The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 July 2007

Al Franken US Senate Campaign, Fundraising Figures, Norm Coleman


Franken Declines To State Fundraising Totals

Are Hollywood elitists failing to come through for Al Franken during his US Senate run? Is he having trouble raising money at home in Minnesota?

Something has to explain Stuart's unwillingness to report his second quarter fundraising totals, even though opponents did so yesterday. Unless Franken has a good reason for holding back the figures, pundits are likely to believe the news isn't good.

And judging by the way his rivals are raking in the cash, Franken had better hope Christmas comes in July this year!

Interestingly, with a quarterly take of $1.6 million, GOP incumbent Norm Coleman isn't the only one raising a substantial amount of money: Democrat Party primary challenger Mike Ciresi also did well, pulling in $750,000 during the period.

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman raised about $1.6 million in the second quarter of the year, while Democratic candidate Mike Ciresi pulled in around $750,000, according to numbers released by the campaigns Monday.

Another Democratic candidate, Al Franken, declined to release his second-quarter figures. The filing deadline is July 15.

Leslie Sandberg, a spokeswoman for Ciresi, said that the candidate didn't begin raising money until May, so Ciresi's figures represent only two months worth of fundraising.

Ciresi ended the period with $625,000 in the bank. Coleman, a Republican up for re-election next year, finished with more than $3.8 million.

What's most encouraging for the GOP is the fact that Coleman's hanging on to his money. Without an expensive primary battle, he'll be well- positioned to save his war chest for November of next year.

At the same time, Ciresi's impressive totals prove that not every Minnesota Democrat has been suckered by Franken's latest career- advancement scheme. Could winning the primary be tougher than previously thought?

Minnesota Democrats Exposed believes Franken's numbers will easily top Ciresi's, if so, Stuart sure missed a bragging- rights opportunity. And this updated Star- Tribune story presents the campaign's defense:

Franken's campaign declined to release preliminary campaign numbers for this quarter but recently garnered the support of the Teamsters Joint Council 32 and Local 120. The council represents more than 50,000 people in Minnesota, and the local is the largest in the state.

"The only number we are willing to release is that we have 30,000 donors," Franken spokesman Andy Barr said.

In the first quarter, Franken raised $1.35 million. Much of Franken's first-quarter funds came from the entertainment industry. "Seinfeld" writer and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Larry David, comedian Bill Maher, Craig's List creator Craig Newmark, and actors Kevin Bacon and Tom Hanks have donated in the first quarter.

On July 15, we'll have the rest of the story and it could very well bring good news. But if Franken had big numbers to tout, the time to release them would have been yesterday.

Frankensanta, Frankencurrency: Pete at IHillary

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  • Good News for Coleman. Another plus in his column - He voted to against the Amnesty Bill which will help him with the base. With no primary competition, his treasure chest will continue to grow.

    I have not seen any meaningful comments from Franken in the Minnesota press or from his organization. I bet he was in favor of the Amnesty Bill - maybe that is why is being so quiet.

    Unless Franken starts promoting himself, the only supporters he will have in Minnesota will be the NPR "Lake Wobegon" crowd.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 03 July, 2007 15:20  

  • GeeWhiz - aren't there any Boys and Girls Clubs to be bilked in Minnesota?

    By Blogger Peter Porcupine, at 05 July, 2007 01:02  

  • Romney didn't release his Q1 numbers on April 1 either, but instead waited a week or so. Usually just means the campaign is still compiling data. This is a non-story.

    By Blogger Justin, at 05 July, 2007 16:07  

  • Let's just hope that Franken stays a non-story. He's done nothing to promote himself in Minnesota so far. No ads, no mailings, no phone calls.

    It looks like he is just sitting on the pile of Hollywood donations and laughing all the way to the bank.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 06 July, 2007 02:18  

  • Well, Franken's numbers are out and he has more Hollywood money than Coleman. Not a big surprise, but what is surprising is the rate Franken is burning through his money.

    Where is he spending his money? It certainly is not showing up on the Minnesota airwaves.

    Is he running a Ponzi scheme with his Hollywood buddies? Perhaps throwing most of his money into campaign donation promotions to capture more Hollywood money?

    The truth will come out eventually. Stay tuned for the news on Franken's money handling.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 09 July, 2007 16:25  

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