Democratic Senators: Franken Won't Be Seated with New Class

Election '08

Fallout from the surreal political scandal in Illinois has now wafted into Minnesota.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is refusing to seat Roland Burris, appointed by disgraced Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, for lack of state certification. That's a problem for Al Franken, who also lacks final state certification despite the fact that the state canvassing board declared him the winner Monday.

Will Senate Democrats seat Franken without official certification? "I don't think so," said Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.

"Republicans will object to trying to seat him," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley. Later in the day, Manley said that Democratic leadership would not seat Franken when the new class of Senators was sworn in on Tuesday. "Now that the bipartisan state canvassing board has certified Al Franken as the winner, we hope Senator Coleman respects its decision and does not drag this out for months with litigation... However, there will not be an effort to seat Mr. Franken tomorrow."

The remarks from Senate's top two Democrats cast a shadow on what was an otherwise bright day for Franken's political objectives. The comedian-turned-Senate aspirant claimed victory on Monday after the Minnesota canvassing board's final tallies showed him with a 1,212,431 to 1,212,206 vote victory.

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