Al Franken 'no longer available' for Bill Nelson fundraiser - Florida Politics

Al Franken ‘no longer available’ for Bill Nelson fundraiser

How do you solve a problem like Al Franken? Tell him to stay away. Far, far away.

The boob-groping (not “allegedly,” by the way, because there’s – yipes – a photo) Democratic senator from Minnesota was set to headline a fundraiser this Saturday for Florida’s Bill Nelson at the Thonotosassa home of former state CFO Alex Sink.

But – awkward – Leeann Tweeden, a news anchor for a Los Angeles radio station, says Franken kissed and groped her without her consent in 2006.

The Franken-Nelson Show is off, a spokesman now says.  

“Sexual harassment is never acceptable. The Senate Ethics committee will fully investigate this troubling incident, as I believe they should,” Nelson said in a statement.

Nelson spokesman Ryan Brown added: “As for the events this weekend, Sen. Franken is no longer available. The campaign events will continue as scheduled.”

Here’s the skinny from Axios: “Tweeden says she met Franken, who was a comedian at the time, on a trip abroad to entertain the troops. Tweeden says Franken wrote a special part for her in his script, in which the two were meant to kiss. While rehearing their lines one last time before the show, Tweeden wrote that Franken repeatedly insisted they practice the kissing scene, to which she objected.”

There’s also a picture of Tweeden asleep while Franken jokingly appears to fondle her breasts.

Franken, who shot to fame on Saturday Night Live starting in the 1970s, has since issued a lengthy response:

Sink told one of our reporters she had not been following the story and offered no immediate comment.

But Katie Martin, comm’s director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, soon issued this statement: “After today’s shocking revelations regarding Senator Al Franken’s behavior towards women, Bill Nelson must denounce his Democrat colleague and return campaign donations he has received from him.

“Franken has been a longtime supporter of Nelson, donating $20,000 to his campaigns. If Nelson won’t immediately denounce Franken and return his donations, it will be clear he puts partisan politics over basic decency.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.
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