For those who haven't been following it, just two state over from us, Al Franken has been having some problems in his race to unseat Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota, primarily because it turns out that Franken owes income taxes in no fewer than 17 states. He blames it on his accountant, of course.
But given that the Democratic mantra is that Republicans are corrupt and Democrats are scrupulously honest, this doesn't fit the script very well, and things are looking pretty rosy for Coleman right now.
There was already the $25,000 fine for not paying workers' compensation for his employees.
Before that, it was the revelation in the book Do As I Say, Not As I Do that of the 112 employees that Franken had hired over the years, only one was black -- this in spite of the fact that Franken supports affirmative action and calls conservatives racists.
But at least, contrary to his usual form, Franken was able to be unintentionally humorous about that one, since he threatened to sue the author if that part of the book wasn't pulled from print (what a guy -- a defender of free speech, too!)
That's not the funny part, though. The funny part is that he wasn't suing the author because it was false, but because that information was private -- thus confirming that the information was true. Can't let it get out that Mr. Franken doesn't like to hire blacks, can we? Or maybe Mr. Franken just never runs across any people of color in the entertainment industry...
In a perfect world, a second-rate comedian like Franken wouldn't have a shot at getting elected to the U.S. Senate. But then, this is Minnesota, where strange things have happened before.
After all, it is convenient to think of Franken as a sort of liberal Jesse Ventura -- just without the ripped muscles or the keen intellect. Ventura has a better sense of humor, too. (Remember Ventura's line about his idea of gun control?) Fortunately, rather than dropping out, as Democratic leaders in MN had been hoping, Franken is soldiering on. One imagines that he will be providing more laughs in this campaign than he did in his books of "political humor."
And perhaps MoveOn.org will waste a bunch of money on the race in the process. We need all the little bright spots this year that we can find.
Addendum: Last Best Place notes that Franken is pulling out the big guns, and hiring someone from the Sen. Jon Tester team.