Video: Pawlenty on the recount

posted at 1:30 pm on November 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly interviewed Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty about the recount situation here in Minnesota. Kelly has the same skepticism about the developments here as do the rest of us — and as it turns out, so does Pawlenty:

MEGYN KELLY: In the meantime, we have significant developments from Minnesota this morning in the still undecided US Senate race. As it stands today, Democratic challenger Al Franken trails GOP incumbent Norm Coleman by just 206 votes, 206, triggering an automatic hand recount to begin next week. That 206 number is down from 725 just last week. Election officials say typos and clerk errors are to blame for the difference, but some folks are worried that voter fraud may be at play here. This past weekend, dozens of the uncounted absentee ballots were reportedly found in the trunk of one official’s car, and they have been added to the tally, they’ve been counted. Joining us now with more is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

GOV. TIM PAWLENTY: Good morning Kelly, it’s good to be with you.

KELLY: Good to have you. I look at the examples of what’s gone on here the one that jumped out to me, not only the car, but you’ve got an exhausted elections clerk who accidently claims to have underwritten Franken’s vote by one hundred. Franken gets one hundred votes because someone said he was too tired and he changes his number?

GOV. PAWLENTY: Any discussion today should first of all start with a thank-you to our veterans. They’ve given their all to secure our freedoms and liberties and privileges, one of those is voting. Thank you to our veterans on this Veteran’s Day. As to the process you are describing, Minnesota has a great reputation for high voter turnout and electoral integrity, but there are some strange things that have occurred or at least concerning things that need to be looked at. The one that you mentioned about the ballots in the trunk of the car would be a leading example. There have been other examples, even though this is a 50/50 race, the changes seem to disproportionately, overwhelmingly favor Al Franken, the democratic candidate, so that is cause for concern, seems to be out of proportion with the general voter trends. So those things are going to have to be looked at.

KELLY: They sure do. Just looking at the numbers, reportedly the gains for Al Franken in these counties versus the gains for Norm Coleman, Franken got 2.5 times the gain that Barack Obama did on the ballot, when they recounted it, he got 2.9 times the gain that Democrats got in the congressional races, and he got 5 times with the democrats got in the state house races. In other words, when they do need recounts, he is benefiting disproportionately compared to the other democrats on the ballot.

GOV. PAWLENTY: That raises the concern, of course like we said the race over all is 50/50, but even if you are in an overwhelmingly democratic area of the state, you might think the breakdown would be like 60/40 or 70/30 in favor of the Democrat, not 90 or 100% favoring Democratic candidate Al Franken. Those kind of statistical aberrations raise some concerns and that’s why people are scrambling to make sure that we have the process transparent, secure and reliable. The acceptance of this result is going to depend on the fairness of the process, obviously.

KELLY: What about these 32 ballots found in this guy’s car? How do those get counted?

GOV. PAWLENTY: As I understand it, and this is based on news accounts, he claims that even though they were in his car, that they were never out side of his security or area of control, so the courts allowed that. It seems a little loose to me.

KELLY: What were they doing in his car?

GOV. PAWLENTY: There has not been a good explanation for that Kelly, that’s a very good question, but they’ve been included in the count pile which is concerning.

KELLY: Yea, I can see why. Let me ask before you go, a judge in Stearns County has ordered a procedure for protecting the ballots. The ballots should remain under lock and key in a room that can only be entered by two or more members of an auditor’s staff and you’ve got to keep a detailed log of who goes in and who goes out. Franken’s people are objecting to that?

GOV. PAWLENTY: Well, that’s a great model. We want to have a uniform standard for ballot security. That court and that county did a good example of articulating what that means and defining what that means. I think urging the rest of the counties, like I did yesterday and others have, to adopt those procedures would be wise. The two campaigns are trying to agree on that, but they haven’t yet. Norm Coleman’s campaign has been urging that and so far the Franken campaign has not agreed as far as I know.

KELLY: Wow. Well, the hand recount does not even begin until November 18, so we could be into the next congress before we know what the ultimate senate total this. In any event, Governor Tim Pawlenty, you guys have your hands full in Minnesota. Good luck with it.

GOV. PAWLENTY: It’s always interesting. Thanks Kelly.

As I reported today, ballots from at least one precinct in Hennepin County (strong Franken territory) already violated that proposed rule.  There is no reason to object to the custodial rules that Coleman has proposed, unless one wants unregulated access to ballots before recounts — and that would certainly challenge the motives of Franken and his team.  King Banaian rightly notes today that custodial practices should be the focus of Minnesotans, as so far they have proven far short of what we should expect from our elections officials.

It appears that the results will get certified as a Coleman victory by 206 votes.  The recounts will start after that, probably on November 19th.  We’ll keep a close eye on the story.  Readers can also check the new blog, Minnesota Recount, from the NRSC to keep up with new developments.


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A Megyn Kelly clip??!!??

Automatic watch.

DaveC on November 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM

If I were Norm, I’d hire a team of lawyers and pull an Obama…..dispute every suspicious ballot until they are thrown out.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on November 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Democrats involved in an election fraud? Say it ain’t so Joe!

Smooth Rooster on November 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Any connection between the “found” absentee ballots in the trunk and whether the voters were registered by ACORN?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on November 11, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Well, it’s a good thing they aren’t abusing power and the process, Ed, and the people who think they would are deranged.

A very good thing!

Christoph on November 11, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Just goes to prove that dems can’t win an honest election based upon ideas and ideals.

cjs1943 on November 11, 2008 at 1:40 PM

90 or 100% favoring Democratic candidate Al Franken

Democrats really do think Republicans are stupid.

I just Googled criminal fraud and “Franken absentee ballot” came up.

drjohn on November 11, 2008 at 1:40 PM

This is going to be a pattern all over the country especially in the next election. All the democrats in counties will allow these outrageous pattern and defend it. They will perfect the cheating and then the GOP won’t have any chance to win any election ever. That is why it is really scary and it is not going to get better with the election of Obama. Their power will grow bigger and there is not stopping. I cannot see any hope with the big government, the left wing media and the left wing institutions, schools, etc. God Help Us.

mariloubaker on November 11, 2008 at 1:42 PM

FRANKEN LIED, VOTES WERE FALSIFIED

FRANKEN STOLE THE ELECTION

Hey, this is fun! I can see why they like it so much.

Jim Treacher on November 11, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Gov. Tim, sir, it’s Megyn Kelly. I know she’s beautiful, but her name is Megyn, not Kelly.

AubieJon on November 11, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Christoph, you need to start reading for comprehension. I’m talking about facts, not screeching like an old lady about Hitler and Nazis. I’ll leave the latter to you.

Ed Morrissey on November 11, 2008 at 1:43 PM

I have my conspiracy theories, but either they’ve already been said or are so obvious they don’t need to be.

All things aside, at the very least this is excessively suspicious. Not that it’ll make much difference…

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on November 11, 2008 at 1:45 PM

Is there a problem with people who’s first names are “Al” that they cannot accept defeat? Is it Genetic?

PappaMac on November 11, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Jim Treacher on November 11, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Franklin Selected, not Elected.

Wow, you’re right.. that one sent a tingle down my leg..

DaveC on November 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

I do notice in all this crappola that Franken is the one picking up votes while none of these “questionable” ballots seem to go for Coleman. Hmmmm….

AubieJon on November 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

The idea that this crybaby, unhinged, petulant prick is even in the running makes me really want to puke.

I really wonder what’s wrong with this state sometimes. Obama I can understand…BUT AL FRANKEN?!?!? Watch or listen to this Toilet Bug on some of his Air America re-runs. He goes off on some unhinged rant..gets called on it, and says ‘Oh, that’s just Satire‘. The cowardly son-of-a-bitch doesn’t even have the sack to stand up for the Hores $hit that runs out of his blow hole.

Jesus H. Christ…he’s a walking talking rectum.

Tell me Bill Mahre isn’t from Minnesota too……

BigWyo on November 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Utterly disgusting. Dems are stealing elections and basically denigrating the electoral process as well.

rbj on November 11, 2008 at 1:50 PM

PappaMac on November 11, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Sore losers… Well.. Losers in general.

DaveC on November 11, 2008 at 1:50 PM

What boggles my mind is that the election was even this close. We’re talking about AL FRANKEN here.

HawaiiLwyr on November 11, 2008 at 1:51 PM

…unless one wants unregulated access to ballots before recounts….

dingdingding

We have a winner.
And why would Dems want to have unrestricted access to the ballots….?

Vic on November 11, 2008 at 1:52 PM

This guy is boring.

lodge on November 11, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Christoph, you need to start reading for comprehension. I’m talking about facts, not screeching like an old lady about Hitler and Nazis. I’ll leave the latter to you.

If you were reading for comprehension, you’d see I said Obama is not like Hitler except in one detail, they created a cult of personality and used symbols.

Otherwise, he’s a Marxist — not a Nazi.

I also have repeatedly talked about how he could use legislation to undermine freedom and implement his and his mentors’ ideology. Come to think of it, Hitler did that too, although he combined it with much physical brutality.

Obama’s minions have been pretty much limited to fraud and political thuggery.

You’re presenting the ultimate strawman argument, to say people who fear Obama think he’s Hitler. We don’t.

We believe he’s a cold-hearted infanticide-supporting Marxist-believing terrorist-mentoring charismatic lying megalomaniac whose supporters practice large scale foreign and over the limit fundraising and voting fraud, and who is now President-elect.

Isn’t that enough to be more than concerned?

His talk of a National Civilian Security Force funded to the same level as the Pentagon? Yes, he only mentioned it once and dropped it when it got scrutiny.

I think you’re being a fool. Hopefully when your back is down a bit you’ll keep eyes wide open and provide a check against such power, as long as the first amendment holds and the Fairness Doctrine’s replacement doesn’t compel you to silence.

Christoph on November 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM

If I were Norm, I’d hire a team of lawyers and pull an Obama…..dispute every suspicious ballot until they are thrown out.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on November 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Obama is still sending emails asking for donations and promising victory t shirts. The money is being raised to replenish the DNC. Meanwhile they are sending operatives to GA and presumably Minnesota. I sent a donation to Coleman since the RNC is MIA and SOL. Coleman’s going to need money to stop this travesty.

msmveritas on November 11, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Jesus H. Christ…he’s a walking talking rectum.

BigWyo on November 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Well, he IS a Democrat.

*lurks*

Grue in the Attic on November 11, 2008 at 2:02 PM

You’re presenting the ultimate strawman argument, to say people who fear Obama think he’s Hitler. We don’t.

Christoph on November 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM

“The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted” Prov. 29:25

AubieJon on November 11, 2008 at 2:05 PM

We’re talking about AL FRANKEN here.

HawaiiLwyr on November 11, 2008 at 1:51 PM

That’s AL “F’n” FRANKEN

PappaMac on November 11, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Minnesota please find yourself another country. You are a joke. And take Pennsylvania and North Carolina with you please. They deserve the boot too for re-electing John Murtha and Heath Shuler by landslides.

Percy_Peabody on November 11, 2008 at 2:05 PM

The Democrats are expecting, actually counting on, the normal Republican response, which is to be reasonable and gentlemanly regarding the process. Now is the time, during the recount, to take off the kid gloves and fight tooth, nail and claw for that which is morally fair and righteous. That is the ONLY way that the outcome may be the correct one.

Yoop on November 11, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Ah, Democracy at its best, if you can’t win an election, STEAL it….

DL13 on November 11, 2008 at 2:07 PM

That is the ONLY way that the outcome may be the correct one.

Yoop on November 11, 2008 at 2:06 PM

In other words, “Drop the @#$%ing HAMMER!!!

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on November 11, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Our republic did die on Nov.4th!

grapeknutz on November 11, 2008 at 2:14 PM

In other words, “Drop the @#$%ing HAMMER!!!

Grue in the Attic on November 11, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Exactly. And then REPEAT as necessary, until somebody gets the message: we will not go quietly, into the night.

Yoop on November 11, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Christoph,

Go back and read my post again for comprehension. I pointed out the explicit Hitler equivalence from Broun as an example of ODS, and said we need to keep our criticisms fact-based. I never argued that we should refrain from criticism. You still haven’t figured that out after at least a couple of hours of ad hominem attacks and self-gratification in two different threads now. Instead, you’ve been defending Broun and arguing that criticism of his remarks amounts to cowardice.

Comprehension. That means understanding a post before commenting on it.

Ed Morrissey on November 11, 2008 at 2:22 PM

90 or 100% favoring Democratic candidate Al Franken

Democrats really do think Republicans are stupid.

I just Googled criminal fraud and “Franken absentee ballot” came up.

drjohn on November 11, 2008 at 1:40 PM

And why not? We certainly act stupid. We rollover and expose our belly and carotid artery in the name of “honor” and “graciousness”.
As Horowitz said in his book “The Art of Political War” (I’ll paraphrase)-”Republicans treat politics as the Oxford Debating Society. Left wingers view politics as a knife fight.”
LON Repubs disgust me.
As I once heard in a Slim Jim commercial-” WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Amendment X on November 11, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Go back and read my post again for comprehension. I pointed out the explicit Hitler equivalence from Broun as an example of ODS, and said we need to keep our criticisms fact-based.

They’re not equivalent. There are some similarities, however, and it would be foolhardy to not learn from one of the greatest and most well documented object lessons in history.

What’s the point in (allegedly) understanding history without learning from it?

Rep Broun, in the part your blockquoted, was being entirely reasonable:

Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, recently said that he fears President-elect Obama may create a security force akin to the Gestapo to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

“It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force,” [as well funded as the military, the AP left out] Broun told The Associated Press. “I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we maymay not, I hope not – but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism.”

Listen to Ronald Reagan’s speech at the Goldwater convention in its entirety, Ed. Not only is it a brilliant and thrilling speech, it also warns against forces of socialism and Marxism here in the United States.

And God damnit, you know Obama has socialist leanings, at a minimum, has learned from and spoken well of Marxists, written well of them, and associated with domestic Marxist terrorists.

So Broun score one for courage. Ed, lose one for foolishness and the opposite of Broun’s virtue.

Christoph on November 11, 2008 at 2:55 PM

We whine they shine

tomas on November 11, 2008 at 2:59 PM

To paraphrase Stalin, catching a guy vote twice is a crime. A couple thousand illegal votes in Minnesota for a washed comedian is a statistic.

Move along. Nothing to see here, says the press.

hawkdriver on November 11, 2008 at 3:15 PM

If the Reps don,t raise hell on this one then they deserve ever thing they get.They need to learn to act like Dems and scream there heads off and fight like hell down and dirty.

thmcbb on November 11, 2008 at 3:48 PM

A Megyn Kelly clip??!!??

Automatic watch.

DaveC on November 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Megyn’s OK – her brains, attitude and energy are why we love her but I personally don’t think she’s not the hottest looking offering from our friends at FNC.

Jamie Colby is the reigning Queen. grrrrrrrr…. /tiger sounds

Speaking of physical beauty, anybody know whatever happened to Laurie Dhue? I’ve searched the internet for her and couldn’t find if she was working anywhere since leaving Fox.

UltimateBob on November 11, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Pawlenty doesn’t seem sufficiently concerned, he talks about this like he is just a spectator. I wonder how in the hell we ended up with so many pussies in office on the Republican side?

echosyst on November 11, 2008 at 4:15 PM

It’s laughable that some people considered Pawlenty a serious VP pick, isn’t it?

Christoph on November 11, 2008 at 4:34 PM

Shouldn’t FRANKEN be disqualified for not paying the correct business taxes. Oh sorry I forgot this is Minn and if you are a Dem it doesn’t apply.

/sarc

neconsrv on November 11, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Franklin Selected, not Elected.

Wow, you’re right.. that one sent a tingle down my leg..

DaveC on November 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Bummer.

Tingles up your leg are much more satisfying.

SlimyBill on November 11, 2008 at 4:47 PM

I served as an election judge in Eden Prairie. I’m not sure how uncounted absentee ballots could end up in someones trunk. Ours were kept at City Hall until about 7 PM on election day, when they were delivered to us. We recounted the number to make sure they agreed with the totals on the documentation. We also could NOT accept any absentee ballots from voters – they had to deliver them to city hall for acceptance and distribution.

It all smells VERY fishy!

thirdtart on November 11, 2008 at 4:48 PM

The sad thing to me is this is even close enough that a recount would be needed even if the Democrats cheated with 50 thousand votes. If the people of Minnesota are so stupid that they would vote a guy who openly hoped Bin Laden and his camel humpers would kill Dick Cheney then this state is a lost cause. I find it strange that the Secret Service did not lock this loon Franken up for his public comments years ago.

Irvin88 on November 11, 2008 at 5:11 PM

How come I’m getting the feeling that I’m witnessing an election being stolen right before my eyes?

Frankenlies.com: The truth about the lies of Al Franken
-=

DPierre on November 11, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Megyn’s OK – her brains, attitude and energy are why we love her but I personally don’t think she’s not the hottest looking offering from our friends at FNC.

Are you kidding? I can’t tell. Seriously, are you? I think she may be the best looking woman I’ve EVER seen. Period. (Other than my wife, of course)

I’m not really that much for blondes, either; but DANG.

RegularJoe on November 11, 2008 at 5:22 PM

32 ballots in a car? Never , ever should that happen, no matter what system they used. All ballots are to be sealed together. This is so wrong.

MNDavenotPC on November 11, 2008 at 5:44 PM

43,000 new registered voters were submitted by ACORN.

patrick neid on November 11, 2008 at 5:45 PM

This is another good example of why our party needs to address voter fraud not just at election time but all the time.

Done That on November 11, 2008 at 5:54 PM

I take it that MN has a Secretary of State (or whatever) whose bailiwick encompasses overseeing the election and I seem to recall that the person who holds that office is, of course, an ACORN dem (or close enough to it for gov’t work) but surely the anemic Pawlenty could perform some executive action that would at least bring close scrutiny and supervision to the rest of the process. The problem is that Pawlenty doesn’t seem to want to rouse himself to do anything to insure the integrity of the election. Seriously, did anybody get any comfort from the vaporous comments of the governor? That was limp, man.

thegreatbeast on November 11, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Hey, I remember this one! Oh wait, that was 2004 when Gregoire (D) stole the election from Rossi (R) on the third count. King County Elections on nine seperate occasions found a total of something like 10,000 uncounted ballots… Mysteriously, Rossi went from winning by several thousand to losing by 129.

flashoverride on November 11, 2008 at 9:28 PM

…unless one wants unregulated access to ballots before recounts….
dingdingding
We have a winner.
And why would Dems want to have unrestricted access to the ballots….?
Vic on November 11, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Now, now, let’s not jump to conclusions here. I’m sure that they just want to be able to visit the ballots and pray (oops, this is libs we’re talking about) meditate over them to use the power of positive thinking to ensure that they have a favorable outcome.

AZfederalist on November 11, 2008 at 9:31 PM

In Minnesota, the voter registration procedures and voting procedures rely on people being honest.

It is incredibly easy to register/vote in multiple precincts – all you need is a utility bill in your name for an address in the precinct. It is very easy to create fake bills with a scanner/computer. There is no checking across precincts for people to vote more than once.

It is easy for non-citizens to register and vote. Al you have to do is lie on the registration form. Nobody checks whether you are a citizen.

And you can register at the polls – all you need to register the day of the election is to have a registered voter accompany you and say you live in the precinct. Another process which is easy to be defeated.

Oh, and the Secretary of State is a Democrat, a friend of ACORN, a former “community organizer” and a receiver of campaign funding from George Soros and MoveOn.org.

Nothing to see here… move on.

Dr. Bob on November 11, 2008 at 11:01 PM

And when Gregoire “won”, it was because they kept “discovering” new caches of votes until she was ahead, and then INSTANTLY stopped looking and declared her the winner.

The fact that we don’t sue the pants off of these obvious criminals each and every time simply emboldens them.

Don’t even look to the FEC, they’re not going to do their jobs. They might as well not exist, as much good as they do.

If we “let it go” this time, there won’t be a next time. They’ll just “win” by a million fraudulent votes next time, and between the lapdog MSM and their carefully chosen bureaucrats, you won’t have a leg to stand on.

Between the Republicans’ communal ADD and “nice guy syndrome,” it’s starting to look ugly. Take a God-damned swing already! Form one of them scary 527s dedicated to combating voter fraud!

Merovign on November 11, 2008 at 11:21 PM

Nonsense. With 100% of the precincts reporting, Coleman’s lead was 700+ votes? Fair enough – recount every one of those, with every “ballot” collected afterward (whether “inadvertantly” padded by an official who was too tired to count correctly, suddenly “discovered” in an election official’s vehicle, or magically appeared out of thin air by kind courtesy of Tinkerbell) disqualified. 100% of precincts reporting is 100% of precincts reporting, and that’s the bar. Everything afterward falls short. This isn’t hard, folks.

SpartRan on November 12, 2008 at 12:09 AM

If I were Norm, I’d hire a team of lawyers and pull an Obama…..dispute every suspicious ballot until they are thrown out.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on November 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM

I thought that’s called ‘pulling a Republican’.

greggish on November 12, 2008 at 6:26 AM