Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine Released the Following Statement After a Three Judge Panel in Minnesota Declared Al Franken as Winner

/PRNewswire / -- Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, issued the following statement after a three judge panel in Minnesota declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of the contested Senate race in Minnesota. Former Senator Norm Coleman challenged the result of the election after losing to Franken by a 225 vote margin. As a result of Coleman's challenge, Franken's lead grew to 312 votes and a three judge panel said tonight that Franken leads the contest and is entitled to an election certificate.

Despite losing ground in the vote count, and credibility after increasingly questionable and inconsistent legal challenges, Coleman and his attorneys have vowed to appeal the decision to the Minnesota State Supreme Court and if unsuccessful there possibly the U.S. Supreme Court. Leading Republicans in Washington, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republican Campaign Chairman John Cornyn, are supporting Coleman's appeals as a way to obstruct Franken from being seated to a Senate seat he has rightfully won to prevent Democrats from claiming their 59th seat in the 100 member body.

"Enough is enough," said Kaine. "It is time for Norm Coleman to concede and for Al Franken to be sworn in as the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota. The voters of Minnesota months ago elected Al Franken to the Senate - and during every step in the legal process that judgment has been confirmed. Norm Coleman's own legal challenge resulted in more votes for Al Franken and now a three judge panel has ruled Al Franken the winner. Former Senator Coleman's insistence on continuing his quixotic quest for this seat at best shows that he is putting his own political ambition ahead of the people and worst that he is complicit in an effort by national Republicans to deny Al Franken this seat for as long as possible so there is one less Democratic vote for President Obama's agenda for change.

"The people of Minnesota deserve two Senators and the people of America deserve 100 in the U.S. Senate. More importantly, the voters who cast ballots on Election Day deserve to have their verdict stand. Senator Coleman may have a right to continue his legal challenges no matter how hopeless they are, but the right thing to do here is to concede defeat and allow this saga to end once and for all."

Kaine went on to say that regardless of whether or not Coleman concedes, the state should issue an election certificate based on tonight's ruling so Franken can be sworn in immediately.

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