Al Franken's campaign team is using the embattled Democrat's Supreme Court hearings to ask supporters for contributions in an ongoing bid to be named Minnesota’s next junior senator.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that Franken’s campaign manager, Stephanie Schriock, sent out a fundraising e-mail Monday asking supporters to raise money to help defray costs that have now reached a combined $50 million between him and Republican challenger Norm Coleman.
“Today, after a long and careful recount and trial, our legal team defended our close victory in the U.S. Senate race before the Minnesota State Supreme Court,” the email reads.
“Although this should be the last step in the process, national Republicans have offered to bankroll even more legal challenges on behalf of their candidate. Our talented legal team will continue to protect what we've won –– and your contribution will allow that work to happen.”
Franken’s team defends the request for further contributions by claiming national Republicans “have pledged to do anything they can to block the seating of a 60th Democratic Senator, no matter what the Supreme Court says, so our legal team will continue to protect what we've won. If you'd like to help them do so, please make a contribution today.”
The email says Franken and his wife, Franni, are grateful for the support they've received thus far and are working hard in preparation for their move to Washington.
“Al is building a staff, receiving policy briefings, and meeting with Democratic leadership so that he can hit the ground running as soon as he's sworn in.”
Minnesota courts have ruled that Franken can recoup money spent fighting Coleman's lawsuit, excluding attorneys fees. In an almost apologetic recent appeal to his donor base, Franken said, "it's expensive to keep defending our win in court, and we need your continued support so that our legal team can continue its work."
The combined $50 million Coleman and Franken have spent on the race is more than double what it cost candidates in 2002 when Coleman captured what had been a Democratic seat, the Associated Press reports.
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