Minnesota

In the Damond case, Mike Freeman says the waiting is not his fault

Featured image On Sunday I noted that we are awaiting the charging decision of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in the July 15 shooting of Justine Damond by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. Three months ago the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension turned over its file in the case to Freeman. Freeman has vowed to make the charging decision himself rather than submit the case to a grand jury. He promised to »

Ms. Smith goes to Washington

Featured image Minnesota Governor Dayton will announce this morning that he has chosen Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to succeed Al Franken in the Senate upon Franken’s resignation. Franken has stated his intention to resign but left the timing vague. Once Dayton makes his announcement this morning I trust that Franken’s departure will follow in due course. Exit the clown. Star Tribune reporter Patrick Coolican notes Smith served as Dayton’s first chief of »

In the Damond case, still waiting

Featured image Three months ago the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension turned over its file in the July 15 shooting of Justine Damond by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Freeman has vowed to make the prosecutorial decision himself rather than submit the case to a grand jury. We therefore await Freeman’s charging decision in this apparently outrageous case. It’s an important case. Justice is due the »

The expendable Mr. Franken

Featured image Democratic support for the tenure of Minnesota Senator Al Franken in office died on the vine today. First Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stepped forward to call for Franken’s resignation. Her call was followed by other Democratic women senators with the exception of his colleague Amy Klobuchar, whose help was unnecessary to the task at hand. However, she had been among the first Senators to call for Franken’s case to be remitted »

Jason Lewis meets the press

Featured image Eric Eskola and Cathy Wurzer host the weekly news review Almanac on our local PBS affiliate. This past Friday night they invited John’s and my congressman — Minnesota Second District Rep. Jason Lewis — to discuss the tax bill he had voted for. In the land of Lake Wobegon, Eric and Cathy are above average Minnesota journalists. They nevertheless carry on their discussion with Jason at a low level, I »

Sabo, come to Minneapolis

Featured image Al Franken is not just a national story. He is a major Minnesota story. Sometimes it feels like everything’s happening here, that we’re at ground zero of the suicide of the West. If not exactly ground zero, we are in the vicinity of the intersection of liberal media, liberal governance, liberal social policy, liberal fatuity and liberal preening. It is suffocating. Al Franken is a major Minnesota story not only »

Another “crowded & chaotic situation”

Featured image Emerging today from the “crowded and chaotic situations” in Al Franken’s past is Stephanie Kemplin’s story, related by CNN’s MJ Lee. It involves another grope by Franken while he and Kemplin posed for a photograph on a USO tour in December 2003. The photograph itself is innocent. Kemplin says the grope took place just before the photograph was snapped. Lee reached out to Franken’s spokesman for comment. I think I »

Al Franken regrets

Featured image A stringer for 5 Eyewitness News in the Twin Cities caught up with Al Franken on his apology tour yesterday. It looks like the interview was conducted on outside the house of Franken’s daughter, where he had been holed up over the long Thanksgiving weekend. I have embedded the whole thing below (about 7 minutes). The quality of the interview pales in comparison to that conducted by Esme Murphy on »

Franken: Just very, very sorry

Featured image Last night CBS Minnesota broadcast excerpts of the interview Al Franken gave to anchor/reporter Esme Murphy at his daughter’s home in Washington, where he rode out the storm over the long Thanksgiving weekend during which he issued laughable and inconsistent statements on his misconduct. CBS Minnesota has posted the broadcast report (video below, about six minutes) and a companion summary here. It has also posted the entire 33-minute interview. If »

Franken meets the press

Featured image Minnesota Senator Al Franken has not yet emerged from the bunker in which he is hiding somewhere in Washington. He will emerge tomorrow when he returns to work to take care of the business at hand, so to speak. Today, however, Franken made himself available to talk to trusted media outlets, such as the Star Tribune. Franken told the Star Tribune’s Jennifer Brooks that the sexual misconduct of which he »

Minnesota cage match, 2017 edition (9)

Featured image When we checked in most recently on the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-majority legislative bodies, the Minnesota Supreme Court had decided that DFL Governor Mark Dayton had the constitutional authority to zero out the legislature’s funding, as Dayton did at the conclusion of the legislative session this past June. The court’s 29-page opinion affirmed the governor’s authority to veto the legislature’s funding so as »

Franken’s statement

Featured image The Thanksgiving statement issued by Minnesota Senator Al Franken on ventures in grope and grin photographs poses a test for Minnesota voters and Minnesota media. It is a sort of intelligence test. How stupid are you? Franken is betting that we are on par with the vegetable kingdom’s cabbage and potato. In the annals of false apology, this must set a new record: I’ve met tens of thousands of people »

Franken speaks: I need to be more careful

Featured image From a bunker somewhere in Washington, Minnesota Senator Al Franken issued a statement yesterday all but acknowledging the misconduct of which he has been charged this week and declaring that he’s not going anywhere. He’s sorry. He’s learned from it. He wants to make sure it won’t happen again. Franken frames his misconduct as an excess of warmth. He has hugged people in the thousands, often in crowded and chaotic »

The Franken effect

Featured image Al Franken has fancied himself a leftist firebrand following in the footsteps of Paul Wellstone. What a dud. Franken’s true contribution to American politics now proves to be the grope and grin photograph. In the latest installment of the Franken affair, two more women offer accounts of Franken’s grope and grin maneuver. Think of them as too close encounters of the Franken kind. The testimony this time around has elicited »

The Franken factor

Featured image Al Franken remains in hiding. He holds his silence. He is, uncharacteristically, biting his tongue, hoping to ride out the storm that has followed Leeann Tweeden’s story. Franken’s scandal represents a crossover between the world of show business in which he made his career and the world of politics in which he has sought to become a champion of the left. Here former Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone was his model. »

Al Franken: The movie

Featured image I have written a lot about Al Franken on Power Line over the years. I posted this review of the Doob/Hegedus documentary on Al Franken in September 2006. The movie was a complete and utter commercial bomb (domestic gross: $102,990). Just about no one saw it. As Franken rides out the scandal deriving from recent disclosures of his past behavior, I thought back to the film. A.O. Scott reviewed it »

Franken at the Fair

Featured image A second woman has emerged to tell her tale of a too-close encounter with Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Her name is Lindsay Menz. Her too-close encounter took place at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, after Franken took office in June 2009. MJ Lee reports the story in scrupulous detail here for CNN. Menz’s account is supported by photographic evidence, but the misconduct she reports in this case is out »