Betty McCollum needs to be voted out!!!

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08 July 2010

One Year Later, Al Franken On Track to Be One Term Senator

St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton today issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of Al Franken's swearing-in as senator.

"At the height of Barack Obama's popularity, Al Franken managed to muster only 42 percent of the vote and arrived in the Senate by the skin of his lawyers' teeth.  One year later, it is clear that Franken has learned little during his time in the Senate.  Rather than working with other senators in a constructive fashion, Franken has repeatedly lashed out during a series of outbursts, underscoring the fact that he lacks the maturity and temperament to represent all Minnesotans.  In addition, Franken has been a rubber stamp for the failed Obama economic agenda by supporting the wasteful stimulus, ObamaCare, and a $20 billion tax on medical device companies critical to our state's economy.  On the bright side, Franken's far-left ineffectiveness and angry partisan antics ensure that this accidental senator will only serve one term."


When Al Franken Attacks

Franken Picks Fight With Businessman T. Boone Pickens; "Heated" Confrontation Ensues.  "Five years after he put his money behind the Swift Boat ads that helped tank John Kerry's presidential campaign, Senate Democrats gave T. Boone Pickens a warm welcome at their weekly policy lunch Thursday. …  Sen. Al Franken managed to make time for the lunch — but then let Pickens have it afterward. According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of 'The First Billion Is the Hardest' stepped up to introduce himself to Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended[.]Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate himabout the billionaire's financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004. According to a source, the confrontation grew heated."  (Eamon Javers, "Franken feuds with T. Boone Pickens,"Politico, June 1, 2009)

"Angry" Franken Lashes Out At Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.  
"In a chamber where relationship-building is seen as critical, some GOP senators question whether Franken's handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle. Soon after Tennessee GOP Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander co-wrote an op-ed in a local newspaper defending their votes against the Franken measure, the Minnesota Democrat confronted each senator separately to dispute their column — and grew particularly angry in a tense exchange with Corker.  People familiar with the Corker exchange say it was heated and ended abruptly — a sharp departure from the norm on the usually clubby Senate floor."  (Manu Raju, "Al Franken fallout has GOP fuming," Politico, December 2, 2009)

Franken Attacks South Dakota Senator John Thune On Senate Floor. 
 "Sen. Al Franken and Sen. John Thune sparred sharply on the Senate floor Monday evening, adeparture from the usually dormant speeches in the august chamber. Franken said he was struck by a speech in which he said Thune had refused to highlight when benefits to the health care bill would kick in and instead emphasized the negative parts of the bill… Senators typically argue in less direct terms on the floor, and a sharp exchange between a freshman senator and a member of the other party's leadership is unusual.  And it wasn't the first time that Franken has taken on one of his new colleagues: earlier this fall in a private exchange on the floor, the former comedian delivered a heated rebuke to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) over an op-ed the senator wrote defending his vote against an amendment the Democrat wrote."  (Manu Raju, "Franken Feuds with GOP's No. 4," Politico, December 14, 2009)

Franken Prevents Senator Joseph Lieberman From Finishing Remarks. 
"Democratic Sen. Al Franken took the unusual step Thursday of shutting down Sen. Joe Lieberman on the Senate floor.  Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, currently is the target of liberal wrath over his opposition to a government-run insurance plan in the health care bill.  Franken was presiding over the Senate Thursday afternoon as Lieberman spoke about amendments he planned to offer to the bill. Lieberman asked for an additional moment to finish a routine request but Franken refused to grant the time.  'In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object,' Franken said. 'Really?' said Lieberman. 'OK.'"  (Associated Press, "Franken shuts down Lieberman on Senate floor," Associated Press Online, December 18, 2009)

Capitol Police Summoned To Franken Office To Remove Minnesota Staffer Who Questioned Franken's Reliance On Non-Minnesotan Staff.  
"In mid-November, four months into his new job as a U.S. senator, Al Franken faced a testy spat between his chief of staff, Drew Littman, and his top legislative aide on farm issues, Mark Wilson.  The dispute ended with Capitol police ushering Wilson out of Franken's office and has led Wilson to charge that Minnesotans like him are being shortchanged in the makeup of Franken's fledgling Capitol Hill staff -- a rare insider accusation that has fueled questions about the legislative priorities of a celebrity politician now six months into public office.  'If he's representing Minnesotans,' Wilson said, 'why aren't there Minnesotans there?'"  (Kevin Diaz, "It's hometown vs. old hand in spat in Franken's office,"Star Tribune, January 12, 2010)

Franken Turns His Back on Minnesota's Medical Device Industry

With Great Fanfare, Franken Writes Letter Opposing Medical Device Tax.   "In a bid to protect one of Minnesota's signature industries and major employers, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken on Tuesday said they oppose a tax on medical device companies -- part of a proposal being considered by Congress to pay for health care reform.  In a letter to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the Minnesota Democrats claimed the proposed $4 billion tax 'will seriously threaten thousands of American jobs and deter innovation' in the heavily research-focused device industry."  (Janet Moore, "State's Senators oppose device-firm tax," Star Tribune, September 16, 2009)

Franken Then Flip-Flopped To Back Massive $20 Billion Medical Device Tax.
  "The new health care law will bring a raft of changes to the medical industry, includingan excise tax on many medical devices, and the tax is causing a lot of consternation in one of Minnesota's most prominent industries. The medical device excise tax aims to raise $20 billion over ten years when it goes into effect in 2013. It will apply to a wide range of medical device products--from bed pans to stents used for propping open clogged arteries."  (Brad Swenson, " Franken, Klobuchar hail Senate health care reform vote,"Bemidji Pioneer, December 24, 2009; Annie Baxter, "Excise tax has local medical device makers concerned," Minnesota Public Radio, March 29, 2010)

  • Medical Device Industry Is Critical Part Of State's Economy.  "Minnesota is home to some 300 medical device firms, including industry giant Medtronic Inc., St. Jude Medical Inc., two major divisions of Boston Scientific Corp., and hundreds of smaller firms. About 50,000 Minnesotans work in the industry."(Janet Moore, "Klobuchar, Franken oppose device-firm tax," Star Tribune, September 16, 2009)

Franken Is Huge ObamaCare Cheerleader

Franken Votes For ObamaCare's Medicare Cuts & Tax Hikes.
  "Both of Minnesota's U.S. senators hailed that body's health care reform bill as important to Minnesotans. The U.S. Senate approved its health care reform bill in a 60-39 party-line vote early Christmas Eve, allowing senators to head home for their Christmas break…Franken said the bill 'does not fix all the problems with our health care system, but it will help begin to bring down costs and is a significant down payment toward the goal of quality affordable health care for all Americans.'  Minnesota Republicans, meanwhile, criticized both senators for passing a bill that will create huge tax increases for Minnesotans.  'After weeks of shady back-room payoffs, unseemly sweet-heart deals and Enron-style accounting, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar sold out Minnesota ... by voting for a reckless nearly trillion-dollar spending bill that increases premiums, raises taxes by $500 billion, cuts Medicare by over $470 billion and mandates that taxpayers fund abortion on demand.,' state Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton said in a statement."  (Brad Swenson, " Franken, Klobuchar hail Senate health care reform vote,"Bemidji Pioneer, December 24, 2009)

Franken Refuses To Listen To The Will Of The People About Health Care.  "Klobuchar, citing the new political reality of a weakened Democratic majority, called Tuesday for a scaled-down health care bill that would focus on Medicare cost reforms, insurance regulations and prescription drug coverage.  By contrast, Sen. Al Franken wants to 'go full bore' with legislation similar to the Senate bill passed on Christmas Eve. Fiscal changes would be worked out in a budget 'reconciliation' process that needs only a simple majority.  'I'm not interested in scaling back the health care agenda,' Franken said."  (Kevin Diaz, "A 'pivotal moment' for a party divided," Star Tribune, January 26, 2010)

Franken Was Keynote Speaker At Rally For Government Run HealthCare. 
"Over five hundred people armed with banners, signs, and stories of health insurance industry abuse rallied at the Minneapolis United Labor Center Sunday afternoon to demonstrate that people across the country want Congress to deliver on the change people voted for by finishing comprehensive health care right.  The rally's keynote was delivered by U.S. Senator Al Franken who earlier this week, had signed on to a letter asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the public option."  (TakeActionMN, "Five Hundred Rally with Senator Franken to pass health care reform now," Minnesota Progressive Project, February 21, 2010)

Franken Backed Stimulus

Franken Backed Stimulus Prior To Senate Arrival: "This Is A Good And Necessary Bill."  "That said, this is a good and necessary bill, and were it not for the current election contest, I would be voting for it today. … I look forward to its passage,and I look forward to getting to work in Washington as we seek to fulfill the commitment we made to the American people in 2008: to turn this crisis into an opportunity."  (Al Franken, "Stimulus plan: Is this the one? Al Franken: Yes. Though imperfect, the plan represents the chance to turn crisis into opportunity," Star Tribune, February 10, 2009)

Franken's Out Of The Mainstream Judicial Views

Franken Rubber-Stamps Extreme Judicial Nominee. 
 "The fight is over U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny of Connecticut, who has run afoul of Republicans for what they call a 'long history of extreme leniency in criminal sentencing.' In particular, they have focused on his handling of serial killer Michael Ross, the "Roadside Strangler" who was eventually executed after admitting to the murder of eight women. …The committee voted 11 to 7 to advance Chatigny to the full Senate, which may or may not see a big floor battle. Joining Klobuchar in the party-line vote was Minnesota Democrat Al Franken.  Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was present but did not vote, a move for which Republicans are taking credit.  Chatigny reportedly described Ross' sexual sadism was a mitigating factor in the case, and pressed the convict's lawyers to challenge his execution, even after Ross volunteered to drop all appeals and end his life. The GOP campaign against Chatigny is also based on a half-dozen child pornography cases where the judge imposed sentences shorter than those recommended in federal sentencing guidelines.  A number of victims' rights and conservative groups also have opposed his nomination."  (Kevin Diaz, "Klobuchar wades into Senate battle over judicial nomination," Star Tribune, June 10, 2010)

Franken: Roberts Court Uses "Brass Knuckles" On Americans. "Speaking to the American Constitution Society's (ACS) national convention Thursday night, Franken said 'the degree to which those corporations' rights are protected over yours, well, that's extremely relevant to your life. And in case after case after case, the Roberts Court has put not just a thumb, but a fist, on the scale in favor of those corporations.' Then, pausing for comedic effect, he added, 'A fist with brass knuckles.  Which weigh a lot. Because they're brass'" (Kevin Diaz, "Franken: Roberts Court uses 'brass knuckles' on ordinary Americans," Star Tribune, June 18, 2010)

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