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Coleman packs, vows to continue legal fight for Senate seat January 22, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Law, News, Politics.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Norm Coleman began packing his Capitol Hill office Wednesday, but said he has no intention of giving up his legal fight to serve another term in Congress.

Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, trails Democrat Al Franken by 225 votes. But in an interview with CNN, Coleman claimed Franken’s lead was “artificial” and expressed hope that the Minnesota courts will rule in his favor on ballot disputes when a court hearing begins next week.

“I really do have a sense of confidence that this will work itself out the right away,” Coleman said.

Franken, the comedian-turned liberal talk show host, was also on Capitol Hill on Wednesday meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, “to discuss the legislative agenda, especially the economic stimulus” plan, a Reid spokesman said.

Back in Minnesota, lawyers for the two men met with a three-judge panel in the afternoon.

Franken attorney David Burman argued the court may not have proper jurisdiction to hear Coleman’s case. Coleman attorney Jim Langdon said it does.

Team Coleman has maintained there are issues at hand only the court can resolve, such as the notion of ballots that might have been double counted and rejected absentee ballots that might have been excluded in error.

-Article continued @ Sourced Site.

Related:  Reid: ‘We are going to try and Seat Franken’.

Coleman camp devises 5-stage challenge to Franken’s numbers January 15, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Campaigning, Law, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy StarTribune:

Minnesotans finding diversion from winter in the tumultuous U.S. Senate race got indications Wednesday that the battle could rage until spring, unless Republican Norm Coleman sees his hopes flagging.

In the first sign that Coleman might cut short his challenge of the Senate recount, his campaign proposed that his lawsuit be conducted in stages. The proceedings would continue through all the stages only if he gains enough votes to show he could emerge the winner.

In a court filing, Coleman’s lawyers suggested that the trial’s first phase begin Feb. 9. The campaign downplayed the significance of the announcement and did not elaborate on how many votes Coleman would have to gain during each stage in order to proceed.

In another development Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court said it would not hear arguments until Feb. 5 on Democrat Al Franken’s request to be certified the winner so he could be seated in the Senate. The Coleman campaign characterized the decision as evidence that the high court was in no hurry to enable Franken to be seated. “The wheels are coming off the Franken campaign’s ‘victory train,'” said Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak.

Franken had begun the week by asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to issue him an election certificate, in light of the 225-vote lead he held after the state Canvassing Board certified the recount results on Jan. 5. When they both declined, citing Coleman’s pending legal challenge, Franken’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court to decide the issue.

In its filing discussing how Coleman’s election challenge might proceed, his campaign proposed a trial schedule that would have five stages, with the final stage beginning Feb. 23. The campaign also called for a potential sweeping reexamination of virtually every ballot cast in the Nov. 4 election.

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Calif. man charged for threatening Obama’s life over Yahoo January 10, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Campaigning, Domestic Terrorism, Law, News, Obama, Politics.
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Nearly three months after telling a Yahoo message board that Barack Obama will “have a 50 cal in the head soon,” a California man was charged Thursday with threatening a presidential candidate.

After raiding Walter Edward Bagdasarian’s home in November, U.S. Secret Service agents found three handguns and three rifles, including a 30.06 with a telescopic sight and a Remington .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifle.

The 47-year-old man is not accused of actually plotting against Obama, and he was released last month on a $100,000 real estate bond, according toWired.

The message board post in question, which appeared on Oct. 22, about two weeks before the election, was titled “Shoot the nig.”

“County fkd for another 4+ years, what nig has done ANYTHING right???? Long term???? Never in history, except sambos… Fk the niggar, he will have a 50 cal in the head soon,” the message concluded. Bagdasarian reportedly admitted authoring the message during an interview with Secret Service agents. 

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Absentee Ballots Push Franken Lead to 225 Votes January 4, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Democrats, News, Politics, Voting.
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Courtesy FiveThirtyEight.com

Minnesota took until 5 PM today to begin actually counting rejected absentee ballots, as the Canvassing Board sorted through various legal objections, underwent the arduous task of physically opening more than 900 ballots, and then gave the campaigns a chance to review the back of the ballots for identifying marks. Once they finally got underway, however, with election officials calling out the names of the candidates one ballot at a time, Franken went on a long winning streak and essentially never looked back.

All told, Franken gained a net of 176 ballots from the 952 under review according to The Uptake’s unofficial count, putting him 225 votes ahead in the recount overall. Excluding disqualified ballots, Franken won 53.7 percent of the votes counted today, Coleman 34.1 percent, and other candidates 12.4 percent. Franken’s 225-vote advantage is now slightly larger than the one Norm Coleman held before the recount began, when he led by 215 votes based on the certified Election Night tally.

Although the absentee ballots were expected by all observers to help Franken’s prospects, the nearly 20-point margin that he ran up on Coleman today was surprisingly large; two pre-election polls that surveyed absentee voters had Franken winning that group by 8 points and 12 points, respectively. (n.b. Originally missed the Research 2000 poll on this — nrs). It should also be remembered, however, that the Democrats made a large nationwide push for early and absentee voters this year, with Barack Obama overperforming by as many as 20-30 points among those voters in certain states.

The other possibility, of course, is that the Franken campaign did a more effective job of using its veto power on absentee ballots, perhaps by taking better advantage of voter lists.

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Republican Leader Threatens to Block Seating of Franken January 2, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Politics, Protest, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy The New York Times:

With Al Franken holding on to a razor-thin lead over incumbent Norm Coleman in the protracted contest for the United States Senate seat from Minnesota, Republicans say they are planning to block any attempt by Democrats to seat Mr. Franken when the new Congress is sworn in next week.

If the recount in Minnesota, which has entered its sixth week, remains undecided, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the incoming chairman of the Republican National Senatorial Committee, said on Friday that G.O.P. senators were ready to filibuster the provisional seating of Mr. Franken.

Mr. Cornyn said that without a certificate of election, which cannot be issued under Minnesota state law if there were legal challenges pending, the Senate should not seat Mr. Franken, the Democrat, or Senator Coleman.

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MN Senate Race: Coleman Campaign Rejects Election Judge’s Ballot January 1, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Campaigning, Politics, Voting.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

With Al Franken holding onto a 49-vote lead in the Minnesota Senate recount, incumbent Republican Norm Coleman seems to be pulling out the stops in his attempt to keep as many likely Democratic absentee ballots as possible out of the tally. 

Election officials across the state are determining which absentee ballots were rejected improperly on Election Day, and both campaigns have to agree before a previously rejected ballot is counted. As theStar Tribune reports, Coleman rejected 59 of 60 ballots that were set aside in St. Louis County, which supported Franken. His decision to reject Shirly Graham’s ballot was particularly shocking.

“I’m an election judge,” Graham told the paper. “I expected to be the last person whose ballot wouldn’t be counted.”

Graham, who actually voted for Coleman, said she would consider going to court to have her ballot included. Coleman’s campaign argued that the ballot was invalid because the date next to Graham’s signature did not match the date next to the witness who also signed the ballot. 

As Nate Silver notes, the ballot decision may demonstrate that Franken’s campaign should perhaps be concerned about the events in St. Louis County.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

 

Trooper Says Election Delayed Alaska Drug Case December 27, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Corruption, Law, Palin, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy The Washington Post:

WASILLA, Alaska — The mother of Bristol Palin‘s boyfriend sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after the young woman’s mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to court documents filed this week.

An affidavit from an Alaska state trooper, filed Monday, states that Sherry L. Johnston referred in her messages to two police informants to “coffee” as a code for the drug OxyContin.

Johnston, 42, was arrested on felony drug charges last week after state troopers served a search warrant at her Wasilla home. She allegedly sold OxyContin tablets to the informants on three occasions this fall, the affidavit states. Police said two of the meetings were recorded by a hidden camera and a microphone.

 

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Supreme Court Rules On Minnesota Senate Race: Window Closes On Norm Coleman December 25, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Law, Voting.
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Courtesy Huffington Post:

In what may very well be the death knell for Norm Coleman’s time in the U.S. Senate, the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously dismissed one of his last legal objections to the recount process.

In a five-to-zero decision, the court rejected a Coleman campaign lawsuit that sought to block the course of the recount due to concerns that some ballots had been counted twice. It was the Minnesota Republican’s last legal angle for making up the 47-vote deficit he currently faces against Al Franken.

Coleman had argued that in the process of recounting, some precincts had accidentally counted both the original ballots and duplicates that were used for those original ballots that couldn’t be properly scanned. But the campaign asked only for the state to look at 25 specific counties, suggesting that the argument was politically and not legally motivated. Moreover, it couldn’t provide evidence that voting tallies during the recount exceeded those on Election Day — which would have been the obvious result of duplicates being counted.

With this issue, seemingly, out of the way, the recount process will come to an end once the state and both campaigns decide what to do about improperly rejected absentee ballots. That should come in early January. And while it would be foolish to predict how the counting and disbursement of these 1,600 ballots would proceed — the two camps have agreed on principles by which the process will be conducted — it seems likely that the results will favor Franken.

Franken’s campaign has been pining to have these wrongfully rejected absentee ballots counted from the beginning of the recount process, suggesting that they believe the votes will favor Franken. It is more common for Democratic voters to make clerical errors on their absentee ballots than it is for Republicans.

All told, the window through which Coleman was looking to hold unto his Senate seat just became measurably narrower.

UPDATE: Not entirely surprising, the Coleman campaign says a lawsuit challenging the results of the election is now a near certainty. According to the Hill:

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Analyst: Franken, Coleman may battle into February December 23, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Law, Politics, Video, Voting.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

A Minnesota Supreme Court justice haspredicted “an extended legal contest” in the Minnesota senate race, no matter which way the final recount between Democratic challenger Al Franken and incumbent Normal Coleman goes, and election analyst Nate Silver of 538.com agrees.

“There are any number of grounds on which you can challenge an election,” Silver told MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer on Monday. “So far, people have been pretty well behaved, but if Al Franken wins by 12 votes, Norm Coleman will probably sue. If the reverse is true, then Al Franken will probably sue. We may not have a senator seated until mid-January or February.”

Franken is currently leading by 250 votes, but Silver believes that Coleman is likely to gain about 200 votes as challenged ballots are resolved, while Franken may get back 50 from the absentee ballots. 

-Article Continues with Video @ Sourced Site.

Rep Virgil Good, (R-VA) Concedes Defeat December 19, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Politics, Religion, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy TPM:

It’s official: Rep. Virgil Goode, the Virginia Republican best known for denouncing the election of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) as the first Muslim member of Congress, has conceded defeat against Democratic Rep.-Elect Tom Perriello.

Goode asked for a recount after the certified total gave Perriello a 745-vote lead out of over 300,000 votes cast. The chance of turning around that kind of deficit was nearly non-existent, and now that the recount has finished Goode has conceded via press release.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.