Minnesota Recount: Franken’s Sore Loser Strategy

posted at 11:17 am on November 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The setback at the Canvassing Board has forced Al Franken to face the fact that he didn’t get enough valid votes to beat Norm Coleman in Minnesota’s Senate Race.  With the rejection of his bid to get the panel to add in thousands of rejected absentee ballots, there seems little chance that the remaining 15% of ballots left in the recount will produce the kind of change that 85% has not.  What’s a surly, self-absorbed DFL candidate to do?

Sue:

Minnesota’s U.S. Senate showdown is veering down a path toward the courts and possibly the Senate itself after a panel’s ruling on rejected absentee ballots dealt a blow to Democrat Al Franken’s chances.

For the first time, his campaign on Wednesday openly discussed mounting challenges after the hand recount involving Franken and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman concludes. That includes the possibility of drawing the Senate into the fracas.

The state Canvassing Board denied Franken’s request to factor absentee ballots rejected by poll workers into the recount. He sought to overturn the exclusions in cases where ballots were invalidated over signature problems or other voter errors. Coleman’s campaign maintained the board lacked power to revisit those ballots.

Going to court was always inevitable.  Gone are the days when the loser of a close election would have the class to accept a tough loss and wish the winner well.  The recount is automatic in this case, and a good idea, but the notion that courts should determine winners and losers is antithetical to democracy.

More worrisome is this statement from Harry Reid:

The board’s decision drew a response from the Senate’s top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, who called it a “cause for great concern.”

“As the process moves forward, Minnesota authorities must ensure that no voter is disenfranchised,” Reid said in a statement. “A citizen’s right to have his or her vote counted is fundamental in our democracy.”

The Senate does have the authority to determine the winner of any Senate election, as does House for its elections, but they rarely use that power.  Reid’s comment threatens the efforts of Minnesota to provide a non-partisan, fair, and legitimate election.  In fact, it sounds like an extortion attempt to push state officials into a particular decision that would violate the law in order to produce a specific partisan result.

We have laws on the books to ensure that voter fraud and manipulation regarding absentee ballots gets avoided to the extent possible.  (We don’t have such laws with voter registration, which is another issue entirely.)  Each citizen who casts his votes according to the law has the right to have them counted, and that is fundamental to our democracy, but the citizen has the responsibility to cast them properly according to the law.  Citizens who fail to do so lose the ability to have their vote count in that election.

Any action by the Senate to render this election to Franken on that basis would have the effect of undermining the rule of law.  That will be completely unacceptable to Minnesotans, as it should be to all states. Expect Minnesotans to take action if Reid pursues that path.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I think Tar and Feathering should start with Frankin

Rick007 on November 29, 2008 at 4:13 PM

We can’t be surprised by the actions of Al Franken here.

DPierre on November 29, 2008 at 3:38 PM

If ever there was a person deserving of the name PUTZ it’s this waste of $4 worth of chemicals

Scott on November 29, 2008 at 4:17 PM

The courts never determine a winner in an election. Not even in 2000. In case of elections, they are often brought in to decide the best, most fair and legal ways to count ballots.
Tom_Shipley on November 29, 2008 at 1:10 PM

The best, most fair and legal ways to count ballots should be determined by legislators PRIOR to the election. Once the outcome is being contested, no one can be expected to fairly determine the rules without self interest creeping into the decision (yes, even among jurists.) The only role courts should have is to ascertain whether the rules are being followed. It should not be constructing new rules that it thinks are better. That was and remains the fatal flaw of the Florida Supreme court’s actions in the 2000 election.

PackerBronco on November 29, 2008 at 4:19 PM

This is the reason the liberal Democrats urged everyone to vote ‘early’ in the elections by absentee. That increases their chances to challenges in the ballots since those absentee ballots are HAND CAST in most instances.

prkw on November 29, 2008 at 4:22 PM

You know, if Reid does try something that stupid, I really do despair of the future of this country. If this happens, and it is allowed to stand, the message sent is that fraud and illegality is fine, as long as you brazenly declare it’s legal. The law becomes meaningless when we ignore what it says and simply force the outcome that is desired by those in charge. Kinda like immigration. Reid appointing Franken, despite Franken not having the votes, is basically the same as Hugo Chavez declaring he won an election because he has more guns..oh, and some votes. I mean, why hide behind the law? Wouldn’t it be more honest, and just as illegal, if Reid just had Coleman killed? Sad direction we’re headed in.

austinnelly on November 29, 2008 at 4:35 PM

You [Al Franken] are rapidly becoming what you hate.

That is to say, “a big fat idiot.”

manwithblackhat on November 29, 2008 at 4:40 PM

I wonder if a nonstop, thousand phonecalls a minute, to Dirtball Hairy would have any effect. Make it impossible for his staff to do anything.

This is really getting frustrating…

The one point someone made about the Federal Senate dictating who the State appoints to the Federal Senate is absolutely frightening. I have to agree that, if that happens, we are in one party rule Komrades…

bullseye on November 29, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Wouldn’t be the first time the Democrats have used their numerical superiority in congress to reject the candidate the voters elected.

MarkTheGreat on November 29, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Any action by the Senate to render this election to Franken on that basis would have the effect of undermining the rule of law.

“The rule of law” only applies to reublicans. Dems use ‘the rule of what works’. They gave up on the law decades ago.

JIMV on November 29, 2008 at 5:20 PM

Good Gawd,this is becoming a movie in its own right,

The Never Ending soap opera Story!

A political Midnight Express,Coleman as the young student
and Franken as the loony crazy Turkish guard,and the crap
that Coleman is put through trying to get back home!
(Snark!)A Hem!:)

canopfor on November 29, 2008 at 5:20 PM

Why don’t the Liberals just cut to the chase,and
have Reid,Pelosi,just rule as a dictatorship,as
I’m sure Pelosi won’t even care who’s on the other
side of the aisle is,after all, since when did Pelosi
ever want to work hand in hand with the Republicans!

canopfor on November 29, 2008 at 5:28 PM

Y’know, his loss at the polls is probably the first time he’s ever succeeded in making me laugh.

Tzetzes on November 29, 2008 at 5:29 PM

Franken’s not a “sore loser”. He’s just a sore.

progressoverpeace on November 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM

The case was entitled Gore v. The United States, so it should be apparent.

Vashta.Nerada on November 29, 2008 at 11:33 AM

.
Actually the case is Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000). Ed makes a great point on graciously conceding defeat when on the short side of tight races. Republican Bob Dornan complained that his 979 vote defeat in ’96 to Loretta Sanchez was due to votes by illegal aliens and persevered in having the US House investigate for 13 months. They agreed that some illegals had voted but not enough to change the outcome. When Dornan challenged again in ’98 he was blown out. In 2002 John Thune chose not to challenge his 524 vote loss to SD Sen. Tim Johnson, despite serious voting irregularities on Indian reservations. The public endorsed him in 2004 when he turned out Tom Daschle. In 2004 Republican Dino Rossi won the Washington Governor race on election day, won the first recount, lost the second recount and sued over Seattle/King County voting fraud. The court claimed the evidence was insufficient to set aside the election, he chose not to appeal. He did not win on his second attempt in 2008. Then there is Nixon in 1960 who chose not to challenge Illinois irregularities; he was endorsed by voters in 1968. [I can't help but wonder how Nixon would have handled Viet Nam if his 2 term presidency started in 1961, Johnson clearly botched it.] If there is a common theme to these contests, it is that the person certified as winner by the election apparatus wins, and litigation to undo the election apparatus is a career killer.

Mark30339 on November 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM

This is a three-way race. Unfortunately, the Minnesota legislature has not seen fit to tailor the law to require a run-off between the top two. It’s hard for me to see why. It wouldn’t have guaranteed a clear winner, but it might well have done so.

PS Thanks to Del Delmonte, 12:51 PM, for a clear and concise explanation of the 2000 Florida election. I can never remember the sequence of events.

MrLynn on November 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM

To take a line from the old “Get Smart” TV show, Franken missed by just that much…………which for me was just too darn close. I know that there are lot of clowns in the U.S. Senate right now, but Franken would be the last straw.

SC.Charlie on November 29, 2008 at 6:11 PM

You know, if Reid does try something that stupid, I really do despair of the future of this country. If this happens, and it is allowed to stand, the message sent is that fraud and illegality is fine, as long as you brazenly declare it’s legal. The law becomes meaningless when we ignore what it says and simply force the outcome that is desired by those in charge.

austinnelly on November 29, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Harry Reid wants the United States to become a nation of laws that are badly written and randomly enforced as controlled by him.

Tav on November 29, 2008 at 7:37 PM

Any action by the Senate to render this election to Franken on that basis would have the effect of undermining the rule of law. That will be completely unacceptable to Minnesotans, as it should be to all states. Expect Minnesotans to take action if Reid pursues that path.

11:17 am on November 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Ed,

I doubt this.

In the year 2008, the left gets away with many things that they shouldn’t, and the public on the Conservative and Republican side of the fence put up little, if any fight.

If the Conservative and Republican side of the isle acted at all like Muslims, Homosexuals, racist/radical Blacks, racist/radical Hispanics, and Leftists, Radicals, Liberals, Democrats, then there would be millions out in the street, protesting Obama’s election, boycotting every single business, extorting and shaking down everyone who supported Obama, abortion, etc., with money, propaganda – i.e. the Media, Hollywood, etc., and demonstrating against Franken in Minnesota in order to stop him and his advocates from pushing through this miscarriage of justice and affront to honest voters.

I expect that The Democrats, with the power in Congress and soon the Executive Branch, and with numerous sympathetic judges in the Federal Courts, and Liberals/Lefitsts/Democrats ensconced in high positions, such as Secretary of State in their respective state, Governor, Attorney General, etc., in their states, will all pitch in to stick it to honest voters, read “Conservatives” and Republicans, and end up appointing Franken, and others in their respective races, to the Senate, while stealing the election from Norm Coleman, his voters, and others like him throughout the USA, including Georgia.

I just don’t trust the left to be honest and follow the rules, unless it serves to help them. Otherwise all bets are off and no respect is afforded the voters who elected the Conservative or Republican.

William2006 on November 29, 2008 at 7:53 PM

You still suck, Minnesota. Find yourself another country.

Percy_Peabody on November 29, 2008 at 8:08 PM

by hook or by crook

reshas1 on November 29, 2008 at 8:15 PM

Expect Minnesotans to take action if Reid pursues that path.

“If you ended up not sending that pitchfork to Glenn Beck, you can now forward it to “Ed Morrissey, c/o am1280 The Patriot…”

eeyore on November 29, 2008 at 10:09 PM

Harry Ried is a pompous limp wristed punk. I do not care about the will of the voters if you are not smart enough to fill out a ballot correctly yhen your vote shold not be counted. Thats the bottom line stupid people should only be heard through the ballot if they can figure out how to fill it out properly. Now with all the dimwhitted white guilt liberals who voted in this election and the same group of election oberservers i find it sad that even these losers could not figure out how to vote correctly. Hell you would have thought after florida 2000 that dem’s would learn how to vote correctly but obviously these masters of stupidity not only refuse to learn but multiply just like rats.

Irvin88 on November 30, 2008 at 12:57 AM

Nice screen cap: has Franken had a stroke or something?

Jaibones on November 30, 2008 at 12:59 AM

Jaibones on November 30, 2008 at 12:59 AM

Maybe he was about to shed his human form there. He did, after all, argue that the Lizard People vote was his.

chunderroad on November 30, 2008 at 1:43 AM

You are correct, Republicans in Congress are spineless.

No, they aren’t. They beleive that it’s benath them to get down in the gutter with the Democrats, and that somehow they’ll be rewarded for not doing so. So, they’re delusional, not spineless. Not that it matter. The end result is the same. They let the Democrats get away with murder, since the Democrats have absolutely no shame whatsoever.

eyedoc on November 30, 2008 at 8:38 AM

Maybe he was about to shed his human form there. He did, after all, argue that the Lizard People vote was his.

LMAO. Drudge has the same picture up – are we finally seeing media recognition of Allah’s mad screen cap skillz?

Jaibones on November 30, 2008 at 10:28 AM

“A citizen’s right to have his or her vote counted is fundamental in our democracy.”

Yes, but what is the definition of “vote” here. It’s not just someone’s wish about a choice; it has to be a legal vote, i.e. a legal indication properly delivered. For example, you can’t show up, say, after the poll closes and demand to cast a vote with the argument “my vote must count”. Given strict specific rules about what exactly is an acceptable choice-indication, or vote, the state should adhere to these rules and dismiss illegal “votes”. If you don’t make a clearly proper absentee “vote” then it’s just too bad. Authorities should not be required to agonize over it.
.

Of course, one can’t expect a democrat like Harry Reid to be clear headed. But we should expect clear-headedness from state and federal judges.

Chessplayer on November 30, 2008 at 11:16 AM

“A citizen’s right to have his or her vote counted is fundamental in our democracy.”

This from the Scumbag Party, which tried to disallow absentee votes from active duty soldiers in 2004.

Jaibones on November 30, 2008 at 12:24 PM

If Reid illegally gives the election to Franken, then the government has declared itself a dictatorship, there’s no question.

From that moment on, American citizens have no obligation to listen to the government, pay taxes or to obey any arbitrary laws.

Obama/Reid want to be King George III, they will suffer the fate of the British.

NoDonkey on November 30, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Here’s my theory about Stuart Smalley. He [Franken] is that way because

HE’S SMALLS IN THE B*LLS, Y’ALLS!

Any Minnesotan voting for him clearly has the end of America in mind!

BobAnthony on November 30, 2008 at 7:16 PM

You are correct, Republicans in Congress are spineless.

That’s why there’s The Constitution Party–The REAL Republican Party.

BobAnthony on November 30, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Any action by the Senate to render this election to Franken on that basis would have the effect of undermining the rule of law. That will be completely unacceptable to Minnesotans, as it should be to all states. Expect Minnesotans to take action if Reid pursues that path.

So why is that same outrage utterly absent as Franken prepares to sue? There absolutely had to be recount since Coleman was bad enough to not win by clear majority. That doesn’t mean once the recount happens (more transparent and fair than most it appears) the loser has to to sue to farm for votes that were initially ruled out and then ruled out by the canvassing board. That’s two decisions that Lizard People isn’t a legitimate vote. Where’s the outrage that the loser gets a third chance to change the outcome?

Question moving forward will Coleman become a Neo-RINO as a result of this election. An avid supporter of anything that comes out of the left without any pretense of being a Republican and possibly jumping ship at some critical point in the future? I, sadly, think so because I see nothing in Coleman’s character to suggest that he has moral fiber or ideological viewpoint compatible with the GOP and conservatives. After this election he’s going to be a whore to the polls and the fact that MN is essentially a far-left state stuck in the middle of the real part of America.

highhopes on November 30, 2008 at 8:35 PM

Sen Reid and Rep. Pelosi always claim disenfranchisement when the votes are close and they are on the loosing side.

Why don’t they just say we want a recount to see where they messed up messing with the voting process so they can arrange to have the missing votes show up like magic. All because they want to maintain power.

As I always say lawyers should be banned from running for political office because it is a conflict of interest (writing, voting/supporting laws that only those who wrote them can defend them in court when/if they are out of political office).

However, in Franken’s case he is making our election process a laughing stock.

MSGTAS on December 1, 2008 at 9:26 AM

if reid and the senate was to do this, then when the republicans got control again, it should be, bye-bye demo’s

BruceB on December 1, 2008 at 3:31 PM

You still suck, Minnesota. Find yourself another country.

Percy_Peabody

I know you’re just an idiotic troll, but I can’t help myself. In a blue state in what should have been a strong Dem year, we elected a republican to senate. The only way that Coleman doesn’t go back to the senate for a second term is if people outside this state, Reid or some federal judge, decides that they know what’s better for us and think our laws don’t matter.

My only explanation for your idiocy is that you’re a cheesehead.

strictnein on December 2, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Comment pages: 1 2