Today could be one of the last big days of action in the Great MN Senate recount so feel free to use this diary as an OPEN THREAD for 2 major events. Because of a postponement THIS MORNING the State Canvassing Board will meet for 2 hrs. starting at 9:00amCT. THIS AFTERNOON at 2:00pmCT the MN Supreme Court will hear 1 hour of arguments on Coleman's suit to a) issue a Restraining Order to keep the Board from certifying the final totals 12/31, and b) to rule yea/nay/half-a-loaf on about 125 duplicate ballots that may have been double counted.

Your WineRev has the early shift and in retail in these next couple days it will go late, so its up to you, people. Rec this up, post your comments, fill in tidbits and reports from livestreams for those of us stuck at work or laboring in horrific conditions like 73 degrees and light winds as kossack neonineten weighed in yesterday morning {(((hugs))) for all you do!}.

Some of us (single digit highs, 3-5 inches new snow predicted; ah to be back 30 years (30!) in Breckenridge CO as a ski bum, running a lift on Peak 8, 5 inches fresh morning powder......*wistful sigh*) have it easier passing under the fold to the (recount) infinity (and beyond) of Orange ballots.

Live Streams (should be live links on newspaper pages):
The Uptake:http://www.theuptake.org/
Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/...

0) NEW NUMBERS. No change at the Sec. of State's website as of 10:00pm Mon. night BUT TheUpTake is reporting the Sec. of State's office has released a preliminary spreadsheet after adding back the UN-challenged/withdrawn challenged ballots. A diary from Vote for America (hat tip!) adds more:http://www.dailykos.com/... On Saturday the Franken camp said they would be at +35 to +50 at this point.
The report from the spreadsheet is Franken +48. (Nice shootin' Tex!)
     OK its a cliche but.....this is GOOD NEWS for Franken.
    1) It shows his number crunching team knows their chops.....which bodes well for further guesstimates on their side. The continuing silence from the Coleman side picks up some ominous overtones (Beethoven's 5th, 1st movement maybe? "Fate knocking on the door"?)
    2) Yes, its down from the +241 figure from Saturday BUT the Frankenites initially expected to be at +4 at this point. More important-- This was the largest remaining batch of ballots left to go. It may be +48, but its a +48 a long step closer to the finish line, so this +48 is actually firmer than +241 before these 5300+ ballots were recompiled to their original candidates.
    3) Soooo....2 batches of ballots left: the 200-400 "blue folder" ballots that the Canvassing Board MAY rule on today and MAY include about 125 or so "duplicate/double-counted" ballots (which are at the bar in front of the Supreme Court this afternoon); AND the 1000-1600 rejected absentee ballots that are in "5th piles" in at least 87 locations in Minnesota (each county, + multiple sites in the larger cities).

1) Canvassing Board
     The Board postponed its meeting to today at 9:00am. They will hear from Ritchie and get an update on where the recount stands. Franken's number/lead MAY move around a bit; yesterday's spreadsheet was preliminary. The Board MAY deal with the "Blue Folder" challenged ballots. (The Blue Folder ballots are challenged ballots from both sides, numbering about 200-400) that each camp claimed some incident or irregularity about. The Board has made some noises about ruling on the challenges on the basis of voter intent and punting the "incident/irregularity" issues (sounds like a job for ex-lax!) to a court. If they are going to rule we all may be treated to a follow up show of "Judge this Ballot" which was a surprise hit across the internet last week. (TheUptake thinks there will definitely be a ballot show.)

2) Supreme Court
      A new player came in off the bench Monday: The Hennepin County Canvassing Board (HCCB). (Greater Minneapolis; most populous county). The HCC Board filed a brief with the Supreme Court denying facts the Coleman camp is claiming as basis for its suit.
      The capsule is here:

      Michael McIntee:  Hennepin County Canvassing Board files brief with MN Supreme Court saying Coleman's duplicate ballot suit should be dismissed:
    The Petition (Coleman's suit--WR) is predicated on a factual misunderstanding of the Hennepin County Respondents’(some of whom the Coleman suit is suing--WR) role in the recount for the United States Senate race and the role of county canvassing boards.   The error alleged in the Petition relates to actions which took place only during the recount and, contrary to the factual allegations in the Petition, the HCCB did not certify any recount results or provide any summary statements in the recount to the State Canvassing Board.   Moreover, county canvassing boards have no role in correcting errors alleged to have been made in a statewide recount.   Accordingly, the Petition with respect to the Hennepin County Respondents should be dismissed.

    You think the Justices might look to pin the Coleman side with this? Action starts at 2:00pmCT!

    And if you want to be on top of the action, BEFORE 2:00pm head over to Kossack FischFry's diary here:http://www.dailykos.com/... for a full rundown explained in non-legalese of what the suit, the motions and the motives are all about. (Great stuff!) THEN tune in at 2:00pm and be....an INFORMED FAN!

    Oh and the Franken Legal Team will have its say this afternoon too so you'll hear from both sides. While no one can predict what angles the Justices will pursue we do have a clue into the Franken Legal Team's attitude.
    I know an attorney is supposed to advocate for their client (indeed in a sophisticated language like Estonian the very word for "lawyer" is actually "advokaat") but Franken's lead man Marc Elias seemed in feisty form at a Monday presser answering questions about the end of the challenged ballot phase and the lawsuit about the "duplicate ballots."

Elias: "We are glad that the Coleman campaign has acknowledged that we will be ahead at the end of the challenge review process. There is no evidence that any ballot has been counted twice. None. The Coleman campaign has failed to show any legal or factual basis for their claim on this issue."

     Finally, over at the UpTake at the 9:24 mark from Monday morning there is a header saying both the Canvassing Board AND the MN Attorney General are responding to the Coleman suit, but the link doesn't seem to go anywhere (or it might; my computer is having a few hiccups Monday night). We might get more word Tuesday, but if true, those 2 players weighing in could be important in today's hearing or impact the ruling. Stand by and fill in if you find something!
3) Rejected Absentee Ballots
    These 1000-1600 votes are awaiting the SoS office and BOTH campaigns to agree on a process to open and count these mis-handled ballots.
    Coleman's chief atty. Knaak said they are "engaged in dialogue" on the matter, which sounds like more of that desperately needed "hot air" here in the Minnesota deep freeze.
    Deputy Sec. of State Jim Gelbmann said the talks about this were on but difficult: (h/t, Star Trib.)

    "We're trying," said Gelbmann, whose office is prodding the candidates to agree on a procedure. "It's like herding cats. We have not been successful as of yet."

Pat Doyle's article goes on to report (HEY! Journalism! Nice to see...some new facts; pithy quotes from an informed source intelligently describing a situation. Good job Pat!)

      Gelbmann said there also is concern that counting mistakenly rejected absentee ballots by precinct will effectively identify voters.
      "You're going to take away the ability of at least dozens if not scores of individuals to have their vote private," Gelbmann said.
      Gelbmann said the Supreme Court may want to consider a method for tallying mistakenly rejected absentee ballots that avoids this problem.
      The court order calls for the counting to be done by Dec. 31.

Touchy little situation, this one. Kudos to Gelbmann for being on top of it....and an early warning signal to the MN Supreme Court (who read the papers you know....but the smart ones read DailyKos :-)) they may have some work to do to bring this to an equitable close.

4) Republicans behaving badly (YET AGAIN!)
Yesterday afternoon kossack alphaaqua brought in a dripping, ugly quote from Politico:

     The Coleman campaign is laying the groundwork for an "illegitimate" election of Franken based on their press release from today:
     Politico story
   "If the balance of this process is handled legally and fairly, Norm Coleman will still be in the lead and will be well on his way to being elected to the US Senate," said Sheehan. But Sheehan cautioned that the secretary of state will present a misleading total tomorrow that "double-counts votes."
    He (Cullen Sheehan, Coleman's campaign spokesperson) may not really be accusing Secretary of state Ritchie of being intentionally misleading, but that is an easy inference to make.  Again, laying the groundwork for Coleman and Republicans to claim any final Franken win is not legitimate.  Something to keep in mind as the absentees are counted and the duplicate ballot issue is resolved.
    by alphaaqua on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 12:16:59 PM CST

This kind of stuff just infuriates me and I said so:

These are just shabby (1+ / 0-)
    tactics by Camp Coleman! IF Norm leads its legal and fair. If Norm trails its unfair and illegal!
    What sophistry!
    And NO Sheehan, Ritchie CAN'T include those "duplicate/double count" ballots because YOU have all them in your greasy little hands to lay before the Supreme Court tomorrow. They are IN DISPUTE (BY YOU) and so are not in Ritchie's coming totals....just like the "5th pile" ballots will also NOT be included in tomorrow's update because Team Norm hasn't finished being a horse's rear about agreeing to standards.
    What a turkey of statement! Fie on you Sheehan!
"God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

by WineRev on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 01:41:20 PM CST

(WineRev puts on semi-bald cap inplace of "years of brutal overindulgence in drugs", puts on big aviator sunglasses, fires up the mojo wire to the Rolling Stone, takes hit of ibogaine washed down by a tumbler of Wild Turkey and goes into Hunter S. Thompson screed mode:)
     What a herd of unregenerate swine! Of all the obnoxious, Nixonian slimy arrogance, that little rat bastard Cullen Sheehan smells like Ron Zeigler's vomit! Here Ritchie is doing his level best to keep 87 county auditors and their local help coming back to the office to face the same Franken and Coleman jello eaters without ripping their lungs out in place of "The Candidate."
     And now this little twerp comes whining about Ritchie about to deliver a recount update thats going to be full of double counted crap. If Ritchie would let me I'd visit that little punk with a jackhammer sap to the head and then go straight for the floating rib......where's Stedman to do a twisted drawing of that chiclet-toothed windbag Coleman?....(climbs into Jensen Interceptor, floors gas pedal and fishtails down the next 4 blocks. A BooHoo crossing the street behind the banshee driver picks up a set of dropped plastic press credentials, sees they have Thompson's name but no picture, grins, and heads for Coleman press conference.....)

Whew! Sorry about that but this sort of day old lutefisk just frosts my chain about Coleman and the current state of the Grand Old Party....(fumes)

Tuesday Morning and the Minnesota Media

  1. Hey Kossacks! Look, we're political junkies! Marisa Helms over at the MinnPost reports on you and me watching the State Canvassing Board. On Friday alone the Star Trib site had over 45,000 unique viewers watching their live stream.....and the UpTake (YAY new media: McIntee, Kunin & Jennifer---I think I've listed half the masthead!) reported over 20,000. Great job by the new kids on the block. Full story here:http://www.minnpost.com/...
  1. Hey Kossacks! Want to prove you are political junkies? Head over TheUptake early for a backgrounder video on THIS MORNING'S Canvassing Board meeting. See McIntee's real face! Looks like the Board WILL rule today on challenged ballots (Blue Folder) and TheUpTake will be working a 3 camera feed (the big time baby! Desi Arnaz would be proud!) including viewing of challenged ballots. So one more round of stray marks/lizard people(?)/FSM/"Thank you for counting my vote" FUN and Games!

Video Link here:http://the-uptake.groups.theuptake.o...

  1. Terrific Al Franken photo blog and history from a dairy by kossack dworth here (you'll enjoy the walk; no mittens required!):


  1. Pat Doyle's story gets A1 but the reluctant headline "Franken Leads but margin narrows". Reports the move from +251 to +48 and notes its in line with what Frankenites had claimed....both sides opinions one what the court opinion might be...the story has an air to it that this could drag out forever instead of noting the last milestones are upon us with the court case and the 12/31 deadline for the improperly rejected absentees.....and then the final good bit with Gelbmann that I incorporated above.

3 LTEs pretending to be "fair and balanced": 1 mercifully short screed from Maple Grove (NW exurb, Mpls; McMansion country) calling on Ritchie to resign because of his harm to MN's reputation (he obviously got the RNC memo), 1 longish one from St. Paul slamming Coleman for wasting everyone's time and money with the stupidity of his ballots challenges (she obviously got OUR memo :-)), and 1 short one from Edina (Mpls. SW suburb, old money, "cake-eater" country) predicting the US Senate Democrats will take advantage of how "messed up" the recount has been to declare an Al Franken "win" (he obviously got the RNC "project on your opponent what we are planning to do/ would do if Mitch McConnell were majority leader" memo.)

OK got this up early so I'll stick around for a few comments then I gotta scoot. Hope this will hold you and YOU fill in and keep this going. Should be a full budget of news all day long and if you post it, we will come (and read it, analyze it, slam it, amplify it, serve pie with it, etc.) Thats all the latest for the moment from yust southeast of Lake Wobegon.


Originally posted to WineRev on Tue Dec 23, 2008 at 04:18 AM PST.

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