MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – WCCO hosted a debate between Democratic Sen. Al Franken and Republican challenger Mike McFadden at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The fifth question, from an everyday Minnesota resident, brought the debate into unusual territory.

Asked to weigh in on increasing calls to revoke the National Football League’s tax-exempt status, McFadden said he’d look into the question, while Franken said he would support doing so.

Another question addressed the recent pressure to force the Washington Redskins to change its name. Franken insisted the league should step in and make the change. McFadden said it’s up to the owners, but that he considers the name racist.

“If it was my team, I would change the name,” McFadden said.

Here’s the fifth question:

Do you think it is time to revoke the NFL’s tax-exempt status? If yes, would you commit to sponsoring legislation to do this?

Franken: They are exempt from certain laws that I think they shouldn’t be. When they were negotiating on the stadium, really, the owner could hold us hostage, the city hostage. I believe that we should be able to go back to the Green Bay Packers model, where the community owns, can own, the team.

I would revoke [the tax exempt status]. I’ll have to look into that. I don’t know.

McFadden: It’s something that I’ll look into. I haven’t been asked the question before. I understand the tax exempt status … I’ll get back to you. I haven’t been asked the question and frankly, I’m kind of surprised that in an hour debate that we’re talking about tax exempt status.

See the full answers — including one on the “Redskins” controversy — above.

The Franken-McFadden Debate On WCCO

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