The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 May 2008

Pundits Assess Damage To Al Franken's Senate Campaign


Scandals Undermine Al's Air Of Inevitability

After weeks of bad press related to his personal finances, unpaid taxes and worker's compensation premiums, is Al Franken's Minnesota US Senate bid officially toast?

Both inside the Beltway and the North Star State, this topic has the punditry buzzing like bees in the springtime.

To those of us who've been watching the alleged funnyman for some time, however, none of this comes as any surprise. Franken's long had a quirk when it comes to finances and it was just a matter of time before it would catch up to him. What's next?

(Frankentoast images by David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer)

In addition, the latest revelations (which include $70,000 of delinquent taxes owed to a whopping 17 states) follow another Franken personality pattern: his tendency to blame everything on others, with accountants an especially frequent target.

Al certainly was loath to admit he knew anything about Air America Radio's sleaze and scandal and that continues with the latest mess.

Sure enough, the latest flap was initially blamed on GOP operatives who had the nerve to dig into Franken's financial background. Your Radio Equalizer caught similar flak for investigating his outrageous salary and perks at a time when Air America was running short of cash and embroiled in a scandal over funds illegally diverted from a children's charity.

As one might expect, the DFL Party is still backing Franken, at least until the next damning revelations further sink his effort to remove Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) from office.

In fact, one conservative leader told yours truly he doesn't expect Stuart's core supporters to desert him, no matter how troubling the tax mess may become. "His supporters won't care," the veteran analyst believes.

Here are a couple of better questions: what's the point of Al Franken's campaign? And why is he running? While it might seem simplistic, we've never been given a clear understanding of what Smalley could bring to the US Senate and why it justifies knocking out the incumbent.

That's why Minnesota voters aren't necessarily buying into the inevitability of Franken beating Coleman in November, a concept generated inside the Beltway and based on Jesse Ventura's past gubernatorial victory.

But we all know how that worked out, and besides, Stuart lacks the charisma that characterized Ventura's unlikely win. Heck, Jesse's even funnier than Al, without even trying to be a comedian.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site. New: ratings meltdown hits WRKO/ Boston

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  • Happy, Happy,
    Joy, Joy!

    Whoopeeee! Minnesotans are partying in the streets. This couldn't have happened to a skankier guy.

    I wonder how his Hollywood scumbags will feel when they find out their millions of dollars of donations have been flushed down the toilet.

    Rush Limbaugh is working on a new book called: Al Franken Is A Big Fat Tax Cheat!

    Could this be part of Operation Chaos?

    Hey, Stuart Smalley: Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 01 May, 2008 09:55  

  • He didn't cheat, or fail to pay the taxes, he paid them all to the state of Minnesota.

    His refund from MN will exceed back taxes he has now paid to the other states for income he received from personal appearances and speeches.

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, I guess.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02 May, 2008 09:31  

  • Yet the polls all put him within 5 or 10 points of the incumbant. So much for toast.

    Do even a little research next time Brian.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02 May, 2008 10:37  

  • Hahahaha

    Lets soak the rich, get rid of those Bush tax cuts for the rich, everyone pays their fair share blah, blah blah

    Taxes only the little guy and the stupid ones pay those, right Al?

    Better have another memorial service cuz you got another dead Senate candidate on yer hands!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02 May, 2008 12:55  

  • Vikingfan11 naively and childishly said: "He didn't cheat, or fail to pay the taxes, he paid them all to the state of Minnesota."

    Try telling that to the 17 states demanding Franken's back taxes and penalties.

    By the way, it's not just a good story.

    It is a freaking, fantastic, GREAT story. What goes around, comes around.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 03 May, 2008 00:39  

  • "Yet the polls all put him within 5 or 10 points of the incumbant. So much for toast."

    News Flash - loosing a Senate bid by 10 points is toast.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 03 May, 2008 00:43  

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