Two-Fer Capitol Hill: Franken and Coleman announce job-sharing agreement


by Rich Broderick | February 24, 2009 • After nearly three months of legal and political wrangling – and with no end in sight – Norm Coleman and Al Franken issued a joint press release today to announce that the two candidates have agreed to a job-sharing arrangement for the contested Minnesota Senate seat both have been seeking.

Ground Zero – Rich Broderick teaches journalism, serves on the board of the Twin Cities Media Alliance, and sometimes still finds time to write for the TC Daily Planet.

“By the time we exhausted all the legal challenges and took this matter to the Supreme Court, we would have ended up spending more money than we spent on the entire campaign,” said Coleman spokesperson, Angela Leary. “Maybe even more than Norm spent remodeling his kitchen!”

In a brief phone interview with _The Twin Cities Daily Planet_, Al Franken – who, at last count, held a lead in the recount of a little more than 200 votes – elaborated on his camp’s rationale for negotiating the agreement.

“With the economy in the tank, there are going to be a lot of hard-working, middle-class Americans who will end up job-sharing with other hard-working, middle-class Americans as a way of making sure that as many hard-working, middle-class Americans are employed as possible. We think this is just the patriotic thing to do.”

Under the agreement, whose final details are still being hashed out, Coleman will attend morning sessions of the Senate, Franken afternoon sessions; in instances where the Senate remains in session into the evening or on weekends – as can happen in the case of filibusters or other unusually contentious issues – the two men will determine who will attend by flipping a coin.

“After all his years in show business, Al’s a real night owl,” Leary observed. “Norm, on the other hand, likes to get his Senate work out of the way early in the day so he can spend afternoons shaking down people for money.” Meanwhile, she said, if Coleman can’t make a morning session because of other legal difficulties he may face in the future, Franken has agreed to come in early but to vote Republican.

“It’s pretty easy,” she said. “All he has to do is listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio, then follow his instructions.”