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Esme Murphy: “Minnesota Held Hostage: Day 85”.

In her latest blog, Esme Murphy calls out former Senator Norm Coleman and Gov. Tim Pawlenty for holding Minnesota’s voice in the Senate hostage by allowing Minnesota to go without a second senator for 85 days.


The Coleman-Franken Senate race is already the longest period that any statewide office has remained up in the air, but Emse has thrown down a new gauntlet.

I am old enough to remember the Iranian Hostage crisis. (The three other desk mates in my little pod in the newsroom were all born after it ended.) Every night during the crisis, Ted Koppel of ABC News would anchor a report at 10:30 p.m. (Central time) beginning with the line "America Held Hostage: Day (fill in the number)." The show eventually became Nightline.

So I have decided to start my own version. This is the 85th day Minnesota’s voice in the U.S. Senate race has been held hostage. I am beginning my count on Jan. 6, the day Minnesota’s Senator would have been sworn in.

Esme doesn’t call on Norm to put an end to his legal circus, say he has a right to wage a legal challenge under state law. But she does want to see Minnesotans fully represented in Congress.

..I do think it’s time that Minnesota join the majority of states in allowing for a temporary election certificate, to allow the candidate that the state canvassing board has certified has the most votes be seated until the legal appeals are exhausted. On Jan. 5, the state canvassing board certified that Al Franken had received 225 votes more than Coleman. Under a temporary election certificate he would have been sworn in the next day.

National Republicans have been threatening "World War III" if Al Franken is seated before Norm Coleman’s legal challenges end, something they say may take "years."

The Iranian Hostage crisis lasted 444 days. Let’s hope Minnesota doesn’t go that long without a full voice in the Senate.

For 85 days, former Senator Norm Coleman and Gov. Tim Pawlenty have stood in the way of the change Minnesotans voted for last November. As the U.S. Senate begins to take up the issues of health care reform, ending America’s dependence on foreign oil, and fixing our broken economy, Minnesotans can’t afford to have their voices held hostage for another day.

Take a minute to write a Letter to the Editor. Tell Norm Coleman that losing by a little is still losing.

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