Minnesota: Democrat Concedes He Voted for Bush in 2000
Iraq War veteran Ashwin Madia (D) voted for President Bush in 2000, before he voted against him.
In a recent interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Madia, the likely Democratic nominee in the 3rd district, said he misspoke when he told the news outlet last week that he voted for former Vice President Al Gore in 2000. Madia said he supported Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in the 2000 GOP presidential primary but told the MPR reporter that he supported Gore in the general election.
The radio station reported that Madia’s spokesman, Chris Truscott, said the candidate “flubbed it” in the interview and actually voted for President Bush that year. Truscott also said Madia became a Democrat in 2003.
Madia is running in the suburban Minneapolis district currently represented by retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad (R) and the race is expected to be one of the most hotly contested House elections this cycle.
In related news, state Rep. Erik Paulsen was endorsed by district Republicans over the weekend for the GOP primary on Sept. 9. Paulsen, who ran unopposed in Saturday’s convention endorsement contest, will face Madia this November.
Minnesota: Franken Has More Tax Troubles in Another State
Comedian Al Franken (D) is having yet more trouble related to his corporation’s business transactions. Alan Franken Inc. owes a few thousand dollars in unpaid taxes to the state of California for not properly dissolving itself in the state five years ago.
Franken’s accountant sent a letter, supplied by the campaign, dated September 2003 to the California Franchise Tax Board asking the state to no longer include the corporation in tax records because the corporation was no longer doing business in the state.
According to Franken’s campaign, AFI’s accountant did not dissolve the corporation properly and sent the incorrect form, so the board never recognized that it was no longer operating in the state.
A Franken spokeswoman said the accountant is still discussing a payment with the state of California, but that the total amount owed will likely be in the neighborhood of $5,000.
This accounting incident follows a similar episode that came to light last month, in which AFI owed $25,000 to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board for failing to pay for insurance for his company. The board reportedly claimed to have tried to contact Franken about the money owed since 2005, but his campaign maintained that Franken did not hear about the judgement until this past winter.
Both tax matters were first reported by Minnesota Democrats Exposed, a Republican blog in the Gopher state. The Web site also reports documents that show even though Franken’s accountant said he dissolved the corporation, AFI filed tax returns in California in 2004 and 2006.
“Al Franken is asking voters to suspend belief with his excuses — he is either stunningly incompetent or lying to their faces. We believe it’s both,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher said.
Also in Minnesota, People for the American Way is running a radio advertisement in the Twin Cities on Sen. Norm Coleman’s (R) vote for President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.
— Shira Toeplitz