morrison county


MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) — A state election board on Monday will announce Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, state officials told CNN Sunday.

A board will say Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race by 225 votes, Minnesota's secretary of state says.

A board will say Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race by 225 votes, Minnesota’s secretary of state says.

The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told CNN.

However, Coleman’s campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification.

Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan said his team believes the recount process was broken and that “the numbers being reported will not be accurate or valid.”

“The effort by the Franken campaign, supported by the secretary of state, to exclude improperly rejected absentee ballots is indefensible and disenfranchises hundreds of Minnesota voters,” Sheehan said.

After the results are certified, Coleman’s campaign will have seven days to file a challenge.

The initial count from the November 4 election put Coleman, a first-term senator, 215 votes ahead of Franken — known for his stint on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and as a former talk-show host on progressive radio network Air America.

The slim margin triggered an automatic recount.

During the recount, Franken’s campaign alleged that thousands of absentee ballots had been improperly rejected and asked that they be counted. The state’s Supreme Court eventually ordered that rejected absentee ballots be counted if local officials and each campaign could agree that the selected ballots were rejected mistakenly.

About 950 initially rejected absentee ballots were counted Saturday after all parties agreed on them. However, Coleman’s campaign said about 650 other rejected absentee ballots — many of them from pro-Coleman areas — also were improperly rejected and should have been counted.

The Coleman campaign has also alleged that more than 100 ballots may have been accidentally counted twice and may have unfairly benefited Franken.

“When a candidate is leading because of double counted votes, and votes that get counted even when ballots don’t exist, it clearly means that a [post-election challenge] is the only likely remedy to ensure a fair outcome,” Sheehan said.

Franken’s attorney, Marc Elias, in a statement said: “The next step is the canvass board’s meeting tomorrow, where we have every expectation they will declare that Al Franken won this election.”

Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann, who oversaw Saturday’s tallying of the 950 improperly rejected absentee ballots, said the only thing left for the canvassing board to do Monday is certify the numbers. The board’s meeting will convene at 2:30 p.m.

“Candidates may have objections or suggestions or comments that they want to make,” Gelbmann said. “I would assume the canvassing board will allow that as long as they’re brief.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a statement Sunday declaring Franken the winner and expressing confidence Franken would remain on top following any legal battle.

“There is no longer any doubt who will be the next senator from Minnesota,” Schumer said. “Even if all the ballots Coleman claims were double counted or erroneously added were resolved in his favor, he still wouldn’t have enough votes to win.”

Schumer also said it is “crucial” Minnesota’s second seat in the Senate not go empty, implying Franken should be seated when the rest of the Senate convenes to be sworn in Tuesday.

Minnesota’s other seat is held by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has pledged a GOP filibuster if the Democrat-controlled Senate attempts to seat Franken before all legal battles play out and before Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, can co-sign the secretary of state’s certificate.

Ritchie said the state has no problem with not having two sworn-in senators Tuesday until the process is completed

According to the latest edition of the Morrison County Record (November 30, 2008 print version), the Board of  the Little Falls Golf Course is hosting a contest to name the Golf Course restaurant.  (I’d link to the article online, but it doesn’t appear when I search for it.)  Yippee!  A contest!  What a great way to get the community involved, but there’s a catch.  According to the contest rules, the name must have the words “Mississippi River” included in it because the Golf Course is situated on the river.

Talk about hamstringing the contestants.  If the Golf Course Board is so wedded to the words “Mississippi” and “River,” why doesn’t it figure out its own name?  The board is half to two-thirds of the way to a name already.

The Golf Course Board has also set a few other rules.  (And I’m paraphrasing here.)  The name must position the Golf Course restaurant in the minds of visitors and residents.  It must be brandable and easy to market.  It has to be distinctive in comparison to other golf courses (or is that golf course restaurants?). And, it must be an easy-to-remember name, which I guess hearkens back to that positioning rule, because it’s hard to position a restaurant that no one remembers.

When it comes to marketing and branding, long names are unwieldy for customers unless they are very, very memorable and catchy.  Now take the word “Mississippi,” which is already a mouthful, add the word “River,” and then add some other word or words to create the name.  If the name gets too long, I guarantee that customers will find a way to shorten it.  If the name itself is too difficult to easily shorten, the place will probably be referred to as the Golf Course restaurant and that will be that.

Along with saddling contestants with already-chosen words, the Board has decided not to reveal (or, perhaps, overlooked revealing) what will be served at said Golf Course restaurant, as though everyone in the community has already been there and knows what’s on the menu.  What is the ambiance of the restaurant?  The name must accurately reflect that ambiance in order to properly position it in the minds of customers.

According to the Record article, “Additional contest rules are available online and entry forms may be downloaded at http://www.littlefallsgolf.com. Entry forms may also be picked up at the Little Falls City Hall . . . .”  I sure hope City Hall has those entry forms, because when I went to the Golf Course website to check on a menu, I could find no entry form or information about this contest at all.  As the contest deadline is December 19, will there be time to get this online?

Methinks this contest could have used a little more forethought.

Trapped in a water hole,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

CNN Report

Senior Journal

WD

The St. Cloud Times is reporting that Al Doty has retained his Minnesota House seat over challenger Mike LeMieur following an automatic recount.

Relieved that one recount is done,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

Docket # FSIS-2008-0028

I am writing to urge you to reject the American Meat Institute petition to use
carcass irradiation as a processing aid.

Irradiation of meat, no matter what the dose, alters the chemistry of food.
Even low-dose irradiation has been found to create dangerous
byproducts such as 2-ACBs.  For other foods, irradiation is categorized
as a food additive and this is how it should continue to be regulated.
And it is entirely unacceptable that this petition asks for permission
to use irradiation without any labeling requirement.  Consumers need to
know if irradiation is used in the processing of their food.

I am opposed to the use of irradiation no matter how it is
categorized or at what stage of processing it is used.  I urge the
agency not to approve this petition.  Consumers need USDA to strengthen
microbial testing in meat plants, not more reliance on failed
technologies like irradiation.

Sincerely,

Click Here to Sign Petition

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in British Columbia.

History: Keep Mad Cow out of the US

The 2003 discovery of the first case of mad cow disease in the United States cast serious doubts on years of reassurances from the meat industry and the USDA that it couldn’t happen here.  Now the USDA and the big meat companies want consumers to believe them again.  We need your help to keep Mad Cow Disease out of the U.S.

For the last three years, the USDA has been trying to open the border to Canadian cattle over the age of thirty months.  This is significant because older cattle (those over thirty months of age) are considered to be at higher risk for having Mad Cow Disease and therefore pose a greater risk if they enter the food supply.  Canada has had 13 cases of Mad Cow Disease, the most recent of which was discovered in June.

So why would the United States take older, high risk cattle from a country known to have a significant prevalence of this disease?  The meat companies want to be able to source cattle from wherever they are the cheapest, which is often Canada.

Combined with the known problems in U.S. slaughterhouses in following the rules for handling the risky nervous system materials believed to spread the disease, importing older Canadian cattle creates unnecessary risk for U.S. consumers. 

Tell USDA to put public health before meat industry profits and not to open the border to older Canadian cattle. Take Action Now.

Thanks for taking action,
Patty Lovera, Deputy Director
Food & Water Watch

Sign petition to keep Mad Cow out of the US 

Guest Editorial
By Marlon Black
Towards the closing days of the election, then Senator and now President Elect Obama made a statement and used the term ‘redistribution wealth’. This terrified some of my more conservative friends who began talking about him as a ‘dangerous socialist’. Some of the more extreme opinions I’ve heard even warned that his victory would result in the ‘United Socialist States of America’. And, while I don’t pay too close attention to punditry, I was relieved that they didn’t similarly grab hold of this.

But, hold on here. Socialism? Redistribution of Wealth? Call me crazy, but didn’t our current (and fervently free market) President just shove Congress into supporting a 700 billion dollar redistribution of wealth? Sure, I heard a lot of people complain, but why didn’t anyone call him a Socialist? Obama and McCain both voted for it twice, so why is Obama maligned as the Socialist, by himself?

Well, America. I have a little wake up call for you. We aren’t capitalists. We love to say we are, and when times are good and we’re rolling in the green we’d sooner cut our toes off than consider regulating industry. But you know what? When things get hard and it’s time for us to take our lumps, we charge it to our American (Tax-Payer) Express. We’re only capitalists until capitalism is inconvenient. Do you know who, in a strict capitalist sense, is too big and important to fail? NO ONE. The threat of failure is what is supposed to regulate the market and prevent people who take dangerous risks from polluting the rest of the market. America has taken the teeth out of capitalism, we’ve rejected socialism out of hand, and then sit around wondering why isn’t working right.

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