sending local media three sets of articles in which The Intercept's journalism has been criticized.

But on Thursday, The Intercept published another story in which one of Swanson's former deputies, D'Andre Norman, went on the record about the initial allegations, telling the website: "It was all true, unfortunately. Nothing in there was not right and correct."

Norman, who started at the AG's office in 2006 but was fired after a car insurance fraud claim was made against him in 2014 (and later dismissed), said that his role in Swanson's office was of a "recruiter."

He would encourage employees to staff Swanson's political events, and himself accompanied Swanson to many of the political events on her calendar.

To induce participation, he and other deputies would tell staffers that Swanson one day would run for governor, and then "just imagine where your career could go."

It's not illegal to for Minnesota government workers to assist with a boss' political campaign, but the law does bar politicians from compelling their staff to do political work.

With Norman going on the record with his experiences, it will heap pressure on Swanson, who is facing a tight race in next week's DFL primary from challengers Tim Walz and Erin Murphy.

Get the latest BMTN stories by following on Flipboard.

Speaking to MPR, Intercept reporter Rachel Cohen said she'd spoken to as many as 20 employees current and former in Swanson's office, many of whom corroborate the claims staffers were pressured to assist with campaign work. Most were afraid to speak out publicly however.

"D'Andre freely admits to a lot of things that make him look bad and put him in jeopardy," Cohen told the news organization, "in part because he felt guilt and wants to help fix things. His willingness to incriminate himself I think makes the story one that people need to take seriously."

On Wednesday, Swanson told reporters that Norman was a "low-level employee" whom she never asked for political help, the Associated Press reports.

She said any employees who helped her did it on their own time, calling the allegations "dirty politics."

The Swanson campaign provided the following response to the original Intercept story earlier this week.

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 2.45.24 PM

On Twitter Friday, Cohen responded to Swanson's comments.

Next Up

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.36.14 AM

Waterfront hotel in Duluth sustains damage in kitchen fire

Authorities estimate the damage at around $75,000.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.


Lori Swanson rejects claim she pressured govt. workers into doing campaign work

The gubernatorial candidate is the subject of a piece by The Intercept.

Lori Swanson: Medical bill collector overly aggressive

Minnesota's Attorney General released an investigative report Tuesday into Accretive Health Inc. It accuses the Chicago-based consultant, who was hired by Fairview Health System, of imposing collection quotas and pressuring hospital employees to collect money from patients before treatment.

Lori Swanson loses DFL endorsement for attorney general

Her record on gun control counted against her, it seems.

Ex-staffer accuses Rick Nolan of lying over former aide's harassment

A woman accusing Nolan's former aide of sexual harassment has penned an open letter to the congressman.

Swanson, Accretive trade barbs over new documents

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson released a new batch of patient affidavits Thursday on Accretive Health Inc. – including accounts by parents who said they were hounded for payment while their crying children waited for care – as she and the Chicago firm traded filings over the merit of her lawsuit. The firm first filed for dismissal in late April and said that the new documents are a rehash of "baseless allegations and mischaracterizations.''

Accretive Health CEO pokes back at Swanson, media

Without getting into specifics, Accretive Health's CEO suggested to an interviewer: "Do your own research on this attorney general and her approaches." The AG in question is Minnesota's Lori Swanson, who issued a report this week slamming Accretive's high-pressure tactics in collecting payments from hospital patients. The CEO says Accretive will weather the "current media blitz."

Accretive says it's addressing concerns raised in Swanson's report

Accretive Health says it's working with advisers on addressing the concerns about high-pressure tactics that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson raised in her report last week. But the medical debt collection agency calls it a "flagrant distortion" to say the company solicited payments from patients in their hospital beds.