Two years ago when the votes were counted in the US Senate race in Minnesota, Republican Norm Coleman was ahead of Democratic Al Franken, which automatically triggered a recount. The Republicans screamed about that recount from day one, saying the worse they could say about Franken and Democrats in general, even though a) the recount was automatic and b) the applicable wisdom strongly suggested that an errors would favor Republicans, and a recount would likely swing the numbers in favor of a Democratic candidate by several hundred votes. That recount happened, again with the Republicans kicking and screaming and whinging and griping the entire time about how Al Franken and the Democrats were ruining democracy.

At the end, Franken won what the junior Senator from Minnesota now refers to as “The most efficient senatorial race ever carried out in the State of Minnesota. No votes were wasted.”

Now, the Democratic candidate for Governor in this year’s election has received about nine thousand votes more than the Republican candidate. Twenty times the difference in from the Franken-Coleman recount, but still, enough to trigger a recount.

Based on what the Republicans said two years ago, their candidate, Emmer, should simply step aside now, insist that no recount is necessary, and allow Mark Dayton the courtesy of moving forward with a transition.

But no. Not only is Emmer not going to withdraw, but the republicans are claiming that there is now way that Dayton could have gotten so many votes without something illegal happeing, with a leader in the state legislature claiming that “something does not smell right.”

Indeed. Something does not smell right.

What is going to happen, of course, is that the recount is going to move forward, and the number of votes by which Dayton beats Emmer is going to increase. Or at least, that is what the applicable wisdom would predict. In any event, the prospect of 9,000 or so votes going away (or 4,500 or so votes switching) is pretty slim. Mark Dayton will be the next governor of Minnesota. It will probably take a few months, though I have not looked at the process in any detail yet.

And, you can fully expect the Republicants to spend the entire time whinging and accusing and belly aching and sputtering and tossing whatever wrenches they have into the Democratic Process.

One big difference between the last recount and this one is this: Although the stakes are huge for us here in Minnesota … we’ve temporarily lost our DFL majority in the state house and a Republican governor in combination with a GOP majority there would be truly devastating (especially this governor), the national stakes at the time of the Franken-Colemen recount were huge. Huge enough for every recount-experienced operative and lawyer in the entire country to converge here and a zillion dollars to be raised to support the process on both sides. There will be a huge effort here, but it can’t possibly be as large an operation. Yet, every vote will need to be recounted.

So … let’s get to work. Unless, of course, Tom Emmer wants to do the right thing. Which is highly unlikely.

Comments

  1. #1 Larian LeQuella
    November 3, 2010

    I find it amazing at how short people’s memories can be. Well, not amazing, but rather disheartening if you look at last night’s results.

  2. #2 kittywhumpus
    November 3, 2010

    They think that it does not “smell right” that they won the Senate and the House, but Dayton is still in the lead.

    One could point out that the GOP won the Senate and the House, but our DFL Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Attorney General all won, and that doesn’t “smell right.”

    Or that Tim Pawlenty won re-election, and the DFL held the House and Senate.

    People in general don’t make sense. Voters seem to make even less sense lately.

    I just love that the GOP is being so mature about it, once again, with comments like “We’re not going to get rolled again” and “It’s Recount II: This time it’s personal.”

    No, it’s not personal, it’s the law.

    And it was the law in 2008.

  3. #3 sailor
    November 3, 2010

    “I find it amazing at how short people’s memories can be. Well, not amazing, but rather disheartening if you look at last night’s results.”
    Yes but it was predictable. The economy is what it was all about. When Obama took the middle road on the stimulus rather than Krugman’s more realistic idea of double that much money. (Much of which I think should have gone into direct government projects that employ a lot of people, rather than doing it via the private sector)I figured – there go the mid terms; a failure of audacity I am afraid. That said, Obama has done a lot, but the economy was what the democrats needed to do to get reelected.

  4. #4 Uomo Del Ghiaccio
    November 3, 2010

    In reality, the recount that produced Al Franken as a Senator was a total farce riddled with faulty ballots and double standards. I don’t blame the Republicans in allowing the required recount to happen.

    Regardless of any position that Al Franken takes, he will forever be seen as a joke. I fully expect that he will lose when he runs again and will probably have a Democrat challenger as well.

  5. #5 Ema Nymton
    November 3, 2010

    Holy fuck!

    Uomo is really fucking stupid!

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    November 3, 2010

    Uomo, what you don’t realize, or don’t want to realize, is that Minnesotans brag about having Franken as our senator. (We have another. She’s a kind of wimpy Democrat. Nobody brags about her much.) There were plenty of people who didn’t take him seriously during his election because he’d worked as a comedian. There aren’t very many people left who don’t know how effective, smart and dedicated he is as our spokesperson.

    He’s doing Wellstone proud, and we know it.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    November 3, 2010

    Satirist

  8. #8 Burberry Handbags
    November 3, 2010

    Olá amiga, amei todos os seus trabalhos são lindos, adoro vir até aqui para passear ver coisas lindas, adorava que amiga visse o que eu postei em meu blog, dei uma passadinha até lá, obrigada

  9. #9 Mike Haubrich
    November 4, 2010

    The 2008 recount was closely watched and monitored by parties of both sides. The Ramsey Country commission that oversaw the recount included judges approved and nominated for the commission by Pawlenty. So, crybabies like Umomo just don’t like that their guy lost and are willing to slam the integrity of honest people.

    Al Franken will end up being known as one of the best senators we have ever had. The namn he succeeded was a joke who voted how Cheney told him to.

  10. #10 Pierce R. Butler
    November 4, 2010

    Two years ago when the votes were counted in the US Senate race in Minnesota, Republican Norm Coleman was ahead of Democratic Al Franken, which automatically triggered a recount.

    An automatic recount whenever Republicans are ahead?

    Great concept – Franken & Whatsername ought to propose it as an amendment for the national constitution as well!

  11. #11 Stephanie Z
    November 4, 2010

    Oh, he was definitely a satirist. Still is. But most people knew him as Stuart Smalley, where, as an actor, he was a comedian. If more people knew his satiric work, he’d have had an easier time of it, I think. After all, that’s one of the things making him more popular these days. He can sit in the Senate and satirize the idiocies even as he takes the whole process very seriously.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    November 4, 2010

    If you mention Al’s “comedy” background to him he robotically interjects the term “satirist” … trying to be funny.

    Smiley was something of a satire.

  13. #13 Stephanie Z
    November 4, 2010

    Smiley was a massive satire, and Minnesotans in particular really have no excuse for not recognizing it as one. Writers, however, are invisible to most people.

  14. #14 upurs
    November 12, 2010

    Franken failed as a comedian on SNL. He just wasn’t funny.

    Minnesota is stuck in reverse for some reason. After the dim-wits put “Jesse the Body” in place, I knew I was living in a state of fools.

    Want to know who freaking contributes to this state? It won’t be henepin county That’s the largest concentration of welfare recipients in the state. It wont be the Unions in northern minnesota, they are the ones who got the bailout job money to put THEM back to work.

    Look at the center of the state. The BIG RED SPOTS, the place where people get off their a$$es in the morning and actually WORK. The small businesses that are a major portion of the the BREAD basket of the state.

    Liberals go back to California and smoke your ‘window box herbs’. This hippie spawn has rooted itself in Minnesota, and panders to the votes of the career welfare veterans and the performs as the sows tit for the Union… (This is the summary definition of a democrat.) The Farmers don’t want YOU.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Minnesota_Presidential_Election_Results_by_County,_2008.svg

  15. #15 Jared
    November 12, 2010

    That red blotch is also a map of child abusers, corrupt city councils, creepy murderers, racist acts, low education levels, and the highest rates of public assistance outside of the inner city slums, in the state. And everybody in your red zone who has a “job” is a farmer most of whom are on the dole.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2010

    upurs: Funny, your IP address shows you to be from a rocky mountain state, not Minnesota. Perhaps you are confused.

    (Normally I don’t check IP addresses but I suspected upurs was “Evolution Denier” so I was checking on that.)

    Jared, that is my impression as well.

  17. #17 Stephanie Z
    November 12, 2010

    “Hennepin County is the wealthiest county in the state of Minnesota and one of the 100 Highest-income counties in the United States.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hennepin_County,_Minnesota

  18. #18 Stephanie Z
    November 12, 2010

    “Al Franken is best known for nearly two decades of work on Saturday Night Live. During that time he wrote, performed in and produced hundreds of sketches, including “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” and “The Final Days,” a piece about the last days of Richard Nixon’s presidency.” [emphasis added]

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0291253/

  19. #19 Stephanie Z
    November 12, 2010

    Interestingly, if you look at unemployment by county in Minnesota, you’ll note that more than half of the counties with the lowest rates of unemployment are in a district that voted Democratic in the last House race, while almost all those counties with the highest rates are in a district that swung to the Republicans.

    http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/Data_Publications/Data/Current_Economic_Highlights/County_Unemployment_Rates.aspx

    But, hey, all those are just facts, right? What do those mean?