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Tuesday, 30 June 2009 07:12

GOP Spends Nearly $2 Million on Norm Coleman, and Gets Al Franken

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by Rebecca Freitag

The timespan covered all four seasons and almost eight months -- the Norm Coleman-Al Franken circus of recounts. We may be at the end. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled 5-0, declaring Al Franken the winner in his contested U.S. Senate race against Norm Coleman.

The justices said Coleman's appeal had "not shown that the trial court's findings of fact are clearly erroneous or that the court committed an error of law or abused its discretion."

Now that the courts have decided, it would seem that the GOP has wasted close to $2 million trying to fight the possibility of a Democratic majority in the Senate. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said that he didn't think anything was wrong with the GOP funding Coleman's eternal quest for a recount, and it wouldn't affect the 2010 elections.

The Republican National Committee and fellow GOP Senators have given Coleman hundreds of thousands of dollars to challenge Franken. In the past three months, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has also given him more than $1 million for legal expenses. The Federal Election Commission gave Coleman permission last week to use campaign funds in two separate legal battles he is involved in outside of the recount.

Coleman still has the opportunity to challenge Franken on the federal level. However, Gov.Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) said recently that he will seat the winner of this latest case, because if he delayed the case any longer it would be "dereliction of duty."

If Coleman wants to challenge Franken on a federal level though, the GOP will need to seriously consider just telling him no. While most campaigns are beginning fundraising for 2010 elections, this race is still from 2008. In the case that the GOP continues funding this nonsensical fight, their future dims with each passing day. With a new GOP scandal popping up every week involving their presidential hopefuls, the GOP is melting faster than a snowball in the Sahara, so they need all the help they can get.

Going farther in this 2008 race would further the Democrats chances of winning other races in 2010. The Republicans don't need more negative publicity, and the GOP image is being tarnished by a lot of things right now. They're going to need as many resources as they can get, and wasting money on a lost race would be a lost cause.

So is this the end of the Franken-Coleman battle? Will the Democrats finally get to 60 bodies in the Senate? Gov. Pawlenty, the pen is in your hands.