Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Obama urges confirmation of B. Todd Jones as ATF chief

While introducing the president, Minneapolis Police Chief  Janee Harteau called him “one of our best partners’’ in efforts to reduce gun violence.

Embattled B. Todd Jones, Minnesota’s U.S. attorney and the acting director of the Bureau of Alchohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, got a rare round of enthusiastic applause Monday during President Obama’s visit to Minneapolis.

The president put forward Jones to become the full-time ATF director in January, but, like most things in Washington, that nomination has run into political trouble.

Republicans have expressed “concern’’ about Jones’ record as a crime fighter in his years as the region’s U.S. Attorney.

On Monday, the president urged the Senate “to confirm Todd Jones.’’

Those words were greeted by big applause from the president-friendly crowd that had been invited to the event.

Article continues after advertisement

The president also acknowledged the presence of members of the Minnesota congressional delegation, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and DFL Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum,  mayors R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman and Gov. Mark Dayton.

Former Vice Ppresident Walter Mondale also was acknowledged by the president, who called him “a wonderful man.’’

The president was introduced by Minneapolis Police Chief  Janee Harteau, who called Obama “one of our best partners’’ in efforts to reduce gun violence.

There were about 100 law enforcement officials surrounding the platform from which Obama spoke.

Not present, by the way, was Robin Cole, the Pine County sheriff who is cut from Tea Party cloth.

In a letter to his constituents, he has said he will not enforce any of the gun-restriction laws the president is seeking.

“I do not believe the federal government or any individual in the federal government has the right to dictate to the states, counties or municipalities any mandate. . . .that violates the U.S. Constituion or its various amendments,’’ Cole said.