Franken/Coleman battle tops $50 million, appeal starts today


Days before the start of Norm Coleman's much-anticipated (and dreaded) Minnesota Supreme Court appeal, another roundup of total election costs still seem to come as a shocker. Including all of the money spent during election season, Coleman and Al Franken have spent a combined $50 million on the race for Minnesota's U.S. Senate seat. And you wonder why these guys keep fighting.

After dumping $37 million into the campaign prior to Election Day, the two candidates have spent an additional $13 million just on the recount and continued battle during the aftermath of a historically close election, according to the Associated Press.

And we can only hope this appeal will be the end of this mess.

More from the AP:
What is certain is that the pivotal seat will come at a handsome price: The combined $50 million Coleman and Franken have spent so far chasing victory is more than double what it cost candidates in 2002 when Coleman captured what had been a Democratic seat.

The total encompasses official figures reported through March to federal campaign regulators as well as preliminary estimates of more recent activity, which the campaigns supplied to The Associated Press. It doesn't include what political parties and outside groups devoted separately to the race and recount.

"When you've invested this much time, energy and money, it's hard to call it to an end yourself," said Thomas E. Mann, a government scholar at the Brookings Institution. "You need someone external to do it."

If you are interested in following the appeal process that starts today at the state's Supreme Court, check out the Minnesota Public Radio stream or watch the live video from The Uptake:

For more previews of the appeal, check out the details from the Pioneer Press and a review of the justices hearing the case. MinnPost's Eric Black also has a nice preview piece.