politics


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

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Huffington Post reports:

GOP Group In Panic Over Possible Franken

Update: 7:35 Central

Franken projected to win by 35-50 votes.

Submitted by www.lostmarbles.us
While Iraqi reporter and pitcher, Muntadar alZaidi, awaits trial the BBC reports that sales for the brand of shoe that was hurled at President Bush have skyrocketed. There is no word as to the reason for the sudden increase in sales but insiders say that the Lame-Duck President has been practicing weaving and ducking should anyone else hurl over his performance as Commander and Chief.

Muntadar alZaidi’s trial is set for December 31, 2008 where he faces up to 15 years for “aggression against a foreign head of state” which the BBC reports could be reduced to a lesser charge of “attempted aggression” (I didn’t make that part up). No one was injured during the attack except for the shoe-wielding assailant. Muntadar alZaidi’s brother told BBC reporters that he has been abused in detention and plans to file a legal suit over his injuries.

The scheduled trial date was specifically selected to provide Christmas cheer and entertainment to Black Water thugs.

Since a number of individuals including alZaidi have referred to Bush as a dog, the Obama’s are reconsidering the adoption of a new White House mutt and may elect to keep George Walker Bush instead.

Link to online shoe throwing game

Someone recently posted a YouTube video of an Iraqi reporter , throwing his shoes at President Bush.

Someone on Twitter suggested we ship our old shoes to the White House. I didn’t know if he was kidding or not and I didn’t care. As a final act of protest I’m joining the Iraqi reporter and I’m shipping my old shoes to the White House.

Anyone interested in joining me can
ship their old shoes to:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20500

Reportedly the Iraqi reporter shouted, “This is a kiss goodbye you dog.” My shoes will be shipped with an identical message.

In addition I’m asking folks to assist me in coming up with shoe jokes. Thus far I have:
Chooing the fat in Iraqi
Playing with the Keds
Bush grapples for New Balance
Mock a Sin
Bush foreign policy…Ugg!
Instead of making his way to the DMZ as scheduled, Bush instead arrived at DSW.
Bushwacked!
Shoe-in For Worst President

Tonight Secret Service and the President of Iraq are sporting T-shirts that say “I’m Not George”, lest there be any confusion among journalist or the general population as to where their hostility should be directed.

Feel free to add your own in the comment section!

Submitted by Black Marlon:

Dear President-Elect Obama,
I was listening to NPR and they were discussing your selection for the Director of the CIA. It was mentioned that John Brenner was probably high on the list but removed himself from the question due to the reaction of bloggers.
You strike me as the kind of guy who is willing to buck criticism in the interests of achieving the best results. It’s my suggestion that you talk to him and try to convince him to accept the job.

Clearly, Brenner is aware of and concerned with the way things look and to that extent that he’s willing to take the hit to his own career. I cannot imagine anything that is more desperately needed in the CIA than for the CIA to be aware of not only the logistical interests of the United States but also of its Geo-Political interests.
Don’t discount him even though he’s discounted himself.

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

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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