Comedian Al Franken is running for Senate out in the frigid wilderness of Minnesota. He's running against Norm Coleman, an oily scumbag whose best argument for remaining a senator is that he's not comedian Al Franken. It will be a bitter and dirty race. The GOP is painting Franken as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal, which is untrue: he's an out-of-touch New York liberal. They can't use the New York Jew line against him, though, as Norm Coleman is a real New York Jew. And Coleman's "wife" is a political prop—she lives in Hollywood, of course, where she is trying to be an "actress." So this is what they're trying on Franken now: he didn't pay his taxes once.

The latest questions about the personal corporation Franken set up to handle his entertainment enterprises came in the wake of news last week that Franken owes California $5,800 in back taxes and penalties for failing to file state income tax returns for the corporation from 2003 to 2007.

The dollar figure represents a minimum tax charged to corporations with or without reported income.

The campaign explained that no returns were filed because Franken hadn't done business in the state since 2003, and that the accountant was unaware that the corporation, Al Franken Inc. (AFI), had to be formally dissolved.

But Republicans now say Franken has in fact done business in California on many occasions. Using the Internet and information programs such as Lexis Nexis, party researchers found 32 public appearances that Franken made in California from 2003 to 2007, at least eight of which charged an admission fee. For instance, Franken spoke at universities, addressed the Urban Land Institute and debated conservative pundit Ann Coulter for a lecture series.

Now the news that Franken's accountant isn't very good does not seem particularly shocking—even in a prudish backwater like Minnesota. But what they're trying to do is remind everyone that AL FRANKEN WORKED IN CALIFORNIA. Which means he's basically whore-loving party boy Charlie Sheen and pious liberal know-it-all Martin Sheen put together.

Don't worry, Franken fans (surely they must exist!). This scandal won't go anywhere, as everyone in Minnesota will be much too busy talking about the 6 inches of snow they're getting this weekend.

New round of financial questions dogs Franken [Strib]