Tag: Sen. Al Franken

Why Do Republicans Oppose Al Franken’s Anti-Rape Ammendment?

I’m trying to figure this one out.

Why, exactly, are Republicans in Congress having such a tough time wrapping their heads around Sen. Al Franken’s anti-rape amendment? Could it be that they have friends at KBR and Halliburton who might suddenly be held accountable for the heinous crime of rape?


Senate Republicans, who have been taking heat for fighting an amendment to protect rape victims, are now lashing out at Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) for even proposing the measure in the first place.

In October, Franken introduced an amendment that would deny funding to defense contractors that "restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." Franken was inspired by the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, a former employee of KBR (previously a subsidiary of Halliburton), who "was gang raped by her co-workers" while stationed in Iraq.When Jones returned to the U.S., KBR tried to prevent her from taking the case to court. The measure to punish such practices passed, with 30 out of 40 Republicans voting against it.

Today, Politico reports that conservative Senators blame Franken for the backlash they have faced. Apparently, Franken isn’t doing enough to defend those Republicans who fought his proposal to protect women like Jones. Moreover, some of them say, the amendment was really just a "partisan" trap meant to embarrass the Republicans who opposed it:

"I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him," said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. "I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota." […]

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who also voted against the amendment, said, "from what I know of" Franken, he "expected" such tactics. […]

"It was partisan – and he knew it," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). "That’s exactly what I’d expect."

Thune did not elaborate on why protecting victims of sexual assault isn’t "serious work," nor did Coburn explain how a measure that garnered support from 10 Republicans — a quarter of the caucus — was "partisan."

Read more here.

After reading, ask yourself, who would oppose an anti-rape amendment?

Coleman Concedes; Al Franken to be Sworn In After July 4 Recess

Kudos again to WTAE Pittsburgh for being the first to share the news:

Republican Norm Coleman conceded to Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota’s contested Senate race on Tuesday, ending a nearly eight-month recount and court fight over an election decided by only a few hundred votes.

Coleman announced his decision at a news conference in St. Paul, hours after a unanimous Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” comedian and liberal commentator, should be certified the winner.

“The Supreme Court has made its decision and I will abide by the results,” Coleman told reporters outside his St. Paul home.

“In these tough times we all need to focus on the future, and the future is that we have a new United States senator,” Coleman said.

Franken’s presence in the Senate would give the Democrats control of 60 seats, enough to overcome any Republican filibuster if they stay united.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the earliest Franken would be seated is next week, because the Senate is out of session for the July 4 holiday.

After eight months of litigation, hearing Norm Coleman talk about the “need to focus on the future,” sounds a bit disingenuous.

I know, that’s putting it mildly.

Congratulate Senator-elect Al Franken at his Web site, and give him a modest donation to help with the legal bills.

Congratulations, Al!

Time to Seat Senator Al Franken

Once again, WTAE in Pittsburgh beats all other media outlets with the news:

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state’s long-running Senate race.

The high court rejected a legal challenge from Republican Norm Coleman, whose options for regaining the Senate seat are dwindling.

Justices said Franken is entitled to the election certificate he needs to assume office. With Franken and the usual backing of two independents, Democrats will have a big enough majority to overcome Republican filibuster.

Coleman hasn’t ruled out seeking federal court intervention.

Al Franken is a thinker, a true liberal, someone able to grasp complex issues and consider them from every angle.  His radio program on Air America was incredible. We need more like him in public office.

From the New York Times:

The unanimous decision was released after a seven-months long battle over the seat formerly held by Norm Coleman.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty had indicated as late as Monday that he was willing to certify Mr. Franken as the winner once the state’s highest court decided the recount and Mr. Coleman’s battle. On CNN on Sunday, Mr. Pawlenty said: “I’m prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light.”

As long as Mr. Coleman contests this no further, Mr. Franken will become the Democrats’ much coveted 60th vote. That is the number required to avert filibusters, and with both Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Robert C. Byrd absent due to illness, the Democrats have sometimes scrambled to make sure they had lined up enough votes.

I understand the game Norm Coleman is playing – stall as long as possible, disrupt the balance of the senate, postpone as long as possible the inevitable.  But this has been an incredible disservice to the people of Minnesota.

It’s finally time to seat Senator Franken.