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Court Rules for Franken -- Pressure Shifting to Pawlenty

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 04/13/09 19:47

by Dave Mindeman

Franken wins the court battle again. The 3 judge panel has ruled against all the Coleman challenges and have put Franken into an official 312 vote lead pending appeal.

And, of course, Coleman will appeal.

All of the Coleman points were refuted by the court as not proven. And they also addressed the Coleman contention about equal protection...ruling that the different county rulings did not rise to that level. That is an important statement.

Coleman now heads to the Supreme Court...and we will have to start doing a head count on the number of judges able to hear the arguments. We are minus at least two...maybe three.

The pressure in this contest is slowly shifting from Coleman (who is rapidly becoming just a cardboard cutout for the Senate Republicans) to Governor Pawlenty. The Governor has to decide when a certificate of election is to be issued.

Presidential aspirations could be affected by how this is handled.
comments (2) permalink
04/14/09 10:14
Regarding the decision itself, overall it was proper but I was disappointed in their failure to address a number of things.
#1. They sidestepped the "missing" ballot question. The judges declared the 132 ballots ?were cast and properly counted on Election Day.? True, but since they were lost, we do not know if they were accurately counted. Considering the Kentucky case in which a Judge and election workers are accused of altering ballots after the voter submitted, the concern is that evidence could be destroyed and the results accepted. What if the "missing" ballot group was from Carver County which gave Coleman's his largest margin, would Franken supporters look at this issue differently. Fortunately, the outcome would not have changed because of the number of votes involved, however I would like to have seen some instruction from the Court that these situations have to be investigated and resolution determined on a case-by-case basis (absent a change in election laws.)
#2. What about voter fraud prosecution? During the trial, Coleman witnesses admitted that they did not sign the forms ... shouldn't the Court have instructed the AG to investigate ?
#3. What about voter suppression ? Did some counties go beyond the norm to disallow voter's ballots ? For example, in Carver County, again, it provide Coleman with his largest margin, evaluated the witness' status on State's Voter database ... this is not a requirement ... but by doing so, they rejected potential voters. {Now, we don't know how many may have gotten the problem corrected.} Considering that the highest number of rejected ballots were from Benton, Crow Wing, and Itasca counties ... and all were easily won by Coleman, there is a concern for voter suppression.

Now that the legal question has been addressed, it now moves onto the political question. What is clear is that there is a leadership void in the MN-GOP.

Not to be surprised since the RNC selected Coleman to run in 2002 (denying Pawlenty an opportunity) and then selected Kennedy in 2006 (telling Gutkencht not to compete.)

It?s Pawlenty that has as much to lose.

While the State Canvassing Board was reviewing ballots, Pawlenty (on his 1/2/09 radio program) decried the 12/18 MN-Supreme Court decision that allowed the counting of absentee ballots if they were acceptable to both campaigns. Making the statement then had no impact as the decision was made and the counting processed.

But last week he brought it up again.

Once a legal challenge has been filed, the Governor (who appoints justices) should not offer an opinion. Considering that Pawlenty appoints judges (including some that may hear an appeal to the MN-Supreme Court) this is undue influence.

IMO, Pawlenty needs to have a heart-to-heart with Coleman and tell him that although the RNC may want him to continue, this will not help the MN-GOP.

That said, if Coleman does appeal and gets rejected, he is putting a nail in his coffin as well as Pawlenty?s. If the MN-Supreme Court overrules the Election Contest Court, then voters will look at Pawlenty?s ?instructions? and how those justices that donated to Coleman?s past campaigns ruled ? and it will Republicans that will be viewed as ?stealing the election?.

04/13/09 20:12
We disagree on a serious detail here... click on my homepage URL as your comments don't allow the url to be posted here.

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