This is a tough issue. Franken is right that there are too many Congressmen and women who leave Congress to lobby. Some even leave early. However, it's a shame that some of our most civic-minded and hard working citizens (good ex-congresspeople) would be prohibited from advocating for their causes because so many bad congressmen have sold out their souls for big business and more precisely big oil. This is tough issue, but Al Franken has the best solution for America. Certainly better than Norm Coleman, who is currently part of a sweetheart deal with his campaign consultant who is providing him a room on the cheap.
In other Senate news, looks like Jesse Ventura might enter the Senate campaign. He was quoted as saying that he's considering running because he's angry about Coleman's support for the War in Iraq he said:
"That's the reason I run, not to sell books. I run because it angers me," Ventura says.
Note the tense.
He currently denies it, but I wouldn't put it past him. A quote that his advisers (does Jesse Ventura have advisers?) probably have posted around the office:
University of Minnesota professor Larry Jacobs says that he thinks Ventura could win a three-way Senate race based on recent polls showing that the former governor already has the support of a quarter of poll respondents.
That's higher than the support he had at this point in 1998, when he went on to win election as governor.
I could see a coalition of disgruntled DFLers (Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Mike Ciresi supporters), disgruntled GOPers (don't like the current party and are mad about Coleman's lack of spine) and Independents/third party supporters coming together around Ventura. He did it in 1998, it could happen again.
I think that if Ventura ran it would take much more away from Norm Coleman than from Al Franken. Ventura could help Al Franken in his fight to the Senate. Interesting polling data (interesting but nearly irrelevant).