The backlash from key Democratic leaders against comedian Al Franken’s Senate campaign is not subsiding, with the latest criticism coming from the abortion-rights group Planned Parenthood, a normally reliable supporter of Democratic candidates.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Planned Parenthood’s senior legislative director Connie Perpich sent an e-mail to state Democratic legislators raising concerns about a 10-year-old explicit article he wrote for Playboy magazine in 2000.
“We certainly support First Amendment rights of all Americans, but do believe these comments have gone beyond the bounds of what is appropriate for any candidate for elected office,” Perpich wrote. “If half of these allegations are true, it is very difficult for us to foresee the Planned Parenthood of Minnesota Action Fund Board endorsing the candidacy of anyone with such extreme perspectives.”
The article has already drawn sharp criticism from Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), who said that she is not planning on endorsing Franken in the general election.
Franken’s article, titled “Porn-O-Rama,” describes a visit to an imaginary sex institute where he takes part in sexual acts with humans and machines. The column included many graphic sexual descriptions.
And the trouble doesn’t stop there for Franken. From the Star-Tribune:
The discontent among women's groups could be raised further with the revelation this morning that Franken was quoted in a 1995 New York magazine piece brainstorming a comedy skit for Saturday Night Live that involved drugging and raping former CBS reporter Leslie Stahl and raping CBS reporter Mike Wallace.
There’s already buzz that Franken might have a newfound challenge in winning the Democratic nomination at the DFL party convention this weekend against “peace activist” Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, after being viewed for months as the near-certain nominee.
And attorney Mike Ciresi, who initially challenged Franken for the nomination before dropping out, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of running against him in the state’s September primary.
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