Pressure Mounts on Minnesota Governor to Seat Al Franken
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DNC Chairman Tim Kaine penned a letter to Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday, asking the Minnesota Governor to persuade Norm Coleman to concede and, short of that, sign the certification of Al Franken's election once the state's Supreme Court makes its final ruling.
The letter is the latest in a growing effort to ramp up the pressure on the governor - and Republican Party as a whole - to seat Franken, as the Minnesota Senate race drags on more than six months since the actual election. In his note, Kaine claims it is "all but indisputable" that Franken won the election and urges Pawlenty to "use [his] influence to bring this process to an end by asking Norm Coleman to allow his neighbors and yours, their full representation in Congress."
"However," Kaine adds, "if Mr. Coleman refuses to concede and this case is heard and decided by the Minnesota State Supreme Court, I urge you to commit to signing an election certificate for the rightful winner as soon as the Court issues a ruling in this case. 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. I urge you to do everything within your power and influence to bring this process to an end."
The political demands for Pawlenty to intervene in Minnesota's lengthy recount process have, indeed, been mounting. As Kaine notes in his letter, two-thirds of Minnesotans now "believe it's time for [Coleman] to concede." The governor himself, meanwhile, is facing new polls showing that 55 percent of his constituents disapprove of his job performance. And while officials inside the state generally believe these numbers to be a bit overstated, the highest Democrats in Minnesota are in agreement that if the Supreme Court declines Coleman's appeal in the next few weeks, Pawlenty is in a tight bind.
Sam Stein is a Political Reporter at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, D.C.