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Monday, June 11, 2007

Sen. Norm Coleman Breaks Ranks on Gonzales

A cloture vote on 'No Confidence' for Atty. General Alberto 'I don't recall' Gonzales failed today in the US Senate.

I'm happy to report that both Minnesota Senators voted in favor of the resolution.

Coleman, Klobuchar vote for no-confidence resolution
By Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press

Last update: June 11, 2007 – 5:31 PM

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman voted in favor of a no-confidence resolution in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, which his fellow Republicans blocked from a final vote on Monday.

"My vote today reflects my lack of confidence in the attorney general's continued leadership," Coleman said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. "However, I am dismayed that the Democratic leader is scheduling a politically motivated vote that accomplishes nothing."

The state's other senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar, also voted in favor of the resolution, which fell seven votes short of the 60 votes required to move it to a formal debate. The vote was 53-38.

Last month, Coleman called on Gonzales to resign, after learning that former U.S. attorney for Minnesota Tom Heffelfinger was on a list of prosecutors to be considered for dismissal. But until Monday, the senator had not said how we would vote on a no-confidence resolution on the attorney general.

In his statement, Coleman said the Senate has more pressing needs than the no-confidence resolution.

"Rather than wasting our time on such measures, we would be wise to instead focus on real priorities like reducing our dependence on foreign oil or securing our borders," he said. "America has real issues that need real solutions."

Klobuchar was a co-sponsor of the resolution.

"We have learned these past few months that our nation's chief law enforcement officer has politicized the independent nature of our U.S. attorneys and in some instances targeted them for removal — including former Minnesota U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger," she said in a statement.

"Deliberately targeting individuals like Tom Heffelfinger demonstrates a disregard for our justice system and displays the shortage of leadership at the highest levels of the Justice Department."

The resolution states: "It is the sense of the Senate that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales no longer holds the confidence of the Senate and of the American people."

I'd agree with Senator Coleman that the vote (no matter which way it went) was symbolic, but I think it was useful to demonstrate the failure of yet another high profile cabinet member in Dubya's guv-mint.

There is much public hue and cry from Trent Lott, Dubya, and other Senate Republicans re: the purely political, symbolic nature of today's vote. Apparently they're forgetting resume-building, useless roll call votes from past Congressional sessions on non-starters like flag burning, Federal marriage amendments, etc.


I'd like to know who didn't vote..... South Dakota has a senator still out of commission, and Wyoming has an open seat due to a death, but that still leaves seven senators not voting.


lloydletta said...

I think Norm knew his vote wasn't needed, so he could vote his district. He never votes his district when he's the deciding vote.