The Al Franken Decade Begins


Little-noticed in yesterday's hurricane of political news: The coming of Senator Al Franken.

Mike Ciresi, a DFLer who got extremely rich suing tobacco companies, bowed out of the U.S. Senate race today. Surviving him are writer/funnyman Al Franken and academic/anti-war enthusiast Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.

"The memories and friendships forged are timeless," Ciresi said in a statement released on his website, although he's evidently not referring to his time spent with the remaining DFL candidates, neither of whom he is endorsing.

This is Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.

So, yeah, he's not going to win. Al Franken will be a U.S. Senate nominee and quite possibly a U.S. senator. But there's a deep reservoir of schadenfreude we can drink from when it comes to Mike Ciresi. Ciresi got rich off the 46-state lawsuit against tobacco companies, after his firm won and claimed $440 million in fees. Ciresi decided to enter political life to let us benefit from his brilliance and charity: he blew $5 million on a 2000 Senate race and $2.5 million on this one.