| ||Associated Press|
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Gov. Jesse Ventura's new broadcast job
with the XFL does not pose a conflict of interest, a Minnesota
official ruled Monday.
"There are no issues concerning the XFL that would affect the
governor's independence of judgment in the exercise of his official
duties," said Julien Carter, the state's commissioner of employee
Carter determined Ventura is not a state employee who must abide
by a prescribed code of ethics. Carter said he would have found no
conflicts even if Ventura were classified an employee.
Carter's ruling comes in response to a complaint by
environmental activist Leslie Davis, who argued that Ventura was
using his position to secure benefits not available to the public.
Davis said he has no immediate plans to pursue court action.
Several lawmakers made similar accusations after learning
Ventura signed a one-year contract to work XFL games on NBC from
February to mid-April.
"It's hard for the employee to call the boss on the carpet,"
State Sen. John Marty said.
Carter cited Ventura's broadcast work before his election in
1998 as qualification for the job. He said he found "no facts that
would indicate that the governor is using his official position"
Ventura has done radio commentary for the NFL's Tampa Bay
Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings.
Carter added there is no conflict because the state does not
regulate or do business with the XFL, a joint venture of NBC and
the World Wrestling Federation.
Carter disagreed with a November opinion by Minnesota Attorney
General Mike Hatch that the governor is a state employee. Carter
said the law Hatch used to determine Ventura's classification was
A spokeswoman for Hatch said the attorney general stands by his
Ventura has said that it is up to voters at election time to
determine whether his actions are improper. He has not said whether
he will seek a second term.
|Jesse Ventura has shown himself to be a sports fan while serving as Minnesota governor.|| |
Jesse Ventura to govern XFL telecasts as analyst