Tags: franken | klobuchar

Franken's Fight Leaves Minn. Senator Swamped

Thursday, 09 Apr 2009 12:01 PM

Al Franken’s never-ending fight for a seat in the U.S. Senate has left the one Democrat legally elected as senator from Minnesota swamped with emails, phone calls and meetings that have crippled her office.

Her lone senator status means that Democrat Amy Klobuchar receives about 500 percent more phone calls from her constituents than before the election. A new phone system had to be installed so that calls could be answered by different staffers.

Klobuchar’s get-togethers with groups pressing various causes have increased by almost a third. In one day, she had 17 meetings scheduled, according to The New York Times.

“The system was set up for two senators for a reason,” Klobuchar told the Times. “I am a mother, so I’m used to balancing things,” Klobuchar said from Vietnam, where she was part of a visiting Congressional delegation headed by Sen. John McCain.

Franken leads incumbent Norm Coleman by 312 votes in the latest recount of the hotly contested race, but Klobuchar has stayed neutral. She wants to work with whoever wins as soon as possible. She stressed to the Times that Coleman has every right to pursue his options.

Meanwhile, she continues to literally double her efforts on every matter confronting her state. During the Midwestern floods, she made two trips to remind administration officials, “I’m just one senator, but I want to make sure that you understand that Minnesota is under just as high risk as in North Dakota.”

And on a Medicaid financing matter that could have meant millions of dollars to Minnesota, Klobuchar devoted several days to it, worried that her state’s lack of a second vote might actually threaten the measure.

“I felt like, if I didn’t do this, there was no one else to pick up the sticks,” she said.

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