Franken Fights The Little Guy

It has been said with some regularity that Republicans hate unions, but love individual workers. Conversely, Democrats love unions, they just hate actual workers. While one may disagree, at least as far as Democrats go, Al Franken is giving some truth to the statement.

Franken, the former Saturday Night Live comedian and Air America talk show host, moved to Minnesota to run against Senator Norm Coleman. As we noted at RedState last week, the State of New York has fined Franken $25,000.00 for failing to carry workers compensation insurance for his employees. New York sent several letters to Franken’s New York address and received no response. It thereafter imposed the fine. Apparently, workers as a campaign talking point are fine, but meeting your legal obligations to them is not worth the effort.

Franken claims, through his campaign, that there was a mix-up and he has not lived in New York for several years. Consequently, he had not gotten the notices. There is just one problem with that: it is a lie. New York began sending notices in April of 2005, the same month Franken bought his house in Minnesota. In June of 2005, New York fined Franken and forwarded the fine to a collection agency. You might think there is some merit to Franken’s claim of moving, but he voted in the New York mayoral election in November of 2005, listing as his residence the same address to which New York was sending mail.

Likewise, the blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed found a recent advertisement in a Harvard Newsletter placed by Franken seeking donations to his campaign. The address to send contributions is Franken’s home address in New York, the same one to which the state was mailing letters.

Al Franken once wrote a book called Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. He might want to update it to include himself.

The Devil Goes Down to Georgia

As if the Republican Party does not have enough trouble, down in Georgia one of the most consistent, principled Republican members of Congress, Paul Broun, is being challenged from the left by an allegedly conservative Republican.

Congressman Broun, who won a special election for his seat last year, is being challenged by Barry Fleming. Fleming, a Republican representative in Georgia’s House of Representatives, just spent three months in the Georgia House siding with its troubled Speaker Glenn Richardson. Now Fleming is attacking Broun and every other conservative Georgia congressman for authoring legislation that would make English the official language of the United States. Broun’s “English as the Official Language Act” is the House version of Senator Inhofe’s English language legislation. Fleming, opposing the legislation, suggests Broun should “work with recognized congressional leaders” on “existing legislation” — presumably the same congressional leaders trying to kill the existing legislation.

Fleming is also attacking Broun for voting against legislation offered by unabashed socialist Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). The legislation would have expanded a federal housing program and mandated costly “green buildings.” Waters refused to support a cap on the spending. Broun joined with members of the conservative Republican Study Committee to vote against the legislation.

The district should be safe for Broun, but Barry Fleming is working hard to curtail Broun’s support in the Georgia GOP establishment. If Broun loses his primary, Fleming will be another typical status quo Republican.

Around the states:

Here’s my weekly round up of news from around the states that you’d never know about if you relied on the traditional media.


Black voters and politicians in Los Angeles are advocating a repeal of Los Angeles’ sanctuary city legislation. The legislation prohibits the LAPD from checking to see if a criminal is an illegal alien.

Last month, Jamiel Shaw, Jr. was gunned down by an illegal alien who was not deported after leaving the Los Angeles County Jail. The illegal alien had told police, upon arrest, that he was born in Los Angeles. Had police been able to check and deport him, Shaw, whose mother is serving the nation in Iraq, would still be alive.


Facing a slowing economy, declining tax revenue, and increased expenses, Toledo, OH has decided to move ahead with opening city pools for residents. Blogger Maggie Thurber notes the city will spend $600,000.00 on the pools, which will only serve around 7% of the city’s children. That works out to $120 per child. Naturally, very few of the members of Toledo’s City Council were in opposition, despite it being cheaper to buy every child in the city a membership to the local Boys and Girls Club for $5.00 per child.


Leslie Carbonne has a rather amusing post about legislative staffers in the U.S. Capitol. The staffers’ personal information was released by a company called LegiStorm, which seeks to provide greater government transparency. The staffers failed to realize that their personal information was made available to LegiStorm by the federal government after the staffers filled out public documents with the information. What is most telling in the storm over LegiStorm is that the staffers lashed out at the private enterprise and not the federal bureaucracy that required the public disclosure of private information.