MN-Sen: Franken By 225

Tonight's big news out of Minnesota: with the recount over, the unofficial count has Al Franken ahead of Norm Coleman by 225 votes.

From The Star Tribune:

Norm Coleman's term as a U.S. senator ended at noon Washington time on Saturday, and by evening his hopes of winning a second term had been dealt an expected but serious setback as state officials counted previously rejected absentee ballots in St. Paul.

DFLer Al Franken held an unofficial lead of 225 votes over Coleman as this edition of the Star Tribune went to press, according to a newspaper tally of the officials' count of the absentee ballots. Franken had led unofficially by 49 votes going into the day and gained a net 176 votes from the new ballots.

Next step: Coleman will challenge Franken's victory in court.

From TPM:

Coleman's lead lawyer Fritz Knaak said the process in the recount was broken, and today's events were just further proof of that. "We are prepared to go forward and take whatever legal action is necessary to remedy this artificial lead," said Knaak.

So what does this mean? Minnesota law is unique in that it prohibits the issuing of an official certificate of election until the legal challenges are all resolved. Unless Coleman backs down and concedes defeat, he could bottle up a Franken win for weeks or even months, depending on how appeals go -- even though it appears to be nearly impossible that he could ever succeed.

The Republicans in the Senate have vowed to block the seating of Franken provisionally. I expect this result today will disabuse the Democrats of any notion to do otherwise with Coleman. Anyone want to take bets on how long Minnesota will have just 1 Senator?

Tags: Al Franken, MN-Sen, norm coleman, recount (all tags)

Comments

25 Comments

My guess is

3 months.

by puma 2009-01-03 04:22PM | 0 recs
At least

Minnesota law is unique in that it prohibits the issuing of an official certificate of election until the legal challenges are all resolved. Unless Coleman backs down and concedes defeat, he could bottle up a Franken win for weeks or even months, depending on how appeals go -- even though it appears to be nearly impossible that he could ever succeed.

Doesn't matter, they have money to spend and they will use it.

My guess is minimum 6 months, more likely 8-12 months.

by WashStateBlue 2009-01-03 04:27PM | 0 recs
can't the courts expedite this process?

The Supreme Court heard Bush v Gore a lot faster than the typical case that comes through their pipeline.

I would think that Minnesota courts would hear this case promptly and rule quickly.

I think it will be over by April.

by desmoinesdem 2009-01-03 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: At least

O/U 6.5 months

by esconded 2009-01-03 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Especially true


First of all,it's only 59 votes when there's less than 100 Senators.

Second, the GOP cannot sustain filibusters unless every last one of them goes along with it. There's a lot of GOP Senators with potentially tough re-election fights who need to prop up their images as "moderates". I doubt they're gonna want to explain to the folks back home that they delayed Obama's economic plan in the name of lock-step partisanship, breaking the law to do so.

Look for Spectre to be the first one to break, followed by McCain and both of the Maine women. Once it's clear the filibuster won't hold, about a dozen more will fold to cover their asses.

by admiralnaismith 2009-01-04 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

My guess is that Norm will bow out shortly. If that is the MnSC rules against him next week.

Norm needs a bit of time to adjust. But if he wants to salvage any future he will need to bow out soon. Al just did way too well today. I don't think anybody expected 150+ gain. So now he really needs to look ahead.

So by Wednesday I expect a concession.

by Judeling 2009-01-03 04:35PM | 0 recs
Bill O'Reilly's head...

...is going to explode.

Heh.

by Michael Bersin 2009-01-03 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

I see this as a test of how weak the Democrats in the Senatate are. This is not a close call either in the politics or democratic processes.

by bruh3 2009-01-03 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

Can you imagine how the DEms would have caved if it were Coleman in Franken's position? They caved a lot faster for Gore vs Bush.

by Pravin 2009-01-03 09:12PM | 0 recs
Coleman aint gonna challenge

I heard that conference. The lawyer said that they will step back and think about it; but will keep their options open. I think today's count was just put it out of their reach. Besides the ground for challenge is really weak - a) claim that double counting net Franken 110 votes and b) 44 absentee ballots should have been counted (the  600 number is just a smokescreen). Those add up-to less than 225. I think Coleman will rather save money for other legal problems that he is going to have.

by ann0nymous 2009-01-03 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

If it were anyone but Franken I would say 3 months.

Because it is Franken I am going to say that they drag this out as long as possible...maybe even to the point of looking really bad.

by JDF 2009-01-03 08:27PM | 0 recs
dragging it out until they look bad

Too late, they've already done that.
by admiralnaismith 2009-01-04 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

Franken should call a press conference and say that Coleman shouldn't waste the MN people's tax dollars and time to go through with legal challenges.  Declare victory.  Then smile like an asshole the way only Franken can do.

by IssaquahIndie 2009-01-03 08:43PM | 0 recs
DEmcratic senators need to fight for Franken

They need to fight for Franken with twice the amount of will they showed in fighting for Lieberman. Franken is a proud Democrat who deserves every single Democratic senator fighting for his cause. They need to hold fundraisers to help Franken with any challenges.

Harry Reid, Illinois politics should take a backseat to this.

by Pravin 2009-01-03 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: DEmcratic senators need to fight for Franken

That won't happen... DC democrats hate Franken as much as Republicans do!

by LordMike 2009-01-03 10:48PM | 0 recs
But they'll sure need Franken's vote.

by admiralnaismith 2009-01-04 12:55PM | 0 recs
A wonderful thought

When commenting on this elsewhere I had a wonderful thought.

Looking at the strong Franken bias todays count displayed in the absentee vote. It occurred to me that the military vote must be better then expected. So ...

Al won because of the USO. Which is great because thats not why he did it.

So it isn't true that no good deed goes unpunished. Once in awhile they get rewarded.

by Judeling 2009-01-03 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

The longer it goes on, the more Minnesotans will hate the poor loser and resent his lack of sportsmanship.

Stretch it out Coleman, please do as much damage to yourself and your Party as possible!

by QTG 2009-01-04 04:06AM | 0 recs
The session is going to start with way

too much nonsense - - pay raises, Burris, now this.  They need to clear the decks.

by kosnomore 2009-01-04 04:13AM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

Ritchie has all but said he will certify a winner on Monday or possibly Tuesday.

The MN SC has been swift to smack down Coleman's malingering litigiousness.  

I say no more than two weeks.

by lojasmo 2009-01-04 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

This is COMPLETELY out of reach for Coleman.

Even with the 113 from Minneapolis 3-1 and the potential 102 "double counted" ballots, it still leaves Coleman ten short.

He will almost certainly concede.

by lojasmo 2009-01-04 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

The 113 ballots from 3-1 would only net Coleman 47 votes......even harder for him to overcome.

by lojasmo 2009-01-04 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

In theory, Coleman can challenge. But at the end of the day, unless he can find 227 net valid ballots for him in the tiny pile remaining, he still loses. He has to hope that it's the case, or it's all a waste of time and money-money that he can ill afford to spend.

by NewDeal 2009-01-04 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

This is such happy news! I love Franken, and I can think of no better person to take Paul Wellstone's seat than one of best friends and biggest supporters. I remember crying my eyes out and feeling such outrage reading the Wellstone parts of Franken's Lying Liars book. It's such a lovely happy ending, and that's so rare!

Sorry for my romanticism. I'm still a little whimsical from this past election...

by cecilybecily 2009-01-04 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: MN-Sen: Franken By 225

Anyone want to take bets on how long Minnesota will have just 1 Senator?

A couple of days. The board is certifying Franken tomorrow, and they all get sworn in on the 6th.  

The psychiatric wing of the Republican party can throw all the fits they want. It doesn't change the FACT that Franken is now Senator Elect. Byrd and Kennedy should designate a special fit-throwing room with padded walls and Gerber food, for the republican crybabies, and should then go about their business with their new Senator from Minnesota.

by admiralnaismith 2009-01-04 12:48PM | 0 recs

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