Fellow funnyman Conan O’Brien to host fundraiser for Franken

WASHINGTON – Al Franken’s going back to his comedic roots as he ramps up his re-election efforts. The former Saturday Night Live writer’s campaign announced today that late night comic Conan O’Brien will host a major fundraiser for Franken in Los Angeles next month.

Taking a page from President Barack Obama’s successful fundraising playbook last year, Franken’s campaign said in an email to supporters that one online donor would be picked randomly to attend the fundraiser in person at O’Brien’s home.

“Imagine how much fun it would be to hang out at Conan’s house,” said the fundraising email. “And then stop imagining and start clicking — because a contribution of any amount will automatically enter you to win (airfare and hotel included!).”

Obama’s campaign offered small donors the chance to mingle with celebrities such as George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker as a potential reward for donating online. Tactics such as those allowed Obama to bring in $483 million from donors giving less than $200, the majority of his fundraising.

Franken similarly relies on small donors to power his campaign coffers. According to Federal Election Commission records, Franken raised nearly $2.9 million in the past two years with $2 million coming from donations under $200.

Although Franken won in 2008 by the narrowest of margins, so far no Republicans have entered the race to take him on in 2014.