Coleman suing Franken for false attacks


In a press conference this morning, Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign said they are suing their opponent Al Franken for false attacks against him. They will submit the lawsuit to the Bureau of Administrative Hearings later today.

The campaign claims Franken violated the law in recent TV and radio ads by knowingly running false attacks against a political candidate running for office. The campaign says they will take appropriate civil and criminal sanctions against Franken.

UPDATE (12:55 p.m.) Franken's campaign responds.

The Coleman campaign is focusing on recent ads since Oct. 25 and continuing through this week that claim Coleman is the fourth most corrupt senator in Congress. This claim comes from Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW), which the campaign calls a Democratic-partisan group closely tied to Franken.

According to the CREW report, Coleman received a "dishonorable mention" after the list of most corrupt members of Congress. Coleman is one of four Senators on the complete list, including the dishonorable mentions.

They are also calling out Franken for claiming Coleman is living virtually rent-free.

According to MNPublius, this isn't Coleman's first time suing his opponent:

1998: Coleman filed, and later dropped, an Unfair Campaign Practices Complaint against Skip Humphrey. In November 1998, the Associated Press reported, "Republican St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman's gubernatorial campaign has dropped the unfair campaign practices complaint he had filed in all 87 counties against DFL rival Hubert Humphrey III. Coleman had accused Humphrey of illegally distorting his position on family farms. He said Humphrey and DFL party Chairman Dick Senese violated the state's Fair Campaign Practices Act in several ads and statements that portray Coleman as an enemy of family farmers based on comments he made at an August candidate forum." [Associated Press, 11/25/08]

2002: Minnesota Republican Party Filed A Complaint Against Over Treatment Of Trackers. In October 2002, the Star Tribune reported, "State Republican Party Chairman Ron Eibensteiner accused U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., on Monday of inciting "union thugs" to rough up GOP video cameramen at a weekend rally sponsored by the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition in Duluth. One of the cameramen, Jim Crea, 22, said he was punched and shoved after Wellstone mentioned 'Republican cameras' at the end of a list of guests he welcomed to the rally. Crea said he will turn over his videotape to Duluth police today and file a complaint against Wellstone and the unidentified assailants. 'Wellstone called for the hit from the podium, and his union thugs carried it out with gusto,' Eibensteiner said at a State Capitol news conference. 'Sadly, he did nothing to stop the assault.' He called for Wellstone to apologize and help identify the alleged assailants." [Star Tribune, 10/8/02]

2002: Coleman Campaign Filed A Complaint Against Wellstone For Distorting His Stance On Social Security. In September 2002, the Associated Press reported, "Coleman's campaign began the day by announcing it was asking 10 county attorneys to charge Wellstone's campaign with illegally distorting Coleman's position on Social Security. In short, Wellstone's ad says Coleman supports 'privatizing' the Social Security system. Coleman says the term doesn't accurately describe his plan. Democrats countered by calling Coleman compulsively litigious, noting he filed complaints against Hubert H. Humphrey III in the 1998 race for governor over his position on family farms. No charges were brought, and Coleman dropped the charges after the race." [Associated Press, 9/25/02]


Here is KSTP's truth test on the ad in question: