Coleman/Franken spend last weekend screaming


Perhaps there will be one more media-vomit update tomorrow, but we really hope this is the last. We had more civil arguments in grade school. So who's the bully and who's the pathetic defenseless nerd? You decide.

Here is a weekend update with everything you need to know about Sen. Norm Coleman and Al Franken's final weekend of hell.

Sen. Norm Coleman is trying to deflect attention from the sketchy lawsuit that claims his suitgate buddy Nasser Kazeminy funneled $75,000 through his wife's company. A second lawsuit claims that money was then passed along to the Coleman family:

Coleman's campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan, said Friday night that the suits are "baseless and false claims ... being used to influence the outcome of the election.''

Sheehan also said that the Star Tribune, by reporting on the lawsuits, "is actively participating in the destruction of the reputation of Senator Coleman and his wife.''

Franken spokeswoman Colleen Murray said no one associated with the Franken campaign had anything to do with bringing the lawsuit to light.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released this ad, bringing the lawsuit into the ad stream by featuring a video of Star Tribune reporters:

The Star Tribune published an Editor's Note to tell readers they were not working with the DCCC in their ad:

The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is running TV ads featuring a Star Tribune reporter questioning Sen. Norm Coleman about a lawsuit noted in this report. The video in the ad was filmed without the knowledge or consent of the Star Tribune.

Coleman released the following ad, saying the lawsuit was Franken's doing:

Franken held a press conference denying Coleman's conspiracy theory:

No surprise: Franken hit back, saying he was flat-out lying in a new TV ad:

Lambert to the Slaughter talked to WCCO's Pat Kessler, who said the Franken campaign usually gives him tips about Coleman dirt. There was no word from them this time:

Pat Kessler, WCCO's political reporter, says he's been approached countless times by the Franken crew over the months of the campaign with hot angles regarding some supposedly untoward Coleman activity or another, (that's SOP, of course), but got nothing from Team Franken on this one. "Not a thing. I think they were surprised by it," says Kessler.

And given the general clumsiness of the Franken campaign to date does Kessler think they are capable of playing something with this kind of Ted Stevens-style payola with a championship poker face? "Uh, no, I don't."

The Star Tribune says they didn't receive an advance copy of the lawsuit. Coleman's campaign clarified: The unmarked envelope "contained -- not a lawsuit -- but false allegations that became the basis of a lawsuit that was filed in Texas on Monday."

The latest KSTP/SurveyUSA poll show's Coleman with 44 percent, Franken 39 percent and Dean Barkley 16 percent. Although polls just a day before the election should be a little more important, the KSTP polls have become almost laughable because they have been so skewed from the rest of the Minnesota polls. This same poll shows Barack Obama barely ahead 49-46. Other polls have shown a 10-point lead.

The new Star Tribune Minnesota poll shows different numbers: Franken 42 percent, Coleman 38 percent, Barkley 18 percent. That's still within the poll's 4.1 percentage point margin of sampling error.

The last Senate debate was Sunday and The Uptake has the full video in case you missed it:

Visit their site for smaller clips divided by issue.

It was quite the clash, according to the Associated Press. Here is the interaction when the two discussed the lawsuits:

"The answer is no," Coleman said when asked if the allegations are true. He then swung back to his claim that Franken is responsible for a TV ad about the allegations, which shows a clip of reporters asking Coleman about the alleged payments to his wife's employer and which the senator said defames her. Franken's campaign isn't running the ad, which is paid for by Democrats in Washington.

"You have an ad that's defaming my wife," Coleman said. "I think there's a line in this business. You can take any shot you want at the candidate. Mr. Franken, rather than rejecting it, is promoting it."

Franken replied that Coleman must answer questions about the allegations -- and rejected the idea that discussion of it is an attack on Laurie Coleman.

"This is not about Norm Coleman's wife," Franken said. "This is about Senator Coleman's political sugar daddy."

And the Huffington Post's best advice for Coleman in his lawsuit misery? Don't win his reelection:

Experts in Senate ethics law said the situation, while hardly settled, spelled myriad problems for the Senator and his family, including - in a ways-away hypothetical - criminal charges. One Democratic lawyer said that the best legal remedy for Coleman would be simply losing his reelection bid on Tuesday.

"If he doesn't go back to the senate than the Ethics Committee goes away," said the attorney who has followed the issue closely. "So, in some ways, Norm's best legal move is to lose on Tuesday. But if he goes back then the ethics committee will almost certainly look at it."

Things aren't over yet, folks! Check back later in the day for more updates on this absolutely ridiculous race of fools.