Before Arlen Specter's Party switch announcement yesterday, the Senate's Democratic caucus stood at 58 members. Senator-elect Al Franken represented Democrats' 59th vote toward cloture, still short of reliably ending Republican filibusters. But now, with Specter joining the Democratic caucus, Senator-elect Franken represents the big 6-0, which is why Republicans will redouble their efforts to delay Senator-elect Franken's seating - and why we in the netroots must redouble our efforts to send obstructionist Republicans a message and also provide them with adequate disincentive from delaying Senator-elect Franken's seating any further.
Since the "One Dollar a Day to Make Norm Coleman Go Away" effort started just a couple weeks ago, about $40,000 has been raised to remind the Republicans funding Norm Coleman's endless appeals that, for every single day that they delay the implementation of the will of Minnesota voters, progressive voters will raise money to use against these Republicans on Election Day 2010.
Your support will strengthen that message!
Norm Coleman and his fellow Republicans recently scored a success in further delaying Senator-elect Franken's seating, as the trial schedule adopted by the state Supreme Court for Coleman's appeal is such that oral arguments before the Court won't begin until June 1st, over a month from now. Further, although Minnesota election policy dictates that Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty must prepare and sign Senator-elect Franken's election certificate once the state Supreme Court hands down its decision, Pawlenty has hemmed and hawed as to whether he would follow state election policy accordingly.
With a D next to Arlen Specter's name, Republicans will go full force to block Senator-elect Franken's seating. Please join us in eliminating Republicans' incentive to delay Senator-elect Franken's seating any further by taking part in the "One Dollar a Day to Make Norm Coleman Go Away" effort. At right is video of the segment on MSNBC's Hardball highlighting the effort.
For daily news and updates on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.
Nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans surveyed think Norm Coleman should concede the U.S. Senate race to Al Franken, but just as many believe the voting system that gave the state its longest running election contest needs improvement.
A new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll has found that 64 percent of those responding believe Coleman, the Republican, should accept the recount trial court's April 13 verdict that Democrat Franken won the race by 312 votes.
Only 28 percent consider last week's appeal by Coleman to the Minnesota Supreme Court "appropriate."
Large majorities of those polled said they would oppose any further appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Should Coleman win at the state Supreme Court, 57 percent of respondents said Franken should concede. And 73 percent believe Coleman should give up if he loses at the state's highest court.
"I voted for Coleman, but this thing has gone on way too long," said Mike McCombs, 50, a Lakeville furnace and air conditioning salesman. "Obviously, the Republican Party is trying to keep Franken's vote out of the United States Senate. We should get another [senator] in there." ...
Although 57 percent of Republican poll respondents approve of Coleman's appeal to the state Supreme Court, the same portion of Republicans want him to quit should he lose there.
A new poll from Grove Insight Research shows that Minnesota voters want Norm Coleman to concede and Gov. Pawlenty to sign the election certificate that will allow Al Franken to be seated -- finally -- in the U.S. Senate.
The poll, commissioned by Alliance for a Better Minnesota, showed that 59% of surveyed voters believe Coleman should concede to Al Franken, while just 34% believe he should keep his legal challenge going. Those numbers fit with the 61% who believe the recount and challenge process has been fair and impartial, against just 24% -- the true dead-end of the conservative rump -- who still question the process.
54% now believe that Franken won in November fair and square, while just 26% believe Coleman actually won. Among the remainder, 14% are unsure of who actually came out ahead and 5% believe the two candidates actually tied.
As for Governor Pawlenty, there are some potential landmines waiting for him should he decide that he, and not the state Supreme Court, is the Decider:
What ought to be of concern to Governor Pawlenty is the fallout should he refuse to sign a certificate of election. A clear majority (58%) believe that failure to certify Franken after the Minnesota Supreme Court rules raises at least "somewhat serious doubts" about Tim Pawlenty. This number grows to 64% when voters are told that the governor is legally required to sign an election certificate. In fact, even four in 10 (40%) self-identified Republicans say they would have "serious doubts" with their Republican Governor should he fail to sign an election certificate after the Minnesota Supreme Court rules.
A strong majority of Minnesotans think that the election and post-election recount and trial were properly conducted; a strong majority of Minnesotans think that Senator-elect Al Franken won fair and square; a strong majority of Minnesotans want Coleman to concede and release the Senate seat he is holding hostage. Only about one-quarter of Minnesotans think that Coleman won and that he should press on with his appeals. The will of the voters, for which Coleman keeps saying that he is fighting, is clear in its desire for Coleman to concede. Help put pressure on Coleman to concede by joining the One Dollar a Day to Make Norm Coleman Go Away effort.
For daily news and updates on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.
As Eric Kleefeld says, by legal standards, the schedule laid out by the Minnesota Supreme Court today for the MN-Sen appeal is expedited; by political standards on the other hand...
The court adopted the proposed briefing timeline from the Coleman campaign, allowing them more time to formulate their arguments: Coleman's brief is to be submitted by next Thursday, April 30; Team Franken will submit its brief by May 11, and a reply brief from Coleman is to be submitted by May 15.
On top of that, oral arguments have been scheduled for June 1 -- a month and a week from today.
Team Franken had called for a much quicker schedule, on the grounds that greater speed was needed in order to seat a second U.S. Senator from Minnesota, and that Coleman had already had plenty of time to come up with his arguments. But the court didn't go for it.
Norm Coleman has kept his word and filed a notice of petition to appeal his election-contest loss today to the Minnesota Supreme Court (pdfs available here). The former U.S. senator's petition will ask the state's high court to find fault with last week's election contest court ruling that Democrat Al Franken won Coleman's old Senate seat by 312 votes.
Coleman lawyers Ben Ginsberg and Jim Langdon told reporters by phone that the petition highlights alleged double-counting of votes and failure to count thousands of rejected absentee ballots. Among the arguments are equal-protection and due-process claims based on the U.S. Constitution.
If Team Coleman's premise that the rejected absentees they want opened would break for their guy seems a bit presumptuous to you, it did to a local reporter as well.
St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Jason Hoppin asked what made Coleman think the ballots he wants opened and counted would break his way, when batches of ballots opened during the recount and the election contest trial favored Franken.
After commenting that "you guys like asking this question don't you, Jason?" Ginsberg said absentee ballots opened since the election have been more from precincts that favored Franken than Coleman. The ballots Coleman wants counted come from precincts that favored him, Ginsberg claimed.
"You just never know what any one ballot will hold," Ginsberg said.
Gee, ya never know! Yeah, that's a great reason to spend millions of dollars to deprive the state of Minnesota 50% of their representation in the Senate.
Elias mocked Coleman attorney Ben Ginsbergs characterization of the petition notice filed today as an appeal for voter enfranchisement and due process.
Four of five Coleman claims actually call for disenfranchising voters, Elias said: When it comes to disenfranchisement, no one holds a candle to the legal team assembled by Sen. Coleman.
As for Constitutional claims, Elias siad, Whatever process is due for Sen. Coleman, he has had.
While the MN Supreme Court is not obligated to hold oral arguments, if they do hold them, they could begin as soon as 2 weeks from now and as late as two months from now. Team Franken is going to file a motion tomorrow requesting a schedule that would require briefs to be in no later than May 2. Oral arguments would proceed from there.
On April 9th, Adam Green, formerly of MoveOn, posted a critique of the DSCC's online campaign to urge Norm Coleman to concede over at Open Left. What was most notable about the post was that in it, Adam suggested an alternative campaign.
What if, Adam asked, the DSCC sent an e-mail that looked more like this:
Today, we're launching "Norm's Democratic Dollar A Day." We're asking people across the country to donate $1 to the DSCC every day that Norm Coleman refuses to concede (up to 100 days max, in case he's completely delusional).
Click here to sign up!
Think about how this would change the game. If 1 million people signed up, and Senate Republicans up for re-election in 2010 saw the committee charged with defeating them getting $1 million each day that Coleman is obstinate, what do you think would happen?
Rather than simply list-build with no actual means by which to pressure Coleman to concede, Adam's idea was to create a mechanism whereby a warchest to help fund the campaigns of progressive Democrats would grow in direct relation to the length of time Coleman took to end his quixotic attempts to appeal the US Senate result. The more time he takes, the more money will be raised. Pretty great. No wonder so many commenters to the post urged Adam to implement it and no wonder that DFA joined with PCCC to do just that. As Senate Guru wrote here at MyDD, the Dollar A Day To Make Norm Go Away campaign launched yesterday.
But DC Republicans keep bankrolling Norm Coleman's continued court challenges. For them, it's worth the money to block the seating of Senator Franken.
But if thousands of us donate $1 to help progressives defeat Republicans in 2010 for each day Norm Coleman refuses to concede, we'll reverse the incentives for DC Republicans. They'll tell Norm, "Go away!"
Can you give a dollar a day to make Norm go away?
So far, in just more than a day, the campaign has raised more than $20,000 to help progressives get elected, a number that will grow the longer former Senator Coleman insists on depriving Minnesotans of a Senator. It was always going to be Republican pressure that got Norm to finally concede this thing but there was never a reason for Republicans to do so...