Norm Coleman sides with union-busters, while Al Franken sides with hard-working Minnesotans. Meanwhile, Franken releases a new ad that actually blew my mind with an overwhelmingly simple message - very worth the thirty seconds to watch:
Franken: In Washington they debate whether former members of Congress should wait one year or two years before they can become registered lobbyists. How about never? Right now hundreds of former Senators and Congressmen are lobbying for big oil and special interests. No wonder gas is at $4 a gallon. ...
"No wonder" is right. Franken's vow to work to change the rules to prevent members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists is one other Democrats would do well to emulate.
A 2005 study by Public Citizen found that 43% of Senators and Representatives who left office since 1998 went on to become lobbyists, and that was well before likes of ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert and ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott abandoned their elected offices before their terms expired to join their ranks. Instead of running for office to serve their country and the public good, politicians (53% of Republicans and 33% of Democrats) increasingly have instead (ab)used their offices as a stepping-stone so they can cash in, and it's no secret we all suffer for it.