Minnesota: Coleman Uses Specter in Fundraising Appeal

Posted May 20, 2009 at 6:29pm

Republican Norm Coleman is using former colleague Sen. Arlen Specter’s (Pa.) recent party switch to raise money for his ongoing legal challenge in the still disputed 2008 Senate race.

A special court ruled last month that Democrat Al Franken defeated Coleman by 312 votes after a recount — a decision that Coleman appealed to the state Supreme Court. Minnesota’s highest court will take up that case June 1, but both campaigns have racked up monstrous legal bills since November’s election — more than $11 million between both candidates through the end of March.

In a direct-mail appeal obtained by Roll Call, Coleman writes that because Specter switched parties, Democrats only need one more Senator to have a “filibuster-proof liberal majority— and “total, complete, unchecked power.—

“The stakes have never been this high,— Coleman writes. “Our ability to overturn this flawed recount process — and preserve checks and balances against the near total control of our government by [President Barack] Obama and the Democrats — rests in your hands.—

Coleman and Senate Republicans have indicated that if they lose this appeal to the state Supreme Court, they are open to appealing to the federal Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders have said they will not try to seat Franken until the appeal to the state’s high court is complete.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine wrote to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) on Tuesday urging him to certify the winner once the state Supreme Court rules.

“To allow this to process to continue into the federal courts for no other reason than to deny for as long as possible the seating of another Democratic Senator would make what has been a bad situation for Minnesotans even worse,— Kaine wrote. “I urge you to do everything within your power and influence to bring this process to an end.—