Archive for the ‘Minnesota Politics’ Category

I’ve criticized the DFL for the absence of spending priorities. In this statement, Rep. Steve Gottwalt has questioned the DFL’s budget priorities:

The DFL is quick to criticize, but despite their overwhelming majorities in both houses, they have not provided one shred of leadership in solving our state budget deficit! Where is their plan? They have the benefit of the same information the Governor’s Office has, and have had more than ample time to consider the same challenges. So where is their solution, their ideas, their vision forward? There isn’t one, and Minnesotans will be subjected to weeks of bashing and wailing over the tough decisions contained in the governor’s budget proposal before we see any inkling of a DFL solution (i.e., “revenue enhancers”, better known as tax increases). Minnesotans did not elect us to ponder and criticize; they elected us to address the challenges facing our state, and they cannot take more tax burden. They are struggling to live within their means, and government should do no less! So far, it’s only Governor Pawlenty and the GOP providing leadership on how not only to address the current budget shortfall, but reform systems of government, and position our business climate to attract and grow jobs.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt
House District 15A

I’d be surprised if the DFL didn’t take the next month on the road criticizing Gov. Pawlenty’s budget. Remember that this is the bunch that didn’t pass budget targets in 2007 even though it’s mandated. If they’re truly the majority party, what’s the leadership’s solutions to today’s problems? We know that Assistant Senate DFL Leader Tarryl Clark thinks that “maybe we could figure out how to save about $500 million.”

Since the deficit is $4.8 billion and growing, possibly to $7 billion, it’s a safe bet that the rest will either come from Obama’s stimulus package or tax increases. That isn’t a plan. That’s patching things together and hoping people accept it.

Thus far, Gov. Pawlenty, along with the House and Senate GOP Caucuses, have been the people who’ve thought outside the box. They’ve been the innovators. By pinning their hopes on Pelosi’s spending bill and by voting against the GOP’s costcutting proposals that would have had politicmoral ground’ on the status quo. That’s if such a mythical place exists.

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This afternoon, I had the privilege of participating in a blogger conference call with Sen. Norm Coleman. (Ryan Flynn, who’s doing a great job at MDE, also participated in the call.)

The first thing I noticed was that Sen. Coleman sounded confident that he’d be the winner if uniform standards were applied, double-counted votes were eliminated and that the only thing that got counted as a vote was the information found on a physical ballot.

Another thing that stood out for me was that Sen. Coleman’s emphasis on this being decided in Minnesota in accordance with Minnesota’s election law, not by Harry Reid and Al Franken.

I asked Sen. Coleman if he knew, to the best of his knowledge, of a time when a candidate got votes counted that couldn’t be verified with physical ballots. He talked about a precedent in southern Minnesota in which only physical ballots were counted. Sen. Coleman then mentioned that there wasn’t much in the way of precedent on this issue.

As I said here, Franken’s lead shrinks dramatically when you eliminate the 100+ vote Franken gained from double-counting. It shrinks even more when the 46 votes Franken gained in the recount by going by the scanning machine tapes rather than by going strictly by physical ballots.

Obviously, as a partisan Republican, I’d prefer seeing Sen. Coleman get re-elected. first and foremost, though, is I want all the ballots counted that were properly cast, I want all relevant election laws followed to the T and I want the fifth pile absentee ballots to be accepted or rejected according to Minnesota law, not because a Franken political hack had veto power over which ballots should be accepted and which should be rejected.

I thank Sen. Coleman for taking the time to talk with bloggers on the recount. ?I found it informative.

Finally, this is typical Norm. One of the things I’ve appreciated about him is his staying in touch with Minnesotans through his blogger conference calls. We need more legislators in Washington, DC and in St. Paul that actually make time to listen. My biggest complaint with Washington, DC politicians is that they don’t listen but they do think they know better than the rest of us. That description has never fit Norm Coleman.

That’s why I hope he wins this recount.

UPDATE: Janet of SCSUScholars also participated in the Coleman conference call. Follow this link to read Janet’s post.

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Harry Reid will attempt to seat Al Franken as the junior senator from Minnesota. His logic, if it can be called that, is disturbing:

“We’re going to try to seat Al Franken,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters on Wednesday, a few hours before he posed with Franken for photos just off the Senate floor. “There’s not a question in anyone’s mind, an assertion by anyone, that there’s been any fraud or wrongdoing in this election.”

Sen. Reid is trying to overlook the fact that Sen. Coleman has said that there’s been wrongdoing “in this election.” It’s apparent that Sen. Reid didn’t read King’s post on all the different ‘oddities’ that have occured during the process.

Rest assured of this: If Reid is successful in seating Franken before the election contest is finished, that will fire up the Republican base across the country. That will be the GOP’s rallying cry in 2010. It’s one thing to lose an election. It’s another for the Senate Majority Leader to say that he’ll ignore the will of Minnesota’s voters.

John Cornyn, who’s chairing the NRSC, says not so fast:

After the Reid-Franken meeting, Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, said: “With every press conference and photo-op, it becomes more apparent why Harry Reid and Al Franken want to circumvent Minnesota law and avoid a fair and legal review of the ballots – they’re worried about what the outcome might be.

“The fact is that if Al Franken truly believes he won this election, he should respect the laws of his state and allow this legal review to be completed,” Mr. Cornyn said.

I’ve said before that Sen. Coleman faces an uphill fight in this election contest, though I’m certain that, at minimum, Franken’s lead will be narrowed and eliminated at worst. I noted here that the process used to determine which ballots from the infamous “fifth pile” of absentee ballots was flawed because it gave both campaigns veto power over which fifth pile ballots would get counted. That’s contradictory to clearly-written Minnesota election law. Minnesota election law clearly gives that responsibility to local election officials. Here’s the criteria laid out in Minnesota election law for determining whether absentee ballots are accepted or rejected:

The election judges shall mark the return envelope “Accepted” and initial or sign the return envelope below the word “Accepted” if the election judges or a majority of them are satisfied that:
(1) the voter’s name and address on the return envelope are the same as the information provided on the absentee ballot application;
(2) the voter’s signature on the return envelope is the genuine signature of the individual who made the application for ballots and the certificate has been completed as prescribed in the directions for casting an absentee ballot, except that if a person other than the voter applied for the absentee ballot under applicable Minnesota Rules, the signature is not required to match;
(3) the voter is registered and eligible to vote in the precinct or has included a properly completed voter registration application in the return envelope; and
(4) the voter has not already voted at that election, either in person or by absentee ballot.
There is no other reason for rejecting an absentee ballot. In particular, failure to place the envelope within the security envelope before placing it in the outer white envelope is not a reason to reject an absentee ballot.

The law doesn’t provide for partisans to have a veto over which ballots are accepted or rejected. That ruling shouldn’t be allowed to stand because the court, in essence, has written new election law. Writing Minnesota’s election laws is the responsibility of Minnesota’s legislature. PERIOD.

Tom West, the GM/editor of the Morrison County Record, highlights another oddity in the process:

And then there is the infamous Minneapolis Ward 3 Precinct 1, where 133 ballots allegedly turned up missing. The original count is still being used, which increases Franken’s margin of victory by 46 votes. How can a recount include numbers with no paper trail? Most likely, those ballots never existed, but 133 others were double counted.

Here’s the portion of Minnesota’s election law that deals with recounts:

Recounts are typically administrative proceedings with the scope limited to the manual recount of the ballots validly cast for the office or ballot question and the declaration of the results. A recount is performed by a canvassing board or by its staff.

In other words, Minnesota election law limits recounts to the recounting of physical ballots.

The bottom line is simple: Harry Reid and Al Franken don’t know what the outcome of the election challenge will be. That’s why they want him seated ASAP. The last thing they want is for their bloviating to be exposed as utter nonsense.

Recent history indicates that Reid’s predictions aren’t particularly worthwhile. in fact, his predictions have been worthless. (See “The Surge has failed” for proof of that.)

Republicans will stick together on filibustering Reid’s attempt to seat Mr. Franken. That’s why Reid’s attempt should be seen for what it is: a predictable move that isn’t based on the will of Minnesota voters. That’s why his attempt should be scuttled.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Today, Gov. Tim Pawlenty delivered his State of the State Address. His speech focused on eliminating the current deficit, creating jobs and re-inventing government. His greatest emphasis, though, was on job creation. The cornerstone of Gov. Pawlenty’s job creation plan is lowering Minnesota’s business tax rate. That’s one of the things that won’t sit well with the DFL.

As part of his Job Recovery Act, Gov. Pawlenty proposed cutting “Minnesota’s business tax rate in half, from the current 9.8 percent business tax rate to 4.8 percent over the next 6 years.” Telling a DFL legislator that the way to create jobs is by cutting the marginal tax rates for businesses by 50 percent is like flashing a wooden stake in front of a vampire. They surely won’t like this section of his speech either:

Imagine a typical Minnesota kitchen table. A mom and dad have just tucked the kids into bed with a kiss and a prayer, and they come back to the table to confront economic reality.
On the table are bills, notices and a notepad with a budget that’s tighter than it’s ever been. Hope and fear are also at the table.
How do we pay these bills? How do we fix the car? How do we pay this mortgage? How are we going to afford college or even retire someday?
The same emotions, concerns and urgency at that Minnesota kitchen table must be at all the tables we sit at here at the Capitol, the budget hearing table, the agency tables, and the negotiating tables.
And this day, on behalf of Minnesotans sitting at their kitchen tables, I ask each member of the legislature:
Please don’t add to their burden by increasing their bill from government.
Please don’t take more of their hard earned money.
Please don’t raise their taxes.
The couple at the kitchen table begin by setting priorities. What’s most important? What can we afford? What do we give up? How can we do things differently? We need to ask and answer the very same questions.
The budget I’ll be proposing in just a couple of weeks will rely on significant reductions in state spending, as well as using other resources currently available. The details of that budget will be presented and debated fully very soon. Today, I’m going to focus on the strategic steps Minnesota needs to take to prepare for the future.

Gov. Pawlenty’s job growth agenda is aggressive in nature. Here’s another part of his job growth agenda that’s sure to get alot of attention:

These days, lack of financing is a major barrier to small business success. To jump start small business job creation, I’ve proposed a 50 million dollar package of tax credits that will create over 100 million dollars in new investments.
In addition, I’m proposing a 25 percent refundable tax credit for small business owners that re-invest in their business quickly in order to stimulate our economy.
I’m also proposing a capital gains exemption for qualifying investments in small Minnesota businesses. This will encourage investment in Main Street and help grow jobs.
And here’s another thing, companies shouldn’t have to do a bunch of paperwork so they can qualify for a bureaucratic rebate from the sales tax they pay on equipment. Let’s just give them a 100 percent exemption from the sales tax – right away when they buy the equipment.

There can be no mistaking Gov. Pawlenty’s plan with the albatross being cobbled together in our nation’s capitol. Gov. Pawlenty’s investments will actually spur increased entrepreneurial activity. The DC stimulus package just spends alot of money on the special interest’s wish lists.

The best way to compare the DC stimulus package and Gov. Pawlenty’s package is with a firearms metaphor. The DC package isn’t focused on anything, kind of like shooting a sawed off shotgun. After pulling the trigger, there’s alot of lead flying but it’s flying in so many directions that you don’t know what will get hit.

Gov. Pawlenty’s package is the opposite. It’s focused like a target rifle with an expensive telescopic sight. It’s focused on giving small businesses incentives to re-invest in their company. It’s focused on saving these businesses money so they hire more employees. It’s focused on giving small businesses the incentive to start a job growth revolution.

This is welcome news for me. Last fall, I talked frequently about the DFL’s habit of raising taxes to pay for another bonding bill which would then turn into public works projects. While there’s always a need for public works projects, there’s been a veritable famine for increased entrepreneurial activity for longer than I’d like to remember.

Gov. Pawlenty’s job growth program will create jobs by letting small businesses keep more of their money and by giving them incentives to re-invest in their companies.

A number of legislators have told me that we “can’t build a fence around Minnesota to keep jobs here”, meaning that we have to give them incentives to stay here and give businesses the incentive to move here. Lowering the marginal tax rates for businesses from 9.8 percent to 4.8 percent is a fistful of incentives.

That’s what happens when politicians take a focused approach to dealing with the economy.

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Thanks to two cycles of conservative hardliners “teaching Republicans a lesson”, the GOP is all but irrelevant in the political process, both here in Minnesota and in Washington. Generally speaking, these hardliners didn’t work to get Republicans elected. In fact, they just took their ball and went home.

I didn’t have a New Years resolution until this morning but I’ve got one now. This year, I resolve to belittle anyone who whined about RINOs but didn’t work on a solution. I further resolve that I’ll question such people to within an inch of their life for not being solutions-oriented.

The reason I’m resolving to do these things is because these hardliners have put us in a position of legislative irrelevance. Here’s the example that I’ve cited over the weekend. Had the GOP been the majority party in the House, the disastrous transportation bill that passed wouldn’t have seen the light of day. A modest gas tax bill likely would’ve been passed instead.

Purist parties don’t have sufficient numbers to influence legislation, much less the numbers to set the agenda. That’s because the majority party controls the legislative agenda. Like Hugh Hewitt says, “Until you have the majority, you’ve got nothing.”

This post isn’t just about complaining, though. It’s also about motivating people to be part of the solution, not just part of the Whiners’ Choir. Last week, I wrote a post called Hunting the RINOhunters. It’s a post that highlights the fact that some high profile hardline conservatives have called conservatives RINOs because they didn’t vote their way on something.

The example I cited was Sue Jeffers calling Steve Gottwalt a RINO because he voted for the smoking ban bill in 2007. I then pointed out that calling Steve a RINO destroys Ms. Jeffers’ credibility because she ignored the string of health care reform proposals that relied heavily on free market principles. She also ignored Steve’s voting against every major tax increase and against the irresponsible spending bills that the DFL originally passed.

I’m told that Jason Lewis has a similar all-or-nothing mindset. At some point, hopefully in 2010, Lewis and Jeffers will use common sense and realize that letting the DFL have a veto-proof majority in the legislature serves no useful purpose. I pray that they see that they’re the ones who need to be taught a lesson. I further hope that they realize that the lesson they must learn is that we can’t afford to lose any more seats in the legislature because if we do, tons of awful legislation will get passed.

It’s time for the hardliners to become adults. It’s time they realized that they’re the reason why we’re being put in a defensive position in the legislature. It’s time that they realized that the only way to reverse this timeline to political irrelevance is by electing sufficient numbers of Republicans.

Frankly, at this point, I’d be ok if we retook the majority with some squishies. At least then we could set the agenda. That means we’d get to go on offense. It means putting the DFL on the defensive.

It’s possible for hardline conservatives to contribute to the health of the GOP without getting their way all the time. I know it’s possible because Andy Aplikowski is as hardlined a conservative as you’ll find. He fights for conservative principles every hour of every day of every year. When it’s time to elect Republicans, though, Andy gets involved in the nuts-and-bolts things that gets Republicans elected. Andy worked hard to get Republicans elected even if he personally didn’t agree with them. In the ‘offseason’, he works hard to identify people who’d make good candidates, then works on recruiting them.

That’s what adults do.

I’m not suggesting that we throw our principles away. I’m suggesting that taking a big picture view of elections will help us get more things from our agenda passed than taking a ‘tunnel-vision view’ of elections.

That’s the only path back from political irrelevance.

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Anything that Patrick Ruffini writes on the subject of using technology to return the GOP to majority party status immediately gets put on my must-reading list. Patrick posted something on the subject yesterday that I didn’t get to think through. I made reading and thinking it through a priority of my Saturday morning.

The starting point of Patrick’s post is Leon Wolf’s post that I also referenced. Further down in Patrick’s post is this nugget of wisdom that needs to be expanded on:

Attacking technology as a way to rebuild the party misses the point in another way. It assumes that technology is just a tool, that it doesn’t change the dynamics of the political process itself. And that it can’t be an instrument in nudging along the kind of change we all want on the issues and ideas front.

Were and the netroots primarily about technology or ideology? The answer is both. They were instruments for the ideological “reformation” of the party that just happened to use technology. They were both successful because they tied technology to sense of political purpose, direction, and action.

EXACTLY RIGHT!!! This isn’t an either-or question. It’s a rare double-sided truth. One wouldn’t exist without the other.

There’s great potential for technology to change existing political dynamics. I suspect that we could’ve changed a number of US House and Senate races had the RNC been more tech savvy. We could’ve changed even more races if we hadn’t frittered away our credibility on fiscal restraint issues.

Here’s something else we need to think about:

Without technology, the Democrats’ path to power would have looked very, very different. Their purpose-driven use of technology sped up the process of giving the grassroots an ownership stake within the party and feeling like they could safely get involved in official Democratic politics again.

The current leadership models of the RNC and the Minnesota GOP are top-down, leadership knows best models. That definition is the opposite of grassroots activism. In fact, it tells us that they know best & we’re just obligated to follow their orders. That isn’t just a flawed system. It’s a fatally flawed system. It isn’t enough to just tinker around the edges.

It’s time we demolished the current model and instituted a new bottom-up model. This new model would insist on the RNC and the MNGOP making time and listening to the activists instead of talking down to them.

Any candidate for RNC Chairman who doesn’t subscribe to that thinking should be ignored. Any candidate for chairman of the MNGOP who doesn’t have a history of thinking outside the box should be immediately eliminated. Here’s why it’s important:

Right now, there is a poisonous divide between the official Republican Party and the grassroots. This is the inevitable consequence of the bailouts, spending, and Medicare Part D and probably couldn’t be any other way after eight years in the White House. But over the next few years, it has to be a goal to get the grassroots looped back into the party and in fact get them in the drivers’ seat shaping the ideas and priorities of the party. For an opposition to be effective, it must be united. This means breaking down or rendering irrelevant the elitist mindset of the political class that divides it from the grassroots, and working as one united Republican Party in the think tanks, on the ground, and online to be an effective foil to the Obama Administration.

If there’s anything that the MNGOP leadership does consistently, it’s that it doesn’t listen to local activists. They’re professionals at barking out orders that undercut the efforts of local activists. There isn’t a big difference between the MNGOP and the RNC in that respect.

It’s time that the inside-the-Beltway types at the RNC, along with the control freaks in the MNGOP, to actually start listening to local activists. Until that happens, local activists will be forced to go around the elitists in leadership.

The Army of Davids concept is totally lost on these people. I’ve seen too many bits of proof that showed the leadership thinks that they’re the only people who know what they’re talking about. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

Utilizing Facebook, Twitter and other products will allow the activists to work around the leadership. That’s certainly what did. We the People should be putting forth suggestions on what our message is. We should use these tools to sharpen and refine our message, too.

Until we eliminate the elitism that inhabits the leadership at the state party and the RNC, we won’t repair the ‘GOP brand’. That must be our first priority unless we want to be the minority party for a generation.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Andy Aplikowski is liveblogging the State Central meeting. It’s today’s must reading.

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A loyal reader to LFR just emailed me about this morning’s meeting of the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce executives group meeting. This friend of LFR told me that Tarryl Clark made this startling announcement:

“I will not raise taxes” in terms of the looming state budget deficit.

This person attended the meeting so it’s firsthand, reliable information. Here’s my first reaction to Tarryl’s declaration:


Here’s my first reaction to Tarryl’s declaration:

How long before she breaks that promise???

Frankly, Tarryl doesn’t have alot of credibility on this issue. I’ll simply remind people of her evolving positions on tax increases through this Taxapalooza video:

Didn’t the DFL make the same promises in 2006? In light of this fact, shouldn’t we be more than a little skeptical of Tarryl’s statement? I pointed out in this post that Tarryl voted for every major tax increase that the Senate voted on:

MN 2007: S.F. 1024 (Business Taxes), Final Passage The Senate Omnibus Tax Bill increases the statewide property tax, paid by commercial, industrial and utility property, and increases the tax on Minnesota companies that use the foreign operating corporation structure. The Chamber opposes S.F. 1024 as a whole, even though there are two items within the bill, an up-front exemption for capital equipment and the acceleration of sales-only apportionment, that the Chamber supports.
MN 2007: S.F. 1611 (Income Tax), Final Passage The Minnesota Chamber opposes S.F. 1611, which creates a new 4th tax bracket for the individual income tax at 9.7%, the highest state income tax rate in the nation. This affects many small business owners that flow their business income through their personal income taxes.
MN 2007: S.F. 1986 (Transportation), Final Passage This is the Senate Transportation Finance bill, which the Minnesota Chamber opposes. The bill is heavy on taxes and fees for businesses. The Minnesota Chamber supports a more moderate package but this bill fails the cost-benefit analysis.

It’s time that Tarryl was held accountable for her evolving positions on tax increases. Frankly, I don’t think they’re evolving as much as they’re evasive. It’s my opinion that she’s said contradictory things before because she’s prepared to say whatever her audience at the moment wants to hear.

One thing I can’t accuse Tarryl of is lacking core principles. I don’t doubt but that she’s totally committed to raising taxes to support her unsustainable spending increases.

UPDATE: This loyal reader to LFR just sent me this update:

Her exact quote: “I’m not going to raise taxes!” (emphasis on the “I’m”) In fact, all the DFL legislators (Tarryl, Larry Haws and Larry Hosch) stated that raising taxes is not a good option.

The update also said this:

Rep. Dan Severson and Rep. Steve Gottwalt were in the room and heard her say it, as did Chamber executive, Teresa Bohnen.

It’s worth noting that Tarryl made these comments with the knowledge that the budget deficit will be the biggest in state history:

Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday that Minnesota’s budget will start hemorrhaging red ink in the next seven months, much sooner than he and other state officials had anticipated, and he’s ready to start cutting spending this month to stop the bleeding.

In a conference call from Philadelphia, where he and other governors met with President-elect Barack Obama, Pawlenty told reporters for the first time that he now expects the state to head into a deficit before the current two-year budget period ends June 30.

The immediate budget shortfall won’t be as severe as the massive deficit he expects in a revenue forecast that state finance officials will unveil Thursday, he said. Legislative analysts expect the forecast to project a $4 billion-plus deficit.

“I don’t think it (this year’s deficit) is going to be overwhelmingly large or unmanageably large, but there will be a noteworthy deficit in the current biennium,” he said. He expects the projected deficit for the next two years to be a “historic number.”

Tarryl can’t now say that she didn’t know about the historic nature of the deficits.

UPDATE II: I just spoke with Teresa Bohnen about Tarryl Clark’s quote. Ms. Bohnen said that the quote is accurate in its wording but that it was taken out of context. I invited Ms. Bohnen to make an official statement on this morning’s meeting, an invitation she immediately accepted.

Check back Thursday morning for Ms. Bohnen’s statement.

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It seems to me that Saxby Chambliss’ win in Georgia eliminates Al Franken’s ‘Senate Option’. The only logic behind Harry Reid seating Al Franken was if he made the Senate filibuster-proof. There’s no logic behind seating Franken to be the 59th Senate Democrat.

Franken’s campaign got a legitimate but small boost Tuesday and a small PR victory but Sen. Coleman is still heading back to Washington for a second term:

The day’s other news, which Franken’s campaign quickly described as a “breakthrough”, came when Ritchie’s office asked local election officials to examine an estimated 12,000 rejected absentee ballots and determine whether their rejection fell under one of four reasons for rejection defined in state law. The Secretary of State’s office asked that ballots that were rejected for something other than the four legal reasons be placed into a so-called “fifth category.”

The fifth category, Ritchie’s office said, could also include absentee ballots rejected for reasons that were “not based on factual information.” Ritchie’s office, while stressing that the ballots be examined but not counted, asked that the task be completed by Dec. 18.

The move appeared to give at least some new life to the Franken campaign’s longstanding effort to add to the recount what it estimates are as many as 1,000 improperly rejected absentee ballots.

Franken saying that there might be as many as 1,000 improperly rejected ballots is pure spin. It’s also an insult to the election judges because Franken is essentially saying that the election judges aren’t competent. As I said here, I’ll be surprised if there’s 500 absentee ballots that wind up in the infamous fifth pile. According to the Strib’s website, Franken still trails by 300 votes.

It’s worth remembering that Scott and Wright counties start their recounts this morning. I won’t be surprised if Sen. Coleman gains votes in those counties because they’re both heavily red counties.

Franken’s campaign heralded the news as a significant development, and said it came on a day when the campaign’s own internal recount showed that Coleman’s lead had dwindled to 50 votes. “[This] process is not complete until every vote is counted. And today’s directive is an important step,” said Andy Barr, Franken’s communications director.

What choice did Franken’s campaign have other than to trumpet this development as a monumental victory? Their campaign is on life support. Anything other than more bad news from the actual recount had to be good news for Franken’s campaign.

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I just read something in this Strib article that deserves a bigger spotlight. Here’s what Marc Elias, Franken’s lead recount attorney, said that caught my attention:

Drake also said the Franken campaign seemed to be moving closer to asking the U.S. Senate to decide the ultimate outcome, and said it was another sign Franken intended to “ignore the results of the recount.”

Elias denied that any decision had been made to put the election in the hands of the U.S. Senate, but added that “obviously, the Senate remains an option.”

I’ve got this question for Mr. Elias: why is the Senate still an option? Shouldn’t the recount and the subsequent lawsuits settle things? By then, every legal vote will have been counted. The courts will have ruled which ballots were improperly rejected. Those ballots will have been counted.

Assuming that they’ve lost the recount, at what point will Franken’s campaign admit that they’ve lost?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative