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Minnesota Senate fight continues on YouTube

As Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman continue their battle for Minnesota's open Senate seat, Coleman is bringing the rest of the GOP on YouTube to raise money.

Stephanie Condon Staff writer, CBSNews.com
Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.
Stephanie Condon
2 min read

More than 100 days after Election Day 2008, the battle between Norm Coleman and Al Franken for a chance to represent Minnesota in the Senate rages on.

Keeping up these disputes costs money, and with a tough fight ahead for Coleman, the Republican incumbent has recruited as many GOP senators as one could fit into a two-minute video to solicit money for him on YouTube.

The Coleman campaign posted the video to its YouTube page on Tuesday. It features calls for financial help from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, and eight other mostly high-profile senators.

The video was posted one day before a three-judge panel in Minnesota denied Coleman's request to reconsider an earlier ruling to discard several different categories of rejected absentee ballots. With those rejected absentee ballots no longer in play, Coleman has less of a chance of overturning Franken's 225-vote lead in the race. The case could be appealed to a higher court.

"This fight that he's taking on to make sure that every ballot is counted represents the best in democracy, so anything you can do to help Norm financially to make sure that he can tell his story before the court is much appreciated," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says in the video. "This is the time to step up and help Norm because he's been there for us."

"We need 42 Republicans," says Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). "We need Norm Coleman to win his fight in Minnesota."

Coleman's video could be seen as one more example of how, after getting trounced by the Democrats' strong online campaigning in 2008, the Republican party is trying to appropriate some of President Obama's methods of using the Internet as a place to gather grassroots support and promote good governance.

The RNC hosted a Tech Summit earlier this month to gather ideas on how the party can better utilize the Internet in its campaigning. Also, House Minority Leader Boehner on Thursday released his second statement calling for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to post online the omnibus appropriations bill, which the House may soon vote on.

"If Democratic leaders plan to schedule a vote on the half-trillion dollar omnibus spending bill next week, they should post the legislation online immediately so the American people have adequate time to read the measure and understand what is in it," Boehner said.