Reaction to Franken’s tax problems

April 29th, 2008 – 10:41 PM by Dennis J. McGrath

Our story about Franken’s disclosure that he’s paying about $70,000 in back taxes and penalties resulted in plenty of comments being posted to the story, which you can read here.

Also, here’s a sampling of reaction from bloggers — first those on the right, and then those on the left.1Franken0430.jpg

Hugh Hewitt on Townhall.com says:

“There’s no other way to put it. Franken cheated on his taxes and has been found out. … How many working class Democrats are going to leave a wealthy-comedian tax dodger for a very effective, classy Norm Coleman? I think quite a few.”

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air doesn’t think Franken was deliberately trying to evade taxes. But Morrissey’s point is something Franken no doubt will be hearing plenty of from critics who give him the benefit of the doubt:

“Did Franken intend to evade his tax responsibilities? I’d say it’s much more likely that he just didn’t care enough to figure out what they were, although he certainly knew enough to incorporate to gain legitimate tax advantages. Now he wants Minnesotans to believe that he cares about their concerns when he didn’t care enough about his own business to run it properly. The voters — and taxpayers — of Minnesota are not going to have much affection for someone who has more in common with Leona Helmsley than with themselves.”

Sean Hackbarth — formerly of the Fred Thompson presidential campaign — writes on The American Mind: “Ah, tossing the accountant under the bus. At least it was his grandmother. [I think Hackbarth must have meant "wasn't his grandmother."] We don’t know if this will be the final shoe to drop. Judging from the mismanagement of Franken’s campaign a place like Puerto Rico could come calling demanding him to pay up.”

At Power Line, Scott Johnson writes: “Since the expiration of the Al Franken decade in 1990, the only kind of humor for which Franken has been responsible is unintentional. Assuming Franken’s tax delinquencies are the result of negligence, they would run true to his post-Franken decade form.”

Minneapolis blogger doubtcreptintohisvoice doesn’t think this will derail Franken’s campaign, but he nevertheless finds it troubling: “While the figure and scale is big, the Franken people are implying that it stems from the same misunderstanding of tax law. They continue to blame the accounting firm. It could very well be that the accounting firm is incompetent and gave horribly faulty advice. But the very fact that Franken was unable to figure out about himself what the Republicans uncovered fairly easily is troubling. This will probably not foil Franken’s DFL endorsement, but it can’t help.”

At MnPublius, Matt Martin argues that the facts point to no intent on Franken’s part, and he praises the Franken campaign for getting on top of these financial problems:

First of all, if the Frankens paid taxes on every single cent earned, then this truly isn’t an issue of tax evasion; I mean, why go through the bother of paying at all then? It seems that the sum gain Franken occurred due to the relative tax rates was about $4000; not enough to be worth this trouble. In short, it seems that this is legitimately an accounting error and that’s not just clever spin.

Second, the states aren’t the ones asking for money. This isn’t a story that the GOP had their hands on, it’s something that the campaign started researching when the accountant’s prior mistakes were realized. They did the research, and now the Frankens are willfully correcting the mistake by repaying the taxes owed to the various states; in some cases this is as little as $53.

I’m not going to sugar-coat this, all these issues have made for some rough times for the Franken campaign over the last month, but I can honestly say that this step by the campaign is encouraging. The campaign seems to be at the front of this now and has decided to take the path of full, willful disclosure–a choice that will hopefully get this all out there.

Likewise, Joe Bodell at Minnesota Campaign Report posted this item at 9:48 p.m. (Tuesday), giving Franken’s campaign credit for the damage control effort: “Got off the phone with Franken campaign staffer Andy Barr a little while ago. The campaign office is busy, obviously, but not doing what one might think they’d be doing at a time like this. According to Barr, their goal was to call every single DFL State Convention delegate so the delegates ‘could hear what really happened from us tonight before they got it wrong from someone else tomorrow.’ It’s damage control mode, no doubt about it, but there’s a good way to do that and there’s a bad way, and Franken’s team appears to be doing it the good way.”

So, what do you think of Franken’s problems, and what do they mean for his campaign?

64 Responses to "Reaction to Franken’s tax problems"

Sean Hackbarth says:

April 29th, 2008 at 10:53 pm

Dennis, thanks for pointing out my typo. Nice round-up.

Sean Hackbarth says:

April 29th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

As for the effect on the campaign. It only becomes a big blunder if more mistakes don’t show up. Franken is in a vulnerable position where the narrative could become “Franken is a joke…and I’m not talking about his SNL career.”

Franken Owes Taxes to 17 States » The American Mind says:

April 29th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

[...] The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a round-up of reactions. I thank them for linking to TAM and noticing my typo. Save and Share: These icons [...]

Bill H says:

April 29th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Franken the angry radio guy would’ve had a field day if this were happening to any, ANY Republican or conservative. Was Al ever credible as a candidate? If so, it doesn’t matter now. He’s toast.

Mike K says:

April 29th, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Al Franken did not realize that he has to pay taxes to the jurisdiction in which he earned the wages. Barack Obama knows his pastor for over 20 years and is now shocked over the man’s highly public views. Hillary has too many foibles to pick just one (although the sniper fire one was a good recent one). I am sure McCain is no better. When will we, the voting public, learn that these candidates do not run to serve us? They do and say whatever it takes to get elected. They do not care about us. If they did they would not work so hard to lie to us and think that they are getting away with it. These candidate are not deserving to govern the Union.

Joe says:

April 29th, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Guys this isn’t some cover-up its just bad tax advice, I think anybody that has filed taxes for a business or as a farmer knows that taxes aren’t the easiest thing to do. Usually they are pretty easy going with small problems because tax code is so confusing for businesses. This isn’t some big cover up this isn’t Norm Coleman rubber stamping Bushes war its a guy who made a mistake on his taxes and then fessed up to it and paid them. Even though if his tax problem was as bad as GOP blogs put it he would be in jail. Al has it right he cares about the people of Minnesota while Norm Coleman cares about maintaining his image with Bush….. I don’t even know why Norm is polling as well as he is. Paul Wellstone said (when the war was popular) that he didn’t care if it cost him re-election he was going to try his best to avoid war. I think Norm Coleman’s modo has been “as long as Bush is happy” and I think the people of minnesota need to realize who will help minnesota more and I think its clear that that guy is Mr. Franken.

Kurt says:

April 30th, 2008 at 1:16 am

Al Franken has no idea that you are taxed WHERE you make the income? This from a guy who calls Bush “dumb”?

Al Franken has shown he is a tax cheat or a very greedy man. This should be a disqualifier for anybody thinking of voting for this little dullard.

Kathy S says:

April 30th, 2008 at 5:55 am

He’s not good enough, he’s not smart enough, and gosh darn it, people still won’t vote for him.

Mark L says:

April 30th, 2008 at 6:10 am

Al Franken moved back from New York to Minnesota, the place of his birth so he could be a US Senator. So he could resue us.

Joe B says:

April 30th, 2008 at 6:35 am

Al Franken made a tax mistake, but he also, at least by current accounts, has discussed it openly with the public. His statement that “I paid taxes on every cent I earned” will surely be tested for accuracy. If it is correct, then he is guilty of poor tax management, not any tax crime.

The issues facing our country are much, much larger than a candidate’s tax returns, not to mention anything that involves an ex-pastor. I hope Minnesota voters remember that during the campaign and on election day.

Bruce L says:

April 30th, 2008 at 6:37 am

Franken is just another pompous ass. Why can’t Minnesota produce someone better? Real Statesmen seem to be in short supply.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 30th, 2008 at 6:46 am

Franken didn’t cheat on any taxes – he paid every cent he’s owed. That won’t stop the paper from printing insinuations that will sell papers, and it sure won’t stop the GOP from insinuating wrongdoing.

If I paid someone to keep track of my tax burden, and gave that person sufficient funds to cover my tax burden, and that person represented to me that they knew what they were doing, but then they didn’t, well, I’d be very angry.

But I don’t hear a lot of anger in Al’s comments…

That said, I’m in the habit of calling for people’s heads when they prove to be incompetent. I sure hope the accountant has been fired.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 30th, 2008 at 6:54 am

The biggest points are that 1) Al had the courage to stand up and admit the mistake was made, 2) he respected delegates and alternates enough to call them before they read it in the papers this morning, and 3) Norm Coleman is still much, much worse for our state, has provided more embarrassments, and caused much more hardship for Minnesota families while Mr. Franken is working very hard to fix this damage and get us back on the Wellstone Track.

It’s kind of funny. Conservative comments seem to often include “if you like taxes so much, why don’t you pay extra?” and in the end, far from paying less taxes than the rest of us, the states Mr. Franken didn’t pay will benefit by collecting extra on penalties and interest, and the state Mr. Franken overpaid already benefited (can you get your extra paid taxes back??) at least by having an interest free loan for most of the decade.

Really, taxpayers all over the country benefited from this gaff.

Craig Johnson says:

April 30th, 2008 at 7:00 am

Perhaps more to the point, having spent a lifetime in my own small businesses, tax law is virtually impossible to navigate. Even the IRS is not responsible for their own advice if in error. Give Al a break, at least he does not have a lifetime of experience in feeding at the public trough.

Stubbe says:

April 30th, 2008 at 7:21 am

Frankin is a jerk, an angry man that was never funny in the first place. See you Al I know you will leave again when you lose

wishIwuz2 says:

April 30th, 2008 at 7:36 am

The comments on this article which either support or condemn Franken appear to be right down party lines. Commentors either ‘believe’ it’s an honest mistake or they ‘believe’ Al is a tax cheat.

Apparently, our perception of the facts matters more than the facts.

Nina says:

April 30th, 2008 at 7:50 am

Would those condemning Franken for following the advice of his accountant causing him to pay his taxes to the wrong state also condemn Bush for following the advice of the intelligence community who got so many things wrong causing US taxpayers to pay trillions and American soldiers to pay with their lives? Hypocrisy thy name is GOP.

Stubbe says:

April 30th, 2008 at 7:56 am

Nina,
would this be the same inelligence comunity that your beloved Clinton neutered?? Talk about hypocrisy..

DBliss says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:04 am

Judging by this “roundup”, there must be very few liberal bloggers out there, or they must have been ignored, or they must be very quiet. It obviously isn’t the first one, so, StarTrib, which of the second two is it?

Leaving aside the hack Hewitt and the unconstructive sarcasm from Hackbarth, let’s take the serious question here. It is, to paraphrase Scott Johnson, unintentional negligence. That does not say very good things about what kind of a senator Franken would be. Inattention to detail combined with incuriosity is not good in a politician, as we’ve see with Dubya Bush over the past seven years. I think the DFL may need to reconsider.

TJSwift says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:05 am

Al is telling his supporters that he is the man that is going to keep corporations honest.

He’d have us believe that he’s smart enough to take on the best tax laywers in the country, but he’s not smart enough to keep his own crappy little tax shelter together.

Just what are we supposed to say to that?

Robert Walters says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:20 am

The Coleman clan isn’t interested in the truth. Al Franken, while on the radio, took on (if you listended to him, you’d know thos) ANYone who was guilty of fraud or dishonesty, Democrat or Republican. Also, it was the Franken office who discovered the error, well before the GOP. “Toast”? Only if Minnesotans follow the principles of the GOP: Smear, smear, smear. With Franken, it’s all about the truth. You can’t get it from Rove, Bush, Hannity, OReilly, and apparently most in the Republican clan. When Minnesotans learn the truth, they will attack the smearer.

Robert Walters says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:24 am

Can’t you get it through your heads, that AL Franken did NOT benefit a PENNY from this error? “Greedy”? “Cheater”? Franken came CLEAN on this, before it was even a story! Have you notice the Coleman clan is more interested on smearing AL, than in the truth? That keeps them from trying to explain his own record of involvement in the war, supporting Bushes efforts to privatise SS, etc, etc..

Mbrady says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:38 am

Too bad a politicians name can be dragged through the mud for a mistake by his accountant. He paid his taxes. He just paid it to the wrong government. He is guilty of trusting a professional accountant who was professionally negligent. This is a non-issue that is distracting the voters from the real issues of falling wages, rising prices, enviromental problems, war profiteering. etc. I hope Minnesotan’s will at least judge each candidate on the issues and not this attack machine released on Al.

Robert Walters says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:39 am

Norm Coleman and his mindless are going to spend the rest of this campaign lying about Franken, because Al had the decency to admit a mistake and the character to fix it. The lies we’re hearing from Coleman’s side already: “Franken evaded taxes, then lied about it.” “He’s getting rich by cheating on his taxes while the rest of us have to pay our fair share.” “How can Minnesotans trust someone who doesn’t even pay his taxes?”
The FACTS:
Al Franken paid state and federal income tax on every dollar he ever earned. Due to an accounting error, he OVERpaid his state taxes in some states and UNDERpaid them in others. He didn’t benefit financially. As soon as he found out about the mistake, he IMMEDIATELY resolved it – even though none of the states where he underpaid ever asked for the money. Al showed serious leadership. His team found out about the error well before the GOP did, and corrected it. He then offered immediate disclosure. This is how a candidate should behave. Not run and hide, as Coleman does from his record.

Rebeka N says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:43 am

Why are we always looking for our candidates to be superhuman? Anyone with a small business knows how easy it can be to miss something or make an error when it comes to taxes. There is nothing negative here. He’s human. He made a mistake. He’s fixing it now. Anyone running for public office, especially at this level and above, is called out for being either too smart or not smart enough. Too elite or not polished enough. HONESTY is not the same as PERFECTION. He’s being honest. This is a great example of that.

How exactly does this effect our economy, healthcare access, people who cannot afford to eat due to market speculation and more deaths in Iraq?

Norman Teigen says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:47 am

‘Even monkeys must sometimes fall off a tree.’ [ancient Japanese proverb]

Threeball says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:56 am

Why in the world can’t he reconstruct from older than 2003? What has already happened is enough for me to decide not to vote for him, but there sure seems like there is even more coming.

The story clearly says he still owes 4K. He did NOT pay all he was supposed to pay, and has buried his records when even a high school graduate knows you must keep your records for at least six years.

Chris says:

April 30th, 2008 at 8:57 am

Franken is ready to be a politician…he already knows how to point a finger at somebody else for his problems. Are his supporters glossing over the fact that he retained this accountant’s services for 18 years? How does that reflect upon his judgment? Do you want somebody like that making decisions that will impact you?

Harris H says:

April 30th, 2008 at 9:00 am

Franken has just shown that he is a true Democrat. When he made a mistake he immediately found someone else to blame and under no circumstances would he accept responsiblity for his actions

Robert Donald says:

April 30th, 2008 at 9:07 am

The only mistake Al Franken made was getting caught not paying his taxes. The funniest thing is reading the liberal gibberish in his behalf.
Next question is? Did big Al and his boys ever repay the money to those kids in the orphanage where they {borrowed} their money to keep his radio program on the air.

Robert Grant says:

April 30th, 2008 at 9:21 am

I’ve done contract work in a lot of different states througout the United States. I’ve always understood my fiscal responsibility. I have an accountant as well, and to suggest that his accountant didn’t understand the tax laws is just plain silly.

Everyone should be offended by this regardless of political affiliation.

I don’t like being lied to.

Go away Al with what little dignity you have left.

Mark Gisleson says:

April 30th, 2008 at 9:41 am

I think this is proof that the Republicans think the DFL endorsement process is unstoppable, and no matter what they drop on Al between now and June, the DFL will automatically endorse Franken.

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer is still running, and Minnesota Democrats can still show their support for him. I guarantee Nelson-Pallmeyer hasn’t been playing any tax games on a professor’s salary.

Sean C says:

April 30th, 2008 at 9:44 am

Franken’s nomination would be more embarrassing than Jesse Ventura’s for the state of Minnesota. Just shameful that he’s been elevated to this position.

Betty J. Magnan says:

April 30th, 2008 at 9:47 am

Everyone is forgettng that Al Franken has not been endorsed as the DFL candidate for the U.S. Senate. Jack Nelson-Palmeyer is also vying for the endorsement. He would be a candidate who would serve with honor and serve with distinction…a true statesman.

John Peitersen says:

April 30th, 2008 at 9:52 am

The real implication is that we’re talking about Al Franken’s character/personality/ethics rather than Norm Coleman’s support of a highly unpopular President.

DFLers can expect more of the same through November if they nominate Franken. He has way too much fodder for the politically savvy Coleman.

DFLers might be better served endorsing Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. He would be a tougher target for Coleman, and (gasp!) the election might be about the issues–a tougher proposition for our incumbent senator.

P Berg says:

April 30th, 2008 at 10:02 am

Do I think Al was trying to evade taxes? Absolutely, just like everyone else has tax specialists so that they pay the least within the law. I can’t believe all 17 states got a tax committee together to bring his taxes owed over several years to his attention. That’s not how they work.

And to small business owners saying it’s ease to make a tax error, I say get yourself a new accountant. As they say you can delegate authority but you can’t delegate responsibility, and those taxes are Al’s responsibility.

Oh, and let’s get the story strait, he didn’t pay all of his taxes, or tried to until he started campaigning. When would he have come clean about this if he weren’t campaigning? Or maybe I should say If he would have come clean.

RKaiser says:

April 30th, 2008 at 10:27 am

I dn’t think Al was trying to ‘cheat’ on his taxes, but I do think that he was trying to pay as little as he could get away with. That in itself is not an issue.

What I do take issue with is the fact that Al advocates a socialists political idealogy that can only be funded by an excessive tax burden. This idealogy takes for granted that most of us do not pay enough taxes. If Al and his supporters got their wish we would all need to pony up a lot more taxes to pay for all of the things that they believe the government should be doing for us.

If Al really believes in big government, then he should be happy to pay the maximum amount.

In my book, that makes Al a hypocrite.

Mbrady says:

April 30th, 2008 at 11:38 am

He overpaid taxes in other states. Why would he overpay if he was trying to avoid his responsibility? He admitted his mistake and never tried to hide it. Lets move on tho the issues but the karl Rove attack and slander style of politics will just go on.

Stubbe says:

April 30th, 2008 at 11:54 am

Karl Rove this Karl Rove that when are you going to just admit that Karl Rove was just plain smarter that his rivals…Period!

Jennifer says:

April 30th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

People, get educated- he was not “cheating” on his taxes. He PAID state taxes on his income, but to the WRONG states.
Most people are not aware of this, unless you have earned income in multiple states.

If he had not DECLARED the earnings in his states of residence, THEN you could say he was intending to “Cheat” on his taxes.
In reality- he will have to refile in those states, and will get an refund from overpayment to Minnesota and whatever else he claimed it in.

If you make $500 in Louisiana, you need to pay state taxes to Louisina. If you made $100 in Nebraska, you need to file in that state.

This is a situation not common to most folks who earn their income in one state.

we have this situation, but my tax accountant knows about it- and every year we have to file in multiple states.
So lighten up, this is a stupid error, but not a scandal… Sorry Norm.

P Berg says:

April 30th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

This has nothing to do with being a scandal, it has everything to do with how Al takes care of business and how he’ll take care of our states business.
Does anyone really believe that this is the first Al’s heard of his tax situation? This isn’t a dem/repub issue or about him cheating but about a stupid error as pointed out above. The real question is do we want a person who makes stupid errors (or people he’s surrounded himself with making stupid errors) to be in charge of millions of dollars of our money.

Just an error doesn’t cut it when it’s been happening over several year and it wasn’t taken care of until now.

Robert Grant says:

April 30th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Jennifer,

This situation IS common. Do you have any idea how many people do contract work in states outside of the one they reside?

Even if Franken was that naive, His CPA would have to have known the tax laws. This is very basic stuff.

This issue is inexcusable.

obstakes says:

April 30th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

This “mistake” comes from one of the most arrogant people you’ll ever see. He has spouted that others are dumb, but he is the one making costly mistakes. For now, they are only costing him. In the future, if he has his way, they may cost you. Beware of Al Franken; he is not qualified. Good thing for us, he is showing that now.

Bye Al says:

April 30th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Rhus Radicans says:

April 30th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

In 2007,I earned income while working for my corporate employer in MN, CA, UT, MI, ND and Brazil. My corporate employer sent me tax forms that showed withholdings for United States and Minnesota taxes. Using the logic of the right wing radicals I too am a tax avoider. I doubt that I am alone in working for a corporation and trusting the corporate accountants. Silly us. Or perhaps silly right wing nuts trying to distract the MN electorate from the disasterous effects of Normy’s pandering to the Cheney-Bush regieme.

essar1 says:

April 30th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I’ve been a Franken supporter, never buying the “angry” crap (after 8 years of the current occupant’s cronyism, record deficits, 4,000+ dead due to lies, we should all be “angry”) from the Coleman hacks and GOP bloggers and sycophants.

That said, he’s toast. Yes, yes, he paid it, he clearly wasn’t AVOIDING paying (off-shore corporations, anyone?)…but the bottom line is that this whole thing is just STUPID. This should have been vetted LONG ago and on the heels of the workman’s comp issue it’s just…stupid is the only word for it.

You can’t spin it any other way but the fact that it’s stupid and it will be a factor every minute of the campaign should Al get the nom.

Franken has the better organization than Jack, has worked his tail off for months, its too far along in the process now for this whole thing not to hur no matter who gets the DFL nom.

Just stupid…really stupid.

Stubbe says:

April 30th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

It is amazing that the Dems have taken what should be a slam dunk election year and tossed it out the window with the likes of Obama/Clinton and Franken..

Just warms my heart :)

rizzpz says:

April 30th, 2008 at 1:52 pm

I don’t think Franken understands that Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer has an increasingly good chance to win the DFL endorsement, either at the convention or in the primary in Sept. Public bumbles like this just cement the opinion among DFL party activist that Franken is just another cynical politician. Franken doesn’t seem to understand that Nelson-Pallmeyer is the Paul Wellstone of 2008. Nobody thought Wellstone had a chance to win the DFL nomination in 1990 and he was badly underestimated. Behavior like this from Franken will not endure him to the Wellstone branch of the DFL, which is stongly behind P-N.

Robert Grant says:

April 30th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

rizzpz,

Wow. You’re really going out on a limb with that comment.

You mean this may hurt Al’s chances?

Who would have thought………

Stubbe says:

April 30th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Well rizzpz that settles it for me I will vote for Norm.. we have enough socialists in Washinton.

Sue says:

April 30th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Good.

This pretty much seals the deal for Franken.
Now, he can go back to being an angry un-funny comedy writer.

I don’t think I could take any more ridicule from the rest of the country after the Ventura situation.

Lylegod says:

April 30th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Wow. I’m appalled at the number of people that can’t even read. The article isn’t even that long. I’m also annoyed by the author who can’t write clearly. Franken paid those taxes when they were due. The mistake his accountant made was not taking that correct amount of money and distributing it among 17 states.

If you want to be a hater for the sake of hating at least be honest about it.

Bergman says:

April 30th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

I bet those CFOs from Worldcom and Enron would have liked to have thought of the “its my accountant’s fault” defense.

BTW, people who think he paid the “correct amount” of money – tell that to the 17 states he shorted and then go read the 10th Amendment. Those 17 states could give 2 squirts of monkey piss whether he paid that money to Minnesota, New York or Canada. They did not get the money they deserved.

Robert Grant says:

May 1st, 2008 at 7:12 am

Although murmurs of unease emerged over the U.S. Senate challenger’s repeated tax woes, most in the party expressed support.

By PATRICIA LOPEZ, KEVIN DUCHSCHERE and CONRAD WILSON, Star Tribune

Last update: April 30, 2008 – 11:29 PM

Dennis,

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

Wouldn’t you think that the Democratic party would want to distance themselves from this candidate?

Especially with the behavior being conducted by the two presidential candidates.

Les says:

May 1st, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I do beleive him when Franken says he did not intentionally avoid paying taxes where required. That isnt the problem.

He needs to realize he has spent a lot of time criticizing many people. While at the same time not using due dilligence in his own affairs.

If he cant run a small private enterprise without running afoul of state regulators, I certianly am not going to trust his judgement as a law maker, or beleive he has researched his position on an issue thoroughly. In other words, intentional or not, these thing will hurt him.

Harry G. says:

May 2nd, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Is this the same Al Franken that says “Telling the truth is something I take seriously, I try to hold myself to an impossibly high standard”? The same Al that denied any connection to laundering funds for Air America from a NY boys and girls club, until his name was found on the paperwork? I just hope he doesn’t want to be appointed to a finance type committee.

Amy O. says:

May 3rd, 2008 at 10:27 am

If you all don’t elect Al Franken over this then you deserve 6 more years of that snake Norm Coleman. How many of you know anything about Al Franken? How many of you ever listened to his radio show? He is a moral American, far more so than any Republican these days who seem so mired in scandal and greed and have bankrupted our great nation. He will get this financial situation straightened out, but don’t doubt for a minute how you all are being played by the right wing machine–just look at the comments here. Do what is right for your state. Do what is right for our country. Do what is right for our troops AND our vets–elect Al Franken. When November rolls around be informed, not by my comments, not by the right wing comments here, and ESPECIALLY not by the corporate media’s selective “news” coverage. Go to your town hall meetings and meet your candidates. Having watched both Norm Coleman and Al Franken speak it is so clear to me who is earnest, who wants to do good for this country (not for himself), who cares for our vets (and not just in election years) and who is interested in trying to stabilize our economy. Good Luck! I’ll be watching election night from California.

Morecamb says:

May 3rd, 2008 at 12:50 pm

AL Franken is an honest guy and the tax filing slips are slips and he’s making atonement. But Al seems uncomfortable these days wearing the skin of a senatorial candidate. Look at the re-runs of this week’s edition of Almanac on public television. Compare Al on tape with Jack Nelson-Pallmyer in the KTCA-TV studio and you’ll probably come to the conclusion that Jack, not Al is the best bet for the DFL.

Robert Grant says:

May 5th, 2008 at 8:15 am

He was most likely pre-occupied avoiding workers comp benefits to focus on paying taxes.

Wake up, people.

Les says:

May 6th, 2008 at 11:38 am

Amy O.

Lets make a deal.

You get rid of Pelosi, Fienstien, and Boxer and I’ll vote for Al (I didnt know about It) Franken. Better yet, why dont you take him for your own Senator??

Funny, he lived in New York all those years, and raises all his money in CA, but runs in MN.

Unitl you left coast idiots get it right, you can save your comments about our politicians.

Meangoose says:

May 7th, 2008 at 10:26 am

I support Al, but in the interest of making the Coleman machine hush up about this trumped up non-scandal, I think he should step aside for Nelson-Pallmyer.

There’s a reason that if someone prepares your taxes, they’re required to sign the return as your tax preparer. There’s a reason that H&R Block guarantees they’ll pay your penalties and interest if they mess up your returns. When you pay someone (who is supposedly certified as competant) to do your taxes, they take on responsibility for the accuracy and competancy of their work. If they mess up, sure, you still owe the taxes. But the responsibility for the mess is theirs. That’s why you get a certified tax preparer and not just “anyone that can fill out a form” to do your taxes.

Stubbe is right about one thing…we have enough socialists in Washington. Problem is, contrary to his belief, the real socialists in Washington are the ones that want to take our income (and our children’s income, via deficit spending) and redistribute it to Haliburton with no-bid, no-accountability contracts in an endless war.

Kathy S says:

May 15th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

please no more joke candidates. The real test will be how long he hangs around in fly-over-land once he loses. I bet he will be back to the left coast in a NY minute.

Chancer says:

May 19th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I like Al Franken. He’s a funny guy. But like Seinfeld, I wouldn’t vote for him.

If he cannot keep track of his own tax liabilities, how can he be qualified to be a senator? Obviously, NOT.

Considering this guy for public office, is a no brainer. Franken should go back to comedy.

Stanton For US Senate Team says:

May 23rd, 2008 at 12:10 pm

The time has come for the people of Minnesota to have a real grassroots candidate working for the people of Minnesota in Washington instead big money candidates dressed in grassroots clothing. Vote Darryl Stanton Tuesday, September 9, 2008.