As accusers of sexual misconduct on the part of Al Franken continue to pile up, the senator from Minnesota is showing no sign of giving into calls for his resignation, even after a fifth accuser has come forward telling a story involving Franken groping her in a similar way that his past accusers have recounted.
Army veteran Stephanie Kemplin, now age 41, was deployed in Kuwait in 2003 when Al Franken was on a USO tour visiting the troops. Kemplin, a fan of the Saturday Night Live show where Franken was working at the time, was eager to get in line to have her picture taken with the famous comedian. However, Kemplin got more than she bargained for, as Franken seems to have taken the opportunity to “cope a feel” on an unsuspecting Kemplin.
Kemplin said while she was stationed in the Middle East during the Iraq War, she met Franken — at the time, a comedian and writer — as he was visiting American troops with the USO. A longtime fan of “Saturday Night Live,” Kemplin got in line to take a photo with Franken.
“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast,” Kemplin said in an interview. “I’ve never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side.”
Kemplin repeatedly used the word “embarrassed” to describe her immediate reaction at the time.
“I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed,” she said. “And I remember thinking — is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand.”
She added: “It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident. I’m very confident saying that.”
Kemplin estimated that the touching lasted anywhere from five to 10 seconds. She said she eventually turned her body to shift Franken’s hand off her breast before the picture was taken.
Stephanie Kemplin’s story certainly doesn’t appear far-fetched, as Al Franken was caught “red handed” in a photo attempting to grope Leeann Tweeden when they were participating in a USO tour only a few years after Kemplin’s experience.
— Leeann Tweeden (@LeeannTweeden) November 16, 2017
Leeann Tweeden said, “I felt disgusting and violated,” after the experience.
Since Tweeden came forward with her horror story involving Al Franken forcefully kissing her and taking a picture of himself appearing to grope her breasts while she was sleeping on a military airplane, four more women have come forward with similar accusations against the senator.
Lindsay Menz claims that Franken groped her while she was posing for a photo with him at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, with her husband standing only a few steps away.
Two more anonymous accusers came forward after Menz, with one saying Franken “cupped her butt” during a Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis in 2008 and another making a similar accusation stating that Franken grabbed her buttocks during a photo op at an event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in 2007.
Although accusations alone should not be enough to force an elected senator from office, or anyone from their career, Franken’s accusers and their stories are all have very similar aspects. In each case Franken is accused of groping a part of their body’s, most of the time during a photo op, and doing so in a purposeful manner without any concern of consequences. Also, unique to Franken’s case is that a photo emerged showing him engaging in unwanted groping on a sleeping woman.
Factual evidence, along with corroborating stories, would lead any reasonable person to conclude that Senator Al Franken has a long history of groping women’s body parts against their will and without consequence.
Despite these facts, Franken is showing no signs of giving into pressure to resign his post, but rather has chosen to simply apologize and hope it all goes away.
It appears Franken’s hopes are misplaced, however, as a giant billboard has be put up showing a picture of Franken will with arms outstretched attempting to grope a woman.
California street artist Sabo, who became famous for posting his artwork portraying conservative messages around cities, pasted a cutout of Franken from the original photo of the senator groping a sleeping Leeann Tweeden after a USO tour onto a billboard advertising an upcoming movie.
Conservative street artist Sabo altered an ad for the upcoming film starring Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman.
A giant image of Sen. Al Franken grabbing at a half-naked woman greeted rush-hour commuters on a packed Los Angeles freeway early Thursday.
The billboard came courtesy of Sabo, a conservative street artist known for skewering Hollywood with fake advertisements aimed at celebrities.
This time, Sabo went further by hijacking an actual billboard, bought and paid for by 20th Century Fox to advertise The Greatest Showman, which opens Dec. 20 and stars Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.
The movie, a musical about P.T. Barnum, also stars Zendaya as a trapeze artist, and it is her image that is featured on a billboard just off the 405 freeway near the National Blvd. exit, a couple of miles away from the Fox studios.
Before the sun rose in the morning, Sabo plastered on one half of the sign a giant version of the infamous photo of Al Franken groping radio host Leeann Tweeden. On the billboard, Sabo made it appear as if Franken was trying to grab Zendaya as she flies through the air dressed in a sexy trapeze outfit.
Fox’s original billboard has Zendaya flying into the waiting arms of Efron, whose image is across the street on another billboard. That one was not altered as of yet.
“Efron wanted to catch her, but Franken got there first, I guess,” Sabo told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, adding that the alteration is temporary and doesn’t ruin the original billboard. “I don’t need that kind of hell raining down on me.”
If even a quarter of the evidence that has been made public regarding Franken’s misconduct had come forward about a Republican politician, you can bet you’d be hearing uniformed calls for his removal from office from the mainstream media and Democrats. However, since Al Franken is a member of the Democratic Party in good standing, he has little incentive to resign his post.
Undoubtedly there are other women who have stories involving Al Franken’s inappropriate conduct towards them, but now that Franken has taken the position of simply apologizing and moving on, it seems unlikely he will capitulate to further calls for his resignation. After all, who would want to willingly give up such a cushy job that effectively shielded Franken from consequences of his sexual misconduct for so many years?