Let us not forget, Coleman was an absolute jerk during the whole process. And,he was a sucky senator. Subsequent to Franken’s establishment in office, he has proven himself equal to the best. Indeed, his lack of experience in elected office in general and the senate in particular is rather hard to detect.
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?
Time Pawlenty has become famous for his ability to be extraordinarily vague. Now we are seeing this in relation to the expected Minnesota State Supreme Court decision on the Franken-Coleman Senate election contest.
For the most part, Pawlenty has signaled that he will only sign the election certificate if he is instructed to do so by the court. He has implied, therefore that he will not sign it if he is not instructed even if the court has made a decision.
He has not explicitly stated which court he is referring to, but it seems that he is expecting that the state court may instruct him to sign before a federal court (to which we assume loser Norm Coleman will bring the contest) decides on the matter.
Here’s the problem: The state court will produce its ruling any day now. They are rather late in doing so and we await not only a ruling but an explanation of what has taken them so long. Once they do this, Pawlenty COULD sign the certificate, but may not.
Independently of the court’s decision, the court may or may not provide an instruction t the governor to sign the order. What Pawlenty is saying is that he will sign if so ordered, otherwise …. the implication is that he will not.
If he does not, he would wait for the court to provide such an order. That would likely only come if the issue is brought before the court, they hear arguments, then sit in their chambers for who knows how long.
Details here. The story is based on an interview with Pawlenty on CNN on Sunday.
The Minnesota Supreme Court spokesperson Lissa “No-that-is-not-a-typo” Finne has told Greg Sargent’s Blog that the other blogs suggesting that the court would issue a decision today are incorrect. Finne indicates that sometimes the court tells the involved parties on Monday about a decision on Thursday, other times they come out with notification only minutes before the decision is announced.
So, this means … who knows. Don’t be holdin’ yer breath is all.
According to various sources which can not be named but that are being reported by the Capitol Report, the Minnesota Supreme Court is likely to make a decision today, Thursday, June 18th. If the decision is anything other than to support (uphold) the decision of the three judge panel which previously ruled in Franken’s favor, several legal experts in the state and across the country are going to drop dead on the spot of shock and chagrin.
It is not know if Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty is going to be ordered by the court to produce an election certificate, but it is generally thought that he will not issue one unless so ordered. If the court does not order the Governor to carry out his legal duty, it may be required that Franken makes an argument to the court to do so.
One thing people have not commented on yet to my knowledge is this: In the event that Franken has to argue for the court to order Pawlenty to act on the court’s ruling, what sort of argument will Coleman make to the contrary? That could be interesting.
In the mean time, I understand the Coleman legal and recount team has offered its services to parties in Iran. I wish I was joking about that.
Minnesota Post reports from the Minnesota Independent a Twitter Report from Matt HIll indicating that Al Franken and Norm Coleman were on the same flight to Washington DC yesterday.
The outgoing Senator, Coleman was in First Class. Franken was in Coach.
Just thought you’d like to know….
… Entire state breaths collective sigh of relief …
Speculation was mounting in St. Paul and elsewhere that Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s decision not to seek a third term in 2010 — perhaps to seek the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nomination — means Coleman is planning to end his legal battle with Democrat Al Franken to overturn his recount loss in November’s Senate race and instead run to replace Pawlenty.
But unnamed Coleman sources say that’s not the case, the Washington publication Politico reported Monday.
“Not at all,” said the source. “He ran for U.S. senator, wants to continue being a U.S. senator. … What (Pawlenty) has done or not done has never been a factor in his decision-making.”
Of course, he has been known to break his promises before. Every time, in fact.
Legal experts are largely undivided in the opinion that Norm Coleman’s Minnesota Supreme Court bid to overturn a lower judicial panel’s decisions regarding the vote count in the Minnesota Senate race is senseless and has no chance whatsoever of winning.
This opinion was widely held prior to the presentation of arguments by Coleman, but now, with some real face time in the high court behind us, in which we see the arguments for real, and see the reaction by the judges, it is confirmed and certain that Coleman’s fate is sealed.
But what is not known at this time is the fate of Governor Pawlenty. Pawlenty is now known to be stepping aside from the race for re-election for governor of Minnesota, and it is widely believed that he will run for president. I can’t wait to see Pawlenty in a throw down against Obama. But, for Pawlenty to get that far he has to avoid being fallen upon, beaten, chewed up and spit out by his comrades in the Party of No. Which means that when the court rules in favor of Franken, but does not specifically order the governor to issue an elections certificat, Pawlenty CAN NOT issue that certificate. This is clear. As Hamline professor David Shultz recently noted (reported by Paul Demko noted in a recent piece in the Minnesota Independent) “As soon as he signs [the election certificate] voluntarily, he’s dead meat with Republicans nationwide. They’re never going to remember eight years of no new taxes. They’re going to remember you voluntarily put Al Franken in the Senate.”
On the other hand, if he does not sign, the citizens of Minnesota, who are quite tired of this process, will surely snub him if he runs for governor gain.
Which is why he is not going to too that, obviously.
If you are interested in the Minnesota Gubernatorial race, you should check out Mike Haubrich’s interviews with some of the most likely folks to run for Gubernor next time around…
Attorneys for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) have asked the Federal Election Commission for permission to use campaign funds to pay his legal bills stemming from allegations that a Coleman confidante funneled improper payments to the lawmaker via his wife.
Coleman and his wife have denied any wrongdoing, but the former CEO of Deep Marine Technology, a Houston, Texas, company, filed a lawsuit claiming that Nassar Kazeminy, a DMT investor, “coerced DMT to make improper payments of $75,000 to Laurie Coleman through her employer, for the ultimate benefit of her husband.”
A similar lawsuit was also filed in Delaware after media reports that Kazeminy may have paid “large bills for clothing purchases” by Coleman and his wife at Neiman Marcus.
A liberal watchdog group in Minnesota, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, wrote to the FBI in November asking it to investigate the allegations, and also filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, another liberal organization, filed a complaint with the ethics panel as well.
I always liked Jesse. I didn’t agree with about half of his policies, but I did not have the automated lefty knee jerk reaction against him that almost everyone I know had. Hey, he did after all, beat Norm Coleman in that governor’s race!
Only 28 percent of Minnesotans think Coleman’s current appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court is appropriate. Sixty four percent think he should give up now. Seventy three percent feel that he should not go beyond the State Supreme Court if he loses there. The will of the people has been heard in both the voting booth and the polls.
This will not affect former Senator Norm Coleman’s strategies, because the will of the people is of no concern to him. Coleman will continue with the State Supreme Court appeal, and when he loses there (and he will) he will continue on to the US supreme court. Coleman’s strategy is to delay the seating of Franken for as long as possible. Why? Because Coleman is under various Federal and Senate investigations and owes a huge pile of money for the legal costs of this recount. He needs the Republican party to help pay off some of these debts (to the extent that they can … they may not be able to help much give their overall loss of support) and to yield their political clout to blunt the effects of some of these investigations (which of course, they can’t really do but Norm has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer and probably does not know this).
It is now time for Republicans whose careers are not over to stop openly releasing statements supporting Coleman. Personally, I don’t care whether they do this or not. What I’m saying is that you will stop seeing the support Pawlenty and others have been mouthing over the last few months. Furthermore, this latest poll is likely to prompt Pawlenty to issue an election certificate once appeals have been exhausted at the state level, possibly in July.
The state Supreme Court proceedings being in June.
Norm Coleman has requested a more “leisurely” (as the Star Tribune calls it) schedule for his recount appeal. What is more leisurely? The Coleman team would like oral arguments to begin no sooner than mid-May, and easily later than that.
Clearly, the hypothesis that Norm Coleman is simply playing a delaying game stands, still, unrejected.
The Star Tribune reports that Norm Coleman has filed an appeal with the Minnesota Supreme Court. He did so late Monday. I believe this is nine days after the lower judicial panel’s decision, which places this appeal just under the deadline. Clearly, Coleman has a strategy in mind that has little to do with the advancement of Democracy or the representation of Minnesotans. He should be ashamed of himself. But he appears to lack that emotion. Perhaps he was knocked on the head as a kid or something.
A joint project by Democrats has flipped traditional fund-raising on its head, by starting a campaign aimed at collecting $1 a day from supporters “to make Norm Coleman go away.”
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a new group working to get like-minded candidates elected, has teamed up with Howard Dean’s Democracy for America to tap the wallets of Democrats who are disgruntled by the five-month-old ballot contest in Minnesota between Mr. Coleman, the former Republican senator, and Al Franken, the Democrat.
Eric Black of MinnPost Dot Com has made an interesting observation. Last week the three judge panel charged with hearing Norm Coleman’s “Election Contest” (that’s a thing … an election contest is a kind of suit claiming that an election did not go properly) finished their job. They ruled against some of Coleman’s claims, but they did count extra ballots as Colman had insisted. That addition of new ballots — all absentee ballots — resulted in Franken’s lead growing.
From that ruling, the plaintiff has ten days to file an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The appeal itself is a simple form. This is the sort of thing that would be ready in advance to hand over to the court right after the final ruling of the case being finished.
But, Norm Coleman has not yet filed the appeal.
There are several possible reasons for this unusual behavior, including: