Details are just coming in now.

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They are suing regarding: the missing ballots from Minneapoilis (that won’t go anywhere, already settled); Double counting (that issue was killed off already, it will go no where) and absentee ballots (they have a small chance that this may develop into something).

They state that they will win in state court but have federal level issues to argue as well.

The won’t and the don’t. But it looks like they will continue to press.

We are being told that several Coleman lawyers are not being dispersed around the state to depose, under oath, election officials.

They are opposing several of the decisions made by the canvassing board such as the afore mentioned … missing ballots of Minneapolis.

Ana will be commenting below, I hope, on the missing ballots in Minneapolis.

They are talking about pre-trial phases, they are talking about a thee week period leading up to the trial, they are talking about a couple of months of proceedings.

Now they are threatening the Chief Justice … who was on the canvassing board. They want him off the State Supreme Court for this proceeding.

They are not making veiled threats to force a new recount.

Clearly, they are pulling out all stops and are not going to let this rest. This is the beginning of the Big Mess. The Republicans have decided that they are not going to allow the winner go to Washington no matter what it takes.

Time to start raising money for the Franken team again.

OK, done.

Comments

  1. #1 Lurkbot
    January 6, 2009

    Oh, this is going to bite the GOP in the ass, hard. People are not in the mood for this kind of shit any more. And really, it’s like Frank Capra during WWII: our side doesn’t have to shoot any footage ourselves. Just show their WATB bawling and let the viewers make their own evaluation: “We report, you decide.”

    A few clips from 2000, of the “Your guy lost, suck it up” variety wouldn’t hurt, either. Meanwhile, the Franken campaign should remain above it all, just saying that they want every vote that can possibly be legally counted to be counted, and they’ll stand aside while the absentees are reevaluated on that basis.

    At least two missing senators lowers the requirement for a cloture vote. Costco has popcorn on sale, so I’ll be out for a while….

  2. #2 ana
    January 6, 2009

    Franken response at 4 CST. Standing by…

  3. #3 morejello
    January 6, 2009

    Franken should just continually re-run the tape of Coleman saying that Franken should concede because of the early returns and “the will of the people and not making it into florida 2000″, or whatever nonsense he was spouting.

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    January 6, 2009

    Regarding your earlier prediction that this was a “bet the farm” move and potential political suicide, it seems that one of Coleman’s advisors is the late Earl of Montrose:

    Either he fears his fate too much,
    or his deserts are small,
    who will not put it to the touch
    to win or lose it all.

  5. #5 Analiese
    January 6, 2009

    I have not been able to find a copy on the www of Coleman’s contest filing, but have been assured by Jennifer at theuptake that Mike McIntee will soon post the copy he wrested away from Knack and Trimble at their presser. I can’t really comment on the merits of the case without the document, but Mark Elias is dubious. It seems that the Coleman camp will be reasserting their earlier challenges: “double counting” of duplicates, inclusion in the recount total of the Nov. 4th machine-counted results for the 133 MISSING Mpls. ballots, and something grasping at “equal protection” in the SCOMN decision on the process for dealing with improperly rejected absentees. At earlier proceedings, the Coleman lawyers produced NO EVIDENCE; granted, it was not the place for it, but we will have to wait to see what they’ve got, if anything…
    Elias noted that there is one new development in the contest: Coleman camp is seeking to REJECT ballots that were not initialed by the election judge. Again, I have no info on how many such ballots might exist, what it might matter to the courts, etc., but note that all that rhetoric about “counting all the votes” is bullshit. Their best chance of overturning the election at this point will be in throwing out votes.

  6. #6 Ana
    January 6, 2009

    K, it’s up:
    http://www.mncourts.gov/Documents/0/Public/Other/2008%20Elections/Notice_of_Contest.pdf

    Have to run out for a bit, but read and, um, enjoy?

  7. #7 OriGuy
    January 6, 2009

    D. C. Sessions: That would be the Montrose that was hanged by the Scottish Parliment, no?

  8. #8 D. C. Sessions
    January 6, 2009

    That would be the Montrose that was hanged by the Scottish Parliment, no?

    The same — he managed to switch flags once too often, as I read it.

  9. #9 Phil
    January 6, 2009

    Coleman has no chance of winning now. He’s hoping to take it to the Supreme Court…and have them throw him the election somehow. I don’t see how this is possible even for them, since the votes have been counted and now recounted. And most importantly, recounted to the standards both sides wanted before they knew the results.
    The GOP just want to frustrate and keep the Dems from seating another senator. Until of course all legal recourse is exhausted. Which could take..oh…until the next election.

  10. #10 Ana
    January 6, 2009

    Highlights from the Notice of Contest:

    My favorite part of this document is a paragraph that’s inserted strangely in the middle of the list of “numerous and material errors, mistakes and other irregularities” around which the Coleman camp is in Court. It reads:

    “Contestant Norm Coleman received the largest number of votes legally cast for the office of United States Senator from the State of Minnesota, Contestant Norm Coleman is entitles to the Certificate of Election and Contestee Al Franken is not entitles to the Certificate of Election for the office of United States Senator from the State of Minnesota.”

    Precious.

    Because of 18 or so of these assertions of “irregularities”, the motion claims:

    “…the number of votes validly cast for Contestant Norm Coleman during the General Election was materially greater than the number of Ballots certified for Contestant Norm Coleman by the Board, and a material number of Ballots were wrongfully and erroneously certified by the Board in favor of Contestee Al Franken. But for the existence of the above-described irregularities, mistakes and violations of law during the General Election and/or Recount, Contestant Norm Coleman would have been certified by the Board as having received the highest number of validly-cast votes for said office in the General Election and declared by the Board entitled to receive the Certificate of Election.”

    So that’s their argument. If they had done the counting, Norm would have won. Their charge of “irregularities” goes far and wide: in the “conduct” of the General Election, in the “counting, tallying, recording, adding, returning and canvassing” of Ballots, in the recanvass after the Election, in the Recount – including in rules and procedures adopted by the Board, in the absentees already litigated over (“by way of example only”), the duplicates (“on information and belief” that they exist), in the addition of “found” ballots during the Recount, in the addition of “missing” ballots (Mpls.), in erroniously opened absentee ballots, in erroniously counted absentees, in challenged ballots that were “erroniously and inconsistently rejected” and “counted and tallied” by the Board, in “illegally cast and counted votes for Franken”, and then with the thing about the judges initials on ballots.

    Both the Board and the local canvassing boards “failed to detect and correct obvious errors”, they say.

    They are asking, in order to “properly prepare their case for trial”, to be allowed to inspect Ballots and Election Materials “without limitation”, and that the Court order a recount of specified precincts.

    They ask for a stay issuance on the Certificate, a panel for hearing, appointment of ballot inspectors, a recount of “lawfully cast” ballots, an amendment of the certified vote totals, and to declare that Norm is the winner, and to pay his fees and give him any further “relief as permitted” by law.

    More later…

  11. #11 Ana
    January 6, 2009

    The also want rubber stamps and adding machines.

    And NO LUNCH BREAKS during the recount recount!

  12. #12 Stephanie Z
    January 6, 2009

    Well, I’m sure the lack of lunch breaks will endear them to all involved.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    January 6, 2009

    The document seems to include copies of the absentee ballots they want counted. How do we know that they have not contacted those individuals a priori? Is it not the case that these are now identified ballots?

  14. #14 Pyre
    January 6, 2009

    Greg: Why would they need to contact the voters? They only need to compare the names on the envelope to party registration lists, campaign donor lists, etc. Then they have a strong likelihood of guessing correctly the way the ballots were cast.

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    January 7, 2009

    Pyre. Well, we know that they did that for sure. I was wondering if they went beyond that.

  16. #16 Pyre
    January 7, 2009

    Greg: I think the risks would outweigh the benefits. If just one or a few of those voters were to come forward saying they’d been asked how they voted before the Coleman campaign picked its preferred ballots, the fallout would be deadly. Better not to ask, and count on the list-checking to give you a high percentage of the votes in those ballots. (Besides, getting 100% of them would strain public credulity.)

  17. #17 Ana
    January 7, 2009

    Greg: Are you talking about Exhibits B-1 (absentees not opened) and B-2 (absentees opened and counted)? Yes, there are “identifying marks”, but you can’t really get around that on an absentee ballot; I’m pretty sure that rule only applies to ballots cast at polling places. Listed in exhibit B-1 (those marked as “accepted”, those not marked as “accepted” or “rejected”, those with “judge error” (according to Coleman), and those delivered to the wrong precinct) are “representative examples” and I’m not sure if that means he wants all those listed counted, or if he wants only others like them counted. In any case, yes, they are selected ballots expected to favor Coleman. Franken also would have liked to include more rejected absentees, which may have favored him, in the Recount. In Exhibit B-2, “representative examples” of ballots opened and counted do include a couple that do not bear witness signatures. I suspect Knack will argue the “inconsistency”, but I’m not sure how that argument will fare given that decisions over which ballots to include in the recount and those to reject again were made with guidance from the SCOMN. Then again, the Court did make clear in their ruling that an election contest would be the appropriate time for such consideration. It is absolutely possible that a panel of judges could order a Recount-recount.

    Another thing I found interesting in going through the Exhibits was that of the 22 precincts named as places where “double-counting” occured, 17 of them are in Minneapolis, 3 in St. Louis County (Duluth), and 1 in Dakota County (Saint Paul) – quite “Blue” areas. Also, you might remember how Trimble and Knack went on and on at the SCOMN hearing on the petition of “double counting” that Cindy Reichert had issued statements that such had definitely occurred in Mpls.; they had no “evidence”, but made the claim enough to make me wonder what she had told them. Well, it seems she told them nothing. Included in the exhibits here are a number of news accounts (AP, Pioneer Press, TwinCities.com, AP again, Star Tribune) of her original surmise, in an attempt to explain the missing 133, that there may have been double-counting of write-in ballots in precinct 3-1. This was not her conclusion, of course, as it was soon thereafter understood that an entire envelope was missing and totals from Election night were used in the Recount.

  18. #18 Beowulff
    January 7, 2009

    Do I get this right? Is Coleman now going to argue in court that he wants certain absentee ballots looked at, while he tried to stop the recount of all absentee ballots in an earlier court case? I’m confused.

  19. #19 Greg Laden
    January 7, 2009

    There is a perfectly logical explanation for this. Coming soon.