Main Coleman Attorney Mark Trimble opened a can of "We are really feeling the heat" yesterday morning and the smell of desperation is approaching lutefisk levels in MN. (EPA warning for elevated levels of airborne toxins)
Feel free to use this diary as an OPEN THREAD today for around the state reports on the regional meetings.
The UpTake will be your best source all day long for reports and snips from all over on how the regional meetings are going.http://www.theuptake.com/
Because of their stellar work the uptake of course is under attack.....and you only get one guess by whom.... under the fold of (recount) infinity....and beyond.
State Canvassing Board Meeting
The Board met Tuesday morning at 9:00 to do what you did in school: do your exercizes, show all your work. Then exchange papers with a partner and grade each other's papers.
In the Board's case it was those 6655 challenged ballots. You're right, both sides ended up pulling better than 5300 of them off the table. But the Sec. of State's Office is in charge of getting those 5300+ (and the other 1300 that the Board actually ruled on) back to their proper candidates. Can anything go wrong? Of COURSE it can. Thats why Ritchie and his office had to show all their work today.
Ritchie handed out a spreadsheet summary that showed Franken +46. The Board checked the work and found some mistakes, some trivial, and some enough to swing a vote. So NORM picked up +2 from these clerical errors, etc. That's COLEMAN +2, bringing Franken's lead down to +44. Norm picked up votes.
And why make a big deal about this? Because when I send a periscope down into the Reich-wing bunkers to look at some of those blogs somebody is always screaming about "How come ALL the recount/challenged/absentee ballots are going to Franken, huh? Ritchie/Mower County/Minnesota/democrats/liberals sux...."
Well these are NOT ALL "going to Franken." Even those famous lost 133 votes from Minneapolis? That was NOT +133 to Franken; Barkley and Coleman each go a piece of those 133 so they also GAINED votes. (Its just Al picked up some too...ironically +46, the same as this morning's starting number from Ritchie.)
So Tuesday Norm picked up +2 at the Canvassing Board. But to quote Paul Harvey, "And Al Franken picked up +6 at the Board meeting too to lift his lead to +50.....but now you know the rest of the story."
Number Crunching Award
This award again goes to the unsung and unknown Franken number crew who first said they would pick up votes from Coleman's +215 apart from challenged ballots......and Coleman ended that section at +188....and that after all the dust settled Franken would lead by +4.
Then the Franken Numberteers came out and said they would pick up net on the challenged/UN-challenged/withdrawn challenged ballots and finish this section at Franken +35 to +50. The initial count was +48, adjusted to +46 and NOW, today, rests at +50.
Way to go Franken Numberteers! "All for one.... (or is that Infinity/4= 1?) "and one for all!" (possibly 1 4 AL?)
Stone the Messenger. Our new friend TheUptake has been providing the raw video feed from the State Canvassing Board meeting and the Supreme Court hearing last week-- sort of C-Span, MN style. Why? State holidays. State workers (including those who would otherwise run said equipment at said meetings) have the day off.
So for this public service, because ANYBODY (TV Thailand/ RAI Milano/ WCCO Minneapolis/ Limbaugh for Lamebrains Network) who wants the feed can have it-- free, gratis and on the house-- Republicans are crying bias. Bias, on a live feed with no interruptions and no comments.
Michael Brodkorb of Minnesota Democrats Exposed (his title says it all-WR) writes: "‘Non-partisan’ Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office has joined forces with the partisan liberal video-blog The UpTake to provide a live video feed of today’s State Canvassing Board meeting."
Who is Brodkorb? Well his latest job opportunity seems to be a paid gig as media director of the Republican Minnesota Senate Caucus.
And to echo Brodkorb, a wonderful display of the MN Lockstep performed by MN Republican State Chairman Ron Carey:
"It’s amazing that a partisan, liberal blog has been made the official provider of the video for the Canvassing Board," Carey said. "To make a group with an agenda and a record of attacking one of the candidates before the Canvassing Board the purveyor of information is beyond improper, it calls into question the judgment of those who made the decision for this partisan website to be the sanctioned broadcaster of these important proceedings."
Challenged Ballot Channel? Well, showing democracy in action is a partisan act because after all "democracy" and "democrat" share the 1st 7 letters! Yeesh!
Part II Act Like an Ass
After the Canvassing Board meeting broke up everybody held a presser. Team Coleman REALLY started to sound desperate...there is no other word. (Desperate! As in "McCain spent another day campaigning in Cinderblock, PA today where polls show him trailing Obama by only 4% points among unemployed dogcatchers...")
Trimble: Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the Franken campaign are "joined at the hip" because again the Board (led by Ritchie) refused to take up the 125 duplicate/double counted ballot issue. (Ahhh, Tony? The Attorney General said the Board did not have jurisdiction to take that up-- as in, you don't bring a parking ticket from Duluth to trial in New Ulm..... OH and Tony? The Supreme Court told you last week THEY didn't have jurisdiction either....that its a matter for a post-certification "election contest" trail. (The Supremes don't DO trials; they only do reviews and appeals)
Trimble: We will sue. (Thanks Tony)
Trimble: The attorneys for the Franken side "Should be quite worried about sanctions" from the Supreme Court, since the Court threatened those against attorneys from either camp who obstructed the recount process. (Sounds like serious projection, Tony. Or fear. One of the more common sanctions is an attorney is NOT ALLOWED to collect their fees in a case from their client, their opponent or anybody else..... and attorney's insurance specifically will NOT cover lost fees due to a court sanction. As we used to say in econ classes, "When you got 'em by the wallets, the hearts and minds will follow.")
Reporter: "Norm's 654 requested ballots he now wants included seem to be from Republican strong precincts. Is that a coincidence?"
Trimble: "It IS a coincidence. Its just our analysis happened to turn up these particular ballots....." (Said it witha straight face too..)
Quote of the Day
Norm and his 654 ballots? This says it all, from yesterday's Canvassing Board meeting:
Comment From blogger Chris II at the UpTake:
I'm thinking about renting a cherry picker and having it brought to the canvassing board meeting. A big sign that says "NORM'S" to be attached.
Part III: Help the Recount Process (NOT!)
At the county and regional level there has to be 3 way agreement between F, C and county election boards to send those improperly rejected absentee ballots on to SoS Ritchie's office. Ritchie called the "base universe" of votes here the 1346 the counties have identified. Coleman has proposed some of those (first 136, lately more like 700+) and some others (like their own favorite 654). Franken proposed hard for sometime the 1346, all of them, and no more (hence Trimble's rantings about obstructing the process.)
You'll remember Team Coleman went to the Supreme Court to get "uniform statewide standards" for admitting and counting these 1346 ballots? The one the Court ruled 3-2 instead to set up this situation we have now of the 3 way agreements? Guess what? It sounds like every county and/or regional meeting is deciding these things their own way (within the parameters of the 4 statutory reasons). Nice going, Team Norm.
The regional meetings got going yesterday around the state, with more to come today and Friday. Bits and pieces:
TheUpTake: Carl Rosen reports from Elk River. Sherburne County (yust NW of Minneapolis) had 18 absentee ballots... 15 were agreed upon and sent to the Secretary of State....3 rejected for lack of a signature (Pile 1)...... Mille Lac County had one absentee ballot and it was sent to the SOS office too.
......Anoka County (N of Twin Cities, exurban); Coleman lawyer: we aren't going to approve any of the 1346 statewide (including those from Anoka County) unless/until we consider the 654 too. Franken lawyer: "Let me cut to the chase. We're not ging to agree to any of the 654. The 654 is from left field." Anoka County election manager Rachel Smith: "I don't want to waste anyone's time here" and shut down the meeting. (Sent them home without supper? Way to go Rachel!) Total breakdown in talks. Anoka County has invited both sides back for Round II today....
.......Beltrami County (Bemidji) sends in 7 of 8 ballots.....St. Louis County (Duluth & points north) 101 ballots sent along; one rejected ballot was from election judge Shirley Graham (!) who voted absentee in her precinct since she was judging in another precinct. Her date of signing her ballots did not match the date her witness signed her ballot. She is dumbfounded (and was a Coleman voter).....Dakota County (S of St. Paul, exurban) has 174 votes hanging fire with a 2nd day of wrangling coming up today in Hastings Regional.....
The UpTake will be your best source all day long for reports and snips from all over on how the regional meetings are going.
OK its a little rough around the edges but its hard to compress all the drama into one little diary. YOUR comments will make this whole thing sing like a Norwegian Opera.
There's the latest from yust southeast of Lake Wobegon (where 9 strong, good looking, above average ballots were sent in).