Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

Update [2007-8-21 16:35:54 by Jonathan Singer]: Very exciting stuff. I just wanted to add a quick thing from my interview with Al Franken for this site earlier this summer (which you can listen to here). To the question, "What's the message that you'd like to send to the progressive blogosphere, if there's one?", Franken responded, "I'm one of you", which gets to the heart of why a lot of people are excited about his candidacy.

Today, it is with great excitement that I am able to announce that Al Franken has been added to the Blue Majority Act Blue page that is collectively maintained by Dailykos, MyDD, Swing State Project and Open Left.

Last month, in a post on Open Left, I wondered if Al Franken was the best example of a progressive movement candidate we had seen to date, given that his campaign is overwhelmingly people powered (over 45,000 donors so far), he passed the "bar fight primary" with flying colors (more than willing to take the fight to Republicans), he comfortably and repeatedly self-identifies as a progressive, and that he came into politics as an outsider, specifically from progressive media. The response I received to that post was almost universally positive, and while I don't know if he is the very best example, he clearly is an excellent case, and so I urge you to contribute to Al Franken on the Blue Majority Page. Let's build the progressive movement together by supporting a first-rate movement candidate.

Today is a particularly appropriate time for us to make this endorsement because, as Jonathan noted earlier today, George Bush is in Minnesota raising money for endangered Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.  Tying himself further to George Bush will only push Coleman's already low approval ratings in the state even lower, and make him more vulnerable than he already is. Progressives in the state are countering Bush's visit through a variety of actions, including protests coordinated by Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, and by the Franken campaign itself looking to counter Coleman's big money fundraiser with small donor, people-powered energy:

Let's be a part of this effort. With his connections to George Bush, there is an opportunity to knock Coleman all but out of the race in 2007, the way Rick Santorum was all but defeated by a progressive swarm against him in 2005.

As a final note, I want to mention that while Al Franken is involved in a competitive primary in Minneosta, this endorsement comes entirely because Al is so fantastic, not because his primary opponents are clearly defective in any way. Al is a Democrat who I believe will never let us down, and always make us proud. He comes from the progressive movement, and will take the fight to Republicans. He is exactly the sort of candidate many of us have looked for these past few, and we are happy to reward that with our support in and of itself, not just relative to other candidates in the campaign. It certainly is great to make an endorsement for someone, rather than against someone else.

Tags: Activism, Al Franken, Blue Majority, MN-Sen, norm coleman (all tags)




Yes, Al Franken!!

by areyouready 2007-08-21 12:31PM | 0 recs
He will get 50 bucks from me...

on payday.  

by iamready 2007-08-21 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

I'd rather not give anything right now, since it's simply going to be used to defeat another Democrat.  Unless someone is going to make the case that Ciresi is a bad progressive or otherwise undesirable, I'll save my money until it actually helps defeat Republicans.

by Steve M 2007-08-21 12:57PM | 0 recs
Al Franken

He's good enough.  He's smart enough.  And, gosh darn it, people like him.

I'd vote for Al.

by Reece 2007-08-21 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

We need his voice in the Senate.  I sent him my donation a few days ago ^^.

by ddiamond 2007-08-21 01:32PM | 0 recs
Al Franken- against total troop withdrawal??

In times past on his radio show he has taken a position against withdrawal of all U.S. troops. That point needs to be clarified.

by cmpnwtr 2007-08-21 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

What do you mean by "he passed the "bar-fight primary" with flying colors"?

I am a little confused by this statement.

Minnesota is a caucus/endorsment state not a primary state and we are still 7-8 months away from caucus and 10 months away from our endorsing convention.
So, I am not sure why you keep referring to a primary.

I am also with Steve M - I will hold off any contributions until after endorsement - I don't want my money used against other good, progressive democrats.

I am kind of disappointed in MyDD in this endorsement - its not like we are in a Lamont/Leiberman kind of race - at least that I could understand for such an early endorsement - but not even close.
But, it is very clear from your post that you haven't done your research on the two major candidates running and you don't know that much about Minnesota politics and that this endorsement has more to do with being enamored by a famous person than anything else.

by DuncanB 2007-08-21 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

"bar fight primary" is basically a euphemism for saying "we know he's gonna be on our side." I was extremely disappointed in Franken for supporting the Iraq war, but other than that, I'd have to agree with Chris that he's a certifiable good guy and will definitely be with us when it counts. He wants to pick up the Paul Wellstone mantle (and this is actually the seat Wellstone held in the Senate, and would still occupy were it not for his tragic death). I like Ciresi too, but I'm worried about him as a candidate since he couldn't defeat Dayton in the 2000 primary.

2 things worry me about Franken:

1) While he grew up in the state, he moved back to MN just a few years ago and almost immediately made clear his intention to run against Coleman.
I don't think people on the Coasts have a proper grasp of how the carpet-bagging dynamic can play out in our part of the country. While Coleman didn't grow up here, he did spend his entire adult career in the state, and also got us our NHL team back (people actually care about that).

2) Some of his quotes about how much he hates Republicans.
These will no doubt come back to haunt him in Coleman's ads, but hopefully the fact that Coleman is a Bush enabler of the worst kind will outweigh even the most outrageous things Franken has said in the past.

Even considering these weaknesses, I think Franken is our best candidate. I would have liked to have seen a progressive citizen-legislator with a great back story make a run at Coleman, or someone like a Tim Walz, but Franken clearly passes the smell test and will be a great Senator.

by Max Fletcher 2007-08-21 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

Yea, you shouldn't be endorsing him.  I think Franken is going to be the Jerry McNerny of Minnesota.  Did you ask him if he's in favor of bringing all the troops home, and why he says we have to do it 'properly'?  As far as progressive, he's no Paul Wellstone (though he would like to be thought of as such - but doesn't have that kind of courage)and may be about where Hillary is, and maybe on her right.  

by Andre 2007-08-21 05:44PM | 0 recs
The Jerry McNerney of Minnesota
You mean this Jerry McNerney?. That works for me.
Anyway, whether or not there are troops in Iraq after 2008 will be up to the Democratic nominee for prez, not the congress. A Democratic Congress is not going to force a Democratic President to end the war.
If you want to end the war after 2008, make the right choice in the primaries.
by Chris Bowers 2007-08-21 06:04PM | 0 recs
Scratch that
McNerney screws up again. It is a real back and forth with this guy.
by Chris Bowers 2007-08-21 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

I am posting here basically what I posted over on DKos, with some changes, since your post is cross posted here. Your enthusiasm takes me aback, because the guy doesn't deserve it, unless you are thinking a celebrity is required to beat Norm Coleman.

I don't see how Franken is a progressive, unless you mean like Hillary is, as she declared herself a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to those (on Dkos) who pointed out Franken's actual, as opposed to imaginary, positions. I used to listen to him almost everyday on Air America, and his right-of-the DLC positions on so many things shocked me... until I got used to it.
Wellstone he ain't.
In addition to his kneejerk militarism, I am not so thrilled with his lockstep-with-Israel stance. (leave me alone, I am Jewish too... so what? I think  the mindless support of Israel hurts us... and them.)

Actually, he is to Hillary's right and although a quick wit, he has A LOT to learn about politics.
I also think we have no business in interfering in a primary/caucus, as some have commented.

by brooklyngal 2007-08-21 10:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Blue Majority: Al Franken for Minnesota Senate

Mark Gisleson has a response to this post over on dkos which he made after it was highlighted on the front page there.

Netroots butt out of Minnesota!

He makes some very good points.  Kinda sounds like the Cegelis / Duckworth scenario and the DCCC.  

by vbdietz 2007-08-22 06:54AM | 0 recs
Jumping the Gun

While Al Franken seems like a fine candidate, there are still questions like

* does Al believe that we have the wrong strategy by using war or does he believe that Bush just implimented war poorly

* SINGLE PAYER universal health care not just universal health care

* public financing of campaigns

* total transparency in government with no earmarks

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer is stilling considering running with excellent progressive credentials and Mike Ciresi is also running with progressive credentials. Why just Al?

How dare you pick for us Minnesota Progressives!

by Grace Kelly 2007-08-23 11:46AM | 0 recs


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