State Senator Satveer Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, said his relationships with the Arctic Cat company and a construction union do not amount to ethics violations.
Chaudhary hosts a weekly TV show on the Sportsman Channel. In a deal with Thief River Falls-based Arctic Cat, Chaudhary bought a snowmobile in January at a discount after he borrowed it for his program.
Chaudhary said the discount and a $15,000 sponsorship from a union do not violate the state's ban on lobbying-related gifts, because his production company provided advertising in return. Chaudhary said he has a clean record and the allegations have been a distraction from the legislative session.
"You never like ethical questions to come up, particularly on the last day of session, but I think we have accomplished great things, whether it be property taxes or health care reform or conservation," Chaudhary said.
Chaudhary chairs the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and he has pushed for legislation that would benefit both the union and the snowmobile company.