Franken, McFadden slug it out over Minnesota's connections to radical Islam

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On the same day news broke about the second Minnesotan who died fighting for ISIS in Syria having a security clearance at MSP, Sen. Al Franken wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder dinging Obama for not doing enough to prevent Minnesotans from traveling to the Middle East and putting their lives on the line for the cause of radical Islam.

"I was troubled by the President's recent suggestion that the Administration has not yet developed a comprehensive strategy to address the growing threat of ISIL's activities in Syria," Franken wrote earlier this week (ISIL and ISIS are both acronyms for the same group). "The Justice Department should focus its resources and efforts in places where terrorism recruitment efforts may be happening at higher rates, such as Minnesota. In addition, the Justice Department should coordinate with the State Department and the Homeland Security Department to prevent Americans from traveling abroad to join forces with ISIL."

See also:
Al-Shabaab recruitment video features men who traveled from Mpls to Somalia for jihad


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Sen. Al Franken finds favor and distrust at north Minneapolis block party

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Jesse Marx
U.S. Sen. Al Franken at the Broadway Day Block Party
Saturday's Broadway Day Block Party was an opportunity for north Minneapolis to celebrate the end of summer and bask in its cultural goodness. Community organizers enlisted new recruits, musicians wailed, and the hungry salivated over roasted cayenne-peppered corn.

It was, in some ways, a miniature version of the Minnesota State Fair with one notable constant: the presence of U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

See also:
Senators Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar push to limit corporate campaign donations



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MNGOP feigns outrage over lame Al Franken cone boob video

Categories: Al Franken, MNGOP
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Immature? Sure. Worthy of self-flagellation? No.
In April, then-U.S. Senate hopeful Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) distributed an absurd petition calling for Al Franken to apologize for a secretly recorded 2012 video showing him joking around in an Arizona driveway with traffic cones.

The whole thing was a blatant attempt to score cheap political points, as Franken has nothing to apologize for. Don't believe us? Check out the raw footage below the jump.

See also:
Al Franken busted out the ol' U.S. map drawing trick at the State Fair today [VIDEO]


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Gaza peace activists put Al Franken on blast, plan "die-in" at Star Tribune HQ [VIDEO]

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Sixteen protesters, including Jess Sundin, were arrested after they refused to leave Franken's office.
A local organization called the Anti-War Committee is taking Minnesota's U.S. Senators to task for siding with Israel during that country's ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.

Last week, the group stormed Sen. Al Franken's Minnesota office and ended up getting him on the phone for a tense conversation.

See also:
Keith Ellison denied entry to Gaza


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Franken, Klobuchar strike similarly moderate positions in response to Medtronic news

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Is whether Metronic stays in Minnesota something our politicians can control? That's the question.
-- Correction at bottom --

Minnesota's eighth-largest company is relocating overseas. The New York Times views the move through the lens of federal tax policy and the taxes Medtronic can avoid paying by leaving America, while the company itself cites more benevolent reasons, like access to European markets.

In any event, the news doesn't sound auspicious for our state economy, right? But in response, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is donning rose-colored glasses.

See also:
Medical biz prof Stephen Parente on Medtronic move: "It's kinda hard to see this occur"


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Mike McFadden doesn't provide health insurance to his campaign staffers

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McFadden
During a May 22 appearance on Detroit Lakes' KDLM radio, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mike McFadden was asked what lessons from his business career he's taking with him on the campaign trail.

McFadden, who most recently worked as co-CEO of a Minneapolis-based investment bank, replied, "Well, I think I've gained some very, very, very relevant experience. Jake, one, in the business you have to be results-oriented, you have to be people-oriented, you have to know how to motivate. I know what it's like to make a payroll, I know what it's like to provide healthcare for my employees." (emphasis ours)

See also:
McFadden hits back after DFL calls presser "a train wreck you have to see to believe"


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Julianne Ortman distributes ridiculous petition protesting secretly recorded Franken joke video

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Ortman is easily offended, it seems.
In a petition published on her Facebook page yesterday, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Julianne Ortman says a recently released secret recording of Al Franken joking around in an Arizona driveway shows he "still doesn't take women seriously."

But really the only thing the petition demonstrates is how hard it is to take Ortman's campaign seriously.

See also:
Julianne Ortman, GOP Franken challenger, taking heat for exaggerating her resume


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Sarah Palin endorses Julianne Ortman while calling Al Franken "a Big Fat Liberal"

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Shealeah Craighead
Sarah Palin shaking hands with MNGOP Sen. Julianne Ortman at MoA
Sarah Palin announced her support today for Julianne Ortman, the MNGOP senator who's hoping to step up to Al Franken in a race that the former Alaska governor is calling "The Clown vs. the Mama Grizzly."

In making her endorsement, Palin also took shots at Ortman's leading Republican rival, Mike McFadden, a businessman whom she called a "well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy is a blank slate." Back in January, McFadden reported to have raised $1.7 million for the campaign, an amount that dramatically exceeded the other GOP contenders.

See also:
Sarah Palin coming to Mall of America to sign copies of her new War on Christmas book



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Al Franken missed Obama's speech for Harold Ramis's funeral

Categories: Al Franken
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Even though President Obama's Minnesota approval rating is at an all-time low and the Senate is in session in D.C., Al Franken planned to travel to St. Paul to be at POTUS's Union Depot speech.

But on Monday morning, his good pal Harold Ramis passed away, and Al instead spent yesterday in Chicago for Ramis's funeral.

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Al Franken denies he's ducking Obama's St. Paul speech because of president's unpopularity [UPDATE]

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Image by Tatiana Craine
Republicans think Obama is more of a curse than a blessing for local Dems these days.
:::: Al Franken missed Obama's speech for Harold Ramis's funeral ::::

:::: UPDATE III :::: This morning (February 26), we're told plans have changed again and Franken won't be in Minnesota today.

Franken's press secretary, Michael Dale-Stein, told us "Senator Franken was planning to travel to Minnesota for the President's event. But a close friend died, the funeral is today, and he decided he needed to hop on an early flight to be there. So he won't be able to make it to Minnesota for the President's visit."

:::: UPDATE II :::: Turns out Franken might be in St. Paul for Obama's speech after all.

Late this afternoon, Franken's press secretary, Michael Dale-Stein, got in touch to let us know that "Senator Franken is planning to join the President in Minnesota tomorrow so long as he is certain that the Senate will not be voting on the veterans' benefits bill that he's cosponsored."

:::: UPDATE :::: Klobuchar's office got in touch with us this afternoon to shed some more light on why she can't be at Obama's speech tomorrow.

"Tomorrow the senator is chairing a hearing on cell phone competition, including cell phone theft issues, which she cannot cancel," spokesperson Brigit Helgen told us. "That is why she will not be able to be in St. Paul for the event. Otherwise she would be with the President as she was just last month in Michigan for the Farm Bill signing.
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