From NBC's Mark Murray
Even though the Minnesota recount is still going on, Al Franken is now beginning to hire key staffers who would work in his Senate office.
Per a release, Franken announced that Alana Petersen -- who served as Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar's political director and director of field operations -- would be his Minnesota state director.
"Drawing on her wealth of experience and her ability to reach out to every constituency in Minnesota, when I have the privilege of being certified, she'll work with me to ensure that we hit the ground running on Day One," Franken said.
*** UPDATE *** The Minnesota Republican Party released this statement criticizing the Petersen hire. "The truth could never be clearer that Al Franken has decided that 4,400 Minnesota voters are disposable. While the due process and equal protection rights of our fellow citizens are being denied, Al Franken is determined to thumb his nose at the Minnesota Supreme Court. This is another shameful episode of disenfranchising voters from Al Franken, and his disrespect for the constitutional rights of all citizens."