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Franken Wins – How sweet it is! (Update)

Sen. Al Franken.

That has a very good ring to it, doesn’t it? Former Sen. Norm Coleman has called Al Franken and conceded.

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune has more

Eight months after Election Day, Minnesota once again has two United States senators.

Republican Norm Coleman ended his bruising court fight over the Senate seat he held for one term this afternoon, conceding to Democrat Al Franken after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Franken’s favor.

The justices ruled today that Franken won the U.S. Senate election and said he is entitled to an election certificate that would lead to him being seated in the Senate.

“Affirmed,” wrote the Supreme Court, unanimously rejecting Coleman’s claims that inconsistent practices by local elections officials and wrong decisions by a lower court had denied him victory. (more… )

Update: The big question was would Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is a presidential hopeful, sign the certificate to certify Franken as Senator. It looks like he will sign the certificate and make Al Franken the 2nd senator from Minnesota.

By |2009-06-30T17:02:43-04:00June 30th, 2009|Party Politics, Senate|Comments Off on Franken Wins – How sweet it is! (Update)

Arlen Specter joins the Dems

This is huge. Arlen Specter (Republican-Pennsylvania) has announced that he will be joining the Democratic Party. There appears to be little or no room for moderate Republicans in the Republican Party.

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From WaPo:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter’s decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next senator from Minnesota. (Former senator Norm Coleman is appealing Franken’s victory in the state Supreme Court.)

“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” said Specter in a statement. “I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.”

He added: “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

President Obama was informed of Specter’s decision at around 10:25 a.m., according to White House officials, and reached out to the senator minutes later to tell him “you have my full support,” and we are “thrilled to have you.” (more…)

As usual, Steve has the correct perspective:

… talk of a “filibuster-proof” Democratic majority is a stretch. For one thing, Norm Coleman just received a powerful reminder incentive to keep his legal fight going for as long as humanly possible. For another, the Democratic caucus, even at 60, still has Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh to consider.

But if reaching the 60-vote threshold doesn’t make Arlen Specter’s big switch “huge,” what makes today’s news a seismic political shift? It’s further evidence of a Republican Party in steep decline, driven by a misguided ideological rigidity. Indeed, Specter suggested as much in his statement: “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right.”

Steve wraps up this post with:

Indeed, it sends a signal to voters: the Republican Party is home to Limbaugh, Tea Baggers, Palin, right-wing blogs, the Rove/Cheney/Gingrich triumvirate — and no one else. The party that’s been shrinking to generational lows just got even smaller.

For three months, the conservative message has been that President Obama, his widespread popularity notwithstanding, is some kind of radical ideologue, far from the American mainstream. Specter’s departure from the GOP sends the exact opposite message. Moderate Republicans are teaming up with Obama, and leaving the party that has “moved far to the right” behind.

I couldn’t agree more. Just sit down and watch Fox News. Look at the issues that they are talking about: Obama shaking hands with Chavez and whether Obama is appeasing our enemies. These are amazingly tone deaf non-issues. Americans are hurting and the Democratic Party is at least attempting to address the problems that concern Americans.

By |2009-04-28T12:52:11-04:00April 28th, 2009|Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on Arlen Specter joins the Dems

Franken remains the victor

It is now clear that Al Franken should be addressed as Senator Al Franken. Former Senator Norm Coleman has lost his appeal (pun is intended).

From Minn Trib:

After a trial spanning nearly three months, the judicial panel dismissed Coleman’s central argument that the election and its aftermath were fraught with systemic errors that made the results invalid.

“The overwhelming weight of the evidence indicates that the Nov. 4, 2008, election was conducted fairly, impartially and accurately,” the panel said in its unanimous decision.

The panel concluded that Franken, a DFLer, “received the highest number of votes legally cast” in the election. Franken emerged from the trial with a 312-vote lead, the court ruled, and “is therefore entitled to receive the certificate of election.”

It is time for conservatives to sit down and truly look at themselves (doubt it will happen).  Things they argued for just three to four years ago now they’re arguing against.  Conservatives “hated” frivolous lawsuits.  Yet no one Coleman’s lawyers have stated that they are extremely unlikely to win this case yet they’re going to take it to the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Why?

Remember when conservatives used to tell us that they love the country more than liberals?  The conservatives of Minnesota love Minnesota so much that they would prefer to tie up a Senator in legal wranglings for another six to 12 months rather than have Al Franken represent the state in the Senate.  It may be that the money machine that was supporting Coleman is running out of money.  Coleman has to pay for this trial and, if Franken’s attorneys are on the ball, they should ask the court to make Coleman fork over money upfront for the next trial.  This would mean that Coleman would have to pony up millions of dollars.

More From Minn Trib:

But experts who read the panel’s 68-page ruling say it effectively attacks some of the very arguments that Coleman would use on appeal.

“It is the kind of opinion that is unlikely to be disturbed on appeal by either the Minnesota Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court,” said Richard Hasen, an expert on election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “The opinion considers the major arguments made by Coleman and rejects them in a detailed and measured way.”

Added University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs: “This is judicial speak for ‘nothing here,’ and it is most definitely aimed at the appeals process. It’s a signal that they are supremely unimpressed by the Coleman case.”

That seems to be it.  Game, set and match.

Finally from TPM:

Possible Double-Counted Votes
The Coleman camp has contended that Franken benefitted by anywhere from 60 to over 100 votes due to double-counted absentee ballots, stemming from human errors on Election Night in labeling duplicates of damaged original absentees. But here the court really lets Coleman have it: His campaign drew up the procedures used to count these ballots, insisted on strict adherence even when problems became apparent, and did not object to them until it was far too late.

And the court notes that other explanations exist for possible double-counting — for example, a precinct where accepted absentee ballots weren’t marked on the rosters on Election Night. And since Coleman failed to present clear evidence that double-counts actually occurred, that means he can’t get the relief he wants — to chop votes off of Franken’s totals.

By |2009-04-14T05:44:49-04:00April 14th, 2009|Election 2008, Senate|Comments Off on Franken remains the victor
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