MN-Sen: Franken Winning Margin Expands To 312

The Minnesota Senate contest is a foregone conclusion, as it was when it started, Al Franken won the election. Today, at the direction of the Minnesota Election Contest Court, Minnesota counted more ballots. The result? Franken's 225 vote lead expanded to a 312 vote lead. Apparently, the more votes Coleman asks to be counted, the larger Franken's lead becomes.

The question is not will Al Franken become Minnesota's next Senator, the question is when. A final order from the Minnesota ECC should be handed down shortly and then the inevitable Coleman appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court will need to be decided. Coleman has no chance of winning imo. Then the interesting part comes - will Minnesota's Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty certify Franken's election? Will a federal court (either a federal district court or the SCOTUS) enjoin the issuance of such certificate? Will Senate Republicans try to block Franken's entry into the US Senate? My guesses? Maybe (if Pawlenty does this, he is running for President in 2012), no and no.

Speaking for me only

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    Tune in next week (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 12:27:06 PM EST
    for "As the Election Turns"

    Can I just get my Franken already? (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    Jesus Christ

    Maybe they think that when Franken wins.. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    then Rush Limbaugh being a big fat idiot becomes federal law.

    That federal law would be as redundant ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 06:22:43 PM EST
    ... as one declaring that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west.

    Ben Ginsburg is on the uptake (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 12:26:43 PM EST
    going through a laundry list. He's very good at that, but it's over.

    I hope the MNSC can expedite the appeal (none / 0) (#3)
    by magster on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 12:48:41 PM EST
    it's already been 3 months since the Secretary of State certified that Franken had more votes.

    is this just because its Franken (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 12:49:02 PM EST
    or is it mostly about a numbers?  I have a feeling that there might not be such a bruhaha if it was anyone else.

    They hate him, yes, but anyone (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by lilybart on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:08:20 PM EST
    would be treated the same way, any DEM.

    Their only strategy now is denial; Franken, voting NO on everything, blackmailing over apppointments, it is all of a piece.


    Yes, but (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:29:56 PM EST
    Let's not fool ourselves and think that if the situation was reversed, the Dems would be doing anything different.

    It's called "politics".


    Going this far (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:50:21 PM EST
    I don't think so.  Coleman knows he lost.  Everyone knows he lost.

    Republicans have an unnatural sense of entitlement and like to be total a$$es, plays well to the base.


    I'll "fool myself" (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by sj on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:56:38 PM EST
    When was the last time the Dems engaged in scorched earth anything?  I kind of wish they had sometimes.

    Kind of... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Thanin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:44:14 PM EST
    but my bet would be that if the senate were still republican and the roles were reversed, they would have seated coleman in january.

    No, I meant (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:52:01 PM EST
    If it was a Republican Senate with 58 votes, and in an election in a state with a Dem governor, where the Republican was ahead by a hair and there were all these issues surrounding the election, the Dems would be screaming and also threatening WWIII if the Republican winner were certified.

    No, I doubt it (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by eric on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:02:03 PM EST
    I'm a Democrat and I wouldn't advocate for that.  There are more than policy differences between Democrats and Republicans.  Some of us don't advocate a scorched-earth, anything to win agenda.

    As is what we advocate (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:10:33 PM EST
    is having impact on the party, in Congress, etc.

    Reading the Twin Cities press, yeh, the local Dems would be doing much the same if the situation was reversed, because they can.  I.e., because of the Minnesota process.  And because of Minnesota politics.

    Remember, neither Franken nor Coleman won even near half of the vote.  Each won 42 percent.  There's that active third party in Minnesota.  So neither one of them effected a good coalition to win those old populists in Minnesota politics, or this Minnesota process would not have been needed.


    The third (none / 0) (#36)
    by eric on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 07:00:27 PM EST
    party, the "Independence" party, is a laughing stock comprised mostly of low information voters.  Nobody builds coalitions with these people, they the party of "neither nor".  Their candidate had no chance but ran anyway, I suspect because he is at heart a republican.

    I have nothing against the process and agree that I would have supported the recount and even the legal challenge later, if the tables were turned.  But now, it is so clear that Norm cannot win.  His legal theories are very weak and his only stock of more ballots to count - absentee ballots - will only lead to a larger lead for Franken.


    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:10:02 PM EST
    you are not a Congress critter.

    The Republicans know Coleman is going to lose and they are going to lose the argument that Franken shouldn't be seated until the SC decides. They also know that (for right now at least) 59 for the Dems doesn't mean much more than the 58 they have (it will mean more in the next election cycle).  But they will make a stink about this because it plays to their constituents.

    Look, Dems made such a fuss about stealing votes and such, but this year, they engaged in stealing votes in the primaries and it was ok then.  They've shown time and again they are politicians who want to get (re)elected and want power first, then maybe they'll be loyal to their principles.  

    The Dems would do the exact the same things the R's are doing right now if the situation was reversed. As BTD says, pols are pols.


    I doubt it... (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Thanin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:24:07 PM EST
    if the roles were reversed dems in the senate would have just rolled over and gone along with whatever the republicans wanted.  Look at the recent past.

    I know... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Thanin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:05:35 PM EST
    and in that same scenario my guess is the republicans would have already seated coleman and not waited as long as the dems have in seating Franken.  Doesnt matter either way though.  

    Everyone should play their cards.. (none / 0) (#21)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:28:38 PM EST
    Fortunately we have the winning cards.  Just as the GOP will delay and sputter, Dems can charge obstruction of democratic principles and drive the republican negatives even lower.

    Which is exactly what they are preparing to do.  And I think perception-wise, democrats will win the PR war even if the GOP delays sitting Franken.

    It's a free hammer, might as well swing it.


    Dems winning the PR war? (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 06:31:10 PM EST
    PR wars are won by the people who are the best at PR, and that is NOT the Democrats.

    If the situation were reversed, the Republicans would have long ago won the PR war, to the point that the Democratic candidate would have conceded. As it is, the Republicans will probably succeed in their PR campaign of making Franken's election look tarnished and his victory not really legitimate.


    It was reversed, Bush V Gore (none / 0) (#37)
    by lilybart on Wed Apr 08, 2009 at 10:11:07 AM EST
    and we dropped it.

    If it were Jesus (none / 0) (#13)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:51:59 PM EST
    it would be the same thing.

    Even if it were a Lutheran Jesus (none / 0) (#25)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 05:05:17 PM EST
    youbetcha, as they say, it still would go through the process.  Maybe especially so, as there are many kinds of Lutherans.:-)

    But all are patient, patient people.  There's just no sense in thinking that Minnesota will rush this.  Actually, any attempt to rush this from "outside" might make 'em move slower, youbetcha.


    Good thing (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 01:53:01 PM EST
    it was a six-year term.  Senator Al will be our guy for most all of it, despite all the delaying tactics.

    SCOTUS will not take this case. (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilybart on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 03:08:57 PM EST
    I am not a lawyer or judge, but I believe they will uphold the MN Supreme Court.

    It would have to be a process problem (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:13:45 PM EST
    wouldn't it, for the high court to take it?  And it sure looks like Minnesota is being beyond scrupulous in pursuing its process.  And it seems to be a legal process -- so, yes, I'm no lawyer, but I can't see why it would be taken up by the Supremes.

    But there still are several rulings to be done in Minnesota, after this stage of the recount, before it even could get to appeal to the state high court.  And then it would take a while to get it to the high court even to get it to turn it down.  So it may be snowing again in Minnesota before this is resolved.  (Keeping in mind that it can snow 'way up there in what others call still summer.:-)


    Well, supposedly John Cornyn from Texas said (none / 0) (#22)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:38:38 PM EST
    that if they try to seat Franken then it's World War III.  lol  John Cornyn is a piece of crap, at best.  I dare them to try to disrupt the seating of Al Franken.  That would be something to watch, though.

    But how that would play (none / 0) (#23)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 04:42:24 PM EST
    back in the Boundary Waters and more in Minnesota is what matters.  More than half of Minnesotans did not vote for Franken.  (Just as more than half did not vote for Coleman.)  Dems and Repubs deal with interesting politics there, and if they want more than one term, they win Congress with Minnesota votes.  Not votes from Texas, etc.

    John Cornyn is head of the Rebpublican Senatorial (none / 0) (#26)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 05:06:31 PM EST
    Committee.  That's what he cares about - he doesn't care about people - from Texas or Minnesota.  He cares about keeping every Democrat OUT of the senate.  Period.  He doesn't care how it plays out anywhere except in Washington, DC, and the senate floor.    

    Yes. But I'm saying that why (none / 0) (#27)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 05:09:53 PM EST
    would Franken want to bring on that by pushing faster than the process back in his home state, if it would anger so many voters needed for him to win again?  Why would Minnesota Dems want that?  I can see shortsighted national Dems pushing it, but why would Minnesota Dems go along with it?  They want to hold that seat -- and others.

    John Cornyn was quoted as saying that if Franken (none / 0) (#28)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 05:16:34 PM EST
    were seated before Coleman's federal appeals were exhausted then it would be World War III.  And he said that it could "take years."  And that if it took years then that's just fine and dandy, then Minnesota would just have to do without their second senator.  I don't think that the Democrats are rushing anything if Franken is seated after receiving the certificate signed by the governor.  That's the law, right?

    I agree (none / 0) (#29)
    by txpublicdefender on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 05:42:03 PM EST
    Cornyn's position is ludicrous.  There is absolutely no basis for refusing to seat someone until all possible federal appeals are exhausted unless a federal appeals court grants a stay which I am 99% sure they will not do.  This recount process is not Florida.  It is nothing like Florida.  Florida had a slew of counties and a slew of people all using different standards to determine votes.  The whole point of the Minnesota recount and contest process is that the issue is consolidated in one place, with a uniform standard being used.  There are no federal issues implicated here, not even the thin ones SCOTUS relied on in Bush v. Gore.

    Once the MN Supreme Court turns down any appeal, Franken will be seated.  There is no that moderate Republicans are going to support not seating the person who the state's Secretary of State and courts have certified as the official winner.  No way.  Cornyn is an idiot, and so are the Republicans for thinking he is a good person to head their effort to win back the Senate.  


    Not even needed, apparently (none / 0) (#30)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 05:44:23 PM EST
    from the Illinois case, when the Senate seated a member without the certificate.  What is needed is the end of the Minnesota process, which is not anytime soon (per the Twin Cities papers I read).  That's why I say it doesn't matter what a Texan thinks -- Franken is not going to get the certificate from the Repub governor there soon.

    How long do you think it's going to take? And how (none / 0) (#31)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 06:04:09 PM EST
    will you know the end if the governor doesn't sign the certificate?  I think Cornyn's blowing smoke out of his you know what, but anyway, he's saying he's going to start World War III over this.  I'm just saying I'd love to see him try.  What a spectacle that would be.  

    I gather, from the Twin Cities press (none / 0) (#34)
    by Cream City on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 06:30:58 PM EST
    that it still could be months.  Even the current court stage is not just the reocunt; there are several rulings still awaited in coming weeks.

    But if the state high court goes for Franken, I think (maybe state law differs, but it was the Senate Dems raising the stink) that the Burris case means that Franken could rightfully request to be seated even without the gov's certificate.  And then, sure, the Repubs in the Senate might raise some cain, but amid so much else right now, it well may be but a one- or two-day story.

    The issue for Minnesota Dems is whether to send Franken without the certificate -- and with only 42% of the vote.  I just don't get the sense, from the press there and the commenters there, that there's a major mood of impatience about it.

    After all, next door, I'm in a city that went without our elected Congressman for years and years, because the House refused to seat him -- even when we re-elected him again and again.  It happens.


    As BTD's diary states, the process will be over, (none / 0) (#32)
    by DFLer on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 06:05:56 PM EST
    according to state law, after the MN Supreme Court rules on an expected appeal. The Gov and SOS will will directed to sign the cert. State law does not wait on any appeal to a federal court or SCOTUS.

    Then it's up to the Senate to seat the winner.

    Coleman will be toast, politically, here if he holds it up any longer past that, at the behest of "outside " forces.