Reaction: 'I'm concerned about Minnesota's reputation'

  • Article by: ALEX EBERT
  • Star Tribune
  • June 30, 2009 - 11:46 PM

Though the state Supreme Court decided unanimously that eight months of legal wrangling should end, out on the streets Minnesotans were still arguing for and against closing the case for the second senator.

Most breathed a sigh of relief that the political drama had concluded, but others said that the democratic process was more important than filling the seat.

Michael Woolsey of Edina said that while he voted for Coleman, he was glad the wait was over.

"I'm tired of the whole thing, that it took us from November to July for us to make a decision on something as important as the Senate race," Woolsey said as he plopped down on a chair near a cafe on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

"The whole thing was so shady it made our political scene look weak," he said.

Deborah Magnuson agreed. "I think it's way past time," she said outside a south Minneapolis coffee shop.

Magnuson, who voted for Franken, said that while she understood Coleman's right to appeal, "the writing on the wall was there for a long time."

"I think that's appalling, that we had one senator for six months," she said. "There was a larger organization behind Senator Coleman trying to keep that seat empty."

Other Minnesotans said it was time for the trial to end if only because it made an unwanted spectacle of Minnesota politics.

"I'm concerned about Minnesota's reputation around the country and how people are looking at us," Craig Harris, a Franken supporter, said while waiting at a red light on Nicollet Avenue. "First they elect a wrestler, and then now this six-month ordeal."

But some, like Michael Shutze, say that Coleman shouldn't settle for the decision when mishandled votes are on the line.

"If I were Coleman I would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court," Shutze said heatedly while sitting on a park bench at the Hiawatha Golf Course in Minneapolis. "This seat turns the balance in the Senate, so how can you be sick, how can you get tired of this? This is a really important Senate seat. This is what being an American, theoretically, is all about."

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