MN-Sen: Coleman Widens Net In Search For Votes

In their fight to overturn the U.S. Senate recount, Norm Coleman's legal team has begun pressing some Minnesota counties for documents on hundreds of thousands of ballots that were not previously disputed.

. . . The latest requests, dealing with approved absentee ballots and precinct voter rosters, are frustrating some counties. "You're talking 30,000, 40,000 pages of documents," said Stearns County elections chief Dave Walz, referring to his county alone. Joe Mansky, Ramsey County's election director, said the county has received requests for copies of "over 200,000 pieces of paper" from the campaigns.

One thing's for sure, Norm Coleman does not plan to go out with grace. He has no chance.

Speaking for me only

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    If this goes on much longer (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 01:27:36 PM EST
    I could imagine a provisional seating of Franken. Really, a long delay isn't fair to Minnesota.

    A long delay being not fair (none / 0) (#6)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:08:03 PM EST
    depends of course on which 50% of those who voted you are asking. Ever think of that?

    Being deprived of a voting Senator (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:10:52 PM EST
    is unfair to everyone, no matter how they voted. Ever think of that?

    Of course I did. Pay attention. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:31:48 PM EST
    Did you notice that I did not disagree with the idea of a provisional Senator? Which of course the laws of Minnesota probably allows for. Although in this case I'm not sure it would be proper or fair to make it one of the participants in the runoff.

    "pay attention[!]" (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:34:42 PM EST
    From talex to Judge Judy in the same thread.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#19)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:46:45 PM EST
    Is that what Judge Judy says? I wouldn't know as I don't fill my mind with such garbage. I thought only readers of the National Enquirer watched such unintellectual stuff.

    And seeing how you keep bringing it up, like I said once previously, that Talex person sure got under your skin. If that was their purpose you are letting them win. Let it go would be my advice. I never let someone get into my head like that.


    Living in DC (none / 0) (#21)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:50:57 PM EST
    I agree completely with your position!

    Nope (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:35:21 PM EST
    At some point (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:38:20 PM EST
    the Senate might consider whether it has any returns to review, or whether it needs to declare a vacancy. I do agree that this will take some time, however.

    Then (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:46:17 PM EST
    if the Senate declares a vacancy and the governor and Secretary State still say there are legal challenges, we could end up with the situation where the governor refuses to seat someone, couldn't we.  Then we have more circus antics like we do now, because I don't see how the Senate can force the governor to seat someone.

    The Constitution says (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:49:57 PM EST
    that a State cannot be denied representation in the Senate. How that applies to the Governor of a state is an interesting question.

    Republican (none / 0) (#26)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:40:54 PM EST
    Given that the Governor of Minnesota is a Republican he would probably appoint a Republican as a provisional Senator. Now add to that game that the Senate Democrats just tried to challenge a Democratic gubernatorial appointment Pawlenty may opt to not appoint anyone for fear of being challenged.

    Feinstein was probably right how the Democrats move could affect governors all across the land. Which is another point that BTD and other like thinkers are missing in their stubborn quest.

    As for the constitution in regards to Senate representation; Tim Johnson was absent from effective representation for over 6 months. Now we have Kennedy.


    Good point (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:46:09 PM EST
    The Senate won't want to declare a vacancy if, even if provisionally, the governor could fill the seat.

    Minnesota trying to rectify situation for future (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:34:16 PM EST

    Legislators said at a hearing that it was a mistake for the high court to give the rivals the power to reject ballots.

    By MIKE KASZUBA, Star Tribune

    Last update: January 9, 2009 - 8:53 PM

    State senators and voting rights activists on Friday criticized the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision to give the two campaigns in the U.S. Senate recount the authority to throw out disputed absentee ballots, and one senator said support was building to change state law to prevent that from happening in future recounts.

    The testimony came before a Senate committee, which has begun examining possible changes to the state's voting laws following the still-unresolved Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. Coleman has legally challenged the state Canvassing Board's decision Monday to certify the results of the recount, which gave Franken a 225-vote lead.

    Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, the committee chairwoman, and others said the court's decision to allow some absentee ballots to be counted only if both campaigns agreed to do so -- in effect, giving the campaigns veto power -- was a mistake. "I just found it incredible ... that political campaigns would have the opportunity to tell someone that their ballot can't even be opened. To me, that is a government function and not a campaign function," said Rest.

    Rest and Rep. Laura Brod, R-New Prague, this week also announced they would propose having a runoff election as an alternative to an automatic recount in races where the top vote getters are separated by a half-percentage point or less.

    Rest was joined Friday by Mark Halvorson, director of Citizens for Election Integrity-Minnesota, a watchdog group, who called the Supreme Court's decision the "low point in the recount." He added that he "was appalled each time one of the [candidate's] representatives objected to an improperly rejected ballot. They were essentially disenfranchising those voters."

    The automatic run-off (none / 0) (#30)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:57:54 PM EST

    The automatic run-off has a lot to be said for it.  At least there won't be guessing a voter's intent.  

    Actually (none / 0) (#37)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 07:10:11 AM EST
    the court explained their thinking a little better in a subsequent decision.

    Looking at it as if the campaigns have veto power over disputed absentee ballots is the wrong perspective.  The default is that unopened absentee ballots don't get opened at all during the recount, they can only be put at issue during the the contest phase (which we are now in).

    What the Supreme Court said is that if everyone - the two campaigns and the canvassing board - agrees that a given absentee ballot should be counted, there's no need to wait until the contest phase.  Frankly, if it were done any other way, the recount would be useless as there would be this big pile of ballots that everyone knows will get counted during the contest phase, but they can't be opened yet for a technical reason.


    At least there are hard copies (4.85 / 7) (#4)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 01:59:58 PM EST
    to review.  Reminds me of the Rossi lawsuit 4 years ago which was televised start to finish.  Fascinating.  Some of the same issues surfaced...lost/found ballots (turns out it happens ALL THE TIME!), uncounted, miscounted, etc. etc.

    The court case is probably the only way to bring such a mess to a somewhat satisfactory close to be accepted by the electorate (who don't know whom to believe).  The loser, if a Republican, will never give up!

    What's the lesson here for fighting Dems?

    Bravo! (none / 0) (#7)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:09:35 PM EST
    The electorate!? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Demi Moaned on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:03:58 PM EST
    According to the polls I've seen the electorate is overwhelmingly satisfied that the process was fair and conclusive.

    Perhaps I should have used (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:26:29 PM EST
    another term rather than electorate...the public?  Of explained more fully what I was referring to...our experience here in WA State with the same kind of situation...Rossi/Gregoire.

    The public was unsure of the outcome of the race and the count because the Republicans went absolutely nuts with partisan propaganda...lie after lie.  Even after the court case, it took an outstanding performance by Gregoire as governor to move public sentiment - and especially among independent voters - to give her the edge in her rerun against Rossi.

    So...in Minnesota, the Rs haven't even started their "we were cheated" campaign.  Just wait.

    The biggest problem is that the public doesn't realize that there is no recourse to lies and liars...especially if the press does not do its job.  And they don't.  


    As stupid as it sounds (4.66 / 3) (#2)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 01:31:13 PM EST
    If it was you, and the difference out of more than 2.8 million votes was only 255 was less than .001%, wouldn't you throw every legal challenge you could?

    The problem is there are no challenges left (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 01:38:37 PM EST
    I supported Coleman's (and Franken's) right to challenge up to and including the point where his legal challenges gave him a chance to win. That is no longer the case.

    Sure it is the case (2.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:06:00 PM EST
    I don't read any articles saying Coleman doesn't have the right to challenge the votes he is now considering challenging, do you? Of course you don't or you would have pointed that out.

    So obviously Coleman is exercising his rights according to Minnesota election law. Franken would be afforded the same thing.

    I'm all for Franken winning but I am also for people to have the opportunity to carry out what the law provides them if they choose to. Evidently you are not. You want to deny Burris his legal rights without making a legal argument as to why. And now you want to deny Coleman his legal rights without making a legal argument why - or worse, not even recognizing he has legal rights, which no one but you is disputing for lack of even wanting to recognize them. I guess election law is just not your thing?


    if you aren't Talex, you sure do a good imitation (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:11:52 PM EST
    So what are you saying? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:38:29 PM EST
    That this Talex person respected the law like I do? That they recognized that there are laws to be respected?

    lol (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:42:53 PM EST
    A very 'Talex' response, imo.

    You too squeaky? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:07:50 PM EST
    This place is funny. Not only do you let a poster who is no longer here get under and remain under your skin and into your psyche but with the recognition they still receive you have made them a Legend! I hope they still read this blog from time to time so they can see what psychological damage they have done.

    So to change the subject let me ask why is no one here interested in discussing Obama's bailout plan and his insulting middle class tax cut? Is it that because people supported him they now don't want to face the music of their choice? I'm sure that is the case with the main political blogger here.

    With all the intra and inter party tug-of-war going on it would make for great and important conversation. But instead it is a steady diet of Burris and Franken/Coleman? This is a political blog right?

    And what do you all think of Obama's spooky inaugriation plan to do everything just like Lincoln did including riding a train to eating the same types of food he ate. That is spooky.


    Under My Skin? (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:32:34 PM EST
    Hardly. Just laughing at the similarities and about the possible likelihood of andgarden's observation.

    Not To Mention (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:33:30 PM EST
    The attempt to hijack the thread.. A talex speciality.

    You mean andgarden hijacking (none / 0) (#28)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:46:25 PM EST
    the thread with his thinking I am that poster Talex. Up to that point I was responding directly to posts. It was andgarden who went off topic.

    Just for the record squeaky.


    Ok, that's true if (none / 0) (#29)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:57:28 PM EST
     "responding" really means "attacking superciliously."

    Like BTD (none / 0) (#33)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:23:58 PM EST
    doesn't set the tone here?

    When I first came here I hardly responded to his posts but instead focused on responding to other posters mainly on the subject of raising taxes on 250K income earners. Then BTD went after me. Even stalked me on a thread and then admitted he was "goading" me. Well one good turn deserves another. Now that I hit back harder than I get hit he leaves me alone. What ever it takes.

    BTW I'm not alone on this blog in disagreeing with him on Burris. Far from it. Obviously BTD and others have been proven wrong since Feinstein brought the senate to it's senses. But senses here is not something everyone has. Better to blame the Senate than to admit ones own judgment & shortcomings. The truth is that Reid's first step was a misstep and it went down hill from there. They didn't back down from anything because they never had a case in the first place. Neither did BTD or you or any of the others who were wrongly calling for Burris' head. Everyone really wanted Blago's blood but instant gratification rules the day so you used Burris as a surrogate. That is as plain as day. A lesson learned hopefully.


    I did not know that was your plan (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:58:29 PM EST
    You are now banned from my threads.

    You'll have to goad JEralyn or TChris or Ethan now.

    Do not comment any further in my threads. IF you do I will ask that you be banned.


    No (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:00:55 PM EST
    I mean your list of things that you would rather talk about, including your delight in honoring Talex.

    Sure I add that in at the end of post (none / 0) (#35)
    by Pepe on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 06:27:39 PM EST
    I think it is an important topic. I think this blog is irresponsible to not talk about it. Sorry you don't. I guess discussing the economy and how to properly fix it and help people is not high on many peoples list around here.

    The judges need (none / 0) (#10)
    by eric on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:17:52 PM EST
    to step in and provide some guidance here.  This shouldn't be a free-for-all.  The proper scope of the election challenge needs to be defined and a plan devised.  As I understand it, there is a three judge panel to be appointed to deal with this case.  I am not even sure if that has been done.