Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Norm Coleman's legal efforts have now come to this: he's calling for a new election, saying that the November contest was so flawed that the winner cannot be determined.

Monday, Coleman lawyer Jim Langdon wrote the three-judge panel to suggest the problems are so serious they may not be able to declare a winner.

"Some courts have held that when the number of illegal votes exceeds the margin between the candidates -- and it cannot be determined for which candidate those illegal votes were cast -- the most appropriate remedy is to set aside the election," Langdon wrote in a letter to the court.
Faced with this blatant effort to overthrow the election process, state and national Democrats have risen to the challenge.

State DFL chairman Brian Menendez:
"...Norm Coleman's camp has reached a new low. After five weeks in court, they are now asking for the results of the election to be thrown out. That's not how we do elections in this country."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in an e-mail to Talking Points Memo:
"Just because Mr. Coleman is not happy with the results of the election/recount doesn't mean he gets to schedule another one."
And, DNC chairman Tim Kaine:
"The people of Minnesota have spoken. It's time for Norm Coleman to accept the voters' decision, do what is best for his state and country and stop standing in the way of a Senator being seated."
Norm has from the start tried to undermine the election recount process, calling in November for Franken to concede, although Minnesota state law mandated an automatic recount. Now, after suggesting the need for a new election, Coleman's true objective is finally exposed: Normie wants a do-over! Unable to win the election legitimately (or illegitimately), Norm is hoping that the deep pockets of his Repug friends will keep this contest in the courts until 2014, meanwhile promoting a fictional charge by the RNC that Al Franken is "stealing" the election to keep the money rolling in for his expensive legal challenge. Franken would be the 59th Democratic vote in the Senate, a total that the Repugs are desperate to avoid. And, one might also surmise that as long as the court case continues, the FBI investigation of Coleman stays on the back burner, too. Or so Norm hopes.

The national media, despite some local and national notice, have largely been asleep at the switch over the Coleman investigation, preferring instead the antics of Rod Blagojevich. The New Republic's Jonathan Chait has been one of the few national reporters to cover this disparity and the ongoing FBI investigation:
The soon-to-be-former senator's scandal is pretty simple. Nasser Kazeminy, a wealthy businessman and close Coleman friend, allegedly paid him $75,000 under the table.


Now consider how the two stories have fared in the national press. Blagojevich has turned into the biggest crime story since O.J. Simpson. Can you guess how many articles about the Coleman scandal have appeared in the national media? One short wire story. When I bring up Coleman's scandals with my colleagues, many of whom follow politics for a living, invariably they have little or no idea what I'm talking about.
Norm's legal shenanigans have made a laughingstock of Minnesota's legal system, turned the state into fodder for late-night comics, and denied Minnesotans of their right to representation at this critical time for our nation. U.S. News & World Report's John Mashek says "Get over it, Norm":
After four months of nonstop wrangling, it is about time for Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota to throw in the towel. He is depriving his home state of a second vote in the U.S. Senate, threatening to stretch the appeal process of his losing Senate race into April.


With Coleman trailing Franken by 225 votes in the final recount, he is determined with the help of party figures to continue this process.

Get over it, Norm.

The facts are these: On November 4, Coleman appeared to have a tiny lead over Franken. Recounts reversed the decision, and Franken was certified the winner by those 225 votes out of 2.9 million cast. A three-judge panel is considering the case now, but Coleman's advisers are talking about a further appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court if necessary.

Meanwhile, Coleman keeps in close contact with GOP leaders and is working as a consultant in Washington to the Republican Jewish Coalition.


Close elections occur in every state, but this latest contest in Minnesota is turning into a real fiasco. Minnesota even gets a going-over by the late-night comics.

Coleman has a legal right to continue his case in the courts, but Franken's certification works against him. There is a time to fold your hand, Senator.
Norm, it's time to let it go. I know you want to keep the job and stay out of jail, but you shouldn't punish the citizens of Minnesota because of your desire to be free, solvent, and a U.S. Senator. You lost. Yes, get over it. Concede now, for the good of the state, the nation, and maybe your forthcoming criminal trial.

Don't go away mad, just go away.

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