Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. gestures as he leave the stage after speaking during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
There has been some low-level fallout for Senator Al Franken over the revelations that he sexually assaulted another celebrity guest on a USO Tour in 2006.
This morning, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Franken had canceled a scheduled appearance at a major book festival in Atlanta:
Sen. Al Franken canceled plans to appear at an Atlanta book festival hours after becoming embroiled in controversy following allegations of sexual misconduct.
He had been scheduled to appear at the Book Festival of the MJCCA. The event, promoting his book “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate,” was scheduled well before anyone could have imagined he’d be trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. The event had sold out.
Another blow was struck closer to home just a short while ago. Franken had been championing the cause of a young woman named Abby Honold to enact a law to better equip law enforcement officers to work with rape victims:
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) October 12, 2017
Fallout for Franken continued on Friday, when a Minnesota woman who was raped by a fellow University of Minnesota student in 2014, said she no longer wants Franken to sponsor legislation she has championed to aid sexual assault survivors…
“Many of us spent years working for Senator Franken in Minnesota and Washington,” their statement read. “In our time working for the senator, he treated us with the utmost respect. He valued our work and our opinions and was a champion for women both in the legislation he supported and in promoting women to leadership roles in our office.”
Abby Honold, a rape survivor whose struggle to get justice after being raped in November 2014 drew national attention, said she no longer wants to work with Franken on legislation to aid other survivors.
The bill, which was set to be introduced soon to the Senate, would provide funding to better train law enforcement on how to work with trauma victims. Daniel Drill-Mellum, the man who raped Honold, had worked as an intern in Franken’s office.
“It’s so difficult to see that from someone you know and someone you trust,” Honold said. She said she’s contacted the office of Sen. Amy Klobuchar to see if she’ll pick up the legislation instead.
This is all minor stuff and will blow over. So far none of his Democrat colleagues have called for Franken to resign and the odds of the Ethics Committee recommending expulsion approach √-1. If he runs for re-election he’s probably a hands-down favorite. Having said that, perhaps some level of opprobrium will convince men and women in positions of power that the people who work for and with them are not some kind of a sexual party favor to be taken at a whim.