Pro-Israel PAC goes to bat for Coleman in war of attrition with Franken

Monday, March 16th, 2009

James Besser in Washington

It’s already the longest and most boring senate election in recent history, unless you love legal minutia, and it’s not over yet; a three-judge panel in Minnesota is deliberating whether challenger Al Franken, who got a few more votes, or Norm Coleman, who says those votes are tainted, will be sworn in sometime before the end of the 111th Congress.

A ruling is expected soon; also expected is a legal appeal by whoever comes up short. It’s not inconceivable the Supreme Court  could end up deciding the case, leaving Minnesota with a single senator and leaving Senate Democrats without a vote they badly need to stop GOP filibusters.

All those appeals cost money, and a pro-Israel political action committee is urging its members to ante up for Coleman, the one-term Republican.

NORPAC, a New Jersey-based PAC, recently wrote to members with an “appeal for one of our friends and steadfast supporters of U.S.-Israel relations, Sen. Norm Coleman.”

NORPAC insists that “Coleman won the election,” but that Franken came out “slightly ahead” in a recount that was “filled with many irregularities.”  It goes on to say the Coleman campaign has “proven” that the recount was flawed. Members who want to help keep Coleman in the Senate can pony up as much as $12,300.

Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, scoffed at NORPAC’s claims.

“The only ones saying things like this are the most partisan Republicans,” he said. “Anybody looking at the legal process taking place in Minnesota knows it’s been fair and bipartisan.  If NORPAC wants to change itself into a Republican entity, I guess that’s up to them.”

Most of the media has sort of glazed over as the legal wrangling and political spin from both sides continues, but Talking Points Memo’s Eric Kleefeld seems to enjoy each new development in the case, leading one reader to come up with this comment: “Do you have an uncontrollable urge to pull every single hair out of your head?”

And here’s the latest from the Star Tribune in the Twin Cities, the local paper that has no choice but to cover the endless story, poor souls.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.