Friday, January 09, 2009

Vern Buchanan...Our own Al Franken

According to the Herald Tribune, with Jeb Bush out, (Thanks for sparing our state the embarrassment of being responsible for yet another Bush disaster, by the way), Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key has "emerged as one of the leading Republican contenders for the seat being vacated in 2010 by Sen. Mel Martinez."

Telling, since Buchanan, who is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, was named one of "The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress" by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an ethics watchdog group. The GOP knows how to pick 'em.

So why do I compare this Bush clone to Al Franken? These men are polar opposites in both ideology and ethics.

It is because both men have had contested elections, and both men had their elections certified by their respective state election authorities.

The difference is that the Democratic Congress in 2006 SEATED Buchanan on January 4, 2007, even though the election was not completely settled. If you recall, Democrat Christine Jennings challenged the results in court because 18,000 voters from Sarasota County, according to the electronic machines with no paper trail, skipped the Congressional race vote in the 2006 election. According to the touch-screen machines, more votes were made for an inconsequential hospital board than for the people's own Congressional representative.

The court challenge ended in June 2007, but the matter dragged on until February 25, 2008, when the House formally accepted the findings. And yet, Vern Buchanan was allowed to act as a representative throughout the entire process...even though there was an obvious dark cloud over the election.

Fast forward to today. NO ONE is saying there was any problem with the election equipment or any shady activities going on in Minnesota. It was just a very close election. Even if Minnesota allowed Norm Coleman to cherry-pick votes from the areas of Hennepin County that are overwhelmingly pro-Coleman, which they won't, he will still lose. There is no way Norm Coleman can win. But that is not stopping them from trying to drag this out for as long as they can, denying Minnesota a crucial voice in national affairs.

Ironic, since Coleman actually had the gall to lecture Franken at the beginning when the results showed him slightly ahead and say, laughably, that he would he would "step aside" if he was in Franken's shoes and save taxpayers the money.

Funny how his concern for the taxpayer changed now that he lost.

The Senate should recognize the canvassing board's final tabulations, and seat Senator Franken over the objection of hyper-partisan Republicans like John Cornyn of Texas. Senate Democrats should quit playing nice and at least seat Franken on a provisional basis until Coleman finishes his never-ending lawsuits.


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