Dusty Trice has some brilliant reporting. Here’s his film:
Yesterday, I called Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and expressed my support for the public option in Heath Care. If you are a Minnesotan, please do that too. Al’s number is 651-221-1016. If you are not a Minnesotan, call Al anyway as he is on the Health Education Labor and Pensions committee. Use his DC number for that (202-224-5641).
Amy’s number in he Twin Cities is 612-727-5223, and if you are outstate you can get the right number at this link.
While you are in the process of making calls or sending emails, you should consider contacting the members of the Senate Committee on Heatlh, Educatoi, Labor and Pensions. You can get that info here.
Call, send emails, send snail mail.
On Friday, MoveOn members are gathering in Saint Paul to show Sen. Franken that constituents are counting on him to support real health care reform. Here’s the info on that event:
Hat Tip: Javier
In any event, more people seem to like Al Franken than who voted for him … if we compare the 42% of the vote he got with the 49% approval rating he now has. (details)
This is partly a function of increased favorablity following the nasty recount process, but is also reminds us of something else: There was a third candidate in this race. If Dean Barkley was not in this race, would the outcome have been so close? And, who would have won?
The common knowledge on the street at the time of the election is that about two thirds of Barkley’s votes would have been for Franken had Barkley not been in the race. In addition, Franken was advancing on Coleman for the last several weeks. In other words, if the election was held three weeks later, OR if Barkley was not in the race, Franken would have had a decisive if not overwhelming victory. If both were true, Franken would have taken Coleman out by a landslide.
This is why I’ve been so frequently annoyed at calls to “just do it over” or statements that “no one really won” and so on. Franke was behind. Franken came from behind and passed colement.
In addition, consider this: If Franken was moving in on the vote count, then what about absentee votes cast days or weeks before the election? Wouldn’t more of those have been Franken votes had they been cast on election day?
Al’s First Big Thingie:
Here is Al Franken being sworn in to the U. S. Senate:
Today, Al Franken goes to Washington. And we helped.
Now, it is time to kick his ass.
This is the difference between the dittoheads who will follow the anointed head of the Republican Party into a big pile of dogshit if he so orders them and us. They follow their sens less leaders, they stomp their feet and whinge and threaten, but it takes forever for even the most thoughtful Republicans to even begin to question their leaders. But we in the Liberal Blogosphere do not do this. We watch and we evaluate and we comment and we do not give anyone a pass just becasue we voted for them.
So how is Al Franken doing so far?
I just got an email from my close personal friend, Al Franken. Here’s part of it (I cut out the personal smushy stuff):
I’ve said it before, and I want to say it again: THANK YOU.
We just received word that the Minnesota State Supreme Court has ruled on Norm Coleman’s appeal. I wanted to let you know right away, the court upheld our victory in a 5-0 decision.
Paul Wellstone said that successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get organized because they, too, have a vision. He also said that politics only has to do with trying to do right by people.
Throughout this campaign we’ve shared a vision of a new direction for our country. We know what we want – an economy that works for everyone, universal health care, and to create new jobs through renewable energy investment. As Senator-elect, I intend to take our shared vision of progress to Washington and try to do right by every single Minnesotan.
That’s the good news. Now, the bad news. Even though this process has reached its conclusion, we still very much need contributions to our recount fund.
It’s taken immense amounts of work by scores of dedicated legal professionals and campaign staff to preserve the win we achieved together. The financial resources required to continually defend our victory in court over the past seven and a half months were enormous.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge by Norm Coleman, thereby leaving the vote count determined by an election contest judicial panel placing Franken in the lead standing.
The basis of the Coleman legal challenge is was essentially that all abentee votes shoudl be counted no matter what, because they are, after all, votes.
The reason that is bad election procedure and bad law is that absentee voting is subject to serious abuses, and thus demands a certain amount of procedural control. This has been established previously. The absentee ballots that were not counted in this contest were all in violation of standing procedural rules. Coleman wanted those rules ignored so that the votes could be counted, Franken simply asked that the law be followed.
The court decided in favor of Franken.
…because strict compliance with the statutory requirements for absentee voting is, and always has been required, there is no basis on which voters could have reasonably believed that anything less than strict compliance would suffice…
This, by the way, is one of the reasons that I never vote absentee. You should not either.
Now, the question remains: Will Governor Tim Pawlenty, Republican presidential hopeful, certify the election? The Minnesota State Supreme Court did not specifically order Pawlenty to do so, so there is a chance he won’t.
Pawlenty made these statements during an interview on CNN last Sunday:
I’m not going to defy an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. That would be a dereliction of my duty … I’m going to follow the direction of the court … I also expect them to give guidance and direction as to the certificate of election. I’m prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light.
Well, as far as I know, the court did NOT give Pawlenty a “green light” or “guidance and direction.” It seems to me that he spoke on Sunday in such a way as to leave open the possibility of not signing the election certificate.
The court said, specifically, “Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled … to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota.” That is clear, but it is not direction. It is guidance, but it is not a “green light.” And keep in mind that Tim Pawlenty is as smarmy and slimy and slippery as they come ’round these parts.
Of course, Coleman could just concede. But no one expects that. The only person smarmier than Pawlenty ’round these parts is Norm Coleman.
We wait. With baited breath.