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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.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

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.

 

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Jeb Bush poised for Florida Senate run December 27, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in News.
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Courtesy Politico:

As Caroline Kennedy pursues her bright-lights, big-city bid for the U.S. Senate, another child of dynasty is quietly testing the waters for his own Senate run. 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — the son of one president and the brother of another — has been working the phones since Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) announced earlier this month that he won’t seek reelection in 2010. Sources say Bush hasn’t made up his mind about running for Martinez’ seat, but that he’s getting green lights from would-be contributors and blessings from Republican Party leaders. 

Strategists and political observers take it as a sign that Bush will run. 

“Everything indicates that he’s in,” said David Johnson, a Republican strategist and the CEO of Strategic Vision. “You’re not making calls and laying the ground work for fundraising unless you’re clearing the field for your candidacy.” 

Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida and an expert on Florida politics, said Bush’s phone calls around the state are “a good sign” that he could be jumping in the race, something that she says is “music to the ears of Florida Republicans.” 

“Nothing could have come at a better time,” MacManus said. “Republicans here in Florida were so down after the election. The mere mention of Jeb’s potential Senate run has put Republicans in a much more festive holiday mood.” 

Still, those who know Jeb Bush best say there’s just no telling what he’ll decide.

“I would be more surprised if he did run than if he didn’t,” said Republican state Sen. Michael Bennett. “And I know that’s surprising considering he would be walking away from a surefire win and a seat in the U.S. Senate. I don’t know of many people who would walk away from that.” 

Bennett said that the legislative process has never appealed to Bush. 

“Jeb wants to be king. He doesn’t want to be a prince,” he said. “He’s used to getting things done and getting things done now. He’s not one to wait for the process.”

-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.

GOP IT Guru for 04 Ohio Election Dies in Plane Crash December 20, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in News, Politics, Repiglicans, Technology, Voting.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

A top level Republican IT consultant who was set to testify in a case alleging GOP election tampering in Ohio died in a plane crash late Friday night. 

Michael Connell — founder of Ohio-based New Media Communications, which created campaign Web sites for George W. Bush and John McCain — died instantly after his single-prop, private aircraft smashed into a vacant home in suburban Lake Township, Ohio. 

“The plane was attempting to land around 6 p.m. Friday at Akron-Canton Airport when it crashed about three miles short of the runway,” reports theAkron Beacon Journal.

Connell’s exploits as a top GOP IT ‘guru’ have been well documented by RAW STORY’s investigative team. 

The interest in Mike Connell stems from his association with a firm called GovTech, which he had spun off from his own New Media Communications under his wife Heather Connell’s name. GovTech was hired by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to set up an official election website at election.sos.state.oh.us to presented the 2004 presidential returns as they came in.

Connell is a long-time GOP operative, whose New Media Communications provided web services for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Republican National Committee and many Republican candidates. This in itself might have raised questions about his involvement in creating Ohio’s official state election website.

However, the alternative media group ePlubibus Media further discovered in November 2006 that election.sos.state.oh.us was hosted on the servers of a company in Chattanooga, TN called SmarTech, which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican Internet domains.

-Article Continues @ 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.

Paper projects Franken victory over ColemanCourtesy December 19, 2008

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

As of Thursday night, GOP Senator Norm Coleman officially maintains a lead over Democratic challenger Al Franken of just five votes, with 5,861 challenged ballots remaining to be counted.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, having just wrapped it’s own count of the ballots in question, is making a projection:

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Conjecture: Obama and the Shifting of the Center. December 19, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Obama, Opinion, Politics.
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Courtesy Open to the Future.

Why Obama’s selection of Rick Warren to give an opening prayer at the inauguration is a lesson for environmental activists — and poses a troubling question about the future.

If you follow political news in the US, you’re probably aware that President-Elect Barack Obama has asked conservative Pastor Rick Warren to give the opening invocation for the inauguration ceremony (Joseph Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and open supporter of gay marriage, will give the closing benediction). Given that Warren is known for some fairly un-Obama-like statements (explicitly comparing gay marriage to pedophilia, calling for the assassination of Iran’s leaders), this selection has been a smidge controversial, with quite a few liberals seeing this as Obama having “peed in the ol’ cornflakes” of gay and progressive supporters. The uproar about this choice, however, has in turn been met with dismissive or angry replies from other Obama supporters, who say that having Warren speak for two minutes is pretty close to meaningless, and it’s a good move by Obama to be willing to reach out to communities that didn’t vote for him in November. Some even argue that it’s smart politics for Obama to attack liberals to show his independence.

It struck me, reading the debate online (and having a mild debate of my own over Twitter with Howard Rheingold), that not only are both sides right in this, it’s actually very useful to have this kind of debate be so public, even if it gets caricatured as “the Left vs Obama.”

-Article Continued @ Sourced Site.

Editorial Comment: The way I read this, we as progressives  need to stick to our ‘guns’ as it were. What do y’all think? -Shinai