Washington, D.C. - United States Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) issued the following statement today regarding Senator Norm Coleman’s record of aggressive oversight as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.Compare that statement with the indictment from the Franken campaign:
“As Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, I know that during his time as Chair and Ranking Member of our Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Norm Coleman has uncovered over $80 billion of government waste, fraud and abuse. Norm has been aggressive in protecting taxpayers, and rooting out corruption. His leadership is marked by groundbreaking reforms in Medicare, the United Nations and border security.
Joe Lieberman needs to check which team he's batting for. I think anyone who has worked on a team before will tell you what happens when a team member begins to consistently, purposefully score for the other team. Sorry Connecticut...
SAINT PAUL [09/22/08] - The Al Franken for Senate campaign today began a statewide effort to expose Norm Coleman’s failure to perform oversight over Iraq war contracting as chairman of the powerful Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations - a failure that undermined our effort in Iraq and cost taxpayers billions. Al Franken:
“With contractors wasting and stealing from taxpayers, America needed a watchdog in the Senate’s most powerful oversight position. Instead, we had Norm Coleman - a lapdog for George W. Bush and their special interest friends. With our national security at stake, Norm Coleman sold out middle class Minnesotans to protect George Bush and his cronies.”
Franken will be joined today by Army veteran Daryl Bong of Wrenshall, who served in Afghanistan. Daryl Bong:
“I’ve seen the mess these contractors made first-hand. Once, we were hauling wood to the dump and saw all these drills, brand-new drills just out of the package, that had been thrown away for no reason. We found Apache helicopter blades sitting with rebar that had been lost for over two years. We saw water and pop just thrown away. A truck showed up with mattresses for us — but the truck was full of spiders and everything was dumped. All kinds of waste. All kinds of abuse. People should be outraged about all this stuff, and I can’t believe Norm Coleman let them get away with it. And when Al Franken gets to Washington, he won’t let these contractors get away with this anymore.”
During World War II, Senator Harry Truman held over 400 hearings into contract abuse, touring the country in his Dodge to conduct first-hand inspections even before America’s involvement in the war began. His work was continued by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, whose chairman holds more power to conduct oversight than any other member of Congress. Waste, fraud, and corruption in the reconstruction of Iraq has cost American taxpayers more than $15 billion. But Norm Coleman, as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, held no hearings on the matter, failing to conduct investigations into no-bid contracts and other abuses. In addition, Coleman voted repeatedly against strengthening protections against, and stiffening penalties for, war profiteering. And he refused requests by Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton to investigate price-gouging by Halliburton, a major Coleman campaign donor.
Today’s event at the State Capitol is the first in a statewide, week-long series designed to spotlight Coleman’s nonexistent record on oversight. Franken and veteran Daryl Bong will travel to Duluth and Rochester today. The Franken for Senate campaign and the DFL will spend all week detailing how at a time of war, our country needed a watchdog and we got a lapdog for George Bush and his special interest friends.