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Democratic donor considers pulling support from senators over treatment of Al Franken

Susie Tompkins Buell is unhappy with the way his exit came about.
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What happened?

Al Franken's resignation from the Senate has not gone down well with Susie Tompkins Buell, a prominent donor to the Democratic Party.

She said she's considering withdrawing her financial support for certain senators, the New York Times reports.

Which senators?

Those who joined in with the calls for Franken to resign after a seventh woman came forward to accuse him of inappropriate behavior. 

In the past Buell has championed female politicians, but with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Maria Cantwell all pressuring Franken to announce his resignation last month, they could face losing her support.

Buzzfeed reports the 75-year-old has given millions of dollars to Democratic causes since the 1990s and hosted many fundraisers in California for female senators.

Why is she unhappy?

Because Franken was pressured to resign before the outcome of the Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his conduct.

According to Buzzfeed, Buell described the push for Franken's removal as "unfair," "cavalier," and "like a rampage."

She thinks the sudden, coordinated reversal from calling for an ethics investigation to calling for his head was politically motivated.

"In my gut they moved too fast,” she said, according to, adding that Franken “was never given his chance to tell his side of the story.”

Is she alone?

Well, she's the first Democratic donor to make headlines for reconsidering her support because of Franken's treatment, but that's not to say she's not the only woman unhappy with the way it all went down.

A poll of Minnesota women by Public Policy Polling following his resignation announcement found that almost 6 in 10 didn't want him to leave office.

Meanwhile, feminist writer Kate Harding argued in the Washington Post that forcing Franken out could set a dangerous precedent in the Democratic Party, particularly given that the Republican Party hasn't handled accused politicians in the same way.

She fears it could lead to a situation where Democrats in states run by Republican governors are forced out in similar circumstances, and then replaced by Republicans, thus undermining liberal women's issues in D.C.

In Minnesota, Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton appointed a DFL replacement, the new Sen. Tina Smith.

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