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Minnesota Recount Gets Uglier By the Minute

Democratic Senate challenger Al Franken, trailing Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) by a paper thin margin, is now, to coin a phrase, going legal.

Franken filed a lawsuit today seeking access to data on voters whose absentee ballots were rejected. According to the Associated Press, Franken filed the suit in Ramsey County District Court but hopes that a ruling in his favor will apply statewide.

Even after declaring victory in the Senate race, Coleman's lead since Election Day has dwindled down to just 206 votes. Under Minnesota state law, a recount is automatically triggered for any margin less than .5 percent.

The recount has forced Coleman to give up his quest for a coveted leadership spot in the Senate. The (subscription only) Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call is reporting that Coleman has decided to drop out of his race for National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman.

"Sen. Coleman has chosen to step back and focus his efforts on the recount," Coleman's spokesman told Roll Call, adding Coleman will now support Texas Sen. Jon Cornyn's bid to take the leadership post.

The painstaking recount process begins next week, when every ballot in Minnesota will be counted by hand.

Meanwhile, in the mudslinging department, a liberal political group in Minnesota called on the Senate ethics committee and the FBI to investigate new allegations that a longtime friend and donor of Coleman, Nasser Kazeminy, sought to funnel money to the senator through his wife, Laurie Coleman. Coleman released a statement through his campaign saying, "I not only welcome such an investigation, but I am eager to have it move forward immediately."

The information came to light in two lawsuits filed the week before the election reportedly alleging Kazeminy funneled $75,000 last year to Minneapolis-based Hays Companies, the insurance agency where Laurie Coleman works.


By Mary Ann Akers  |  November 13, 2008; 5:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

What so ugly about spiking Republican voter suppression. I see that as American as Apple pie.

Posted by: owldog | November 13, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MatthewAvitabile | November 13, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I really have to question the intention of the editors who write the column headlines in the Post.
How is it ugly to get information about whose votes are being rejected when it is common Republican practice to disenfranchise legitimate voters?
Also, campaign finance violations and the subsequent lawsuits against them are a common occurrence in electoral politics; indeed, if the allegations are credible, not filing suit when such a violation is uncovered can be considered as dereliction of duty by allowing bad faith actors to pervert a process at the heart of our democratic form of government.

Posted by: PierreFidelia | November 14, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps an investigation of the secretary of state would be in order as well as an investigation of why all the new-found ballots seem to be in favor of Franken.

Posted by: spamsux1 | November 14, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW, it's J-o-h-n Cornyn.

Posted by: windwing | November 14, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Nothing ugly about insisting that everyone's hands are above the table! We've had experience with this before. To quote W., "fool me once......?"

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | November 14, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Pierre...I challenge you to show one, ONE, "disenfranchised" voter. Just 1! This lie you lefties keep pushing has got to stop. I have no problem with Franken wanting to know why some ballots were disallowed; my problem is with you liberals who have no real arguments, so you start making up stuff.

Posted by: useful_idiot | November 14, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Dear useful Idiot

Your tagline says it all ;)

Posted by: PierreFidelia | November 14, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Coleman stinks...just like the "party" he represents....

Go to...

http://www.mnblue.com/book/export/html/216

Posted by: AlexP1 | November 14, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm with PierreF.... A disingenuous attention-getting headline that doesn't support in the least what it promises. After living through Florida Florida Florida in the year 2000, Franken would be insane not to challenge such a miniscule difference in the vote count. Here's a headline for you, Pseudo-Sleuth: Behind the Scenes in Washington. You should stay there, and out of Minnesota, where you seem to be clueless.

Posted by: boomerconsumer | November 14, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

ok, I suspect my absentee ballot may not be counted. I can't remember how I signed the request form to the ballot nor how I signed the ballot envelope. Did I use my middle initial or not when I requested the ballot? Did I use it on the envelope? Though I am still me if I used it or not my vote may not be counted if I did one different from the other.
The reason Al went to court is because a 84 year old womans vote was rejected because after she requested the absentee ballot she had a stroke so her signature is different due to the stroke. I can see a need to be cautious but some of these things make no sense.

Posted by: SpotlessCrab | November 14, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

It is to laugh with derision any time a ReThuglican calls foul on a recount.

It was ReThuglicans who stopped the Florida recount with a riot, after all.

Posted by: RealCalGal | November 14, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget."

Posted by: diana9 | November 14, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I KNOW WHAT IT IS,THE HOMELESS WHO WERE REGISTERED BY ACORN DID NOT KNOW WHERE TO LEAVE THEIR BALLOTS,SO THEY JUST DROPPED THEM INTO EMPTY CARS HOPING THAT THEY WOULD BE FOUND AND WHAT A COINCIDENCE THAT ALL THE VOTES FAVOR FRANKEN MMMM..IF IT SMELLS LIKE A SKUNK,LOOKS LIKE A SKUNK,GUESS WHAT,IT PROBALY IS,ARE THEY SO BLIND AS TO WHAT IS GOING ON,MAYBE THEY DESERVE FRANKEN,HE'LL BLEND IN WITH THE REST OF THE IDIOTS .

Posted by: bribozo | November 14, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Efforts to suppress voting by any means (legal or illegal) and efforts to avoid counting ballots from those deemed likely to support their opponents has been a standard GOP practice for decades. They'd get away with it in MN this time unless we allow the criteria used for disqualifying ballots to be reviewed & judged by a bipartisan team of legal experts.
This is what democracy should be.
Let all the votes be counted!

Posted by: DoctorB | November 14, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

15 Monsey Blvd
228 Room
Monsey NY

Friends, it's a tough one, but I do believe that it comes down to the Brocolli
Ball that I ate in honor of Alec Baldwin at "my one and only cocktail party" Please see

http://iconsilgio.blogspot.com

I do report to you all "mea cupla, mea culpa,me cupla". I forgot that even if you are a vegi, brocolli is Republican. (like kethup it is a vegetable)


I am
Voting for America

Regards
dePaul Consiglio

Posted by: depaulconsiglio | November 14, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Friends, it's a tough one, but I do believe that it comes down to the Brocolli
Ball that I ate in honor of Alec Baldwin at "my one and only cocktail party" Please see

http://iconsilgio.blogspot.com

I do report to you all "mea cupla, mea culpa,me cupla". I forgot that even if you are a vegi, brocolli is Republican. (like kethup it is a vegetable)


I am
Voting for America

Regards
dePaul Consiglio

Posted by: depaulconsiglio | November 14, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"efforts to avoid counting ballots from those deemed likely to support their opponents has been a standard GOP practice for decades"

Another left zinger who doesn't have to pay with his life for making false accusations

In truth In Philadelphia, the number of registrants is 1.1 million and actually exceeds the census count of the eligible population. The city has identified 58,000 “duplicate” registrations provided by Acorn

Posted by: DD163 | November 15, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

IT 'S SUCH A JOKE....OF COURSE FRANKEN WILL WIN...

HE BELONGS TO THE CROOKED LEFT PARTY.. THE DEMOCRATS ! NOW, HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT/
YOU RABBLEROWSERS!

Posted by: myworld | November 15, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

DD163, the allegation of 58,000 duplicate registrations in Philly is merely an unfounded accusation by the PA state GOP, not a proven fact:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08304/923976-470.stm

Why is it that the GOP tries to criminalize the very act of registration? There is nothing illegal about a duplicate registration--if you move, change your party affiliation, or simply want to be sure you haven't been purged from the rolls, you can re-register. It's all legal, only the last/most recent registration applies to the rolls. Registering more than once in your lifetime has no relationship to whether you intend to fraudulently vote more than once in the same election.

As for you disenfranchisement deniers, like useful_idiot, you should learn about this little tool called Google, it has zillions of hits to the EXTENSIVE media coverage of thoroughly-documented instances. That Republicans seem to have all but monopolized the practice over the past decade is a matter of record. Just look at the NYU Law School's summary of examples from 2008:

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/voter_suppression_incidents/

Posted by: spdwriter | November 15, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It speaks VOLUMES about the GOP that Cornyn is now the leading candidate for GOP Senatorial Leader. He's the one who personally introduced Alberto ("I cannot recall") Gonzales as candidate for Attorney General for Bush!

Posted by: squirebass | November 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Ugly"?

LOL.

This isn't a sorority rush...although I suspect that would be uglier.

This is just American politics.

Posted by: wpost4112 | November 15, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad YOU said it, "bozo." How can you be so ignorant as to think that a voter registration is the same thing as an election ballot? You have been drinking for the Rush Limbaugh trough of spinning for much too long. I would ad that if voter registrations had been left in a car somewhere, those people would not be able to vote at all. This is so lame on so many levels. But then we have come to understand that this RW think is what we are going to get from RWingers.

bribozo wrote:
I KNOW WHAT IT IS,THE HOMELESS WHO WERE REGISTERED BY ACORN DID NOT KNOW WHERE TO LEAVE THEIR BALLOTS,SO THEY JUST DROPPED THEM INTO EMPTY CARS HOPING THAT THEY WOULD BE FOUND AND WHAT A COINCIDENCE THAT ALL THE VOTES FAVOR FRANKEN MMMM..I

Posted by: bribozo | November 14, 2008 2:58 PM

Posted by: lynettema | November 16, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely typical behavior from Democrats when things don't go their way, stall, recount, cry voter disenfranchisement, harass. The day will come when no one will ever be declared a winner because the election results will never be concluded. They'll just be caught in an infinite loop of recounts and investigations.

Posted by: Lilycat1 | November 17, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse


The reason the new-found votes favour Franken is because the Repubs have hidden the votes that will put them out of office. It's as simkple as that!

Posted by: caesarganz | November 17, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It's almost, but not quite, humorous to read some of the inane vague charges (with lots of capitalization to illustrate lack of civility) against Democrats/liberals/ACORN--any handy target onto which to transfer the guilt (psych 101, I believe) of conservatives through all the major elections of recent years . . . Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, various "swing" states this year with assaults on voter registrations of the black, poor, itinerant, college-age, disenfranchised voters of all sorts who might vote Democratic. It's a wonder to me that some of these sorts aren't still dredging up the Bush fiasco of Hurricane Katrina and trying to paint a picture of "lazy, welfare" blacks as being to blame for all of the disastrous consequence . . . and getting in a lick against Jesse Jackson at the same time. No blacks directly involved in this Minnesota race, of course, but the basic principles remain in play . . . the focus of attacks on the innocent and blameless. And I take any ill-founded snide reference to ACORN to be an attack on blacks by those who just can't accept Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

Posted by: TomCamfield | November 17, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget."

Posted by: diana9 | November 17, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Useful_idiot made a comment about liberals making things up. Wasn't that what Republicans were doing during the election? They had half the country convinced that Obama was a Muslim terrorist. Where do they get that nonsense? If the liberals wanted to reply in kind, they would have taken a look at Palin's background, including the fact that she attended a university in a state noted for its skinhead population, and associated with who knows whom.

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | November 17, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

1) The State, NOT the parties, will call for a recall tomorrow because, as the article stated, the difference in vote totals was less than 1/2 of 1%.

2) The story of the "car ballots", was recanted Nov 8 by the Coleman (R) campaign attorney, Fritz Knaak. He started the story by telling it to the AP without quoting any witnesses. [The days of verifying stories is gone in favor of commercialism and sensationalism.] Legitimacy is built for the story by having Gov. Pewlenty muse on it on Fox. [Weasel words are used so that a retraction is not required per today's moral standards.] The false story spread.

3) The vote count has increased for both candidates; as proven during a televised state-conducted ballot counter audit done in Plymouth MN, last Thursday. In that case, in one precinct, Coleman gained one ballot; from a mark that was too faint for the ballot counter to read. Don't believe the spin that you hear on the sensational MSM news. To say that the vote has increased only for Franken is a pure fabrication. I would stop trusting those news sources!

4) For those that really want to learn about the MN recount process; read "A credible start for Senate vote recount" www.startribune.com/opinion/34426349.html

5) Would those SHOUTING commentors please toggle their Caps-Lock key? More thought - less volume, please!

MN - the state with the Highest Voter Turnout!


Meanwhile Knaak was backing down on the story and Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Gear rejected the Coleman campaign's request to set aside the ballots.

Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak said, based on a Saturday hearing, he was assured by the Minneapolis city attorney's office that those ballots should be included in the count. Knaak said it is not the campaign's intention to appeal the judge's decision.

Yet the false story keeps coming back up, repeated by those who refuse to accept the truth as expressed within the judge's decision.

Posted by: MikeC | November 17, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow! the state that hugged Jesse Ventura now has a chance to have a bona fide wise and wiseass as Senator...a very rare opportunity. I'm prejudiced: I like Franken, his books helped me a lot. I'm a lifelong Democrat, was one of JFK's Green Berets, and think that liberating the oppressed...even here in this country! a damn fine thing to do.
Not that having good old drug-addled self-absorbed Limbaugh yammer in your ear for ten years isn't reinforcing a possibly oppressive type of thinking about the world. Oh no. Nor that frigid harpy Coulter, with her one-liners on stuff she
can't understand nor has she ever experienced...that wouldn't constitute possible Nazi-style groupthink, when relicated year after year, always on the same side of the class war? Oppressive, I would think, because she doesn't even claim to tell the truth.
I suppose this all sounds so predictable! and I was brought up to be kind. Look, I don't think all Democrats are good people. I've even met women who are jerks, have had Republican friends who
are deep and true human beings...of course, they were from an earlier era.
The thing is, none of the commentators of the chattering class have to take an oath to 'tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...' but if they did, in the first minute of their shows, all the interesting lies would drop out of their programs, all the unfounded bs assertions would never get said, because there'd be LEGAL recourse if we were lied to. There's a lack of accountability in professional communications as well as in finance!

I'll consider believing what ANY republican or anarchist-posing-as-conservative has to say when that person regularly takes an oath on the Bible in public to tell the truth just before the speech or the program.That includes any member of the current administration.
After all, what if James Baker 3rd has an office in the White House? doesn't he represent the Saudi government against the citizen victims of 911? What's he doing there? anybody elect him?

Posted by: tigre1 | November 18, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Actually, vote fraud has long and illustrious history on both sides of the isle. In his 1948 senate election, Lyndon "Landslide" Johnson won by 87 votes, 200 of which were "found" a week after the polls had closed. But alls fair in dirty politics, and in fact Johnson had his Senate election stolen from HIM, 8 years before that. The hanging chads story in Florida is just a modern occurence.

Yes, check the ballots- but there are plenty of nasty, bad-guys on both sides of the political spectrum.

However, I am optimistic that things are better than the days of "the Gangs of New York" at the beginning of the 20th century when large bands of "patriot" thugs routinely stuffed ballot boxes, beat-up opposing party voters etc. And with the NEW Politics of Obama, I believe we Americans are paying much closer attention to the workings of our democracy, the exercise and obligation of citizenship- and two antiquated concepts- sportsmanship and fair play.

Posted by: interactidiomas | November 18, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Just look at those last two paragraphs, would you?

As the Church Lady might say, "Well... isn't that conveeeeeeenient!"

I say let's have both the investigation AND the recount and see where we are. Too many loose ends in this super tight election to disregard being both legal and careful in determining the outcome.

Posted by: MT_Guy | November 18, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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