Campaigns/Elections

One of Those Other Up-in-the-Air Senate Seats…

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…is a little closer to resolution. But still maybe a lawsuit away. Details from AP:

The state Canvassing Board was posed to certify the results of the recount in Minnesota's grueling Senate election in Al Franken's favor — but that doesn't mean the race is definitely over.

The board was to meet Monday and was expected to declare which candidate received the most overall votes from nearly 3 million ballots cast. The latest numbers showed Franken, a Democrat, with a 225-vote lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

But after the announcement, there will be a seven-day waiting period before an election certificate is completed. If any lawsuits are filed during that waiting period, certification is conditional until the issue is settled in court.

Coleman, who led Franken on election night, hasn't ruled out a lawsuit challenging the results, claiming there were irregularities that gave Franken an unfair advantage.

The head of the Senate Rules Committee–which sits in mighty judgment over contested elections to his body–thinks it's all over, apparently:

New York Sen. Charles Schumer….said Sunday that Franken had won the election.

"While there are still possible legal issues that will run their course, there is no longer any doubt who will be the next Senator from Minnesota," Schumer said. "With the Senate set to begin meeting on Tuesday to address the important issues facing the nation, it is crucial that Minnesota's seat not remain empty, and I hope this process will resolve itself as soon as possible."

Republicans, meanwhile, unsurprisingly are being procedurally scruplous and saying the seat should remain empty until all legal questions are resolved.

I did not once make any "Al Franken Decade" jokes. At least not in this decade.

NEXT: HackWatch: John Yoo Edition

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  1. Who ended up with the “Lizard People” vote. If that one went to anyone other than the lizard people, the results are fraudulent.

  2. The best part of this is watching Republicans try to paint Minnesota as a hotbed of political corruption and election fraud.

  3. robc,

    I think that vote was thrown out, as the Lizard People who cast the ballot left an indentifying mark.

  4. Not just the GOP. The lizard people are sorely pissed.

  5. The Lizards!

    United!

    …ooh, house flies!!!

  6. robc: Coleman and Franken are both lizard people. They control everything.

  7. New York Sen. Charles Schumer….said Sunday that Franken had won the election.

    Isn’t this the same guy who opened his mouth and shut down a bank?

    In what way is he qualified to say such a thing anyway? Senate Rules Committee or not, I do not think Schumer’s opinion is relevant.

  8. indentifying

    Typo or humor?

    It was joe, so Im betting on typo.

  9. robc: Coleman and Franken are both lizard people. They control everything.

    There’s not such thing as lizard people. But they are both Jewish, so your 2nd sentence is still correct.

  10. robc: They were identified by bitemarks on the ballot; joe was just being efficient with words.

  11. For the record, I do not believe, nor have I ever believed, in lizard people.

  12. It was joe, so Im betting on typo.

    Oh, yeah. RC’z Law is all over that one.

  13. “I come in peace”, it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, “take me to your Lizard.”

    Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this…

    “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”

    “You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”

    “No”, said Ford, … “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”

    “Odd”, said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”

    “I did”, said Ford. “It is.”

    “So”, said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t people get rid of the lizards?”

    “It honestly doesn’t occur to them”, said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”

    “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”

    “Oh yes”, said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”

    “But”, said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”

    “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard”, said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”

  14. Republicans still trying to steal another election? Yawn.

    I guess they bit off more than they could chew attacking the creator of the best radio network ever.

  15. The best part of this is watching Republicans…

    Seriously? When you see their EEEEVIL in absolutely everything, every day, everywhere, it’s still the best part?

    I would think you’d get bored.

  16. They were identified by bitemarks on the ballot

    That was the joke I was going for, but joe verified he typoed instead of making a really funny joke.

  17. There is no bigger scumbag than Schumer.

  18. Perahps Teddy Kenedy.

  19. LurkerBold | January 5, 2009, 2:07pm | #

    Republicans still trying to steal another election? Yawn.

    I guess they bit off more than they could chew attacking the creator of the best radio network ever.

    Wow. That was some weak-ass trolling.

    And “best radio network ever”? Just because a network fellates your ears with what you want to hear rather than the truth doesn’t actually make it good.

  20. Marcvs,

    Just because you do not like the truth does not make the network bad.

  21. LurkerBold, you peaked the humor of this around 9:15 AM CT.

  22. But Minnesota is a hotdish of political corruption, doncha know?

    Why just last week we caught those iron rangers trying to serve up some green jello at their bean feed in Evelyth. “Hey, Sven,” my pal Arne had to say, “if yer gonna serve that tasty lime jello with carrots and pineapple, you’d better advertise it.”

    But, no, the DFlers went and served it anyway. Those republicans were hard pressed to find any miracle whip fer their jello. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much when yer only serving for two – You betcha!

  23. Is there a possibility that nobody u no, OLS, Lefiti, Lonewhacko and Lurker are one and the same? Just axin.

  24. Libertymike,

    Are ideas different from yours so scary that they must be part of a conspiracy?

  25. LoneWacko is very real, and is also OLS and 24Ahead.

  26. (Psst… does Libertymike not know that we consider him one of “them”? Just axin…)

  27. joe | January 5, 2009, 2:32pm | #
    LoneWacko is very real,

    Which is scary, funny, and depressing all at the same time.

  28. To be fair, there’s been some pretty fishy stuff in this recount, although probably no worse than the slippage that happens in every election.

    On the whole, though, the loser really shouldn’t complain, just like when a team loses a game because of a bad call by the refs. If you its that close, then you weren’t really robbed of anything.

  29. Republicans, meanwhile, unsurprisingly are being procedurally scruplous and saying the seat should remain empty until all legal questions are resolved.

    Can we raise legal questions for all those guys? And then just leave them unresolved?

  30. It’s just…just i can’t care anymore. Draw anything out long enough and I just won’t care. It’s funny, I think the drawn out and painful bureacratic processes laid out are the reason most people say screw it and vote for a lizard.

  31. If Al Franken gets in at least he’ll probably make Jesse Ventura look like an elder statesman!

  32. Al Franken is the kind of Senator we need to replace Harry Reid. At least he is not a racist bigot.

  33. We just need the right lizard in charge.

  34. Hopefully Al Franken will learn from Jesse Ventura’s mistakes and not wait till after he’s out of office to become a truther. Come on, Al, crazy yourself up quicklike.

  35. Any election this close is a tie by any realistic standard. They should just flip a coin.

  36. If Al Franken does nothing other than tell jokes during his time in the Senate, then he’ll be less harmful than the other 99 jerks in that revered body.

  37. Personally, I think they should roshambo for it.

  38. At least Franken never stooped to fake wrestling.

    Me, I woulda voted for Pete Tagliani, and been glad that I did.

    Kevin

  39. Senate Rules Committee or not, I do not think Schumer’s opinion is relevant.

    Then you, of course, are not in any way required to take his opinion seriously. What’s the problem?

  40. …roshambo…

    Rochambeau.

    Dude.

  41. So we’ll be treated to the spectacle of the Senate Dems contesting the appointment of Roland Burris, their constitutional power to do so being in doubt, and then trying to slam the door shut on blocking Franken from taking his seat even though the election is in dispute, where the Constitution does give them the authority to block him.

  42. You got it, cunnivore. Because, all things being equal (such as the election returns), the main qualification for being the Senator from Minnesota is, of course, being a Dem.

  43. At least Franken never stooped to fake wrestling.

    Yeah, he stooped to fake broadcasting. Much better.

    Say, in case of a tie, maybe they could fight it out with guns! 🙂 Then no matter who loses, we win!

  44. the main qualification for being the Senator from Minnesota is, of course, being a Dem.

    Minnesota. You’re talking about Minnesota.

    You know, that den of political corruption that is Minnesota.

  45. I’m going to have a great Senate career today. Cause I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!

  46. They (supposedly) voted for Mondale in ’84. That should be enough to make one suspicious of their vote-counting system.

  47. joe,

    Not that I’m accusing Minnesota of anything, but many people on your side of the aisle tried to treat Florida the same way. Florida at the state level is no more corrupt than Minnesota, and it’s a hell of a lot less partisan. I know, I lived in the U.M.S.R.

  48. The best part of this is watching Republicans try to paint Minnesota as a hotbed of political corruption and election fraud.

    Election fraud exists wherever your candidate loses.

  49. Elemenope | January 5, 2009, 3:33pm | #

    …roshambo…

    Rochambeau.

    Dude.

    We’ll have none of your French lingo here

  50. Pro Libertate,

    I’m going to go waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy out on a limb here, and say that it is possible to perceive Minnesota’s government to be more honest and reliable than Florida’s without allowing partisan considerations to enter into things.

    Secretary of State Katherine Harris.

    Dude.

  51. Much as I dislike Franken, as far as I know he was against the bailouts and the Republican was for them.

    I usually vote R, I wouldn’t have if I lived in that state.

  52. joe,

    I imagine we’ll hear the right castigate various politicians in Minnesota in the same way.

  53. Pro Lib,

    I’m not saying Florida is uniquely awful, but that Minnesota is uniquely clean.

    I imagine the Right will say all sorts of things without regard to their connection with reality. Nonetheless, Minnesota is probably the cleansest, most honest goo-goo state in the country.

  54. MOVE ASIDE, AMATEUR LIBERTATEMINION! LET THE URKOBOLD SPEAK.

    MR. BOYLE: YOU MAY NOT RESPECT THE OFFICE, BUT YOU MUST RESPECT THE RACK.

  55. I’d punch her chad.

    I’d fill in her oval.

    I’d follow the line all the way across her butterfly, but still hit the “wrong” hole. Oh, yeah.

  56. joe | January 5, 2009, 1:58pm | #

    The best part of this is watching Republicans try to paint Minnesota as a hotbed of political corruption and election fraud.

    You’re close, Joe. But actually, the best part of this is Coleman’s camp complaining about the recount rule guidelines (namely how each side could allow or disallow some “improperly exluded” absentee ballots) that Coleman’s lawyers themselves insisted upon adding before the recount, when Coleman was still in the lead.

    I love it when lawyers bite themselves in the ass! Not that they care, mind you. They’re getting paid one way or another…

  57. Minnesota. You’re talking about Minnesota.

    You know, that den of political corruption that is Minnesota.

    Way to totally miss the point, joe. I was talking about the Senate. You know, that den of political corruption.

  58. joe | January 5, 2009, 4:38pm | #

    Pro Lib,

    I’m not saying Florida is uniquely awful, but that Minnesota is uniquely clean.

    I imagine the Right will say all sorts of things without regard to their connection with reality. Nonetheless, Minnesota is probably the cleansest, most honest goo-goo state in the country.

    Well, our politics may be honest, but we know how to run a corrupt college basketball program (and get caught at it)…If Minnesota gets anywhere near the NCAA tourney this year, I wonder when the cheating shoe is going to drop on Tubby Smith’s head like it did to Clem Haskins a few years back.

    But what in the hell is a GOO GOO state??? You mean GOO GOO GOOPHERS, watch ’em GOO GOO GOO?? Typical East Coast Elitist bullcrap. 😉

  59. @ daveylee

    The Wall Street Journal says basically the exact opposite of what you just said.

    But don’t put down your pom-poms. One of the only two teams in existence will still win this game!

  60. Crap. That anaolgy deflated once you started talking about basketball.

  61. Way to totally miss the point, joe. I was talking about the Senate. You know, that den of political corruption.

    Oh oh oh. That makes sense, then.

    daveylee,

    I’m sitting here in Massachusetts, wishing that the biggest scandal in memory had something to do with college basketball.

    “Goo-goo” is a slang term for “good government,” meaning anti-corruption reformers.

  62. The Wall Street Journal says basically the exact opposite of what you just said.

    To be more precise, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page basically says…

    The WSJ is an excellent, reliable newspaper that does some of the best reporting found anywhere, with an op-ed page that veers between RedState and VDARE.

  63. Yes, the WSJ link above is pretty damning. It’s hard to explain more ballots than voters as anything legit.

    This seems like a rerun of Washington 2004, when the Democrat loses by a nose, and they keep recounting and finding “lost” ballots until the Democrat is ahead, and then the officials breathe a sigh of relief and proclaim the recount finished.

  64. All depends upon the slant of the person writing the story. This story has a heavy GOP slant, obviously. They are trying to paint a picture of outright fraud and/or incompetence. But they seem to have conveniently left out the fact that the number of additional votes that Franken has allegedly received improperly is less than the number of votes he’s leading by at this time, so the point to the outcome of the election is probably moot.

    And don’t get me mixed up as being a Franken guy. I voted for the Independent candidate. Coleman is the Giant Douche and Franken is the Turd Sandwich in this frickin farce!

    Minnesota loses whichever one of these idiots gets seated.

  65. To be more precise…

    I concur. Your claim to WSJ bias is irrelevant, but your point is sound.

  66. Joe, I was just trying to work up some fraudulent Midwest Flyover Country ire there. We have a reputation of being relatively white-bread, clear cut, honest folk. Not always the true picture, but we like to think it is…

  67. No telling what really happens in these elections, but it does seem to me that the Democrats are developing an M.O. of counting ballots until they end up with the “right” result. Florida, Washington, and now Minnesota are examples of that.

    I observe this not to make any conclusions, but to note a growing perception. I think maybe we need a different process for dealing with close elections, because politicians and political appointees running a re-count can hardly be expected to render honest results, even in the unlikely case that they are trying to be objective in assessing ballots.

  68. Minnesota loses whichever one of these idiots gets seated.

    I did misjudge you. Please, pull up a chair. 🙂

    But they seem to have conveniently left out the fact that the number of additional votes that Franken has allegedly received improperly is less than the number of votes he’s leading by at this time, so the point to the outcome of the election is probably moot.

    So cheating is kosher as long as you would have won anyway, and pointing it out is GOP slant? Please tell me I misunderstood that as well.

  69. not those walsh kids, thats for sure.

  70. It’s hard to explain more ballots than voters as anything legit.

    Actually, it’s very easy to explain. On an election day where 3 million people voted, about 300 of them – that is, 1/10,000th, or 0.0001% – of those voters didn’t sign in first like they were supposed to.

    The story doesn’t say “more ballots than voters,” but “more ballots than voters who signed in.”

  71. I should have said: hard to convincingly explain. What sort of polling places are these that they hand out ballots to people without them signing in? Jeez, it’s bad enough that they probably don’t require ID.

  72. Come on, isn’t Boston city government at least corrupt?

  73. Oops, screwed up the closing tag. Only the one word should be in italics.

  74. He might have lost the Lizard People vote, but he did somehow get votes for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/senate/36372934.html?page=3&c=y

    As a MN-an, I didn’t like any of the choices (the independent party was bad too). It seems strange, though that every single decision has broken Franken’s way. Every single one.

    I think that one of the biggest reasons for Franken’s lead is that when the state ruled that the campaigns could see the names of the people whose absentee ballots were rejected his campaign went out much more agressively to interview those voters and make sure that the ones who had probably voted for him got their ballots into the “fifth pile”.

    From my point of view here, it seems like Coleman thought that since he was ahead he just needed to sit back and wait for the recount to be finished.

    The crushing thing is that it will take 6 years before we can bounce either of these jokers out of office.

  75. PapayaSF,

    One out of every 10,000? It’s called human nature. We’re not machines. Every so often, even the most perfect system is going spit out a dud.

    If we were talking about 1%, or 0.1%, or even 0.01%, for a failure rate, then there might be some room for suspicion, but 0.0001%?

    BDB,

    Boston city government is infinitely more corrupt than Minnesota state government. I’d trust Minnesota to get this right a hell of a lot more than I’d trust the City of Boston.

  76. THANK YOU JOE, FOR YOUR MARVELOUS SEGUE TO AN IMPORTANT URKOBOLD ENTERPRISES, LLC ANNOUNCEMENT. THE URKOBOLD IS PLEASED TO REVEAL TO THE WORLD THAT HE IS LAUNCHING A SPECIAL NEW INSTITUTE: THE URKOBOLD CENTER FOR DEMOCRATS WHO CAN’T VOTE GOOD AND WANNA LEARN TO DO OTHER STUFF GOOD TOO.

    WON’T YOU GIVE?

  77. It’s rare when I say this, but they should follow Georgia’s lead and have run-off. Franken would have won easy without the Indy candidate. And I don’t mean that to be partisan, Chambliss, for whatever its worth, is surely more representative of the majority of Georgians than that Dem he was running against.

  78. RUN OFF? MY, SO MANY PSYCHICS AT WORK HERE AT HIT & RUN. FOR THE URKOBOLD HAS A PROPOSAL TO SOLVE THE DISPUTE IN MINNESOTA: TUNDRADOME!

  79. TWO SKI IN, ONE SKIS OUT.
    TWO SKI IN, ONE SKIS OUT.

  80. Truly this man is the Son of God.

  81. …that is, 1/10,000th, or 0.0001%

    1/10,000th would be .01% or .0001 times whatever number you multiply it against.

  82. VERY WELL, BAKED MINION, THE URKOBOLD SHALL RESTATE:

    0.0002 SKIS IN, 0.0001 SKIS OUT.
    0.0002 SKIS IN, 0.0001 SKIS OUT.

    THAT DOESN’T MAKE MUCH SENSE TO THE URKOBOLD, BUT HE HAS RECEIVED THE MUCH-COVETED “GOOD INTAINTIONS” AWARD AT THE 2008 TROLL OF THE YEAR AWARD SHOW AND IS FEELING VERY BENEVOLENT.

  83. The next six years may provide some of the best unintentional political comedy this country has ever seen.

    Franken’s got endless entertainment potential. I mean, hell, just look at this collection of the best of Franken photos – including the new Senator in an adult diaper, running around with a satellite dish on his head, dressed in full air force gear, and all sorts of other goodies.

  84. Uber- and Ur-Troll,

    How can they learn how to vote when they can’t even fit in the building?

    BakedPenguin,

    Whoops, shouldn’t have put the percent thingy there.

  85. It’s not an ideological term, RC. It’s a neutral, technical one, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the transcendent wonderfulness of the free market.

  86. Bill O’Reilly is, as we speak, talking about what a hotbed of corruption MN is and how Mark Ritchie is a machine politician.

  87. It’s those Scandanavian immigrants: they aren’t capable of sustaining our culture, and republican form of government.

  88. St Paul was, in fact, one of the most corrupt cities in the nation. Of course, that was a long time ago when StP was run mostly by filthy micks.

  89. “Election fraud exists wherever your candidate loses.”

    This is actually true. It’s also true wherever your candidate wins too. This election was obviously well within the margin of theft, though fraud being what it is controlled by who it is, it’s near impossible to determine which candidate had more votes stolen for/from them.

  90. “…it is possible to perceive Minnesota’s government to be more honest and reliable than Florida’s…”

    “Secretary of State Katherine Harris.”

    joe, what did Sec. Harris do that was dishonest? Not something she did that you and your partisans did not like, but something actually dishonest.

    Lame Dem hack smear.

    Dude.

  91. One out of every 10,000? It’s called human nature. We’re not machines. Every so often, even the most perfect system is going spit out a dud.

    The fact that these un-signed-in votes happened in 25 or so largely Democratic precincts, out of however many hundreds or thousands of Minnesota precincts, doesn’t seem to support the random error explanation.

  92. She stole an election. She disenfranchised thousands of the voters she was sworn to protect. She abused her authority and discretion to get the outcome she wanted, rather than even attempting to operate in a fair and impartial manner.

    Uh, yeah, “Dem hack” smear. That must be why she was so soundly rejected even my a Republican district in her home state.

  93. The fact that these un-signed-in votes happened in 25 or so largely Democratic precincts

    Means that we’re talking about a single-digit number of slip-ups per district.

    Thin gruel for a conspiracy theory.

    You know you’re slandering actual people, right? You’re accusing people of committing a felonious conspiracy to steal an election, based on nothing more than the fact that your candidate didn’t win. Once you’ve decided to do that, you can seize on the most flimsy anomaly and yell “A-HA!”

  94. She stole an election. She disenfranchised thousands of the voters she was sworn to protect. She abused her authority and discretion to get the outcome she wanted, rather than even attempting to operate in a fair and impartial manner.

    There is evidence of this?

  95. There is the fact that, of the numerous decisions she made about holding the recount, not a single one went against the candidate who’s campaign she co-chaired.

    When she was unable to explain herself, she simply answered “I’ve made my decision.”

    I suppose it’s possible to believe that there was not a single question she faced in which the fair and correct answer worked in the favor of Al Gore, but only if you’re pretty deep in the tank already.

  96. joe, how can you post this:

    “She stole an election. She disenfranchised thousands of the voters she was sworn to protect. She abused her authority and discretion to get the outcome she wanted, rather than even attempting to operate in a fair and impartial manner.”

    …and post three minutes later this:

    “You know you’re slandering actual people, right? You’re accusing people of committing a felonious conspiracy to steal an election, based on nothing more than the fact that your candidate didn’t win. Once you’ve decided to do that, you can seize on the most flimsy anomaly and yell “A-HA!”

    …without your brain exploding from the cognitive dissonance?

  97. Karherine Harris certified the FL election results according to FL law. Yes, she decided against the dubious assertions of the Gore campaign, but she did nothing improper. That she may have done so with a certain partisan relish, does not change that she did what the law required of her.

    “That must be why she was so soundly rejected even my a Republican district in her home state.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that how she fared in an election years later is proof that her actions in the 2000 election were dishonest or worse?

    That has got to be one of the most mind-bendingly stupid leaps of logic you have made here.

  98. You’re accusing people of committing a felonious conspiracy to steal an election, based on nothing more than the fact that your candidate didn’t win.

    Back at ya, joe.

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