Code Red for Team Franken

In Minnesota, Al Franken is up for reelection to the United States Senate. Minnesota’s Republican Party is a mess and the announced GOP candidates haven’t made much of an impression. Indeed, you have to be something of an obsessive to know that Franken will be on the ballot this November.

I was reminded of Franken’s reelection campaign by an article last week in the Washington Post. According to the Post’s Richard Leiby, Franken is giving up jokes for his reelection campaign.

Leiby’s reportage may be a step up from the Mufson/Eilperin school of made-to-order for Democrats’ campaign themes, but I say “may” and the step might not be a full one. Franken has to give up jokes like he has to give up his cocaine-fueled all-nighters for Saturday Night Live. Franken hasn’t been funny since the expiration of the Al Franken Decade in 1990. He’s a lapsed humorist who now works his rage out in politics rather than comedy, all while trying mightily to simulate a normal human being.

Franken’s fundraisers have somehow marked John Hinderaker down as a supporter. They are under the impression that John has enlisted in what they call Team Franken and they solicit him persistently via the Power Line gmail account.

By the evidence of the email messages addressed to “Dear Hind” — why “Hind,” we’re not sure — Team Franken’s fundraisers have an incredibly low opinion of their target audience. They have their target audience sized up as Pavlovian dogs, salivating to the sound of “Koch brothers” (ka-ching!) and “Karl Rove” (ka-ching!).

I credit them with having their audience sized up right. Their solicitations represent the state of the art.

Though the dogs may be trained, however, they are none too bright. It doesn’t take much to persuade them that Franken is in a heap of trouble. Thus this week’s appeal from “Paul Begala” under the subject heading “Bad News.” Consistent with Leiby’s Washington Post story, you might say, this message from “Paul Begala” is not a joke. “Paul Begala” writes:

Dear Hind

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a brand new Super PAC called the “Heartland Campaign Fund” just showed up on the scene, and its ONLY mission is to defeat Al.

That’s right: This particular group of deep-pocketed right-wing activists aren’t messing around.

They’re going to be accepting unlimited donations and devoting every dime to attacks in one race: this one. A better name for this Super PAC would be the Heartless Campaign Fund.

I don’t know about you, but when I saw this, I decided right away to help out. Will you join me by contributing $5 or more to help fight back?

Keep in mind, this is a whole different challenge than any of the Super PACs you already know about — the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, etc.

This is a brand new problem — an attack group devoted solely to misleading Minnesotans about Al’s record.

You don’t need an experienced campaign strategist to tell you that’s bad news. But since I happen to be one, let me emphasize just how dangerous this new group can be. Because of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, big-money outside groups like the Heartless Campaign Fund can take over a race — unless grassroots supporters like you fight back.

Al’s campaign MUST reach its $250,000 fundraising goal before the end of March. Click here to contribute $5 or more.

What happens if Al’s campaign doesn’t reach its $250,000 fundraising goal? As I say, the fundraisers have Team Franken sized up as morons.

“Paul Begala” apologizes, but not for that:

Sorry to ruin your morning with this — but with a brand-new right-wing front group popping up, it’s better to worry now than be sorry later.



“Paul” warned that something was up in a prescient P.S.

If you think this is scary now, wait until these guys start running their first attack ads. Or, actually, don’t wait — contribute now so that Al has the resources to fight back when they do!

Franken’s fundraisers haven’t yet responded to the ad below, just released online by American Encore. American Encore has reportedly placed the ad with a $250,000 buy. If the email message above conveyed “Bad News,” it may be time to go Code Red, or throw in the towel. The ad, incidentally, is based on Franken’s urging the IRS to shut down those nettlesome 501(c)(4) groups that exercise their right to speak by speaking out against Franken and his Democratic colleagues.

Video via InstaPundit.

THIS JUST IN: Franken finance director Emily Mellencamp Smith has reached out to “Hind,” decrying the American Encore ad along with the group’s “strong ties to the big oil billionaire Koch brothers. Its ties to the Kochs today are unclear, but the group is still run by the Koch brothers’ money man, Sean Noble.” On the all-important cash front: “We have to reach our $250,000 FEC goal by Monday — and we’re still $19,732 short.”


Books to read from Power Line