Sunday, January 04, 2009

Coleman Going Down Real Ugly As Al Franken Wins Minnesota Senate Race


Minnesota's sleazy ex-Senator Norm Coleman

Some say that had Karl Rove not arranged for a tragic airplane "accident" in 2002, Norm Coleman would never have been a U.S. senator. Whether you believe that or not, if you've followed Coleman's Senate career you'll probably agree that one term was more than enough for this sleazy and ethically-challenged political hack. (I followed his career, earlier than most. In elementary school-- Brooklyn's PS 197-- we were co-secretaries of our class. He was a dirt-bag back then too.)

As Al Franken's lead has continued to grow, Coleman's desperation to keep his job has been reduced to a series of law suits and delaying tactics-- always the least classy act in any town. Ex-Senator Coleman, whose term expired yesterday, is using several maneuvers to try to hold back what looks inevitable-- the end of his disgraceful political career.

The latest vote count shows Franken with a 225 vote lead, with Coleman alternately demanding batches of votes be not counted or counted, depending on his cynical and narrow partisan strategies of the moment. Today's StarTribune doesn't hold out much hope for Coleman and explains that Franken has continued racking up a wider margin as more votes are counted.
At least two things, however, still stand in the way of Franken becoming Minnesota's newest U.S. senator: the possibility of a ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court that more wrongly rejected absentee ballots should be counted, and a legal contest that Coleman attorneys all but promised should Franken prevail.

...After the counting, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said he was satisfied that the recount results were as accurate as they could be, given human limitations, the scope of state law and Supreme Court directives.

...With the recount complete, focus immediately shifted to the Supreme Court, which continued to consider a request from the Coleman campaign to alter the process and add more absentee ballots to be reconsidered. But there was no word Saturday from the state's highest court as to when it would rule or hear arguments.

The state Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet Monday (and Tuesday, if necessary) to review the tally of the previously rejected ballots, then certify the final result.

Under state law, an election certificate formally naming a winner cannot be issued until all legal disputes are resolved.

The Franken campaign, Ritchie and various county officials filed responses with the Supreme Court on Saturday morning. Franken, Ritchie and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman all argued forcefully against the Coleman petition. They said the process for identifying wrongly rejected absentee ballots had worked as intended and should be completed.

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