MNGOP feigns outrage over lame Al Franken cone boob video
Immature? Sure. Worthy of self-flagellation? No.
In April, then-U.S. Senate hopeful Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) distributed an absurd petition calling for Al Franken to apologize for a secretly recorded 2012 video showing him joking around in an Arizona driveway with traffic cones.
The whole thing was a blatant attempt to score cheap political points, as Franken has nothing to apologize for. Don't believe us? Check out the raw footage below the jump.
Franken never apologized, and you'd think Minnesota Republicans would've moved on and forgotten about that dumb clip. But in light of MNGOP congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn's defiant Sunday night apology for sexist and homophobic blog posts he wrote years ago, the MNGOP is again calling on Franken to apologize.
Hagedorn is challenging Democratic incumbent Tim Walz in southern Minnesota's First Congressional District. Here are excerpts (via Mother Jones) of blogs Hagedorn published in years gone by:
From a 2003 post about the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Texas's sodomy ban: "Butt (sic) never have winners lost so dearly. The Court's voyage into uncharted, untreated cultural bathhouse waters was designed to offer a gentle push from behind... to generate a small skip forward for the pink triangle class... to throw them a bone, so to speak."
From a 2003 post about Washington Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray: They are "undeserving bimbos in tennis shoes."
From a 2005 post on onetime George W. Bush Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers: She'll "fill the bra of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor."
On a South Dakota U.S. Senate race: "The race has been highlighted by a Democrat drive to register voters in several of several of South Dakota's expansive redistribution of wealth centers... err... casino parlors... err... Indian reservations. Remarkably, many of the voters registered for absentee ballots were found to be chiefs and squaws who had returned to the spirit world many moons ago."
Those passages are a wee bit more offensive than playing around with some traffic cones, right? But during a press conference at the State Fair yesterday, MNGOP Chairman Keith Downey alleged that in light of Franken's behavior, DFL Chairman Ken Martin's call for Hagedorn to apologize is hypocritical.
(For more, click to page two.)
"Given the fact that Chairman Ken Martin started calling on others in supposed outrage over their behavior, the absence of that outrage over [Franken's] behavior became ever more apparent and the hypocrisy jumped out to us, " Downey said, according to MPR. "So today is the day where these Republican women are calling on Al Franken to apologize and Ken Martin to demand such an apology as well."
Downey's comment about "Republican women" refers to a letter written by a group of female legislators to DFL Chair Martin calling on him to get an apology from Franken. Here it is:
-- Abby Simons (@AJillSimons) August 25, 2014
As the letter implies, back in 2008, Franken apologized for jokes he made about sexual assault and pornography during his career as a comic. With regard to Cone Boob-Gate, we contacted Franken's campaign yesterday to see if he's inclined to address that "controversy" now that it's surfaced for a second time this year, but a spokesperson wasn't interested in commenting on the record.
DFL Chairman Ken Martin was, however.
"The MNGOP is trying to deflect attention away from their candidate in the First District who said outrageous, misogynist, and racist comments, and regardless of how much they try to deflect attention from that, at some point there will have to be accountability for the comments he made," Martin tells us.
Though he stopped short of defending the video clip of Franken and his cones, Martin says Hagedorn's blog posts are especially troubling because they're part of a pattern of MNGOP candidates and officials saying outrageous things.
"If this was an isolated incident it'd be one thing," he says, alluding to other recent MNGOP scandals like the Chris Fields Twitter debacle and a series of decried social media posts published on party-affiliated pages.
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