WASHINGTON (CNN) – The legal battle for Minnesota's Senate seat may be far from over, but Democrat Al Franken isn't waiting for a resolution: on Monday, he announced his first Senate staff hire.
Franken said that Alana Petersen, a former staffer for Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar, will serve as his state director - even though the Democrat's election has yet to be certified. "I want Minnesotans to be able to rely on me for assistance with the federal government. Whether it's a Social Security check, a small business loan, or help for a returning veteran, my office will be there for the people of our state," Franken said in a statement. "Drawing on her wealth of experience and her ability to reach out to every constituency in Minnesota, when I have the privilege of being certified, she'll work with me to ensure that we hit the ground running on Day One."
State GOP chair Ron Carey derided the move as a "publicity stunt."
"This is another shameful episode of disenfranchising voters from Al Franken, and his disrespect for the constitutional rights of all citizens. While the due process and equal protection rights of our fellow citizens are being denied, Al Franken is determined to thumb his nose at the Minnesota Supreme Court," he said in a statement.
Monday's announcement comes exactly a week after a three-judge panel declared Franken the winner of the Senate race over Coleman, by a margin of 312 votes. Republican Norm Coleman has vowed to file an appeal of the decision with the Minnesota Supreme Court.
COOL!!! You go Al.
HaHaHa..... (I'm laughing at you Republicans!)
Ron Carey, the only thing shameful about this leg of the election is your candidate's selfish refusal to allow the state of Minnesota to be represented by two senators.
In 2000, Al Gore declined to drag the race beyond the point where the president could put together a transition. Now, four months after he should have been sworn in, Minnesota has only one senator – the second one has been hijacked by the deeply self-centered and ecotistical Norm Coleman.
You guys elected Stewart Smally.... ROFLMAO
I can't believe Coleman is still fighting this. By the time this is all over, it will be time for the next election cycle. Did Coleman make promises he has to keep?
What is there to appeal. If you get less votes, you lose the election. Why is this so difficult? On what grounds does Coleman have to appeal?
Is his argument that votes are no substitute for experience? This is just getting ridiculous.
This is ridiculous! Just certify Franken and be done with it. The GOP are just a bunch of sore losers. The three judge panel was a clear indication in the relative soundness and legality of this election. Just give it up Coleman. I'm not the biggest Franken fan either, but it harms the interests of citizens in Minnesota to allow this mess to continue, when the victor is clear.
Ron Carey is so moronic that he doesn't even know it! How can Al Franken be "determined to thumb his nose at the Minnesota Supreme Court" when it was the Minnesota Supreme Court that approved him the winner!
I'm a life long Republican but it is no wonder that the GOP's numbers are in the basement when they make statements like this!
Coleman – another rethuglican who has a problem with reality and LOSING!