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Minnesota delegation to Obama: Don’t send Tsunis to Norway

WASHINGTON – The entire delegation signed a letter asking Obama to rescind his nominee to be ambassador to Norway.

WASHINGTON — Every member of the Minnesota U.S. House delegation signed onto a letter to President Obama asking him to rescind his nomination of George Tsunis as ambassador to Norway.

Tsunis’ nomination has been plagued by his lackluster testimony before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in February. Both Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have said they oppose his nomination, and even though the U.S. House doesn’t vote on nominations, all eight of Minnesota’s members asked Obama to “withdraw your nomination of Mr. George Tsunis, Esq. to be the next U. S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway.

“It is important that the U.S. Ambassador to Norway be a respected individual capable of the great responsibility the position requires,” the letter, signed by 32 House members, reads. “The answers provided by Mr. Tsunis clearly demonstrate that he is unqualified for this position and may damage an important international bond if confirmed.”

Minnesota has the largest Norwegian-American population in the United States. Community leaders have pushed lawmakers around the Midwest to oppose Tsunis, and they’ve had a great deal of success, even among Democrats. In the Senate, Klobuchar, Franken and Democratic Sens. Tim Johnson (S.D.) and, on Monday, Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) have come out against his nomination.

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Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.