Should Sen. Franken get another term?

Republican candidates campaigning for the U.S. Senate debate Tuesday, Apr. 1, 2014 at the Jewish Community Center / Barry Family Campus in St. Louis Park. From left to right are State Rep. Jim Abeler, David Carlson, Peter Swanson (standing in for candidate Chris Dahlberg), Mike McFadden, forum moderator Mark Miller, Monti Moreno, state Sen. Julianne Ortman and Phillip Parrish. Jennifer Simonson/MPR News

Several Minnesota Republicans vying to run against U.S. Sen. Al Franken this fall criticized the Democrat during a candidate forum in St. Louis Park this week.

“The candidates spent much of their time talking about national defense issues at the Republican Jewish Coalition-sponsored forum. All said they opposed Obama administration proposals to pare back the size of the military,” writes MPR News reporter Mark Zdechlik.

“Global hot spots are increasing right? And the world is a more dangerous place. Why are we proposing to cut the military now? We’re sending the wrong message to our allies and to our enemies,” said state Sen. Julianne Ortman.

They also blamed the Democrat for not cracking down on U.S. government spying on Americans.

State Rep. Jim Abeler said the U.S. should look toward Israel’s practice of “selective” intelligence screening.

“When you treat everybody as though they’re the enemy, we all could be the enemy,” Abeler said. “You could be detained because they might suspect you and that’s ridiculous.”

Iraq war veteran David Carlson, Naval Reserve Intelligence officer Phillip Parrish and businessman Monti Moreno also participated in the debate.

Today’s Question: Should Sen. Franken get another term?

  • PaulJ

    His communication skill makes him such a credit to the state that we can’t afford to lose him (lefty or not). I would like to hear what he’s done on the energy committee (energy makes the world go ’round, not satire).

  • Gary F

    Why did Senator Franken ask Senator Schumer to have the IRS crack down on Tea Party groups?

    Using the force of government to come down on the political opposition?

    • Except he didn’t do that.

      Please show us exactly where they called for the specific targeting of “Tea Party” groups.

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/142073156/Schumer-Franken-Letter-to-IRS-re-501-c-4-s-2-16-12

      And yes, Senator Franken deserves another term even though there are some stances that he has that don’t jive with my stances.

      • Joe

        I think I saw a commercial about it on the glowy TV box, it’s the best place to get accurate and unbiased information!

        • “Fair and balanced” always wins!

          • Joe

            Hey now, no need to call out specific networks, people can come to their own conclusions.
            Also, people who think that MSNBC actually has a captive audience are delusional. No one watches MSNBC.

          • ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Ralphy

      The ad that has been running this claim has been debunked by numerous neutral fact-checking watchdog sources. It is misleading at best, an out-right lie at worse.

      • A political attack ad stating falsehoods??

    • KTN

      Because they are avowed anti tax and they deserve all the extra scrutiny they get – they are the most likely to cheat on their taxes.
      oh, and the only group actually penalized was a progressive one – so much for the paranoia of the right

  • JQP

    Yes.

  • Beth-Ann Bloom

    Definitely. He has represented our state well

  • Jim G

    Yes.
    I like Al Franken. I grew up in the same town as Al Franken. I support Al
    Franken because he is a very smart fellow. In addition, I like that he cares
    about the working and middle class, and does not cater to just the
    wealthy. Most importantly, his “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!” days
    are now history. In fact, he has adapted quite well to the Senate and has even
    developed a dab of gravitas… not gravy… gravitas, in just the right measure for this
    Minnesotan.

  • Peatbogjeff

    Absolutely not. Minnesota is completely out of step with our sister states on the biggest issue of our times, abortion. Franken has innocent blood on his hands, and we need to realize the pro-life movement is going to wake our country from this nightmare.

    • …we need to realize the pro-life anti-choice movement …

      • Peatbogjeff

        That doesn’t achieve much semantically, but my goodness do the abortionistas understand the power of euphemism. The biggest laugh of all is “reproductive health.” Precisely what is healthy about murdering 1.3 million infants per year in America? Equally horrible is that the majority of them are black or Latino, which makes abortion endlessly racist as well as violent. Face it for what it is, and note that more “anti-choice” legislation has passed in the last year than in the last decade. This week new restrictions are going on the books in Alabama and Mississippi, and this will continue…sadly, it is our new civil war, because abortion ranks with slavery among our original sins.

        • “Abortionistas” – How precious.

        • Joe

          I’m not sure you understand what the phrase “original sin” usually means. Nothing to do with slavery or abortion.

        • “That doesn’t achieve much semantically…”

          Actually, it does.

          The phrase “pro-life” assumes proponents of legalized abortion are automatically “anti-life” which just isn’t the case.

          Would you like to see ALL abortions outlawed?

          How about trying to decrease to the bare minimum the need for an abortion by increasing sex / reproduction education and the availability of birth control?

          • JDan

            If you are for abortion your are against life. Give some good reasons why it is okay to take someones life, when they are not able to speak?

          • Joe

            You’re right, we should end extrajudicial killings and the drone program.

          • JDan

            Sure. Are you just trying to be divisive?

          • Joe

            Not at first, I just thought it applied to your reasoning quite well, but yes I’ll take the credit for being “divisive” because it elicited this deliciously ironic response.
            I’m curious though… how is extrajudicial killing a divisive issue?

          • One can be “pro-choice” and still be “pro-life.”

            What aren’t you quite understanding about that?

          • Peatbogjeff

            Yes, all. Every abortion is an act of violence against an innocent child that only wants to be born and fed and protected and fed.

          • “Yes, all.”

            In cases of rape and incest?

            How do you propose to take care of the unwanted children?

            How do you feel about the Morning After Pill or a Copper IUD as a form of emergency contraception?

          • Peatbogjeff

            The gravest of Christ’s warnings in the Gospels concern the treatment of children. His story is true, and the best news of all is he said he is coming back. On that bright day I would not want to be an abortionist, a supporter of abortion (like Franken), or anyone who has done harm. The end of harm’s line is abortion.

          • Ah, I didn’t want to assume your views were based on religion, but I kind of figured it was.

            Unfortunately for you (and fortunately for the rest of us in the US), we are not a theocracy.

            Also – Don’t look too closely at that Bible, you might discover quite a few unsettling passages that don’t quite mesh with your rosy view of that tome.

          • JDan

            Choosing life is not a religious choice.

      • JDan

        A life is not a choice.

  • Pearly

    I think I will vote against Sen. Al again. What can you read into that Jim?

    • PaulJ

      Does that mean you aren’t actually FOR the alternative?

    • Jim G

      Sorry, I know I’m late, but I had to get cinnamon rolls for tomorrow morning. What can I read into your decision not to vote for Al? Hmmm…If you knew the man, you’d like him. Wait a second, I’m reading something else. This night when you are safe in your home when you look out your windows you will see a vision… of pure whiteness, six to twelve inches… and it will be heavy, very heavy. I’d recommend letting it melt this weekend and having some frank-en beans for lunch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Joe

    I would need to hear more from the Republican candidate before making a decision, but as of now we don’t really know much about McFadden and Ortman other than he’s a businessman and she likes the second amendment or something. Both seem like formidable candidates as long as they avoid any topics from the religious right. Then again, Franken has been good at playing the role as an uncontroversial DFL senator, which is inherently tough to beat.

  • kevins

    Yes. I will gladly vote for him again. So will my wife and the three of four adult children that live in Minnesota. He is intelligent, genuine and reasonable in his approach to public policy. I would like to see him assert a soultion to yesterday’s SCOTUS decision however.

  • JDan

    Is he a Minnesotan?

    • Ralphy

      I guess that depends on how you would define one to be a “Minnesotan”.
      Al Franken grew up in St. Louis Park and lives in Minneapolis.
      By my reckoning, he is a Minnesotan culturally, based on where he grew up, and a Minnesotan legally, based on where he lives.

      • So, i guess, Yes is the answer JDan is looking for.

    • Joe

      He’s clearly from Kenya

  • Joe

    How exactly would trying to follow Israel’s “selective” intelligence screenings be any different from what we are doing now? It sounds like Abeler is just trying to find an excuse to say how bad the USA PATRIOT Act is and how perfect Israel’s policies are in front of the Coalition and somehow tie that to Franken. It’s like he’s criticizing Al Franken for not getting into a time machine to be one of two of the dissenting senate votes on the USA PATRIOT Act.

  • Brian

    He has done a good job so far, but is he the strongest senator…probably not. However, the Republicans do not impress me at all and have not impressed me for many years. I couldn’t see myself voting for a Republican until they start to represent the rest of us, not just the rich. Even if the Republican candidate resonates with me to some degree I don’t want to give the Republicans in Congress any more troops to fight their war against decency. I will vote for Franken.

  • foreseer2

    Bad question. Let’s see who Republicans come up with for a candidate, as “none of the above is not an option.”

    I personally will support Franken, because in contrast to former Senator Coleman, he is a workhorse, not a show horse. Franken is doing his job – working on legislation to make our lives better – rather than making the Senate a sideshow in the manner of Senator Cruz of Texas.

    And for those people who plan to vote against him because he is pro-choice rather than pro-life – what is your attitude about the 30,000 Americans (most innocent victims) who die because of guns every year? Those lives are not potential – but actual.