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Al Franken on Corporations

DFL Jr Senator (MN)


Oppo AdWatch: Franken limits free speech issue advocacy

American Encore debuts its first ad in Minnesota, criticizing Franken for supporting additional restrictions on tax-exempt issue-advocacy groups--putting roughly $250,000 behind the 60-second spot.

The ad criticizes Franken for calling on the IRS to impose new rules that could limit certain political activity by "social welfare" non-profit groups. The ad features clips of a Civil Rights-era march, Suffragettes and an antiwar protest. It derides efforts by the IRS and Senate Democrats to impose new rules on these nonprofits, citing complaints by the ACLU. "Tell Sen. Franken to stop attacking free speech," the narrator says.

"This is ridiculous--Sen. Franken is one of the most vigorous defenders of free speech in the Senate," said a Franken spokeswoman. But the homepage of Franken's campaign website asks people to sign a petition endorsing a constitutional amendment that would upend the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that gave corporations more leeway to influence elections.

Source: Wall Street Journal AdWatch on 2014 Minnesota Senate race , Mar 25, 2014

End collusion between banks and security rating agencies

As had been widely reported, banks would shop around lousy securities looking for the best rating, paying the rating agency in return for a desired rating. Franken saw the issue, as many did, as a clear conflict of interest. "If a failing student paid their teacher to turn their grade from an F into an A, everyone would agree that what the teacher had done was unethical."

In early May, Franken put forth his proposal, dubbed the "Restore Integrity to Credit Ratings Amendment", and was, as well, greeted with bipartisan support. The amendment called for, among other things, every asset-backed bond issue to be rated by a government-created board, rather than having the bank choose the agency itself. On May 13, Franken's proposal passed the Senate 64-35.

Source: Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, p.429-430 , Sep 20, 2011

Level the playing field for middle class against industry

Franken said, “Tens of thousands of Minnesotans have been hurt by Norm Coleman’s allegiance with the banking industry. It’s time for a change in Washington, and it’s time for common-sense reforms to level the playing field for Minnesota’s middle class. Norm Coleman is a wholly-owned subsidiary of George Bush and the special interests. I’ll be a Senator on your side.” Franken proposed the following major reforms:
Source: Campaign press release , Aug 13, 2008

Expand lending caps for credit unions to small business.

Franken co-sponsored Small Business Lending Enhancement Act

Congressional Summary:

Supporter's Comments: (by CUNA, a pro-credit union organization)
America's small businesses are the engine of growth of our nation's economy. The effects of the financial crisis of the past few years have spread to all types of lending, resulting in a reduction in the availability of business credit. At a time when banks are withdrawing credit from America's small businesses, credit unions have actually been expanding credit to small businesses, but with more credit unions approaching the cap, this growth is threatened. Congress should enact legislation which increases the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% for well-capitalized credit unions

Opponent's Comments: (by the Independent Community Banks of America, Nov. 15, 2012)
The tax-subsidized credit union industry is pressing for doubling the statutory cap Congress placed on member business loans. Shifting assets from tax-paying banks to tax-exempt credit unions would reduce tax revenue to the government; the CBO estimates the revenue impact at $354 million over 10 years. We believe that banks are currently meeting the needs of credit-worthy businesses, as substantiated by numerous business surveys.

Source: HR1418 /S2231 12-S2231 on Mar 22, 2012

Rated 86% by UFCW, indicating an anti-management/pro-labor record.

Franken scores 86% by UFCW on labor-management issues

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is North America's Neighborhood Union--1.3 million members with UFCW locals in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our members work in supermarkets, drug stores, retail stores, meatpacking and meat processing plants, food processing plants, and manufacturing workers who make everything from fertilizer to shoes. We number over 60,000 strong with 25,000 workers in chemical production and 20,000 who work in garment and textile industries.

    The UFCW Senate scorecard is based on these key votes:
  1. American Jobs Act (+)
  2. Balanced Budget Amendment (-)
  3. Rejecting Cut, Cap, and Balance (+)
  4. Repeal Health Care Law (-)
  5. Sen. Am. 14 Wicker Am. to S 223, excluding unionization at TSA (-)
  6. Sen. Am. 740 McCain Am. to HR 2112, defunding TAA (-)
  7. Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act (TAA) (+)
Source: UFCW website 12-UFCW-S on May 2, 2012

Other candidates on Corporations: Al Franken on other issues:
MN Gubernatorial:
Mark Dayton
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Amy Klobuchar
Jim Abeler
Mike McFadden

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Page last updated: Apr 17, 2014