Minnesota Recount update: Canvassing board selected, Ritchie slams Coleman; Update: Alert the media

posted at 6:00 pm on November 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie made a couple of announcements today, one of which has Norm Coleman’s campaign hopping mad, and the other of which has to please them.  We’ll start with the good news.  Ritchie’s selection for the state canvassing board were released today, and it looks like balance won out:

  • Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State (DFL)
  • Eric Magnuson, State Supreme Court Chief Justice (Pawlenty appointee)
  • G. Barry Anderson, State Supreme Court Associate Justice (Pawlenty appointee)
  • Kathleen Gearin, Chief Judge, 2nd District (non-partisan election)
  • Edward J. Cleary, Assistant Chief Judge, 2nd District (Ventura appointee)

This looks like good news for Coleman.  Ritchie is a partisan, but so are most SoS officers around the country.  The lineup of judges don’t appear to favor any party, and all are respected jurists to the extent they’re known at all.  For a process that already has more than its share of anomalies, this looks like the closest thing to a fair shake we’ve yet seen.

Speaking of which, Ritchie went out of his way to accuse Coleman of playing politics in the complaints about the shifting vote totals:

The Democratic Secretary of State of Minnesota, Mark Ritchie, was just on MSNBC talking about the recount in the Minnesota Senate race between Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Democrat Al Franken, and his comments will likely upset Coleman’s campaign.

Asked about the Coleman campaign’s criticism of the recanvassing process, Ritchie said: “Their goal is to win at any price. They’ve invested millions and millions of dollars. We consider this part of the normal political rhetoric,” said Ritchie. “We’re used to the political rhetoric being amped up. That’s part of their job — to win at any price.”

Well, no it’s not.  It’s their job to win legally.  Maybe Mark Ritchie thinks that politicians should win at any price, but that says more about Ritchie than it does about Coleman.  In fact, that statement may explain why Ritchie has remained silent while voting totals keep changing all over the state in Al Franken’s favor.  Apparently, the DFL Secretary of State believes in winning at any price, and sees that as his job.

The Coleman campaign released the following statement in response:

When the Coleman campaign raises legitimate ballot security concerns, over instances such as 32 new ballots appearing in the car of a Minneapolis city official, Mr. Ritchie goes on a national media campaign characterizing our actions as political.

His accusation today that our campaign intends to win ‘at any price’ is offensive, demands an apology and simply underscores our concerns about his ability to act as an unbiased official in this recount. His statement is not reflective of the objective, non-partisan standards Minnesotans expect and deserve, and which Mr. Ritchie as Secretary of State is sworn to uphold. And we are concerned about the pattern we are seeing.

As should be all Minnesotans.

Update: Maybe the Wall Street Journal also wants to “win at any price”?

When Minnesotans woke up last Wednesday, Republican Senator Norm Coleman led Mr. Franken by 725 votes. By that evening, he was ahead by only 477. As of yesterday, Mr. Coleman’s margin stood at 206. This lopsided bleeding of Republican votes is passing strange considering that the official recount hasn’t even begun.

The vanishing Coleman vote came during a week in which election officials are obliged to double-check their initial results. Minnesota is required to do these audits, and it isn’t unusual for officials to report that they transposed a number here or there. In a normal audit, these mistakes could be expected to cut both ways. Instead, nearly every “fix” has gone for Mr. Franken, in some cases under strange circumstances. …

Mr. Franken and fellow Democrats are already waging a full-scale public pressure campaign to help turn the recount their way. That includes a push to turn what should be a straightforward count of existing legal ballots into a complete do-over — mau-mauing election officials into accepting tossed ballots. The Franken campaign recently showed up before the Hennepin County canvassing board, demanding that its liberal members count 461 previously rejected ballots. To the board’s credit, they unanimously voted no.

But Ritchie doesn’t have a problem with Franken attempting to “win at any price”, apparently.

Update II: I’ll be discussing all of this with Hugh Hewitt at 5:30 pm CT.

Update III: If you’re wondering how you can help Coleman and keep the DFL from winning “at any price”, Amendment X of Savage Republican can help you contribute.


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Speaking of which, Ritchie went out of his way to accuse Coleman of playing politics in the complaints about the shifting vote totals:

Not “playing politics”, just simple common sense, you tool.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 6:03 PM

As should be all Minnesotans. Should be all freedom loving Americans.

AMartinez on November 12, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Not “playing politics”, just simple common sense, you tool.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 6:03 PM

By “playing politics” he means “not lying down and taking it with a smile”.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on November 12, 2008 at 6:08 PM

REPUBLICANS GOTTA GET THIER OWN CAR

rico101 on November 12, 2008 at 6:09 PM

Do people not see this attempted theft? amazing.

marklmail on November 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM

I’ve volunteered to be an observer at the recount. Wonder if I’ll be accepted since I’ve publicly called Ritchie an a**wipe. I only tried to stay honest in my opinions, gee whiz.

MNDavenotPC on November 12, 2008 at 6:11 PM

ACORN will not sleep until this seat is STOLEN…..make no mistake about it…..all to put a functioning RETARD in the US SENATE…..UGH!

SDarchitect on November 12, 2008 at 6:13 PM

Ed, question, haven’t seen any polling data on this, I live in Missouri, but vacation several times a year in the BWCAW, and we get our labs from a breeder in your neck of the woods. I often thought during the campaign that if the RNC sent Sarah and Todd up the the Iron Range, they would have smoked ‘em. Have you commented on this? Have any thoughts? What’s the pulse in that part of the country?

Chewy the Lab on November 12, 2008 at 6:15 PM

This is all a secret conspiracy by the VRWC to make POWERLINE the most important blog of the century! HOTAIR will be relagated to second fiddle… Until Michelle M. uncovers the 12 Million McCain/Palin ballots hidden in the backseat of Obama’s BMW and is voted most valuable blog owner in the history of the world!

Griz on November 12, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has just disgraced the office he holds, and should do the honorable thing. Resign today!

DannoJyd on November 12, 2008 at 6:20 PM

REMEMBER GREGOIRE!

REMEMBER GREGOIRE!

REMEMBER GREGOIRE!

It is amazing what friends can do for friends. In time Minnesota, you can be like Washington State, and eventually like Chicago, New Jersey, and Louisianna.

Completely and utterly corrupt.

Mr. Joe on November 12, 2008 at 6:20 PM

Griz on November 12, 2008 at 6:19 PM

LOL

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on November 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM

REPUBLICANS GOTTA GET THIER OWN CAR

rico101 on November 12, 2008

Too funny! And unfortunately all too true.

JonPrichard on November 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM

Who was the Minneapolis City Official? I’d bet that would give Coleman some evidence.

PappaMac on November 12, 2008 at 6:26 PM

Any state that would accept Al Franken as a serious candidate for elected office should kick its own ass.

whitetop on November 12, 2008 at 6:27 PM

Nope.

The good people of Minnesota need to pass a $1 per year salary cap for all elected officials. Lets see how fast these suckers can run.

Limerick on November 12, 2008 at 6:29 PM

Stealing votes, one ballot at a time.

profitsbeard on November 12, 2008 at 6:39 PM

Minnesota you are a joke! Find yourself another country!

Percy_Peabody on November 12, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Richie is a crook. If I were Coleman’s campaign I’d ask Kiffmeyer to be on the board too

gophergirl on November 12, 2008 at 6:51 PM

The entire 2008 election proves that a politician doesn’t need to sully his hands with corrupt or unethical behavior.

He just needs a few strategically-placed malefactors.

Matushka on November 12, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Does Minnesota just like to experiment with strange people in elected office? It’s hard to believe that those folks would want this looney tune in the Senate.

Cindy Munford on November 12, 2008 at 7:01 PM

So sad the number of people who are short-sighted enough to believe vote-fraud helps them and won’t harm them in the long run.

Feedie on November 12, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Does democracy exist in Minnesota anymore?

As a New Yorker, I’m only getting my news from online sources. To all the Minnesotans out there, how is this playing in your local media? How are your friends and neighbors reacting to this whole thing? Just curious for some on-the-ground info.

Pope Linus on November 12, 2008 at 7:06 PM

How do we, as a society, get to place where ethics have a central place in our lives, where doing what is right is better than winning?

They won’t allow us to even put a secular ethics back in primary and secondary school because it smacks to much of an external morality which sounds too much like religious education. They won’t allow us to make logic and debate curriculum requirements. Where do we have left to turn?

Unequal Time http://unequal-time.blogspot.com

bryanmyrick on November 12, 2008 at 7:14 PM

This is a topic on our local news talk radio station in Seattle.

I wish there was something we could do to help you guys out.

capitalist piglet on November 12, 2008 at 7:17 PM

I own 4 cars and have at least 16 million straight Republican ballots….

IlikedAUH2O on November 12, 2008 at 7:29 PM

…I would like to thank the voters of Minnesota for allowing us to view an election being stolen in slow motion…all the better to judge technique….

…pissants….

Puritan1648 on November 12, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Franken Fraud!!! DUH

jerrytbg on November 12, 2008 at 7:36 PM

Has there ever been an instance where a Republican was behind before a recount was conducted and ultimately won?

I can’t find one but do see in every instance the recounts always found more votes for Democrats than republicans..

Anyone?

theblacksheepwasright on November 12, 2008 at 8:10 PM

Oh those big city Minnesotans so high brow and enlightened so much smarter and articulate than the rest of the country.

Must be something in all that water or snow or freezing temperatures that has turned their brains to Jello!

Watched this reported on Fox News Brit Hume show and Brit, Mora, and the other two dudes were laughing in agreement that Franken would end up stealin it!

Sick! I am almost sick over what my country has become. Perhaps after my son is off to AFROTC next year I will move to Canada or Montana. If there still is an AFROTC or Air Force for that matter.

dhunter on November 12, 2008 at 8:33 PM

theblacksheepwasright on November 12, 2008 at 8:10 PM

A quick google minus the moon-battery of the 2000s (including predictions that 2008 would be stolen by Republicans):

1907: Maryland Republicans Learn That Thousands of Votes Were Uncounted.
Click in page for full article.

1872: HOW GEORGIA WAS STOLEN.; Colored Republicans Forced to Vote the Democratic Ticket Under the Knife and Pistol Nullification of the Fifteenth Amendment.

1876: Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden: The 1876 American Election Won by a Single Vote.
The election stolen by Republicans. And the only one I can recall reading about.

Don’t forget that dead people elected Kennedy (D) in 1960. Kolchak was right; there are zombies in Chicago.

Moonbats are case studies in projection. They cheat in elections, so everybody else does too. Any Republican who wins an election must have cheated.

Feedie on November 12, 2008 at 9:13 PM

I was driven a truck in Minnasota in 1999.A lot of cars had bumper stickers that said my govenor can kick your govenors A$$. You got to be one sorry SOB to put that on your car and drive around . May be that explanes Al frankin a bunch
of sorry low life people that need a sorry low life SOB to
make a fool out of Minnasota . Is Minnasota home of the ICP?
Minnasota home of the Insane Clown Posse

Denniscat on November 12, 2008 at 9:43 PM

Not “playing politics”, just simple common sense, you tool.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 6:03 PM

This is why Republicans are increasingly losing elections.

There is NOTHING wrong with “playing politics” when politics is the game being played.

SlimyBill on November 12, 2008 at 10:36 PM

The socialists use vote fraud to help put themselves in power. Meanwhile, Republican pundits haave been saying that we conservatives should not act now as the Left did to Bush. At first, I thought that was right. But I have been re-thinking the matter and have concluded that we are being naive. We have to be willing to wage political battle starting NOW.

Phil Byler on November 12, 2008 at 11:08 PM

Get used to it, folks. After Obama gets in, Republican votes will only be worth 6/10th of a Democrat vote. Does this sound familiar at all?

Doug on November 13, 2008 at 1:06 AM

I hate being right. I posted this just after the election, and it is ringing true.

Rules for MN Recount
1. Count the votes.
2. Determine who is ahead.
3. If GOP candidate is ahead, find more votes and return to step 1.
4. If DFL candidate is ahead, go to step 5.
5. Declare a winner.

Follow the logic trail…

Red Cloud on November 13, 2008 at 5:37 AM

The socialists use vote fraud to help put themselves in power. Meanwhile, Republican pundits haave been saying that we conservatives should not act now as the Left did to Bush. At first, I thought that was right. But I have been re-thinking the matter and have concluded that we are being naive. We have to be willing to wage political battle starting NOW.

Phil Byler on November 12, 2008 at 11:08 PM

Exactly Phil.

If we just sit politely on the sidelines the media will just continue to blame ‘Bush policies’ (pretty vague, eh?) for all the countries woes in the next 4 years. Anything positive will be the result of Obama’s ‘change’.

We need to confront that, and speak loudly against everything – even if we think it is a good idea.

For instance – if Barack invades Pakistan we should squeal about it, call him a chicken-hawk and brand him a war criminal.

I may feel like I need to a take a shower afterward, but he needs to get the same treatment as President Bush.

Same goes for the investigations of Bush that Drudge is reporting on. When we retake the White House we need to do the same to Barack Hussein. Try him for war crimes and the whole 9 yards.

Mr Purple on November 13, 2008 at 8:09 AM

All we can do is hope that Coleman isn’t able to steal this thing.

greggish on November 13, 2008 at 11:52 AM