Al Franken Can Go To Work….Finally!

AlFranken_2009 by Jonathunder

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After an automatic recount and an expensive court challenge launched by incumbent Norm Coleman, the Minnesota Supreme Court declared Al Franken the winner of the hotly contested Minnesota U.S. senate race.   Governor Pawlenty signed the election certificate, though he appeared to do so grudgingly as he showered praise on Norm Coleman calling him “an extraordinary leader and public servant” leaving out the fact that Coleman is also an extraordinarily sore loser.  Pawlenty half-heartedly congratulated Franken and wished him well, as if Franken were going off to a distant post never again to be seen.  Tim, you both serve the people of Minnesota.  Why not extend an olive branch as in the Jackson 5 song, I’ll Be There written by Berry Gordy et al. :

I’ll reach out my hand to you, I’ll have faith in all you do.  Just call my name and I’ll be there”

I tell you why the Governor would rather extend a slice of olive loaf to Franken than a helping hand – Pawlenty is running for President in 2012.   He is…alongside Bobby, Newt, Sarah, Mitt and Huck.

Minnesotans have been without full senate representation for nearly 6 months.  Finally, Senator Al Franken can go to work for the good people of the state of Minnesota who believe that he is good enough, smart enough and who doggone it, like him more than Norm.

Franken Wins MN Senate Seat by 312 Votes

On April 13, a three judge-panel ruled that Al Franken defeated Norm Coleman by 312 votes and recommended Franken be awarded the election certificate.   Coleman plans to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court arguing that 4,400 rejected absentee ballots should be counted, though his chances on appeal are slim.  In an AP article picked up by the Wall Street Journal, law professor Rick Hansen said the ruling was “a careful and unanimous decision opinion…unlikely to be disturbed on appeal” by the Minnesota Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court if it gets that far.

If Coleman continues to challenge the election results, it may be another year before Franken takes office.   And Minnesota may soon have the dubious distinction of being the only state in modern history to go an entire year with only one U.S. Senator.

Al Franken Still Ahead

Ahead from the gitgo, and still ahead.  That Norm Coleman cannot go gently into that good night is a travesty of justice and another example of abuse of our court systems.  Coleman challenged the initial results of the original recount in the close Minnesota Senate race in which Al Franken eked out a small victory.  Some 5 months later, the race has still not been decided thanks to Coleman’s stubborn refusal to accept defeat.  The Boston Herald reports that as more absentees ballots are being counted as part of the current Coleman lawsuit, Franken’s lead has widened.  If Coleman is not declared the winner, he vows to take the matter to the state Supreme Court.

Is this unprecedented in the annals of American political history?  Has there ever been a senate race that has taken so long to resolve? And meanwhile, Minnesota is down one senator in one of the most important chapters in American history.  A shame, a real sham, The Royal Scam.

For a little perspective, read the following posts:

Is Al Franken for Real?

MN Senate Race Frankly a Little Closer

Franken Wins Recount

Franken Waits To Be Seated As Coleman Lawsuit Begins


Will Minnesota have representation in the U.S. Senate in  2009?  Not if candidate Norm Coleman has his way.  A required recount of votes confirmed Al Franken won the November 4 Senate election by 225 votes.  Refusing to accept defeat, Republican incumbent Coleman challenged the recount results claiming that thousands of rejected ballets should be reexamined.  A three judge panel appointed Justice Pageby Alan Page, State Supreme Court Justice and Minnesota Viking Hall of Famer, disagreed, but will allow a lawsuit Coleman filed arguing the recount process was flawed, rejecting Franken’s bid to block it.

recount1When will it end? It should have already, but with this latest lawsuit set to begin on Monday, it may be months until the business is settled.  When asked how long the battle will continue, Coleman is reported to have said “we’ll see how it plays out” suggesting that if it does not play out in his favor, he’ll fight on.  In fact, the loser can appeal the panel’s ruling, and likely will.  Meanwhile, Minnesota will continue to be underrepresented in the U.S. Senate during this critical time of economic and foreign policy challenges.   Whatever happened to that Republican slogan, Country First?  I guess Norm thought the chant was Coleman First.

MN Senate Race Frankly a Little Closer

The Senate race in Minnesota just got a little closer.  As of Friday, Norm Coleman’s lead over challenger Al Franken had dwindled to a mere 236 votes.  An AP article reports that a judge ruled against Coleman’s attempt to block 32 absentee ballots from Hennepin Country. Coleman disputed the ballots on the basis that they were not counted on election day or that they might not have been properly sealed.  As the ballots came from a county known to support Democrats, Coleman’s motives are fairly obvious.

The AP’s Brian Bakst reports that in an analysis of the 25,000 undervotes, defined as a ballot with a vote for a Presidential candidate, but no vote for a Senator, upwards of 18,000 were cast in counties won by Obama.  Another oddity is the fact that close to 9,000 ballots were cast only for the Senate race with no mark for President.  In this historic Presidential contest, to turn out and then not vote for President is inconceivable.  Are there 9,000 Minnesotans who only care about the Senate race?

These irregularities do not necessarily point to foul play, but they do raise serious questions about optical scanners, which are prone to malfunctions.  The scanners used in Minnesota apparently have the worst track record for accurately recording votes.

The recount should be interesting and I would not be the least bit surprised if Al Franken wins by a margin of over 2,000 votes.  And I hope he does!

Looks like a Shredder

Looks like a Shredder

Is Al Franken For Real?

Is Al Franken for real?  Is his run for the U.S. Senate a joke?  Is he just preparing material for a return to Saturday Night Live (SNL)?  If there are any Minnesotans out there reading this post, I apologize.  You know the answer to the question, but it is still hard for me to believe that Al Franken is a politician.  I always thought he was one of the funniest cast members for the 12 Seasons he was with SNL.

I remember hearing him on Air America Radio when he first began broadcasting several years back and thought he was hilarious and frankly, pun intended, good for the progressive cause.  It didn’t occur to me then that he might run for public office, but I am glad he has.

Both Hillary and Bill Clinton have vistied the land of 10,000 lakes recently to stump for Franken and Obama as the Senate race tightens.  The latest Rasmussen poll shows Franken trailing Republican Norm Coleman 39%-43%.

Al Franken for U.S. Senate

Al Franken for U.S. Senate

Hey Minnesotans, get out and vote for Al Franken.  We need more progressive political minds with a good sense of humor.  What a hoot it would be to have a former SNL cast member in the U.S. Senate!  If you need more reason to vote for Al Franken, remember this:  he’s “good enough…smart enough…and doggone it, people like” him!