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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’.

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Obama re-takes oath of office January 22, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Democracy, Law, News, Obama, Politics.
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Courtesy Salon:

Sometimes, even presidents — and chief justices of the Supreme Court — need to take the occasional mulligan. Wednesday evening, Barack Obama was sworn in as president again, and this time he and Chief Justice John Roberts got it right.

On Tuesday, Obama, following Roberts’ lead, had said, “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully” instead of “do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.”

“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately yesterday,” new White House Counsel Greg Craig said in a statement. “But the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time.”

A pool reporter was present for the swearing-in. According to the pool report, as Roberts prepared, Obama joked, “We decided it was so much fun…” and later told the chief justice, “We’re going to do this 

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

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.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

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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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.

 

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

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:

-Article Continued @ Sourced Site.

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.

Franken lawyer slams ‘cynical and desperate’ attempt to stop vote count December 16, 2008

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

Al Franken’s team is increasingly optimistic the Democratic candidate will prevail in the Minnesota Senate recount, and the campaign’s lawyer on Monday slammed a lawsuit filed by Republican incumbent Norm Coleman as a “cynical and desperate” attempt to keep votes from being counted. 

Coleman’s lawsuit asks Minnesota’s supreme court to set a “uniform standard” for absentee ballots a state canvassing board has ordered included in the recount; the Coleman campaign also says it is concerned that some ballots have been counted twice. 

Franken lawyer Marc Elias, speaking to reporters on a conference call, dismissed those concerns, portraying them as the desperate gasps of a campaign worried at its declining fortunes. 

“They are suing because they’re behind,” Elias said, reiterating his methodology that shows Franken with a four-vote lead. “The numbers are what they are. … What we’re seeing is a cynical and despearate attempt by the Coleman campaign.”

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Presidential Election Voting Machines Violate Copyrights, Suit Claims November 5, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Law, Technology.
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Courtesy Information Week:

A California software company has filed a lawsuit against Diebold and its subsidiary, Premier Election Solutions, claiming that PES’ electronic voting machines violate its copyrights.Artifex Software, of San Rafael, Calif., claims that PES systems infringe on its copyrighted Ghostscript PDF interpretation and printing software. Artifex claims PES is using Ghostscript in its electronic election systems even though Diebold and PES “have not been granted a license to modify, copy, or distribute any of Artifex’s copyrighted works,” Artifex claims in court papers filed late last month in U.S. District Court for Northern California.

PES voting machines are widely used in state and federal elections — including Tuesday’s presidential contest. More than 24,000 PES optical scanning machines were used in the 2006 federal elections in Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Utah, and other states, according to the company’s Web site.The suit does not specify how PES is allegedly using Ghostscript, but presumably it’s to create print outs of electronic voting records. In its lawsuit, Artifex calls Ghostscript “the most widely used PDF interpreter not developed by Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) itself.”

The alleged infringement “has contributed to [Diebold and PES] profits and is adversely affecting the potential market for and value of Artifex’s copyrighted works,” according to the court papers.

Article Continues @ Sourced Site.