Former Gov. Arne Carlson: Franken should stay in office

Arne weighs in. MPR’s Brian Bakst writes: “With his resignation date still not set, Democratic Sen. Al Franken is being urged to remain in office until allegations of sexual misconduct can be examined by the Senate Ethics Committee. Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson endorsed that view in a commentary Sunday. … In Carlson’s lengthy commentary, emailed to a list of undisclosed recipients, he describes himself as ‘deeply troubled by the resignation of Al Franken and the complete absence of anything resembling due process.’ … Carlson also brings up the Alabama Senate race where Republican nominee Roy Moore has faced multiple allegations of dating minors when he was in his 30s. ‘Further, we know that Senate Democrats who asked for Franken’s resignation may have been motivated more by the politics of the Alabama Senate race than the seriousness of the allegations,’ Carlson writes.”

But Amy stays out of it. In the Star Tribune, Pat Pheifer says: “Nobody was surprised Sunday when a news conference in St. Paul by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., highlighting a bill aimed at helping people with Alzheimer’s or autism, culminated in questions about a replacement for her colleague, Sen. Al Franken. … Asked about the appointment of a woman or a woman of color, Klobuchar said, ‘I think it’s really important that the person is qualified to do the work.’ While there is a need for more female senators, ‘There are plenty of men and women who could fill the seat again.’” 

Meanwhile, a story at Vice News by Alex Thompson says, “Franken aides are adamant that their boss was part of the solution in Congress and not the problem, and several described him as among the best bosses to have in Washington as a young woman. ‘A lot of politicians could learn from the way he treated women in his office,’ Emily Mellencamp Smith, Franken’s finance director in his 2014 reelection campaign, told VICE News. ‘So it’s a really sad day,’ she added. Some former female staffers went so far as to organize a campaign to push back against the allegations and keep Franken in his seat. Alexandra Fetissoff, Franken’s former press secretary and then communications director, delved into her old reporter email list and sent out a statement of support for Franken signed by 84 women and told VICE News that she felt ‘these women’s voices were largely omitted in the coverage’ over the last several weeks.”

Worst birthday party ever? Nereida Moreno in the Chicago Tribune writes: “A pair of Minnesotan tourists fabricated a story about getting robbed at knifepoint by three men in the Loop and told police they were just trying to have ‘some fun,’ prosecutors said Sunday. Katie Mager, 27, of Apple Valley, Minn., and Ryan Reiersgaard, 27, of Burnsville, Minn., originally claimed they were robbed of a $12,000 engagement ring, among other valuables, while walking near the lower level of 300 North Columbus Drive early Thursday morning. … Reiersgaard said the whole scam was Mager’s idea and that ‘he doesn’t know her motives.’ He said that sometimes, their ‘shenanigans’ get out of control and that he was only trying to have some fun on his birthday, Carlson said.”

ICYMI, Trump contradicted CFPB head Mulvaney on Wells Fargo punishment. From the Pioneer Press: “President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be ‘substantially increased.’ Trump’s statement comes a day after Reuters reported that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director and now acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.”

Right. Wouldn’t want to inconvenience the NFL for, you know, actual justice. KSTP-TV reports: “The State Court Administrator’s Office said there will be some delays and reshuffling of court calendars during Super Bowl week in Minneapolis. That will mean moving some cases from the main courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. The main Hennepin County courthouse is located at 300 Sixth Street South, which sits in the middle of the Super Bowl security zone. The venue handles dozens of criminal, civil and housing court cases every week.”

He made it. Says LaVelle E. Neal III in the Strib, “Jack Morris, the hero of the Twins’ World Series championship in 1991, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday by the modern era committee. He is joined by his former Tigers teammate, shortstop Alan Trammell. Morris got 14 of a possible 16 votes from the committee, with 12 needed for election. … Morris was the  winningest pitcher in the 1980s and earned World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays. … His 10-inning, 1-0 shutout in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series for the Twins against Atlanta is one of the most memorable single-game performances in sports history.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 12/11/2017 - 09:36 am.


    What would of the reaction of Senate Democrats if TPAW had still been Governor and he hinted that Michelle Bachmann would have been his choice as Franken successor? Franken would still be on the job with Democratic 48 Senators standing resolutely behind him. Arne is correct. I was going to say Arne is right, except that causes heart palpitations among the political right.

    • Submitted by Robert Henderson on 12/11/2017 - 12:29 pm.

      this is absolutely correct

      It’s all politics and it’s ugly that a decent man (not perfect past, present or in the future) and a very good Senator is railroaded out of office to serve the perceived political needs of his party.

  2. Submitted by Tom Clark on 12/11/2017 - 11:52 am.

    Given what happened in 1990

    to Jon Grunseth, I’d think Arne would know better than to ask for “due process” for Franken now. This isn’t a case in court, it’s politics.

  3. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 12/11/2017 - 11:53 am.

    If anything, both due process and sensitivity training for Al

    Having been guilty of a few acts of unwanted and inexperienced touching in my twenties, and now in my mid-fifties, and involved with the DFL as a Minnesota senate district central committee member and as a director on our board of directors for the local unit, I have experienced great stress following the malicious attacks on our U.S. Senator Al Franken.

    To me, some of Al’s admitted deviances do not fit in as being “ideal” or acceptable; but they also do not rise to being at a level of misconduct or recent behavior which should end his career as a U.S. senator who has stood up for many of our rights and desired movements — including those of women.

    For those who are concerned about Al’s pre-Senate history, I believe that sensitivity training and conversations are the best approach, as Al is not one to be malicious or driven by animality or vile political power instincts.

    For those of you who have read my longer posts, I appreciate your indulgences. I am finding better ways of sharing important information with greater brevity and consolidation of my thoughts.


    Barry N. Peterson, B.A., History
    Minneapolis, MN — USA

  4. Submitted by Howard Salute on 12/11/2017 - 12:03 pm.

    Arne represent the party of due process

    I agree that Franken prospects of remaining a Senator would have been helped if the governor of MN was a republican. And Arne makes a good argument for due process. .

  5. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 12/11/2017 - 02:06 pm.

    Due process isn’t valid here — Franken is not charged with a crime.

    It was never tenable for Franken to non-specifically half-refute the allegations against him. If he truly didn’t do what was alleged, he should have specifically refuted them. With the consistent drip-drip-drip of allegations and the lack of a reasonable explanation for the alleged behavior, there is no reason for the Democratic Party at any level to have stood by him.

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