Al Franken made a campaign stop in Little Falls, Minnesota, today.  Our special Fish Wrap correspondent Black Molly was on the scene to get the story.  Here is her report.

P.F.A.P.

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Al Franken in Little Falls, MN  Fish Wrap card with Al Franken’s signature 

Photo on the left:  Al Franken greeting voters at the Royal Cafe in Little Falls, MN.  The woman seated facing the camera is Cathy Adamek.

Photo on the right:  An official Fish Wrap postcard signed by Al Franken.

Click on photos for a larger view.

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Let me say right out of the starting gate that Al Franken is punctual.  His website said that he would be in Little Falls, MN, at the Royal Cafe at 11:30 p.m. and, by golly, he was.  Al is running as a Democratic candidate for a seat in the U.S. Senate.  He greeted sixty-plus Morrison County residents personally at today’s event – literally.  As soon as he arrived, he systematically made his way around the room and shook hands with each person.  Even looked us in the eye, he did.

Once Al was through with hand-shaking, Bob Keeton, chair of the Morrison County DFL, formally introduced Al to the crowd.  When Al started speaking, the room was a-hush with people hanging on every word.  Al started his speech by talking about Mrs. Molin, his 4th grade teacher who has appeared in one of his television ads.  He said that the ad has gone viral, with people calling campaign headquarters trying to find her.  He told those assembled, “If Mrs. Molin plays her cards right, she’ll be a very wealthy woman,” because of the ad.

Al then proceeded to state his beliefs and the things he’ll work to accomplish when he becomes the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota.  (Notice that I didn’t use the word “if.”  This guy’s going all the way.)  He did this in a refreshingly concise, clear, and logical manner, covering a lot of issues in a fairly short time, and throwing in his signature satire to boot.  (I’m playing straight-man here because there’s not a chance in H-E-double hockey sticks that I’ll be able to communicate his humor.)

Al believes that No Child Left Behind and the large sizes of classes in schools have prevented teachers from teaching.  He wants to emphasize education during his time in the Senate because he believes a good education will allow us to compete in the global economy and help us to solve sticky societal problems.  He also wants to work on making college affordable again, saying that Pell grants used to cover 86% of the cost of a college education, whereas today, Pell grants only cover around 40%.

He said that if you want to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, “First you’ve got to have the boots.”  Government should assist people in getting those boots.

Al believes in the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms – which is a huge issue in Morrison County.

He wants to work for universal health care and cited these statistics from the World Health Organization:  The United States is ranked 37th among the nations of the world for the quality of our health care system and dead last for preventative medicine.  We can do better than that.

Al discussed how the current White House administration has been anti-science.  He will work to pass a law that states that the administration can’t change scientific reports without first getting the approval of scientists.  This topic morphed into a discussion on global warming, alternative energy sources, and green transportation.  Al believes in wind turbines, rail all over the state and electric cars.

Al is anti-torture and anti-invading-other-countries-for-no-good-reason.  He’s for our constitutional rights.

He wants us out of Iraq, but he wants us out in a thoughtful and responsible way.  He wants our foreign policy to be proactive and based on diplomacy.

Al said that this election, this period of time, is our Sputnik moment – a moment of truth in which we can turn this country around, undo what the current administration has done, and move on to better things.  He wants the United States to be the greatest country in the world once again.

I think Al Franken is well on his way to that goal.  After having lived with continually decreasing amounts of hope over this last seven or so years, Al Franken has given me something to be hopeful about again.   For that, he’s getting my vote.  (The punctuality doesn’t hurt either.)

Your Fish Wrap Correspondent,

Black Molly

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