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Coleman, Franken Feud Continues

Update, 8:25 p.m.: The Democratic National Committee is upping the ante in the race with new radio ads calling on Coleman to concede in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market. "Coleman and national Republicans who want to thwart the will of the voters have vowed to file more appeals and hopeless legal challenges that will only result in more delay," says the ad's narrator. "Enough is enough." The ad urges listeners to call Coleman and tell him to "stop putting his political ambition ahead of what's right for Minnesota."

Original Post

Less than 24 hours after a three-judge state panel unanimously rejected former senator Norm Coleman's election contest in his race against Democrat Al Franken, the two sides are retrenching for the next fight in this extended political war.

The Coleman campaign held a conference call this morning in which lead lawyer Ben Ginsberg announced -- to no one's surprise -- that the former senator would appeal the ruling to the Minnesota state Supreme Court.

"This court never wanted to kick open the hood and look at the engine," Ginsberg said, making the case (as he has for weeks) that different standards were applied to voters on election day than were applied to those who voted by absentee ballot. "There are still thousands of voters who have not had their votes counted whose votes should be counted," Ginsberg added.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee picked up on that "equal protection" argument in an email to donors Monday night in which chairman John Cornyn (Texas) equated the Minnesota situation to the Florida presidential recount in 2000. "It's frankly shocking that many of the same Democrats who so loudly decried voter disenfranchisement during the Florida recount in 2000 have so quickly run away from that principle when it no longer fits their political agenda," Cornyn wrote.

Franken and Democrats, meanwhile, are making the case that Coleman has had his day in court and needs to step aside. "Enough is enough," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine in a statement. "It is time for Norm Coleman to concede and for Al Franken to be sworn in as the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota. The voters of Minnesota months ago elected Al Franken to the Senate -- and during every step in the legal process that judgment has been confirmed."

What's next? Ginsberg said Coleman will formally file his appeal next week; "We'll take time we review it and frame the issues correctly before we file the notice."

The Court will then set a schedule to hear oral arguments from each side. (The Court does NOT have the choice of rejecting the appeal -- they must hear it.) The preliminary time line we've heard suggests that it will be at least another month before any ruling comes from the Minnesota Supreme Court, and it could be far longer.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 14, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

coleman is now the comedian and franken is starting to look senatorial. this must be the sequel to the old comedy movie "trading places".

Posted by: ffaller01 | April 15, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Poor old Coleman, just can't believe a comedian with no experience is trusted more by the people than he was. After 8 years of "POLICIES AND CORRUPTION OF THE BUSH ADM." no republican is likely to win.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | April 15, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

king of zouk (or crap, is more like it): One more thing: If you don't like "Countdown," don't watch or listen to it. This is a free country, after all (still, no thanks to losers like you).

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | April 15, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Minnesotans will have to wait a while longer for their clown senator. Too bad.

Posted by: RobT1 | April 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: king_of_zouk: And you're just like a standard, moronic right-winger. Grow up, man -- and get a life.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | April 15, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

elohummel writes
"Al Frankin elected to be a US Senator--Minnesoda should be ashamed--do admit however"potty mouth" should fit right in with the rest of the trash in DC"


elohummel's parents and teachers should be ashamed. Minnesota is spelled with a 't'.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 15, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Cornyn syas he's *shocked* by how quickly the Democrats have abandoned their stance against voter disenfranchisement. He must shock pretty easy, 'cause 5 months is a long time to prepare yourself for the bad news that your candidate lost.

This whole affair has made the GOP look small, and I doubt Coleman has a future anywhere. His credibility is shot, and he gets to live the rest of his life as a public joke.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 15, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Al Frankin elected to be a US Senator--Minnesoda should be ashamed--do admit however"potty mouth" should fit right in with the rest of the trash in DC

Posted by: elohummel | April 15, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I think it worth remembering 2 things:

1. Every additional day Republicans can keep Franken from becoming Senator is a victory for them. So, (for instance)expect Coleman to take the full 10 days allowed before he files his challenge to the MN court - that drags it out as long as possible and reduces further the number of days Franken would be in the Senate before the next election season.

2. There's a reason Dems and Reps fight so hard over Supreme Court nominations - look at Bush/Gore 2000. Scalia and Thomas only need 3 more justices to put Coleman over the top - they won't forget who got them where they are today.

Posted by: bpai_99 | April 15, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

Pasadena Ken - And based on this experience, so do Republicans.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 15, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

If the situation were the same but the d and r reversed, Michael More would have already had a new documentary out and Al Gore would be leading protests. Dems. only want to count the votes when they are behind.

Posted by: kenpasadena | April 15, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen Al Franken's SIGNED AND NOTARIZED birth certificate? I think it seriously doubtful that he's a natural born American citizen. Some kind of Canadian infiltrator, more likely.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 14, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

thaimex,

November, 2000, Florida:

Not only does Gore appear to have no chance of success, he has lost any scrap of dignity.

Has the man no shame?

"Count every vote."

Posted by: hisroc | April 14, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

It's time to concede. The Secretary of State project has been a success. Thank you George Soros for showing Republicans how to fix elections, Washington State 2 years ago and Minnesota this year have proven it can be done if you have enough judges, the Secretary of State, and ACORN.
Good Job.

Posted by: bflat879 | April 14, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Not only does Coleman appear to have no chance of success, he has lost any scrap of dignity.

Has the man no shame?

Posted by: thaimex | April 14, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I just experienced torture worse than waterboarding. Msdnc was on in a bar. The only tv in the country was tuned to krazy keith. His first story was about fox news. Second came George bush. Then an o'reilly hit piece. What a total loser. Blame and envy. No wonder his ratings and success don't even register. Just like a lib.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 14, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"The Democratic National Committee is upping the ante in the race with new radio ads calling on Coleman to concede in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market."

Chris,

Why is the DNC calling on Coleman to concede just in MSP? Or, did you mean, "The Democratic National Committee is upping the ante in the race, calling on Coleman to concede, with new radio ads in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market."

:)

Posted by: hisroc | April 14, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

..."Sure/let/Republicans/Coleman/DRAG/THE/GOOD/PEOPLE/M.N.U.S.Senate/THROUGH/MUD."

..."THEN THROW/COLEMAN/REPUBLICANS...OUT!

Posted by: ztcb41 | April 14, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Bush who took 2000 to the US Supremes? Didn't the Florida courts and the US circuit rule in Gore's favor and order the vote counting to continue and Bush went to the US Supreme and had it cut off? How does that compare to Coleman losing at the state level and going higher for an over-turn? Seems like there's some revisionism going on here.

Posted by: jason2smith | April 14, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Coleman's appeal does not seem frivolous to me and I have been a lawyer in election contests. It does not seem like a winner, either, but because it is [probably] not frivolous I defend his right to his appeal. That being said, Franken should now be seated as provisional Senator, subject to the decision of the MN Supremes. [IMHO]

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | April 14, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse


Coleman doesn't have the votes, and it doesn't matter how many lawyers he has or anything else.

I remember the Florida 2000 election, where then Florida Governor Jeb Bush disenfranchised voters so that his brother, George W. Bush, could have more votes than Al Gore, and Jeb Bush knew right where the most Al Gore votes would be: in minority communities. So Jeb Bush disenfranchised those voters living in minority communities so that Dubya could have the edge. It worked.

So, one thing we learned from 2000 is:

YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE VOTES!

And Coleman just doesn't have them, but Coleman wants to pretend this is rocket science so he can confuse his constituents and apparently try to interject some corruption into the process (which corruption but he'll explain is too complicated for anyone to understand). Hopefully, Coleman won't be able to get away with it.


Posted by: lindalovejones | April 14, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Coleman will appeal his case next week.
Why not wait until next month?
"Justice delayed is justice denied" ought to be the motto of the Republican party.
From health care to constitutional rights, the republicans love to obstruct justice.
The only thing republicans do better than sand bagging the voters is tea bagging each other(in the face).

Posted by: seemstome | April 14, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"Virginia Conservative seems to be upset that no one will share drugs with him/her."
Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot
No, sasquatch: VA Conservative is just bitter that his sainted GOP got its rear end handed to it in November -- after 10 years of corruption, incompetence and sheer contempt for the American people and the Constitution.
Coleman -- a bitter, mindless Bush apologist -- just represents the tip of the iceberg in that respect.
Franken is hardly perfect, but it's time to let him take his seat, and now prove himself to the voters of Minnesota and the nation, indirectly.
If he's not doing a good job, then the voters will have their say in '14.
Coleman needs to show some grace and class (for a change) and bow out.
(And believe it or not, I would prefer the party be strong and one of substinative issues, rather than the trainwreck it is today, because a multi-party system benefits democracy.)
And great post by Attucks, who sums up what a disgrace the GOP has become. VA Conservative should read it, and really think about it.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | April 14, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"
Who does not resent and dislike Al Franken, from his hatefull 'comedy' routines?
His public character and values stinks."

Actually, it's your grammar and spelling that stink.

Posted by: drindl | April 14, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It appears that "democracy" has become a never-ending story told by lawyers who only know one point of view. This, of course, is true both of the Minnesota election and of Congress. It might just take a comedian to help us cope.

Posted by: cdc9 | April 14, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Who does not resent and dislike Al Franken, from his hatefull 'comedy' routines?
His public character and values stinks.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | April 14, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"The National Republican Senatorial Committee picked up on that "equal protection" argument in an email to donors Monday night in which chairman John Cornyn (Texas) equated the Minnesota situation to the Florida presidential recount in 2000. "It's frankly shocking that many of the same Democrats who so loudly decried voter disenfranchisement during the Florida recount in 2000 have so quickly run away from that principle when it no longer fits their political agenda," Cornyn wrote."

And it is equally shocking -- shocking!! -- that the same Republicans who in 2000 so loudly cried for the cessation of disputed ballot counting and demanded that THEIR candidate be declared the winner on the spot are the same Republicans who now want every ballot recounted, would go for a whole new election if they thought they could pull it off, and will appeal this thing 'til the cows come home.

And they call US hypocrites... and see no irony in any of this.


Posted by: sally1860 | April 14, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Coleman and his lawyers are just trying to prove they are a bigger joke than any joke Al Franken ever told.

And by the way, there is absolutely no truth whatsoever to the rumor that Coleman's nose was so firmly implanted in the rectum of John Cornyn that it took a crow bar to pry it out.

It came right out, with a little Vasoline.

Posted by: trenda | April 14, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

As a "Republicans for OBAMA supporter Norm you are making the Republicans look bad and like sore loosers! PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING AND STOP THIS!THIS IS CRAZY! POOR Minnesota!

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | April 14, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"Coleman will formally file his appeal next week."

What do you want to bet Coleman takes the full 10 days granted to file his appeal? Even though, in all likelihood, the appeal was probably written previously in anticipation of the almost certain outcome in this case.

Little things like that tend to cast suspicion on his real motives.

Posted by: nodebris | April 14, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Virginia Conservative seems to be upset that no one will share drugs with him/her.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | April 14, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

It's like a photo finish.. and one horse accuses the other horse of doctoring the photo.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 14, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Norm? It's the RNC here. Hey, listen, we love you, and we mean that sincerely, but we gotta tell you, buddy...it's time for you to bow out. You missed your chance to do it gracefully. Now we're saying don't go away mad, just go away.

Seriously. Norm. You ran after 9/11 and after a popular Senator was killed in a plane crash. That's extraordinary good fortune for someone who had previously been defeated by a pro wrestler. Most adults know the difference between being lucky and being good. Sadly, you don't. Now you're being taken to the mat by a former TV comedian, and instead of the landslide you might have expected, you're forced to behave like a kid whose been grounded by Mom and Dad. Appeal after appeal, tantrum after tantrum.

See, Norm, we in the GOP like to look impregnable, even when we get kicked out. We like to blame someone else--anyone else. The press. Judges. Gays. Liberals. You're taking all those things away from us, Norm. You're fighting a losing fight in a losing way like...well, like a loser. And you have that shiny new R behind your name, and it's speaking very loudly to the sensible centrists who want Minnesots to have two senators, right now. You're making us look like vindictive obstructionists, Norm. Which we are, but we can't have our own guys painting that label on us.

Look, there's a Heritage Foundation chair waiting for you in anything you like. Side-switching, orthodontics...just name it and we'll line you up for speaking engagements and a spot on Fox. It's a good deal, Norm. And like you, it carries an expiration date.

Posted by: Attucks | April 14, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

you know what else happened? Al Gore conceded defeat, for the sake of the country ...

Posted by: GonzoMD | April 14, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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