Al Franken

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 14:05, 28 June 2013 by Mbusse (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Al Franken
Al Franken.jpg
U.S. Senate, Minnesota
In office
July 7, 2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 6
PredecessorNorm Coleman (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$22,502,124
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sHarvard University
Date of birthMay 31, 1951
Place of birthNew York NY
ProfessionWriter, Radio Host
Net worth$8,429,528
Office website
Campaign website
Alan Stuart "Al" Franken (b. May 21, 1951) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota. Franken was first elected to the Senate in 2008.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Franken is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.


Franken born in 1951 in New York, NY, but was raised in St. Louis Park, MN. He earned his B.A. from the Harvard University in 1973 and went on to become a screenwriter for Saturday Night Live. Prior to his political career, Franken had also hosted his own national radio show and written several New York Times-bestselling books.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Franken's professional and political career:

  • Screenwriter, Author
  • Radio Host The Al Franken Show, 2004-2007
  • U.S. Senate, 2009-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Franken serves on the following Senate committees[2]:


Franken served on the following Senate committees[3]:


Judiciary Committee

Senator Franken was first appointed to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary shortly after he was sworn into the US Senate in June of 2009.[4]

Senator Franken serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, and Human Rights and the Law.[5]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Franken voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[6]



On November 4, 2008, Franken won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Norm Coleman, Dean Barkley (I), Charles Aldrich (L), James Niemackl (C), Michael Cavlan (I, Write-In), and Anthony Keith Price (I, Write-In) in the general election. He won election after a lengthy hand recount that did not declare him the winner until after June of 2009.[5][7]

U.S. Senate General Election, Minnesota, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAl Franken 42% 1,212,629
     Republican Norm Coleman Incumbent 42% 1,212,317
     Independent Dean Barkley 15.2% 437,505
     Liberterian Charles Aldrich 0.5% 13,923
     Constitution James Niemackl 0.3% 8,907
     Independent Michael Cavlan 0% 13
     Independent Anthony Keith Price 0% 12
     Independent Write-In 0.1% 2,340
Total Votes 2,887,646

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Franken is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Franken raised a total of $22,502,124 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[8]

Al Franken's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. Senate (Minnesota) Won $22,502,124
Grand Total Raised $22,502,124


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Franken is a "far-left Democrat," as of June 28, 2013.[9]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Franken missed 2 of 1,061 roll call votes from Jul 2009 to Apr 2013, which is 0.2% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. [10]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Franken paid his congressional staff a total of $2,780,125 in 2011. He ranked 31st on the list of the lowest paid Democratic Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranked 25th overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Minnesota ranked 46th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[11]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Franken's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $4,200,057 and $12,659,000. This averages to $8,429,528, which is a decrease of 3.64% since 2010. This is lower than the $20,795,450 average net worth for Democratic senators in 2011. [12]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Franken's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $4,554,050 and $12,941,000. That averages to $8,747,525, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[13]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Franken was ranked the 13th most liberal senator during 2012.[14]


According to the data released in 2012, Al Franken was ranked the 13th most liberal senator during 2011.[15]

Percentage voting with party


Al Franken voted with the Democratic Party 98.5% of the time, which ranked 2nd among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[16]


Franken has been married to his wife, Frannie, since 1977. The couple has two grown children.[1]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Al + Franken + Minnesota + Senate"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

  • Loading...

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Norm Coleman
U.S. Senate - Minnesota
Succeeded by