- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 24, 2019

Al Franken has partnered with a talent agency to make paid public speeches, less than two years since sexual misconduct allegations forced his resignation from the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Franken, Minnesota Democrat, has recently been added to the roster of speakers who can be booked through United Talent Agency, Bloomberg first reported Friday.

The agency has started pitching Mr. Franken to event organizers, and he has already scheduled several speaking engagements slated for later this fall.

A profile for Mr. Franken on the UTA website says he “brings a unique voice to the stage” and “will cut through the conventional wisdom and tell you how it really is.”

“Franken delivers a singular experience—leaving audiences thoroughly entertained, more knowledgeable and either optimistic or extremely depressed about our nation’s future—depending on how he feels that day,” reads the webpage.

The agency’s speaker profile for Mr. Franken, 68, does not reference the allegations that resulted in him resigning from the Senate while serving his second term.

A former comedy writer for “Saturday Night Life,” Mr. Franken was accused by a conservative radio host in late 2017 of having acted inappropriately more than a decade earlier while the two participated in a USO tour for troops overseas. Several other women subsequently made similar allegations, ultimately prompting him to leave office in early 2018.

Recently addressing his resignation, Mr. Franken told The New Yorker that he “absolutely” regrets to stepping down from the Senate.

“I can’t go anywhere without people reminding me of this, usually with some version of ‘You shouldn’t have resigned,’” Mr. Franken said in an interview published last month.

Mr. Franken was a member of the paid speaking circuit prior to entering politics, Bloomberg reported. Speakers can earn upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per gig, though current members of Congress are legally prohibited from being paid to speak, the report said

He is currently scheduled to speak on Oct. 2 in Portland, Oregon, followed by dates in Boston and Seattle.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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