Norm Coleman's hopes of reversing Al Franken's lead in the Minnesota Senate recount came under renewed pressure Tuesday, as national Democrats pressed Gov. Tim Pawlenty to sign an election certificate as soon as the Minnesota Supreme Court rules on Coleman's appeal.
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, signed a letter urging Minnesota's Republican governor to allow Franken to be seated if, as Democrats expect, the state's high court rules against Coleman.
"To allow this process to continue into the federal courts for no other reason than to deny for as long as possible the seating of another Democratic Senator would make what has been a bad situation for Minnesotans even worse," Kaine said. "I urge you to do everything in your power and influence to bring this process to an end."
Coleman and other Republicans have suggested he might take his election challenge into the federal courts if the Minnesota Supreme Court upholds a three-judge panel that ruled Franken the victor by 312 votes.
Meanwhile, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), filed a letter with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) opposing Coleman's request to use campaign funds for litigation-related expenses. Coleman's lawyers have said he has had to respond to allegations and media inquiries concerning a lawsuit alleging that a prominent donor, Nasser Kazeminy, tried to steer cash to Coleman by funneling payments from a Texas company he controls to a Minneapolis insurance firm where Coleman's wife, Laurie Coleman, was employed. Coleman has not been sued.