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|North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said he has repaid a Minnesota electric utility $37 Adidas Nathan MacKinnon Jersey ,000 for tickets the company provided him and his wife for Sunday’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis. The Republican governor on Wednesday said he reimbursed Xcel Energy ”to eliminate even the perception of any conflict.”
Burgum and first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum watched the game from a suite provided by Xcel, which serves more than 90,000 customers in Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot. He said before going that he planned to use the opportunity to talk with Xcel officials about their service and infrastructure in North Dakota.
The trip drew criticism even from within his own party.
”We can’t be doing that,” GOP Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said. ”I don’t think the governor was influenced in any way but we as state officials just need to use good judgment.”
Burgum, in a statement, said the tickets ”have not influenced, and will not influence, my decision-making as governor. However, to eliminate even the perception of any conflict, I have reimbursed Xcel Energy for the full cost of the tickets.”
Earlier Wednesday Adidas Gabriel Landeskog Jersey , his office said that an ethics policy was being written for the governor and his staff. But it was in progress before the governor was criticized over the Super Bowl, according to Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki.
”There wasn’t one in the governor’s office when we moved in,” Nowatzki said of an ethics policy. Burgum’s lawyer, Leslie Bakken Oliver, has been crafting such a policy for several months, the spokesman said.
”We don’t have a timeline” for when it will be done, Nowatzki said.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton paid more than $6,000 for his own ticket to the Super Bowl.
Democratic House Minority Leader Corey Mock of Grand Forks said if anyone could make the case for getting a free ticket to the game it would have been Minnesota’s governor. Burgum, a wealthy, former software executive, could afford his own Adidas Mikko Rantanen Jersey , Mock said.
”That way, no one would question why you get to go to the biggest football game of the season at no cost,” he said.
During his campaign for governor, Burgum often talked about ”reinventing government,” shaking up the ”good old boy” party establishment and reining in ”runaway spending” as the state’s oil boom was fading.
A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:
The Mets march on in their difficult season a day after learning general manager Sandy Alderson had effectively stepped down because his cancer has returned. Officially, Alderson will take a leave of absence, but he said Tuesday that he was essentially ending his tenure both for his health and because he doesn’t think he’s been successful enough to continue. Assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistants J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya will run the club’s baseball operations in Alderson’s absence. Minaya preceded Alderson as Mets general manager, and Ricciardi was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-09.
CAIN NOT ABLE
Lorenzo Cain is missing the chance to face his former teammates this week due to a left groin strain. The Brewers center fielder was placed on the disabled list Tuesday, just as Milwaukee opened a series against Kansas City. Cain left the Royals last offseason for an $80 million, five-year deal with the Brewers, and he’s batting .291 with eight homers Adidas Seth Jones Jersey , 48 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and an .832 OPS for the NL Central leaders.
Indians rookie Shane Bieber is off to a strong start and gets his first interleague test in a game against St. Louis. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA through three starts, including seven scoreless innings against Detroit last time out. Bieber has 22 strikeouts and three walks in 18 1/3 innings after walking just 18 batters in 274 career minor league innings. The Cardinals will counter with another promising young righty, Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.50).
Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 3.90) has been the weakest link in Houston’s rotation – which says more about the Astros than Keuchel – but he’s been sharp of late. Over his past two starts, he’s thrown 12 innings without allowing an earned run, and now he’ll face a Toronto team that struck out 13 times against Charlie Morton in a 7-0 loss Tuesday to Houston.