The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 June 2008

Al Franken's Candidacy Now Threatened On Many Fronts


Widespread Franken Dissatisfaction Sinks Campaign

Right about now, Al Franken the candidate could use some real advice from Stuart Smalley, his onetime Saturday Night Live alter ego.

But all of the daily affirmations in the world may not be enough to save his candidacy from repeating the fate of "Stuart Saves His Family", Franken's 1995 über-bomb.

While Barack Obama chose St Paul to deliver his "clinching the nomination" speech Tuesday evening, former Air America Radio host Franken was likely scrambling nearby to salvage what remains of his faltering effort.

With Democrats, liberals and his traditional foes on the right now increasingly united in opposition to his US Senate effort, it's going to take a miracle to overcome the kind of damage done over the past several months.

Beginning with the worker's compensation flap in March, Franken has generated a steady stream of negative headlines. By the first of May, it already appeared that he was in serious trouble, sunk further by his unpaid taxes.

But it took the subsequent firestorm over his now-infamous "Porn-O-Rama" Playboy column to cause significant defections from the left. Even traditional Franken cheerleaders at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune have backed waaaay off, with new questions as to whether the DFL Party will even endorse Franken at this weekend's convention:

In his Playboy romp, Franken fantasized about oral sex delivered by a machine, as well as sex with combinations of females who fit the Playboy view of women as big-breasted automatons, panting at the prospect of servicing the likes of Franken. That's why they call it fantasy, I guess.

I wonder how many DFL officials will be able to pull Porn-O-Rama through their Internet filters and read it before the party endorses its candidate for U.S. Senate this weekend. I wonder, too, whether folks like Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Attorney General Lori Swanson, whose campaigns took money in 2006 from Franken's so-called Midwest Values PAC (yes, you read that right) will feel compelled to return those bucks on truth-in-advertising grounds.

Somehow, Franken has managed to unite both Republicans and Democrats in disgust:

Two Republican state lawmakers in Minnesota Monday released a list of jokes and writings by Franken that they contend demeaned women, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

"These are not jokes made by a teenage boy in the locker room with his friends," wrote state Rep. Laura Brod and state Sen. Betsy Wergin in a letter to their colleagues.

"These are jokes made by an adult man who has made his living this way, and only now, as a candidate for the Senate, wishes to be taken seriously," they wrote.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., has called the Playboy piece, headlined "Porn-O-Rama," vulgar and sexist.

Franken's campaign has said the material was meant to be satire. Campaign spokeswoman Jess McIntosh reiterated that position.

"Al knows the difference between what a satirist says and what a senator does,'' she said. "They're different jobs."

In their letter, Brod and Wergin highlight eight other examples of Franken's words, which they argue belittled Afghan women, joked about killing baby girls and lesbians, and made sexual references to former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Now, former Governor Jesse Ventura is smelling blood and poised to jump into the race as an independent. And perhaps more worrisome, former DFL primary contender Mike Ciresi is considering restarting the campaign he abandoned some months back.

At this point, is it unreasonable to think Franken may drop out of the race, rather than suffer the indignity of losing further support within the DFL?

Suddenly, that Air America mega-salary and perks must be looking awfully good to our friend Stuart.

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  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 June, 2008 12:07  

  • "Sinks" campaign? Yet he's only two points behind Coleman, according to the most recent poll. Imagine how much Brian would hyperventilate if he was down by 3 or (gasp) 4 points.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 June, 2008 15:41  

  • Isn't it ironic that the same Liberals who LOVE to soak the little guy with higher taxes are the same Liberals who believe those taxes don't apply to them. The I.R.S. need to start looking at other wealthy Liberals who LOVE to advocate higher taxes & go after them if they aren't paying their share. Al Franken is a typical example of why Liberals SHOULD NOT be trusted to run the United States. TOTALLY UNFIT!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 June, 2008 21:10  

  • First it was the Republicans who were repulsed by Franken's lies about his tax problems, then the DFL joined in, and now Planned Parenthood has voiced their disgust of Franken.

    Here is just a portion of the Planned Parenthood letter blasting Stuart Smalley.

    If half of these allegations are true, it is very difficult for us to foresee the Planned Parenthood of Minnesota Action Fund Board endorsing the candidacy of anyone with such extreme perspectives.

    It is our understanding that you may want to converse with Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Congressman Tim Walz, Congressman Keith Ellison, Congressman Jim Oberstar or Congressman Collin Peterson on other potentially disturbing remarks that are rumored to also be part of Mr. Franken’s repertoire. We hope that you will all join us in requesting that the DFL state and party leadership take seriously the offensive nature of these remarks and make every effort to fully inform all candidates for public office this year as to the true nature and extent of them.

    Connie Perpich
    Sr. Director for Legislative Affairs
    Planned Parenthood
    Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 05 June, 2008 10:38  

  • poor "libstomper" all alone in 2008, clinging to the glory days of demonizig "libs"... as America fimly rejects the G.O.P and conservatism in general. Those days came to a crashing end as the levy broke in New Orleans,how symbolic....

    Must be tough to be a cookie-cuter, countefit "conservative" in 2008, where the nation is uniting against your way, the way of dividing America you shrieked about "libs" for so many years, you forgot to pay attention as your precious Repubican party fell apart...

    you ignored all the signs, laughed in arrogance before November of 2006. "America will never vote for libs"... or as laura Ingrham said on the night of the 2006 elections "democrats can't even run a phone line right how are theyging to win anything"..... ohhh the irony

    You think you would learn your lesson and sto attacking your fellow Americans...... you obliviously continue on as America moves furthu and furthur awayfrom counterfit talk radio conservatism

    at 23% the number of registered Republicans as of today.... thats a lot of stomping of "libs"for one little talk radio fan boy to stomp.
    America waits for you,to stomp us.....

    We await the mighty ditto army, of 14 year old boys and 80 year ol McCarthiests.... I'm waiting, come stomp me..... my shotgun will "liberally" fill your body with holes....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 June, 2008 13:35  

  • 1. It's you, not Franken, who's lying about Al's tax returns. It was Franken himself who noticed the error, quite common among travelling showbiz types, and corrected it. Get that? The taxes were paid before anyone but the Frankens even knew of the error.

    2. Franken's a comedian by trade. One of the good things comedians do is to prompt their audience to reflect on things they might otherwise ignore, such as our soldiers killing babies.

    3. You right-wingers are such hypocrites when it comes to sex. Unfortunately, so are opportunistic Democrats such as McCollum, chairman of Mike Ciresi's undead bid competing with Franken.

    Libstomper: It's the Republicans, not the Democrats, who soak the little guy by shifting the tax burden from the rich to the middle-class. The rich do not pay anything like their fair share. As of 2000, the richest 4% of the US population owned 59% of the nation's wealth.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 June, 2008 22:00  

  • Franken owes a $25,000 penalty to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board for failing to carry workers' compensation insurance for employees of his namesake corporation from 2002 to 2005, state officials said.

    New York officials have made numerous attempts to contact Franken about the matter since April 2005 but have gotten no reply.

    And during a Republican administration, the most recent numbers confirm that

    * the top 1% of income earners pay 39% of all income taxes

    * the top 25% of income earners pay 86% of all income taxes

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 06 June, 2008 01:07  

  • ANON and the rest of you AMERICAN HATING, TROOP HATING, TAX CHEATING LIBS need to study something besides mommies basement walls or as "AL SMALLEY" would say your LFET HAND. YOU DemonNUTT'S TRIED TO RAISE TAXES on the MIDDLE CLASS just last DECEMEBER. IDIOT'S. And, this country continues to allow MORON'S to VOTE. I know the NYT is in the POCKET OF FOX. Look up the SENATE RECORD if you know how or if mommy will let you if you don't believe the NYT'S. STUPID IS AS STUPID LIB!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11 June, 2008 02:42  

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