Coleman vs Franken

As we've seen before in places like Louisiana and Chicago and Florida, when there's a close contest and the Democrat is losing, it is likely someone will "find" a bunch of "lost" ballots in a warehouse somewhere that are just what the losing candidate needs to pull into the lead.  Now it has happened again in Minnesota.

Long after the election is over, votes are still trickling in -- from somewhere.  Miraculously, all of the newly manufactured discovered votes are for the Democrat.  Why does this only happen when a Democrat is losing?

If you think such shenanigans are a problem now, just wait until the ballots don't even exist, and all it takes is the manipulation of a few bytes in a computer to change the outcome of an election.  Who will be able to say with any certainty that a fair election took place?

This page is a spinoff from the electronic voting page.  In general, the newest information is at the bottom of this page, and the broader overviews of the situation are at the top.



Recap and overview:
One Plus One Equals 20 Extra Votes for Franken.  The day after the November election, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman had won his re-election to the U.S. Senate, beating challenger Al Franken by 725 votes.  Then one heavily Democratic town miraculously discovered 100 missing ballots.  And, in another marvel, they were all for Al Franken!  It was like a completely evil version of a Christmas miracle.  As strange as it was that all 100 post-election, "discovered" ballots would be for one candidate, it was even stranger that the official time stamp for the miracle ballots printed out by the voting machine on the miracle ballots showed that the votes had been cast on Nov. 2 — two days before the election.

Why Is Norm Coleman's Lead Slipping?  The gap has gone down from 443, to 437, to 337 as provisional and other straggler ballots are counted.  It was 477 votes last night.  Coleman's lead is now down to 236 votes, but the gap is not tightening because "provisional and other straggler ballots" remain uncounted.  According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, the state does not have provisional ballots and all absentee ballots had to arrive on or before Election Day to be counted.

100 votes appear out of nowhere
Franken's deficit: 238 votes.  Just as Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was explaining to reporters the recount process in one of the narrowest elections in Minnesota history, an aide rushed in with news:  Pine County's Partridge Township had revised its vote total upward -- another 100 votes for Democratic candidate Al Franken, putting him within .011 percentage points of Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.

Wait -- I think I see the problem...
Media Ignore Fact that Minnesota Recount Boss Mark Ritchie an ACORN Ally.  In the Coleman-Franken Senate recount battle developing in Minnesota, almost all media accounts fail to mention that Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who largely controls the process, is not only a liberal Democrat, but also an ally of ACORN and liberal philanthropist George Soros.

SOS in Minnesota.  As Democrats nationwide try to make the climb to a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the Senate by pursuing recounts, an outspoken ACORN ally presides over the tallying of votes in the still-unresolved Minnesota Senate race.  The fact that Mark Ritchie, a Democrat and former community organizer, largely controls the electoral process in the Land of 10,000 Lakes may be important.

Tension escalates as recount fluctuates.  A tiny town in the Democratic stronghold of Minnesota's Iron Range emerged Friday as the latest battleground over the state's disputed U.S. Senate race.  Democrat Al Franken gained 100 votes there between election night and when results were officially tallied on Thursday.  Adding to the intrigue -- and suspicion in Sen. Norm Coleman's camp:  The time stamp on the official tape printed out by a ballot machine in the precinct in question carried a date of Nov. 2, two days before the election. ... "Obviously, this is highly suspicious.  They found 100 votes, and it's statistically impossible that all 100 votes went to the two Democrats, even in St. Louis County," said Cullen Sheehan, Coleman's campaign manager.

Guardians of the ballot.  Very few Minnesotans, it turns out, have ever done what [Dave] Nelson, [Sharon] Shaffer and at least two dozen other supporters of Sen. Norm Coleman have been doing since the Senate race ended:  They're standing watch over 2,885,399 ballots in the Senate race.  They're on the lookout for monkey business.

Minnesota Ripe for Election Fraud.  When voters woke up on Wednesday morning after the election, Senator Norm Coleman led Al Franken by what seemed like a relatively comfortable 725 votes.  By Wednesday night, that lead had shrunk to 477.  By Thursday night, it was down to 336.  By Friday, it was 239.  Late Sunday night, the difference had gone down to just 221 — a total change over 4 days of 504 votes.  Amazingly, this all has occurred even though there hasn't even yet been a recount.  Just local election officials correcting claimed typos in how the numbers were reported.

Mischief in Minnesota?  Al Franken's recount isn't funny.  The vanishing Coleman vote came during a week in which election officials are obliged to double-check their initial results.  Minnesota is required to do these audits, and it isn't unusual for officials to report that they transposed a number here or there.  In a normal audit, these mistakes could be expected to cut both ways.  Instead, nearly every "fix" has gone for Mr. Franken, in some cases under strange circumstances.

Cheat.gov:  ACORN filed more than 43,000 new voter registration forms in Minnesota, where the razor-thin margin of victory for Republican Sen. Norm Coleman over former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Al Franken evaporated from more than 700 votes to just 221 nearly overnight thanks to "typos" discovered over a week before a scheduled recount.  Fox News reports that much of Franken's mysterious new votes come from one heavily Democratic small town.

Franken seeks names of rejected voters.  In the latest twist in Minnesota's continuing U.S. Senate race, the Al Franken campaign hit Ramsey County with a lawsuit Thursday [11/13/2008], seeking the names and addresses of voters whose absentee ballots were rejected.

27,000 county ballots on hold.  More than 27,000 provisional ballots, needed to call the closest congressional race in the country, will wait for either a court ruling today or a tiebreaker vote Tuesday [11/18/2008] from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.  The Franklin County Board of Elections split along party lines in a stalemate last night that will temporarily delay counting those provisional ballots.

Schumer Accuses 'Hard Right' of Intimidating Minnesota Voting Officials.  By Thursday afternoon, Coleman maintained an unofficial lead of 206 votes out of 2.88 million cast in the state's election for U.S. Senate.  The race, one of three Senate contests in the nation still undecided, is important, because if Democrats win all three races they will capture a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Questions Surround Role of Minnesota Secretary of State in Hotly Contested Senate Race.  Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has pledged to officiate over his state's Senate election recount in a manner that is "accurate and transparent," but his partisan past and ties to ACORN have raised concerns among his critics.

Franken 'Fixes' Stalk Senate Race.  A pickup of 519 votes over 5 days — pretty impressive when you consider this was just from the correction of typos.  A recount won't even start until Nov. 19.  Yet, the particular changes are unlikely to have occurred by accident.  Corrections were posted in other races, but they were only a fraction of those for the Senate race.  The Senate gains for Franken were 2.2 times the gain from corrections for Barack Obama, 2.7 times the gain Democrats got across all Minnesota congressional races and 5.6 times the net loss that Democrats suffered for all state House races.

Paging Al Franken.  A victory for Mr. Franken is critical to Democratic hopes of winning 60 Senate seats — enough to cut off debate without Republican votes.  Democrats have won 57 seats, and would reach 60 with victories in three Senate races that have yet to be decided — in Minnesota, Alaska and Georgia.  The Minnesota recount is expected to take almost one month.

Al Franken's Minnesota:  Minnesota uses optical scanning machines, which are far more accurate than the punchcard paper ballots of the 2000 Florida recount.  Prior recounts in Minnesota have resulted in few vote changes.  So off to court he goes, with Mr. Franken demanding that the state canvassing board delay certifying the initial election results.  His campaign claims that absentee votes may have been wrongly rejected by election judges.  Team Franken filed a lawsuit in Ramsey County (the state's second largest, and an area Mr. Franken won decisively) demanding a list of these absentee voters, so that the Democrat can contact them, get them to declare their ex post facto preference, and, presto, he wins.

By hook or crook...
Coleman Campaign Questions 32 Ballots in Close Race With Franken.  With only 206 votes out of 2.9 million total ballots separating Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota from his Democratic opponent Al Franken, every vote counts -- including the elusive 32 absentee ballots first reported to be found in a state official's car three days after the election.  The Coleman campaign claims that Minneapolis elections director Cynthia Reichert said the ballots had been "found" in her car and would be counted.  Reichert denies that account, saying no ballots ever were placed in her vehicle.

Minnesota Senate Race Tightens In Recount .  Ballots in the ultra-close race between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken were counted in at least three counties Saturday [11/22/2008]. While Coleman's razor-thin margin over Franken has narrowed since the recont began, it grew slightly in Saturday's count, from 115 to 167 votes.

For Franken, a math problem.  While a tiny margin separates the candidates in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, it is wide enough that Democrat Al Franken faces a daunting task in challenging votes to erase Sen. Norm Coleman's lead.  The two sides have disputed thousands of the other's votes, but many of those challenges are regarded by experts as frivolous.  To win his case before the state Canvassing Board, Franken must prevail on more than 6 percent of his challenges of Coleman votes even if Coleman fails to succeed on any of his challenges, a Star Tribune analysis shows.

After absentee ballot loss, Franken eyes options.  Minnesota's U.S. Senate showdown is veering down a path toward the courts and possibly the Senate itself after a panel's ruling on rejected absentee ballots dealt a blow to Democrat Al Franken's chances.  For the first time, his campaign on Wednesday openly discussed mounting challenges after the hand recount involving Franken and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman concludes.  That includes the possibility of drawing the Senate into the fracas.

Recounts for Me, Not for Thee.  After being dealt a serious blow today [11/27/2008] by the Minnesota state Canvassing board, who, much to the ire of Team Franken, refused to re-examine rejected absentee ballots, Al Franken's band of merry men were forced to regroup, but vowed to continue their fight in a press conference.  According to Marc Elias, Franken's lead recount attorney, the protracted legal battle for Norm Coleman's senate seat will indefinitely continue.

Ramsey County finds 171 uncounted ballots.  Recount officials in Ramsey County found 171 ballots today that weren't counted on election night.  The county's Elections Manager Joe Mansky says an optical scan vote counting machine broke down in Maplewood during the initial count.  It was replaced, but local election judges didn't run some of the ballots through the new machine.

The Editor asks...
Where have the ballots and the machine been since election day?

Franken wants recount to continue until he wins.  Al Franken wants to keep the recount going until enough votes are found or stolen to give him the election.  And he's willing to go to court and perhaps all the way to the Senate itself to make sure that happens.

The Cleanest State Meets The Pushiest Person.  Until now, Minnesota was always famous for its clean elections.  Indeed, Democratic consultant Bob Beckel recently attested to the honesty of Minnesota's elections, joking:  "Believe me.  I've tried.  I've tried every way around the system out there, and it doesn't work."  But that was before Minnesota encountered the pushiest, most aggressive, most unscrupulous person who has ever sought public office, Al Franken.

Dems Would Pay "Heavy Political Price" If Franken Disputes Election in Senate.  Sen. John Ensign, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a conference call that Senate Democrats were unlikely to take the political risk of contesting the Minnesota election results in the U.S. Senate.

Franken wants rejected Minnesota ballots counted.  Democrat Al Franken is asking each Minnesota county to reconsider a number of rejected absentee ballots while claiming a four-vote lead in the recount of the undecided Senate race. ... [However] With 99 percent of votes recounted, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said Coleman maintains a 251-vote lead over Franken.

Search for missing Minneapolis ballots finds some — but not those ones.  Elections officials thought the envelope was hiding somewhere among the voting machines, collapsible stands, shelving and boxes in the warehouse on Harding Street NE.  Minneapolis election officials, joined by Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann, clean-election advocates and others, rolled the voting machines one by one across the floor, hoping to find an envelope underneath.

Senate recount:  The recounting is done (with one exception).  Except for 133 missing ballots from Minneapolis, the recounting of votes from the U.S. Senate race is over.  According to the Star Tribune's tabulations, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has a 192-vote advantage over Democrat Al Franken, pending the resolution of those Minneapolis ballots and of thousands of ballot challenges.  When the recount began, Coleman held a 215-vote edge.

Laughing All the Way to the Senate.  The Minnesota Senate recount is starting to resemble a "Saturday Night Live" skit that could have been part of Democratic candidate Al Franken's repertoire as a comedian. ... But the final outcome is likely to hinge on just how many of the 12,000 absentee ballots that were rejected for various reasons will ultimately be counted.  In some cases, voters failed to follow instructions on the ballot.  In some cases, they were submitted by people who had never registered to vote.

Coleman Wins Recount (For Now).  Based on the ballots I've seen, most of the challenges appear to be frivolous ones that will likely be thrown out by the state Canvassing Board.  As of this writing, Coleman has challenged more ballots than Franken, and given that challenges currently count as "no votes," odds are that Coleman's lead will be reduced once the Board makes the final ruling on the ballots.  But even if you factor in the so-called 133 "mystery" ballots, and assume Franken makes some gains once the challenges are all in, the math still seems difficult for Franken.

Minnesota Ballots: Land of 10,000 Fakes.  What is the point of having a hand recount of ballots in the Minnesota Senate race if the Democratic secretary of state is going to use the election night totals in precincts where it will benefit Democrat Al Franken?  Either the hand recount produces a better, more accurate count, or there was no point to the state spending roughly $100,000 to conduct the hand recount in the first place.  But that is exactly what the George Soros-supported secretary of state has agreed to do in the case of a Dinkytown precinct near the University of Minnesota.

Another curious turn in the Minnesota Senate race.  Things just keep getting weirder in the Minnesota Senate recount.  Last week, 133 ballots vanished in the still-unsettled contest between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.  This week, 171 absentee ballots are suddenly back in the mix after they were discovered to have been improperly rejected by election officials.

Franken vows to fight for seat.  [Scroll down] The Coleman campaign issued a sharp response.  "The Franken campaign has made it abundantly clear that they could care less about the outcome of the recount and are instead focusing their energies on fighting the results of the election through the court system or by taking the issue to the floor of the United States Senate," Coleman campaign spokesman Luke Friedrich said.  "We are standing behind the law on how recounts should be conducted and against efforts to change the rules when they don't suit your needs."

Coleman asks court to intervene in rejected absentee ballot count.  Lawyers for Republican Norm Coleman on Saturday [12/13/2008] asked the state Supreme Court to intervene in how rejected absentee ballots will be counted in the protracted U.S. Senate race with Democratic opponent Al Franken, saying the process in place now is "internally inconsistent, contrary to applicable law and confusing."  The Coleman campaign wants the court to order county elections officials to stop sorting or counting the rejected ballots until a court can rule on their legitimacy.

Coleman Campaign "Surprised" By Early Board Decisions.  The Coleman campaign is "surprised" by some of the judgments being made by the Minnesota state Canvassing Board on its first day of reviewing challenged ballots, according to a campaign representative. ... The representative said that according to the campaign's calculations, Norm Coleman stands to gain over 50 votes as a result of the challenging process, provided that the Board treats challenges from both campaigns consistently.

In Minnesota Recount, Scribbles, Mice and Other Ballot Puzzles.  The Minnesota Canvassing Board — four distinguished judges and the secretary of state — huddled in a basement room here Tuesday to ponder the meaning of squiggles and stray marks on ballots, trying to solve the near deadlock in the Senate race between the incumbent Republican, Norm Coleman, and his Democratic challenger, the comedian Al Franken.

Coleman withdraws some challenges to Minn. ballots.  A state board examining disputed ballots in the Minnesota Senate recount picked up its pace Thursday, aiming to make it through several hundred remaining challenges by the end of the week.  The Canvassing Board made it through more than 100 ballots in its first hour of work, much faster than it awarded ballots on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Their work was aided by Republican Norm Coleman's campaign decision to drop about 400 challenges.

Coleman leads Franken by just 2 votes.  Two votes is all that stands between Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, according to the Associated Press tally in the state's still-unresolved Senate race.  Coleman's shrinking lead, combined with a state Supreme Court decision handed down Thursday, has suddenly heightened the prospects that Franken, who has trailed in every count since Election Night, could end up winning the seat after all the votes are counted.

LBJ would be so proud...
Franken Stealing A Senate Seat.  What's going on in Minnesota right now is absolutely, unconditionally nothing less than an attempt to steal the election from Norm Coleman.  The Democrats have found "missing" votes for Franken, did a hand recount and then chose to take the election day totals in some places because they were better for Franken, counted duplicate votes, and they're counting absentee votes that the rules written beforehand said couldn't [be] counted.

Ballot Madness:  Tipping the Scales in Minnesota's Senate Recount.  The Canvassing Board overseeing the vote recount for Minnesota's tightly contested U.S. Senate race isn't quite done examining disputed ballots, but using their numbers the Minnesota Star Tribune issued a projection Saturday night that Al Franken will pick up 270 votes when the board is finished.

Franken Leads, Court Battle Is On In Minnesota Senate Race.  As of Tuesday, December 23, lawyers representing the two major candidates in the Minnesota Senate race were before the state Supreme Court arguing about the status of duplicate ballots.  According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the closest U.S. Senate race in the nation now has Democratic challenger Al Franken leading Republican Sen. Norm Coleman by 46 votes out of approximately 2.92 million cast.

Coleman:  Lawsuit a 'virtual certainty'.  Top lawyers for Sen. Norm Coleman's (R-Minn.) campaign said Wednesday [12/24/2008] that a lawsuit challenging the results of one of the closest Senate races in history is all but assured.  The statement comes after the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously rejected a suit filed by Coleman's campaign.  The lawsuit that sought to prevent a state board from certifying election results that Coleman had alleged includes errors.

Naming '08 Minnesota Senate winner will take until '09.  Minnesota voters won't know who won the state's U.S. Senate race this year, and it's looking more likely that the new Congress will be sworn in before the race ends between Democrat Al Franken and Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

Minnesota court blocks Coleman on double recount votes.  Minnesota's highest court on Wednesday ruled against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's attempt to keep dozens of possible double votes from Democratic-heavy precincts out of the long-running U.S. Senate recount, but left the door open for a lawsuit.  The state Supreme Court unanimously denied Coleman's request for a temporary restraining order to block the votes, which the Coleman campaign contended were duplicates that mostly favored Democratic rival Al Franken.

Franken leads by 50.  With only mistakenly rejected absentee ballots left to tally in Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount, Democrat Al Franken has a 50-vote lead over Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.  The lead, Franken's largest since Election Day, buoyed the Franken campaign.  "We are absolutely thrilled with where we stand," said Marc Elias, Franken recount attorney.  The Coleman campaign was less than thrilled.

Sen. Cornyn says Senate shouldn't seat Franken.  Senate Republican campaign chief John Cornyn (Texas) said Tuesday [12/30/2008] the Senate shouldn't seat Democrat Al Franken, who leads GOP Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.) in a hotly contested recount.  "Al Franken is falsely declaring victory based on an artificial lead created on the back of the double counting of ballots," Cornyn said in a statement.  The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee also accused Democrats of "creating additional chaos and disorder" during the recount.

The Minnesota Recount Folly:  For those who watched the Washington State governor's race recounts in 2004, the ongoing recount drama in Minnesota is just another rehash of the same script — albeit for a U.S. Senate seat that might put Democrats one vote away from a filibuster-proof majority.

Reid Plans to Seat Franken; GOP Furious.  GOP leaders reacted angrily Wednesday [12/31/2008] to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's tactic of all but projecting Al Franken the victor over incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, even as Minnesota election officials continue to count the votes.

Franken Lead at 49; Minn. Absentees Left to Count.  Democratic candidate Al Franken now holds a 49-vote lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota's Senate race, but wrangling over inclusion of absentee ballots continued Tuesday and any final determination of a winner was still days or weeks away.  By this time next week, the state board overseeing the recount expects to declare a winner ... But even then, the race won't be over if the losing party challenges the outcome in court.

Cornyn threatens filibuster over Franken.  GOP campaign chief John Cornyn (R-Texas) vowed Friday that Republicans would block any attempt by Democrats to seat Al Franken when the Senate gavels into order next week.  Franken is leading Republican incumbent Norm Coleman by a slim 49-vote margin, but more than 1,000 votes have yet to be counted and legal challenges remain.

Franken Expands Lead on Coleman After Count of Disputed Ballots.  Democrat Al Franken got a big boost in his effort to unseat Republican Sen. Norm Coleman on Saturday and now leads by 225 votes in Minnesota's roller coaster ride of a Senate race.  A pending court case, however, could wipe out Franken's gains, at least temporarily.

Funny Business in Minnesota -- every dubious ruling seems to help Al Franken.  Strange things keep happening in Minnesota, where the disputed recount in the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken may be nearing a dubious outcome.  Thanks to the machinations of Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and a meek state Canvassing Board, Mr. Franken may emerge as an illegitimate victor.  Mr. Franken started the recount 215 votes behind Senator Coleman, but he now claims a 225-vote lead and suddenly the man who was insisting on "counting every vote" wants to shut the process down.

Stalling Sen. Franken.  It appears Republicans could stall Franken for at least a week, which would give Coleman time to advance legal arguments against the board's decision, by employing arcane Senate rules.  National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman John Cornyn told Fox News that "The Senate's rules require an election certificate that can't be issued until after 7 days after the canvassing board certifies the recount."

Franken's on top; Coleman to sue.  Al Franken's 225-vote lead in the marathon U.S. Senate recount was unanimously certified Monday by the state Canvassing Board, prompting attorneys for Republican Norm Coleman to immediately declare that they will challenge the results in court.

Reid:  Coleman Should Accept Franken Victory.  A Minnesota board has certified election results showing Democrat Al Franken has won the U.S. Senate recount -- by 225 votes.  But that doesn't mean the former Saturday Night Live comedian's race against his Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, is over.  A legal challenge will keep the race in limbo.

Norm Coleman Vows to Battle Al Franken In Court.  After apparently leading the race by 725 votes, Coleman was declared the loser to Franken by the razor-thin recount margin of 225 votes out of nearly 3 million ballots cast.  Coleman's legal team has objected that 654 absentee ballots from precincts generally favoring the incumbent Republican should have been counted.  The campaign is also concerned that as many as 150 ballots may have been counted twice.

End to Minnesota Senate race pushed even further out.  Minnesota's grueling U.S. Senate race, already dragging on two months past Election Day, has now moved even further from the voters — and into the hands of lawyers.  Republican Norm Coleman filed a lawsuit Tuesday [1/6/2009] challenging Democrat Al Franken's apparent recount victory, likely keeping one of Minnesota's two U.S. Senate seats unoccupied for weeks or even months.

Franken's Funny Business.  As John F. Kennedy once said, "sometimes partisanship demands too much."  Watching Al Franken and the Democrats steal this election, vote by vote, is a horrific sight that makes a mockery of the electoral process, the fundamental element in our democracy.  If this travesty is allowed to stand, it essentially means that any close election constitutes an open invitation to try to steal the victory.  We must not permit the Minnesota Democrats to get away with this election heist.

Send in the Clown.  It sounds like the plot of a 1990s straight-to-video Hollywood flick, but barring any dramatic developments — such as a successful court challenge by Republican opponent Norm Coleman — former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and comedian Al Franken will become the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota, likely on the strength of fraudulent votes.

GOP sees Franken as top public enemy.  With only a longshot court appeal standing in the way of Democrat Al Franken's election to the Senate, Republicans are gritting their teeth and bracing for the arrival of a new senator whose every utterance will sound like nails on a chalkboard to them.

The Editor says...
Of course the Republicans don't want to see Al Franken in the Senate.  But the problem is not Mr. Franken's irritating personality or his corrosive sarcasm.  The problem is that he appears to have stolen the election.

Court to Franken:  Wait until Feb. on election suit.  Minnesota won't have a second senator until February at the earliest after the state Supreme Court gave itself several weeks to consider Democrat Al Franken's request for an expedited election certificate.  The court said it would hear arguments on Franken's petition to get a certificate before the conclusion of a lawsuit by Republican Norm Coleman, but not until Feb. 5.

The Minnesota Recount Was Unconstitutional.  Minnesota is Bush v. Gore reloaded.  The details differ, but not in terms of arbitrariness, lack of uniform standards, inconsistency in how local recounts were conducted and counted, and strange state court decisions.  Consider the inconsistencies: One county "found" 100 new votes for Mr. Franken, due to an asserted clerical error.  Decision?  Add them.  Ramsey County (St. Paul) ended up with 177 more votes than were recorded election day.  Decision?  Count them.  Hennepin County (Minneapolis, where I voted — once, to my knowledge) came up with 133 fewer votes than were recorded by the machines.  Decision?  Go with the machines' tally.  All told, the recount in 25 precincts ended up producing more votes than voters who signed in that day.

It's a Trial Date Tango in Minnesota.  Coleman's legal team suggested a multi-phased process to hear their challenge to the recount outcome, with hearings starting as early as Jan. 21, and trial dates beginning on Feb. 9, 16 and 23.  That would mean the legal proceedings would likely stretch into March.

Why Norm Coleman Will Win:  Anyone following the recount has no doubt heard the bluster and bravado regularly coming from the Al Franken campaign.  However, in recent days, Franken and his Washington legal team have seemed awfully desperate for a campaign that is trying to convince people they are winning. ... Why, if they claim to have a lead, are they so desperately anxious to put Al Franken in a Senate seat?

Franken makes his case in D.C..  As the outcome of the Minnesota Senate race heads to trial, Democrat Al Franken and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman have embraced the public spotlight after avoiding attention during the weeks-long recount.  Franken arrived in Washington on Friday to celebrate President-elect Barack Obama's Inauguration — and to raise money for the campaign's post-election legal challenges.

Coleman wants thousands more ballots counted.  Norm Coleman's campaign is resting its hopes of overturning Al Franken's certified 225-vote lead on counting thousands of rejected absentee ballots — the same ballots it once argued shouldn't be included in the recount.  Coleman's campaign is calling for all of the 12,000 rejected absentee ballots to be sorted, and for the three-judge panel overseeing the election contest to adopt a liberal standard for accepting them into the overall count.

Senate recount:  Franken, Coleman court resolution.  While lawyers argued a motion to dismiss Coleman's suit for more vote counting, he and Franken were in Washington making their cases there.

Franken says 'I would like to be seated provisionally'.  Al Franken said today he feels he won the disputed Minnesota Senate election, wants to be seated as soon as possible and believes that there is historical precedent for seating a member of Congress while the election is being battled in the courts.

Another Round in the Coleman-Franken Stand-Off.  Outside the Capitol on Tuesday, Al Franken sported a thick Russian-style winter hat as he settled in to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama.  Inside the Capitol, there is still no office with his name on it.  That didn't stop Mr. Franken, the Democrat and entertainer, from circulating a statement that hinted at the prospect of "working together" with the newly sworn-in president.

Senate Democrats move toward seating Franken.  It's no joke:  Senate Democrats are moving toward letting comedian Al Franken join the chamber while Republican Norm Coleman's election lawsuit is pending.  "We're going to try to seat Al Franken," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters on Wednesday [1/21/2009], a few hours before he posed with Franken for photos just off the Senate floor.  "There's not a question in anyone's mind, an assertion by anyone, that there's been any fraud or wrongdoing in this election."

[Obviously, Senator Reid hasn't visited this page.]

Coleman denied request for Minnesota ballot inspection.  A three-judge panel on Friday [1/23/2009] rejected Republican Norm Coleman's request to investigate alleged vote-counting irregularities that may have contributed to his opponent's lead in Minnesota's Senate race after a recount.  "The court is not convinced that another inspection of the ballots is efficient or needed to prepare for trial," the judges wrote.  The recount trial starts Monday and is expected to last weeks.

Judges request Coleman team to resubmit evidence.  During opening statements, Coleman's attorney Joe Friedberg told the three-judge panel that there were three major categories of ballots that the campaign wanted it to consider:  wrongly-rejected absentee ballots, supposedly double-counted ballots and 133 missing ballots from a Minneapolis precinct.  Friedberg told the panel that the absentee ballot category is the main one and how they were counted controls the outcome of the case.  He asked that the judges allow 5,000 wrongly-rejected absentee ballots to be included in the recount.

How Franken Won In Minnesota ... If He Did.  The number who voted for Alan Stuart Franken, 58, for United States Senator, was 1,212,431, give or take a few hundred.  No one knows for sure.  How many double-counted ballots did he get?  How many felon's votes?  Other illegals?  How many votes (to the nearest thousand, please) did ACORN scrape up for him, tossing voter registration forms like confetti in Democratic strongholds?

Bush v. Gore redux?  The Coleman campaign in the Senate race in Minnesota makes the argument that due to "irregularities, mistakes, and violations of law" the recount procedures adopted by the canvassing and elections board caused Al Franken to be erroneously certified as the election winner.  If the argument sounds familiar it's because vote counting irregularity was a key issue in the landmark Bush v. Gore decision in 2000.

Minnesota recount's comedy of errors.  As Michael Stokes Paulsen, a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis wrote in The Wall Street Journal, there is a lot in the recount affair to concern us.  Franken has exploited a weakness in almost every state's recount process.  Recounts, Paulsen observes, must not violate the 14th Amendment, which provides that "no state shall...deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."  The Constitution suggests it is a matter of some importance that votes be counted uniformly in a democracy.  The Supreme Court's "Bush v. Gore" 2000 decision reaffirmed the equal protection clause:  Ballots in one precinct or county must not be evaluated differently than those in others.

In Senate trial, Coleman turns to Bush v. Gore.  The success of Norm Coleman's lawsuit to reclaim his Senate seat could depend on how willing the trial judges are to find a precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling from another messy, political charged election battle:  Bush v. Gore.

Franken Has Tax Problems, Too.  President Obama's Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Daschle have been getting some attention regarding their failure to pay taxes, but what about Al Franken?  Franken, who is still fighting incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman for Minnesota's Senate seat, failed to pay at least $70,000 in taxes to 17 states prior to running for office.

Minnesota ballots put under review.  The judges in Minnesota's Senate election trial threw Republican Norm Coleman a lifeline on Tuesday, opening the door to adding nearly 5,000 rejected absentee ballots to a race that Democrat Al Franken leads by just 225 votes.  It wasn't a total victory for Coleman, who had wanted the judges to look at about 11,000 such ballots.  He also has to prove the absentees were unfairly rejected, and it's likely that Franken would gain votes from the pile too.

Minnesota Re-Re-Recount.  The Coleman lawsuit is largely concerned with the fate of approximately 12,000 absentee ballots that local election officials rejected on Election Day.  Of those ballots, election officials later determined that 1,346 may have been improperly rejected (because, say, an election judge made an incorrect call on whether a ballot signature matched a ballot application signature).

Coleman seizes on newfound ballots.  Perry Mason, meet Rachel Smith.  Smith, the top elections official in Anoka County, dropped a minor bombshell Thursday in the courtroom where a lawsuit over Minnesota's U.S. Senate race was being heard.  She testified that the county has found — within the prior 24 hours — a dozen or more ballots that were never counted in the statewide recount that ended last month.

Franken asks Minn. court to put him in Senate now.  Al Franken said Friday he's frustrated but not bitter that a lawsuit by Norm Coleman is keeping him out of the U.S. Senate, and is working hard to keep up with issues in the meantime.

Some rejected Minnesota Senate ballots to be counted.  The judges in the Minnesota Senate trial have identified the first of what could be many wrongly rejected absentee ballots that they say must be included in the final count.

Coleman Reflects on Recount.  As Congress prepares to pass a $787 billion economic stimulus package, taxpayers in Minnesota are still short a U.S. Senator as the recount between GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and opponent Al Franken continues. "It's frustrating because you would hope, as I humbly do, that you have something to add to the debate and be a part of the discussion, both back in DC and also back home," Coleman told me in a private interview. He recently penned an op-ed to outline his opposition to the bill. The most unsettling aspect of the recount, he said, was the fact that "we're finding out that so many people are finding out that their votes weren't counted."

Franken:  Call me 'Senator-elect'.  Democrat Al Franken has started using the title "senator-elect," despite the fact that his contest with Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) has not yet been decided.  A Minnesota court is currently hearing Coleman's challenge to the recount.

Coleman needs a miracle.  Three months after Election Day, the Minnesota showdown between Al Franken and Norm Coleman continues, and the ever-changing storyline has now settled on a central question:  Does Coleman have any real chance of retaining his Senate seat?  The answer, according to state political and legal analysts, is that it would take a miracle.

Minnesota Court's Friday 13th Decision Might Haunt.  In order for anyone to be legally named as Minnesota's Senator, the court will have to certify all legally cast ballots.  Under their own standards, by way of the Friday the 13th ruling, the court has conceded illegal ballots have been included in their counts.  The Coleman campaign has asked the court to repeal their decision, but their appeal was rejected Wednesday [2/18/2009].

RNC sends $250K for Coleman recount.  The Republican National Committee has transferred $250,000 to the Minnesota GOP to help pay legal fees in Norm Coleman's ongoing recount battle against Al Franken for the Minnesota Senate seat.  A spokesman for the RNC, Alex Conant, said the committee had made Coleman's legal battle "a priority because we think he has a case and because we think he deserves to return to the Senate."  The money was transferred last month.

The 'culture of corruption' is alive and well.  The real villain here is former Independent Governor Jesse Ventura, who persuaded Dean Barkley to run as well.  Coleman and Franken each have 42 percent of the vote with Barkley sitting at 15 percent.  Clearly, a runoff election could have resolved this problem months ago if Minnesota followed the procedure used by Georgia and Louisiana.

Senate Democrats see Franken win.  Senate Democratic leaders said Thursday that Democrat Al Franken could be seated as the new senator from Minnesota in a little more than a month, predicting that Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman's legal challenge to save his seat would soon be defeated.

Coleman camp asks that election result be 'set aside'.  For more than a month, Norm Coleman stressed flaws in Minnesota's election system.  And on Monday [3/2/2009], 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.

Proof of fraud in the Minnesota Senate Race.  The vote gap between Norm Coleman (R) and Al Franken (D for Dumb) has progressively narrowed from 727 to 236.  What's more than a bit suspicious about this is that several news sources have reported finding batches of ballots with ALL votes for Franken and NONE for Coleman.  That's like spilling a piggy bank with 491 pennies in it, and finding that all just happen to land with heads facing up.

Court won't seat Franken.  The Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday turned down Democrat Al Franken's request that the Senate recount be certified and that he be allowed to take a seat in the U.S. Senate.  Franken asked the court in January to compel Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) to certify his contest against incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), but the court concluded that it does not have the legal authority to force the governor's hand.

Minnesota Voters See Franken As Winner.  Forty-seven percent (47%) of Minnesota voters now believe Democrat Al Franken has been elected to the U.S. Senate in a race so close that it's been working its way through the state's court system for the last four months.  Thirty-five percent (35%) believe incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman will be re-elected, and 18% are not sure in the latest Rasmussen Reports survey of Minnesota voters.

Franken pushes to toss Coleman's Minn. Senate suit.  The Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday blocked Democrat Al Franken's petition for an election certificate that would put him in the U.S. Senate without waiting for a lawsuit to run its course.

Coleman warns donors after purported data breach.  Republican Norm Coleman has asked federal authorities to investigate how financial data for at least 4,700 Minnesota Senate campaign donors was breached and posted on the Internet.  Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan mentioned the investigation in an e-mail sent to supporters Wednesday [3/11/2009].  It was in response to cryptic warnings many got the night before informing them of the possible leak of credit card information connected to their contributions.

Franken heads to Capitol Hill, meets with Democrats.  Democrat Al Franken said Tuesday [3/10/2009] he sees "a light at the end of the tunnel" and expects to be seated as Minnesota's next senator.  The former "Saturday Night Live" comic and liberal satirist traveled to Washington for meetings, including the Senate Democratic Caucus lunch.  Emerging from the weekly gathering, Franken told reporters he had been asked to give an update to the caucus on his protracted battle with Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

Coleman's case shrinks to 1,360 ballots.  Republican Norm Coleman's case in the U.S. Senate trial, once built on the prospects of counting thousands of rejected absentee ballots, is now down to 1,360 ballots or fewer.

Minnesota Senate Race Is In Judges' Hands Now.  Nearly five months after 2.9 million voters cast ballots, the Senate race between Al Franken (D) and Norm Coleman (R) is in the hands of a three-judge panel here after first one candidate and then the other declared victory.  Until the judges rule, perhaps within days, Franken officially has a 225-vote lead, the U.S. Senate has 99 members and Minnesota has a reality show that feels as though it's already in reruns.

Senate Republicans back Coleman all the way.  Senate Republicans are backing their beleaguered colleague in Minnesota, saying former Sen. Norm Coleman should push his election case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Coleman has been battling Democrat Al Franken since November for the seat that used to be his, but recent court decisions have moved against him in the legal battle over the recount.  Franken technically has a 225-vote lead, and last week a decision gave him a stronger chance of clinging to it.

Court Narrows Number of Minnesota Ballots to Count.  A Minnesota court took an important step Tuesday [3/31/2009] toward declaring whether Republican Norm Coleman or Democrat Al Franken won last year's Senate election.  A three-judge panel identified a small final pool of absentee ballots it believes should be reviewed and potentially counted.

Coleman team vows to appeal tally.  Not long after a decisive majority of once-rejected absentee ballots were counted and broke for Franken on Tuesday [4/7/2009], attorneys on both sides were already jawing over the merits of an appeal in the 10-week-old U.S. Senate recount trial.  Coleman spokesman Ben Ginsberg said the three presiding judges erred in permitting only 351 rejected absentee ballots to be counted.  "We will be appealing this to the Minnesota Supreme Court," he said.

Minnesota's Shame:  The wholesale disenfranchisement of absentee military voters.  In its recent order, the three-judge election contest court in Minnesota reiterated a common theme during the Coleman versus Franken Senate recount — notwithstanding the numerous questions raised regarding the fairness of the election, "Citizens of Minnesota should be proud of their electoral system, a system which has one of the highest voter-participation rates in the country."

Judges:  Franken the Winner in Minnesota.  A Minnesota trial court unanimously ruled Monday that Democrat Al Franken is the winner in Minnesota's long-running Senate race, rejecting Republican Norm Coleman's lawsuit challenging the results of a recount.  "Franken is entitled to receive the certificate of election," naming him the winner, the three-judge panel ruled, after dismissing all of Coleman's major claims for a lack of evidence.

Minnesota's Missing Votes.  Even after the recount and panel-findings, the 312-vote margin separating the two men equals about .01% of the 2.9 million votes cast.  Even without any irregularities, this is as close to a "tie" as it gets.  And there have been plenty of irregularities.  By the end of the recount, the state was awash with evidence of duplicate ballot counting, newly discovered ballots, missing ballots, illegal voting, and wildly diverse standards as to which votes were counted.  Any one of these issues was enough to throw the outcome into doubt.

'Senator-elect' Franken starts his staff.  Democrat Al Franken still hasn't been officially seated as Minnesota's U.S. Senator, but that hasn't stopped him from starting to staff a Senate office.  Franken's staff today announced that he plans to hire longtime DFL activist Alana Peterson to serve as his state director, a move clearly intended to position him as the likely winner of the still-unresolved contest with Republican Norm Coleman.

Coleman files appeal to Supreme Court.  Ignoring opponents' demands that he concede, Norm Coleman told the Minnesota Supreme Court Monday [4/20/2009] that a lower court got it all wrong when it ruled that Al Franken won the 2008 U.S. Senate election.

Coleman dodges egg with 'Bush move'.  Republican Norm Coleman used a quick George Bush-esque move to dodge an egg thrown at him outside his Minnesota home.  Coleman told police that he heard a thumping on his door Tuesday night and walked outside to investigate.  Upon seeing Coleman, a man yelled "I [expletive] can't stand what you represent" and threw an egg at him.  "He said something, some little obscenity, and then he threw another one," Coleman told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  "I kind of ducked.  A George Bush move."  "I ran after him, but I didn't get him."

Minnesota Court's Schedule Prolongs Senate Election Case.  Minnesota will head into the summer months without a second U.S. senator under the Supreme Court's schedule for hearing Republican Norm Coleman's appeal.  The court said Friday [4/24/2009] that it wouldn't hold oral arguments until June 1.  It's later than Democrat Al Franken had hoped.  In the meantime, the two sides will file their briefs.

Tough Call Looms for Minnesota Governor.  Gov. Pawlenty may have to decide whether to certify Democrat Al Franken as a U.S. senator while Norm Coleman, Mr. Franken's Republican opponent, is still challenging the results of the November election.  The governor is "going to face a lot of pressure from Minnesotans who want this to end, and he's going to face a lot pressure from Republicans who want to continue fighting," said Kathryn Pearson, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota.

Did uncounted overseas ballots give the lead to Franken in Minnesota?  A shameful total of 98,000 of 441,00 ballots requested by Americans overseas in 2008, mainly military personnel, were never returned.  Assume Minnesota's share of these unreturned ballots was proportional to its share of the US population, or just over 1.7%.  That would equate to about 1,700 ballots.  Franken's lead over Coleman is just over 300 votes at last count.

Norm Coleman Extends Senate Fight.  Attorneys for Norm Coleman filed their final brief with the Minnesota Supreme Court Friday in the bitterly contested 2008 election that the former Republican senator lost to Democrat Al Franken by 225 votes after a partial recount. ... Mr. Coleman's brief asks the state's highest court to agree to his request that 4,400 absentee ballots — which his lawyers maintain were "wrongly excluded from the count" — be added to the final election tally.

Franken to Coleman:  You owe me $161,510.63.  Team Franken and Team Coleman have found something else to argue about.  On this round, instead of votes or election certificates, it's money:  specifically how much of it Coleman owes Franken.

State Supreme Court grills lawyers for Coleman, Franken.  Republican Norm Coleman called on the Minnesota Supreme Court today [6/1/2009] to reverse a victory for Democrat Al Franken, and several justices sharply challenged Coleman's argument for counting more ballots.

Battle Over Unfilled U.S. Senate Seat Goes Before Minnesota Supreme Court.  Republican Norm Coleman asked the Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday [6/1/2009] to throw out a lower-court ruling that handed Democrat Al Franken a win in the state's U.S. Senate race.  Coleman attorney Joe Friedberg argued that counties were inconsistent in the way they decided whether absentee ballots were filled out properly and should be counted.

Experts:  Prognosis grim as Coleman runs out of legal options.  Election-law experts who have tracked the case closely are unanimous in believing that Coleman's appeal before the Minnesota Supreme Court will fail — and that it will likely be by a unanimous decision.  That will clear the way for Democrat Al Franken to be seated in the U.S. Senate.

Franken Wins a Ruling, Still Waits for a Victory.  It wasn't the ruling everyone is waiting for, but a Minnesota court did issue a decision Wednesday [6/10/2009] that puts to rest one element in the ongoing dispute over the 2008 Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.  A state trial court ordered Coleman's campaign to reimburse Franken nearly $95,000 in legal costs as part of its decision rejecting Coleman's challenge to the election challenge in April.

Court rules for Franken; Coleman won't appeal.  Republican Norm Coleman ended his bruising eight-month court fight over Minnesota's U.S. Senate seat this afternoon [6/30/2009], conceding to Democrat Al Franken after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Franken's favor.

Norm Coleman concedes Minnesota Senate race to Al Franken.  Republican Norm Coleman has conceded to Democrat Al Franken in the Minnesota Senate race, ending one of the longest Senate races in American history and clearing the way for Democrats to hold a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate.

MN Supreme Court decides for Franken.  Unless Norm Coleman decides to appeal to the US Supreme Court (and can raise the money), Al Franken will take a seat in the United States Senate, and give the Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

Al Franken (D-ACORN) Heads to the Senate.  After the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected his lawsuit today, Republican Norm Coleman graciously conceded the bitterly disputed contest over the second U.S. Senate seat for Minnesota.  None of this changes the fact that as a senator Al Franken is not legitimate.  The election was stolen at the precinct level, during the recount, and during the post-election litigation.  Never forget the role that ACORN played in this.

The Sen. Al Franken Blue Ball.  Upon hearing of the court's decision, Franken joked that he was "thrilled and honored by the faith that Minnesotans have placed in" him.  That is not a very funny joke, but Franken is not funny.  By "Minnesotans," he probably is attempting irony in referring to his supporters on vote canvassing boards in several left-leaning counties, who turned up a sufficient number of thitherto-uncounted votes to give him the edge.

And Franken Makes 60.  [Scroll down]  Al Franken is a bat guano crazy liberal who has more in common with the wild-eyed radical leftist fringe of the Democratic Party than your run-of-the-mill liberal like John Kerry or Ted Kennedy.  But what will make him such a great target will be his rabid, unbridled, hateful partisanship.  Al Franken has made it crystal clear in his incarnations as comedy writer, radio host, and author that he loathes Republicans and conservatives.  It is a pathological, almost clinical condition that will explode from time to time in bitter denunciation of the opposition, supplying bloggers and commentators with a cornucopia of material.

Poll: High unfavorables for Al Franken.  Less than a week before Sen.-elect Al Franken (D-Minn.) is set to be sworn into office, a new national poll shows that 44 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of the former comedian and liberal radio host.

44% Nationwide Have Unfavorable View of Franken.  It is fairly typical for individual legislators to have negative favorability ratings on a national basis.  There's clearly more intense feeling among those who don't like Franken.  Twelve percent (12%) of voters have a very favorable view of the new senator, compared to 29% who have a very unfavorable opinion.  Similarly, 19% of Democrats have a very favorable view of Franken, while 51% of Republicans and 32% of voters not affiliated with either party regard him very unfavorably.

Al Franken — Democrat From Acorn.  Arguably, [Norm Coleman's] seat may have been lost the day in 2006 when Democrat Mark Ritchie defeated two-term incumbent Republican Mary Kiffmeyer to become Minnesota secretary of state.  It was Ritchie who orchestrated the recount that gave Democratic challenger Franken a lead some six weeks after Coleman appeared to win by 725 votes on Election Day.  Ritchie has extensive ties to the Acorn organization now under federal investigation for vote fraud and was endorsed by the community activist group in 2006.  In 2006, the Minnesota Acorn Political Committee endorsed Ritchie and contributed to his campaign.  Other contributors to his campaign included George Soros, along with the likes of Deborah Rappaport, a Saul Alinsky disciple who co-founded the Midwest Academy, a radical Acorn clone.

Franken bucks Obama in first vote.  Even before he lost that new senator smell, Al Franken bucked the Obama administration — joining other Democrats in rejecting the White House plan to scrap $6 million funding to protect buses from terrorists.  The amendment, sponsored by none other than John McCain, failed 51 to 47 with Franken joining fellow Minnesotan Amy Klobuchar in the nay column.

GOP's $96,000 sent to Franken.  In the last chapter of a stinging loss to now-Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota's Republican Party has sent the Democrat about $96,000 to cover legal costs.  Republican Party spokesman Mark Drake said a check was sent via courier Monday to Franken's campaign committee.  It arrived Tuesday, the same day Franken took his oath for a seat held open during an eight-month recount and court fight.

Franken, a clown for all seasons, arrives in time.  Some of the Democrats can't wait to see what mischief they can do.  "With the Minnesota recount complete," Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said after the Minnesota robbery was completed, "it is now clear that Al Franken won the election."  Actually, it wasn't clear at all, but clarity is never valued among thieves.  The Democrats in the Senate were eager to get Al seated quickly, both for crucial Senate votes coming up and because once seated among his equals, a bum is difficult to throw out. ... The theft of Norman Coleman's Senate seat was remarkably brazen for the way it was done in broad daylight.

Obama's long six months.  The observation of Barack Obama's six-month anniversary as President has received much less attention than did his 100th day.  All the portentous comparisons with FDR have died away, and the administration is in a fierce struggle to salvage two of its most ambitious legislative projects -- cap-and-trade to reduce carbon emissions and universal medical care. ... All the celebrations of a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate (after the brazen theft of the Minnesota Senate election by leftist comedian Al Franken) will not mitigate the public's eroding confidence in the administration; nor their misgivings about higher taxes, bone-crushing deficits and socialized, coercive, health care.

It's about loyalty.  Once the political system of the United States, the voters, the media, and the politicians themselves are all committed to the proposition that Obama is president, trying to reverse it would mean riots in every city in the nation.  At some point even debatable claims become irreversible.  That is why Al Franken is now the US Senator from Minnesota, even if his election was corrupt and wrong.  It's water under the bridge.  Leave it to history.

Franken feuds with T. Boone Pickens.  According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of "The First Billion Is the Hardest" stepped up to introduce himself to [Al] Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended.  Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello.  Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire's financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.  According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.

Franken Makes His Mark.  The prospect of Al Franken as a United States Senator worried many, not only because he had no qualifications for the job but because he is temperamentally unsuited to high office.  A bitter, angry man, Franken has a long history of confrontations and fisticuffs. He hasn't yet made much of an impression in Washington, but on Thursday his hostile, hyper-partisan temperament was on display.

The Franken Meltdown Begins.  As predicted by many, it appears the meltdown of the most emotionally unstable member of the United States Senate is finally underway.  After being a good boy during the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings, the newly fraudulently installed Sen. Al Franken (D-ACORN), couldn't resist letting T. Boone Pickens have it for funding those delightful Swift Boat ads that helped bury John Kerry's presidential prospects.

Franken Approval Rating Worst Among New Senators.  Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is not topping the hit parade with his relatively new constituents, according to the most recent poll.  Two weeks into the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian's tenure in the Senate, SurveyUSA asked 600 Minnesotans whether they approved/disapproved of his work thus far.  The poll found 43 percent of adults approved of his job performance and 45 percent disapproved.  Registering an "unsure" was 12 percent.

Democrats admit ACORN helped elect Al Franken to Senate.  Even the Democrats in Minnesota now realize their new US Sen. Al Franken was elected with the help of ACORN chicanery.  The disgraced, pimp-friendly community organizing group claims it registered 43,000 new Minnesota voters.  If just 1 percent were fraudulent but survived the recount process, that's 430 votes, almost all cast for Franken, who won by just 312 votes.

Did someone mention ACORN?

When Will a National Voter Fraud Investigation of ACORN Begin?  Whatever happened with the investigation into ACORN and the 2008 election?  The organization did register a mere 1,315,037 voters by October for the 2008 presidential election.  And, we must not forget about the Minnesota fiasco in which Minnesotans ended up with Senator Al Franken even though Norm Coleman led by 725 votes — the morning after the election!

Franken's Craven 'Anti-Rape' Amendment.  Franken and the Left styled the measure as "anti-rape" legislation, when in fact it's really a thinly veiled gift to trial lawyers, to whom the Democratic party is largely in thrall.  Federal law already precludes arbitration for such serious crimes, and the amendment would sweep in all manner of ordinary employment disputes.

Franken shuts down Lieberman on Senate floor.  Democratic Sen. Al Franken took the unusual step Thursday [12/17/2009] of shutting down Sen. Joe Lieberman on the Senate floor.

A clown's impression of seriousness.  Sen. Joe Lieberman was making remarks on Medicare on the Senate floor when his allotted time expired.  As is standard practice in the Senate, Lieberman asked the chair for a few minutes of additional time to conclude, "without objection."  But the presiding officer, one Sen. Al Franken, said no.  "In my capacity as Senator from Minnesota, I object."

John McCain:  Al Franken-Joe Lieberman episode shows deterioration of Senate.  Sen. John McCain on Friday denounced the decision of Democrats to cut off Sen. Joe Lieberman in the middle of a floor speech, saying that the good will in the usually clubby Senate seems to have evaporated.  "I've been around here for more than 20 years, yesterday on the floor of the Senate, the senator from Connecticut was finishing up his remarks ... and was objected to by the newest member of the United States Senate — and in the most brusque way."

Franken talks tough on the floor, runs from press outside.  Senator Franken seems to enjoy tweaking a few individuals in the Senate itself, but he folds like a cheap lawn chair the moment he leaves the floor and is thrown the most benign questions from reporters who are waiting outside.  Mr. Franken's canned "speak to my press secretary" responses are beginning to wear thin on reporters around the Capitol.  Pretending to be a player in the Senate and actually being one are two different things, and he is only making enemies too early on.

Franken the Clown Turns Senate Into a Circus.  [Scroll down slowly]  Reportedly, Franken was following orders by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid when he cut off Lieberman's speech.  Reid is claiming that Franken's action was not personal against Lieberman, but it was just a way to keep the debate moving so that health care reform can be passed by Christmas.  However, few honestly doubt that this wasn't deeply personal.  Lieberman has slowed down a rush to socialized health care and many Democrats are furious with him.

After quiet first months, Franken's sharp tongue emerges in Senate.  Al Franken, the Democrat from Minnesota who won election to the Senate after a successful career as a comic and author, has begun to show the sharp-tongued side of his personality by ripping into GOP staffers behind the scenes.  Franken has worked diligently to keep a low public profile in Congress while focusing on wonky policy debates.  But he has been unable to completely repress the fiery passion that made him a hero of the Democratic Party's liberal base.

The Franken vs. Lieberman Smackdown:  A New Trend?  Comity is being replaced by comedy in the Senate, and sonorous debate may yet give way to hurled epithets and folding chairs.

Franken's loud enough, he's rude enough.  When Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat, was a comedian, he was never that funny.  Take the title of his book "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" — that's some high-quality humor there.  Clever, daring and yet so second grade.  But when Minnesotans elected him to the Senate, Mr. Franken promised that those days were behind him and that he would work hard to win over his colleagues.  So far, his presence in the Senate is making it a less civil place.

Al Franken lays into David Axelrod over health care bill.  Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration's failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.

Franken Bullies Comcast, NBC on Merger:  'I Don't Trust These Promises'.  After hearing the wit and wisdom of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., one has to wonder how modern media corporations could stay in business without the expertise and guidance of those elected to the U.S. Senate.

Senator Smiley:  Al Franken pulls no punches, but adds a few punch lines.  Without humor to soften his acute observations, Franken's naked sarcasm, short fuse and sense of showmanship ran amok, leading to public blowups with Republicans, private grievances among Democrats and attacks on senior Obama administration officials.

Democrats and Vote Fraud:  On the Road to Rigged Elections.  [Scroll down]  Years of leftist planning and effort came together in Minnesota in 2008, where the nation's closest statewide contest pitted Democrat Al Franken against Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman.  Presiding over the election was SOSP Secretary Mark Ritchie, whose extensive ties to ACORN were predictably ignored by the media.  Shortly before the election, Ritchie was asked to investigate serious problems with the registration rolls, including 261,000 duplicates and 63,000 voters who had listed non-existent addresses.  He dismissed the request as an attempt "to create a cloud over an election so people don't accept the outcome."  After the polls closed, Secretary Ritchie reported that his office "received no reports whatsoever" of fraudulent voting.

Franken and His Bible [sic] Return.  [Scroll down]  No, in Franken's view judges should be more like the Committee of Public Safety during the French Revolution — an unelected group of super-legislators who issue binding verdicts based on their own advanced conceptions of justice and the class warfare. ... Franken is attempting to be serious, but should not be taken seriously.  A judge who does not think himself an umpire may end up an autocrat.

Al Franken Caught Dozing Off During Kagan Testimony.  There are few things more important to our country, our society, our very way of life than the United States Supreme Court.  Therefore, the selection of a new justice is one of the most interesting news stories possible.  Every few years, we, as Americans, get to sit back and literally watch history being made in front of our very eyes.  We get to see our country's future being written.  We get to ... Is Al Franken falling asleep?

Franken confirms he'll back Kagan.  Sen. Al Franken will vote to confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, he confirmed today [7/6/2010].  Speaking with reporters via phone from Hanoi, Vietnam, Franken confirmed what had been widely expected.

The Editor says...
What's he doing in Hanoi?  A town hall meeting with his constituents?

By any means necessary...
Felons Voting Illegally May Have Put Franken Over the Top in Minnesota.  The six-month election recount that turned former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Al Franken into a U.S. senator may have been decided by convicted felons who voted illegally in Minnesota's Twin Cities.  That's the finding of an 18-month study conducted by Minnesota Majority, a conservative watchdog group, which found that at least 341 convicted felons in largely Democratic Minneapolis-St. Paul voted illegally in the 2008 Senate race between Franken, a Democrat, and his Republican opponent, then-incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman.

The real crime is allowing just anybody to vote.  More convicted felons might have voted in 2008 than the margin of victory enjoyed by Al Franken over Norm Coleman, although it must be noted that we have no evidence a convicted felon would have favored Al over Norm.  For all we know, convicted felons, who for the most part are ineligible to vote, rallied their illicit forces to turn out for Coleman in the belief, somewhat plausible, that he was the more limited-government, free-market candidate.  Norm probably wouldn't have asked Elena Kagan about her favorite "Perry Mason" episode, either.

Minnesota GOP Chairman says...
It's Time for a Closer Look into Whether Felons Voted in 2008.  The chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party called Thursday for a massive, eleventh-hour investigation into allegations of illegal voting by felons in the state's bitterly contested 2008 Senate election.  The move comes on the heels of a report by a conservative watchdog group that the number of illegal votes greatly exceeded the 312-vote margin that made Al Franken a U.S. senator — and barely two months before the records will be destroyed.

What Al Franken's Election Tells Us.  Al Franken's election to the Senate demonstrates not only that vote fraud exists but also that it can alter elections and indeed the laws of the country.

Franken's Felony Vote News Blackout.  Maybe I'm deaf and blind, but two weeks after a voting records examination report showed Minnesota Senator Al Franken was probably elected by felons who were illegally voting in that state's 2008 general election, I've yet to come across even one mention of that story in the agenda-setting media.

Franken warns that GOP Congress would bring 'truly dangerous agenda'.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), addressing a convention of liberal bloggers and activists Saturday evening [7/24/2010], implored the left to fight to stay in power in the midterm elections.  "If Republicans take back Congress they'll implement a truly dangerous agenda," Franken told the Netroots Nation gathering in Las Vegas.  "Everything is on the table, from repealing healthcare reform to privatizing Social Security."

The Editor says...
All that stuff was "on the table" the last time Republicans had the majority — and that which Al Franken so greatly fears did not come to pass.

McConnell scolds Franken for making faces from dais during his speech.  Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) scolded Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on the Senate floor Thursday [8/5/2010] for allegedly mocking him while he delivered a solemn speech on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.  The dust-up came seconds after McConnell delivered a speech on Kagan's nomination shortly before the Senate voted to confirm her to the high court.  Franken, who was presiding over the chamber from the dais, gesticulated and made faces while McConnell explained his opposition to Kagan, according to witnesses.

McConnell to Franken:  This isn't 'SNL'.  When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out his opposition to Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination, someone in the chamber appeared to be moving around in his chair, gasping and rolling his eyes.  It was Sen. Al Franken.

Franken most foul.  When there is a local angle to a national story, the local press usually has a field day with it.  That hasn't proved to be the case with the story regarding Minnesota Senator Al Franken's outrageous behavior in the Senate during Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's speech opposing the confirmation of Elena Kagan on Thursday [8/5/2010].  The Star Tribune ran one perfunctory story by reporter Kevin Diaz and let it go at that.

Al Franken's Gaffes.  Former TV comedian Al Franken continues to demonstrate why he's not ready for prime time in the Senate.  Last week, GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was giving a serious speech on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.  He noticed Senator Franken, who was in the presiding officer's chair in front of him, gesticulating and making faces at him as he criticized Ms. Kagan.  "Senate aides said they were shocked that Franken would flout the decorum of the chamber during such a solemn occasion," reported The Hill newspaper.

Miller says he is concerned Murkowski will 'pull an Al Franken'.  Joe Miller, the Republican candidate who is poised to knock off Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) in a primary contest, said Thursday [8/26/2010] he is concerned she will launch a protracted legal battle to save her seat.

See how high she flies.  Al Franken proved himself to be a terrible candidate for the Minnesota Senate seat held by incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in the run-up to the 2008 election.  Franken had titled the memoir of his fictitious presidential campaign Why Not Me?  That question could have been the theme of his real Senate campaign as well.  Franken is a man of the hard left, but that isn't necessarily disqualifying in the land of 10,000 loons.

Tea Party Vs. SEIU.  Voter rolls are under assault nationwide by the group formerly known as Acorn, the SEIU, and others. The Secretary of State Project is a group founded and funded by George Soros and dedicated to electing people like Minnesota's Mark Ritchie to control the election machinery. It was Ritchie's suspect recounting process that put comedian Al Franken in the U.S. Senate.

Franken commits another gaffe while presiding over Senate.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is still getting the hang of presiding over the Senate.  Franken, the most famous member of the Senate freshmen class, has logged dozens of hours as presiding officer of the chamber, a duty often given to new senators to help them learn arcane procedural rules.  Franken suffered another embarrassing moment Wednesday morning [9/29/2010] when he mistakenly recognized Sen. Tom Udall as the "senator from Utah."  Udall quickly corrected Franken by noting that he's from New Mexico.

Newly nativist Democrats and their own foreign funny money.  Mimicking the Center for American Progress attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Soros suck-up-in-chief himself accused Republicans last week of benefiting from "money from foreign corporations" — which liberals claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling into political ads.  Democrat clown prince Al Franken is leading a Senate inquisition against the Chamber.

Are You Ready For A Recount?  Since Bush v. Gore was decided in 2000, recounts have received far more attention; it's almost like they've become a routine part of a campaign. ... In 2008, we saw the impact that a recount can have.  In Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman won on election night.  On election night Coleman led comedian Al Franken by over 700 votes.  A canvass ensued, and Franken chipped away at Coleman's lead, leaving Coleman ahead only 215 votes.  With a margin that narrow a recount ensured.  Over the course of the recount Franken managed to find enough votes to come out ahead by 225.

Franken: FCC should bury net-neutrality proposal unless it is strengthened.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is urging the Federal Communications Commission to abandon its latest net-neutrality plan unless it is significantly strengthened.  In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday [12/10/2010], Franken became the first Democrat to argue that having no rules would be preferable to the ones the agency proposed last week.

Franken knows what's best for you, even if you don't.
Sen. Franken Explains Why He Thinks Obamacare's Individual Mandate Is Needed.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) says the new health care law's individual mandate, which will require most people to purchase health insurance, is necessary to keep Americans from waiting until they are sick to buy insurance.

Al Franken: 'They're coming after the Internet'.  Sen. Al Franken claimed Monday that big corporations are "hoping to destroy" the Internet and issued a call to arms to several hundred tech-savvy South by Southwest attendees to preserve net neutrality.  "I came here to warn you, the party may be over," Franken said.  "They're coming after the Internet hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important [medium] for independent artists and entrepreneurs:  its openness and freedom."  Net neutrality, he added, is "the First Amendment issue of our time."  Receiving a hero's welcome from the liberal crowd, Franken took repeated shots at big telecoms, singling out Comcast.

The Editor says...
I wish Americans in general were as suspicious of big government as liberals are of big business.

Is Another Ballot Heist Coming?  As the 2012 election looms, concerned voters should recall the nationwide voter registration frauds of ACORN, Al Franken's brazenly stolen Minnesota Senate election, and George Soros' SOS Project which seeks to install crony Secretaries of State to "oversee" how close elections are "decided."

Al Franken Unveils Sign During Senate Floor Speech On Debt Crisis.  Yesterday [7/27/2011], Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) addressed fellow members of the Senate with the help of a rather striking visual aid.  While explaining to his fellow politicians that, if a bill to increase the debt ceiling isn't passed by the August 2nd deadline, there would be no money for veterans, students or federal agents fighting terrorism, Franken elected to really drive his point home by unveiling a large blue and yellow sign reading "WELCOME TERRORISTS."

Franken's SNL moment in Senate.  For a moment Wednesday [7/27/2011], Al Franken looked like he was back on the set of Saturday Night Live and not on the floor of the U.S. Senate.  In a speech explaining that there would be no money to pay for military and security personnel if Congress doesn't pass a bill increasing the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, Franken unveiled a large poster in the chamber that said, "Welcome Terrorists."

The Rebranding of ACORN.  [Scroll down]  Consider again the race between incumbent Minnesota Senator Norman Coleman and former liberal radio show host Al Franken.  ACORN and Project Vote were able to register more than 43,000 new voters in Minnesota.  While some of the registrations may have been discarded and a number of those signing up probably did not end up actually voting, Coleman lost his bid for re-election by only 312 votes.  ACORN, and its "non-partisan" Project Vote, almost certainly had a hand in the election of Franken.

US Senator demands answers from Carrier IQ.  Senator and former late-night funnyman Al Franken has called on Carrier IQ to explain why its diagnostic software, buried in the bowels of 141 million smartphones, isn't a massive violation of US wiretap laws.

Biden: Al Franken is a 'leading legal scholar'.  Vice President Joe Biden described former Saturday Night Live comedian, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., as a "leading legal scholar," presumably in the Senate, today.  "He has been one of the leading legal scholars," Biden said of Franken today [4/11/2012], according to the pool report.  He also said that Franken "is deadly serious" as a senator.

The Editor says...
According to the National Review, "55 senators have law degrees and Franken isn't one of them."  (N.R., May 14, 2012, Page 6.)

The mysterious disappearance of the Secretary of State Project.  For years Soros's ultra-wealthy colleagues in the Democracy Alliance, a billionaires' club that funds left-wing political infrastructure, opened their wallets to help secretary of state candidates endorsed by the SoS Project.  They helped to elect Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizer Mark Ritchie, the ACORN-loving Minnesota secretary of state who presided over Al Franken's theft of incumbent Republican Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate seat in the 2008 election cycle.

The Anti-Democratic Party.  Democrats love to count perhaps even more than a familiar "Sesame Street" character known for his fangs, monocle, and cape.  If they don't like the results, Democrats keep counting the votes over and over again until they get the result they want.  They tally, calculate, and enumerate their way to victory whenever their candidate is within what columnist John Fund calls the "margin of ACORN."  (See U.S. Sen. Al Franken, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, to name just two recent examples.)  With the help of radical financier George Soros they even created the Secretary of State Project to install state officers who would help rig elections for Democrats.

Soros Election-Rigging Scheme Collapses.  A George Soros-backed scheme that paved the way for Al Franken's 2008 theft of a U.S. Senate seat has collapsed months ahead of the critical November elections.  Rumors of the death of the Secretary of State Project had been circulating for months.  Michael Kieschnick, co-founder of the Secretary of State Project, confirmed that his group has shut down in an interview at the recent "Take Back the American Dream" conference in Washington, D.C.

When 1,099 felons vote in race won by 312 ballots.  In the '08 campaign, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman was running for re-election against Democrat Al Franken.  It was impossibly close; on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.  Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results.  After the first canvass, Coleman's lead was down to 206 votes.  That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation.  In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes.  He was sworn into office in July 2009, eight months after the election.

New Book Alleges That Voter Fraud Could Be Responsible For Election That Handed Senate Seat To Al Franken.  An upcoming book which examines the 2008 Minnesota Senate election in which Sen. Al Franken won a seat in the upper chamber of Congress by the narrowest of margins alleges that the election could have gone differently had it not been marred by voter fraud.  In fact, in a race that Franken won by just 312 votes, the outcome could have been altered dramatically if 1,099 felons had not been allowed to cast their ballots.

Al Franken's senate win tainted by voter fraud, claims new book.  The new book Who's Counting? by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky details the rampant voter fraud in the 2008 Minnesota Senate race between Democrat Al Franken and defeated Republican Norm Coleman.

Yes, vote fraud's real.  A new book — "Who's Counting?" by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky — charges that Al Franken's 2008 defeat of incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman may be directly attributable to felons voting illegally.  Coleman led on election night, but a series of recounts lasting eight months eventually gave the seat to the former Saturday Night Live star.

Republicans look to oust Franken.  Republicans are seeking to oust Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who is up for his first reelection after his narrow 2008 win.  Franken will be a tough candidate — he's worked hard to ingratiate himself in the state, and his poll numbers look fairly solid.  But Republicans hope with the right candidate they can topple the first-term senator.

Al Franken goes from top target to heavy favorite for Minnesota Senate.  The Minnesota Democrat looked to be a top GOP pickoff target next year after his agonizing seven-month recount and legal battle put him in the Senate in 2009 by a mere 312 votes.  Yet, in a turnabout few could've predicted, Franken has yet to draw a Republican opponent.

Mike Malloy Slams Air America Colleague Al Franken as Arrogant, Aloof.  Left-wing radio host Mike Malloy is often one of the most unhinged voices over the airwaves, but once in a great while he reveals a limited capacity for perception.  This is one of those times.  On his show last night, Malloy was talking with a caller when Sen. Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, was mentioned.  Franken and Malloy once worked at the now-defunct Air America Radio network before Air America fired Malloy in 2006 and Franken left to run for Senate in Minnesota the following year.

Franken faces growing list of Republican challengers for his Senate seat in Minnesota.  Julianne Ortman, a veteran state senator from the Twin Cities suburbs, on Saturday joined the growing group of Republicans who want to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Al Franken next year.

The Obamacare Disaster.  [Scroll down]  The Affordable Care Act was passed in a dubious manner.  The 60-vote level in the Senate was obtained by the subornation of Arlen Specter in that tainted window between his rejection by his own party and his defeat by the Pennsylvania voters, and by Al Franken's questionable win in the Senate election in Minnesota, where partisan, county-by-county recounts overturned the people's choice.

Thank these Republicans for Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  Al Franken's Senate seat is another one that should be on Republicans' radar.  He stole the 2008 election in Minnesota, going from a thousand votes down the day after the election to 300 votes up a few months later, after vast numbers of Franken votes kept being discovered in heavily Democratic districts.  As economist John Lott pointed out at the time, the magically appearing votes for Franken were a statistical impossibility.  Obamacare could not have passed without the Democrats' prodigious vote theft in Franken's 2008 election.

Poll: Franken up by double digits in reelection fight.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is leading by doubt digits in his 2014 race for reelection.  A new poll released Thursday [10/31/2013] by Democratic polling firm PPP found Franken leads his potential GOP opponents by 10 to 13 percentage points.

Franken in trouble in MN for 2014?  Don't get too excited about the latest St. Cloud State University poll in Minnesota, but it does at least offer a glimmer of hope for a Minnesota Republican Party that still finds itself in financial and organizational straits.  Just a year after getting blitzed in the 2012 election, Minnesotans find themselves less than enchanted with Democratic officeholders.  And 2014 incumbent Sen. Al Franken fares the worst of all.

Al Franken Launches His Re-Election Campaign on MoveOn.Org.  It is almost unbelievable that Al Franken, a washed-up former comedian and reformed (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt) coke-head with serious anger management issues, was elected to the Senate in 2008 from Minnesota, a state he hadn't lived in for several decades.  ("Elected" despite the fact that he almost certainly received fewer legal votes than Norm Coleman.)  It is even more unbelievable that Franken stands an excellent chance of being re-elected next year, only because there is no strong Republican candidate on the horizon.

Poll: Franken and Dayton Losing Support Among Minnesota Voters.  Support appears to be crumbling among constituents of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, according to new poll data posted from Public Opinion Strategies this week that the Minnesota GOP is touting.  The statewide survey of 600 likely Minnesota voters, conducted between March 3 and 5, shows "fewer than half of Minnesotans (48%) want Al Franken to remain their US Senator."

Sen. Al Franken insists he was 'always a serious person'.  Comedian turned politician Al Franken insisted in an interview airing Sunday that he was "always a serious person" despite what his public persona may have suggested.  "People who are funny are very often very serious people and vice-versa," the Minnesota Democratic senator, up for re-election this year, said on ABC's "This Week."  And the freshman senator, who won election by a razor-thin 312-vote margin, said he has provided precious little material for comedians these days.

It's that bad: Even Al Franken won't be seen with Obama.  With Republicans in Washington thus far successfully fending off insurgent tea party challengers in competitive races, odds makers are now indicating that the GOP has a better than even chance of retaking the upper chamber of Congress in November.  President Barack Obama's sinking job approval rating is not helping boost Democrats' chances.  Speaking anonymously to The Hill, one Democratic Senator said Obama's "unpopularity" is troubling.  "It's a tense time," the source said.

Obama Visits Minnesota, Minnesota's Dem Senators Avoid Him Like the Plague.  You know things are bad when the Clown of the Senate whose whole ID is that he's leftier than left doesn't want to be seen with you. [...] It's estimated that 140,000 people in Minnesota would lose their health insurance policies because of ObamaCare.  ObamaCare's approval rating isn't doing too well there and it will be easier for [Senator Al] Franken if he isn't seen with the Obama of ObamaCare.

Republicans Turn to Lazard Banker to Topple Al Franken.  Investment banker Mike McFadden wants to trade a career at Lazard Ltd. for one in politics and is making his finance background a chief argument for unseating U.S. Senator Al Franken in Minnesota.  That approach carries considerable risk as just 14 percent of Americans hold a favorable opinion of Wall Street firms, a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in September 2013 showed. [...] "Senator Franken and the Democrats have no idea what I do," McFadden said in an interview when asked whether his 20-year career in investment banking could be turned into a political liability.  "They don't have a clue, just like they don't have any idea how to run this economy."

Democrats' Woes Make Al Franken a Little Less Safe.  Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, changed his rating on Sen. Al Franken's race for re-election in Minnesota to reflect a slightly more competitive environment for the Democrat.  But Mr. Rothenberg, an experienced handicapper, was quick to note that his ratings change — from "safe Democrat" to "Democrat favored" — has everything to do with headwinds confronting the party and very little to do with Mr. Franken's Republican opponent, businessman Mike McFadden.

Chamber of Commerce to Endorse Al Franken's Challenger.  The U.S Chamber of Commerce will be endorsing GOP businessman Mike McFadden in the Minnesota Senate race, the latest sign Republicans view Democratic Sen. Al Franken as increasingly vulnerable. [...] The Minnesota Senate race is emerging as potentially competitive, despite receiving less attention than other battleground contests.

Why Al Franken Should Be Worried.  The state that gave us Michele Bachmann and Jesse Ventura just might decide to dump funnyman Al Franken from the Senate.  Most pundits think that challenger Mike McFadden is, at best, a long shot.  I don't think so.  In several polls the incumbent, a former Saturday Night Live star, can't break the 50% mark.  Given his narrow victory in 2008 (which some say wasn't a real victory), it's probably not that surprising that Mr. Franken is still a polarizing figure.  But after six years in the Senate, one might expect that the incumbent would have built a more comfortable cushion for himself.

Finding Al Franken.  As Republicans aim to take control of the Senate, with a bevy of red-state Democrats looking to be in trouble, Minnesota's Senate race isn't at the top of the GOP's takeover list.  But it heads the list of "sleeper" races — one of a handful of contests that have the potential to break late if the political environment is as toxic for Democrats as some national polls suggest.  Unlike other Democratic senators responding to newfound challenges by engaging their opposition early, Franken is running an unusually low-key race, giving off the vibe that there's nothing to see here.

Obama's unpopularity poses serious midterm challenge for funnyman Franken.  Funnyman-turned-senator Al Franken is running a dead serious campaign for re-election, as some observers see him potentially vulnerable due to President Obama's low approval ratings in Minnesota and a vigorous GOP opponent with eyes on a sleeper upset.  Just how vulnerable is up for debate, and the race nevertheless is seen as favoring the Democrats.  But both sides now acknowledge that, with less than two months to go until Election Day, Minnesota's Senate contest between Franken and Mike McFadden, a longtime Minnesota businessman, is shaping up as a battle.

Franken: Citizens United is one of the 'worst' rulings.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) blasted the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, calling it one of the "worst" rulings in the history of the court.  "Citizens United was one of the worst decisions in the history of the Supreme Court," Franken said on the Senate floor Tuesday [9/9/2014].  "It was a disaster."

How ISIS Is Complicating Al Franken's Reelection Bid.  The threat posed by ISIS has invaded the campaign ads and speeches all across the U.S., but the issue has had special resonance in Minnesota where an unusual number of people have left to join the terrorist group.  More than a dozen of the nearly 100 Americans believed to have joined ISIS, including several women, hail from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, according to federal authorities.  Many are recruited from the area's large Somali population, but the recruits are not confined to Somalis.  Douglas McCain, the first American killed fighting for ISIS, was also a Minnesota native. McCain's friend, Troy Kastigar, also died this year while fighting with ISIS.

Is Al Franken in Trouble?  This morning [10/1/2014] Franken and McFadden held the first of their debates, in Duluth.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune had two reporters live-blog the debate.  While I don't know the reporters personally, it is reasonable to assume that they are Democrats.  Their tweets indicate that they were underwhelmed by Franken's performance.

Michelle Obama Rallies Voters in Minnesota.  Mrs. Obama headlined a get-out-the-vote rally for Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton in a north Minneapolis high school Tuesday afternoon [10/21/2014].

Non-Citizens Are Voting.  Could non-citizen voting be a problem in next week's elections, and perhaps even swing some very close elections?  A new study by two Old Dominion University professors, based on survey data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, indicated that 6.4 percent of all non-citizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election, and 2.2 percent in the 2010 midterms.  Given that 80 percent of non-citizens lean Democratic, they cite Al Franken's 312-vote win in the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race as one likely tipped by non-citizen voting.  As a senator, Franken cast the 60th vote needed to make Obamacare law.

Internet crusader Al Franken rakes in cash from cable giant.  U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has made his name in the latter part of his first term as a crusader for net neutrality and a huge critic of billion-dollar mergers of multimedia companies.  And while his ire has been focused on Comcast, the nation's second largest media conglomerate, he's been raking in cash from competitor Time Warner Cable, the third-largest, according to profits.  Since 2009, Franken has raised $33,450 from lobbyists from TWC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit dedicated to tracking political spending.

The Daily Caller Presents: The 23 Least Intriguing People Of 2015.  [#22] Pro-war politician of fortune Al Franken, who pimped out his own infant grandson for campaign contributions earlier this year, was once an unfunny comedian with bit parts on "Saturday Night Live."  He has been elected to the U.S. Senate twice by the same people who elected professional wrestler and noted conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura as governor.  How can a guy with this background be such a stick in the mud?

Franken would be 'tremendous' VP, says Dem.  Sen.  Al Franken would be a "tremendous" vice presidential pick, Minnesota Rep.  Keith Ellison said Friday [6/10/2016].  "Al Franken is a brilliant man, he's very smart, he has excellent progressive credentials and he's the funniest person in Congress," Ellison said of the former "Saturday Night Live" player.  "Why does that matter?  I think it's important to lampoon Donald Trump, make him what he is — ridiculous.  Who better to do that than someone who is an expert funnyman."  Ellison said Virginia Sen.  Tim Kaine, who is seen as a favorite to be Hillary Clinton's running mate, is a "wonderful public servant."

The Clinton Record.  [Scroll down]  In 2008, Democrat Al Franken won a highly controversial U.S. Senate race in Minnesota by just 312 votes.  It was later discovered that 1,099 felons — all legally ineligible to vote — had cast ballots in the election, almost exclusively for Franken.

Watch Ted Cruz Obliterate Leftist Senator Al Franken In Defense Of Jeff Sessions.  Al Franken attempted to paint Senator Jeff Sessions as a liar and a racist — accusations which are in direct opposition to the actual facts of Senator Jeff Sessions' remarkable law enforcement and legislative career.  Sessions was fighting against real racism when Franken was a third-rate comedian and writer on SNL.  How refreshing is it to see a conservative like Ted Cruz, a man who intellectually laps the likes of Franken many times over, come so quickly and forcefully to Senator Sessions' defense.  Perhaps the persistent rumors of a Cruz nomination to the Supreme Court remains a very real possibility in a Trump administration.  If so, America would be better for it.

Smoking Franken.  Minnesota Senator Al Franken wants so badly to count for something.  As a United States Senator he is a powerful man, but Harry Reid stripped some of the power from the minority that Franken and his Democratic colleagues now occupy.  Like most of his other of his Democratic colleagues, Franken flails away as he seeks to lead the cranky opposition to Trump in the Senate.  As a humorist, Franken was profoundly unfunny.  As a politician, he is profoundly unserious.  He is a pretext in search of an argument.

No Joke:  Al Franken for President?  This is Al Franken's moment in the spotlight, and if he chooses, he could parlay his good fortune into a bid for the presidency in 2020.  To be sure, Franken, 65, may not be the Democrats' strongest candidate in the general election.  His deeply liberal politics and long-standing dismissiveness of Republicans turn off many voters in the middle.  But with Democrats looking for strident opposition to Trump in the early days of his presidency, they're probably not going to be in a pragmatic mood in the primaries.

Missing: The 'Frank' in Sen. Al Franken's anti-Sessions rant.  Shame on Sen. Al Franken.  In a rambling diatribe during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, the Senator attempted to cast aspersions on Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions by relying on recent claims of a discredited former U.S. Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Gerald Hebert, who 30 years ago had to recant false testimony about Sessions.

Al Franken Triples Down on Stupid.  I'm not enough of an elitist to believe that only Senators with legal training should serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  However, the ability to engage competently in legal reasoning ought to be a prerequisite.  In his work on the Judiciary Committee, Al Franken has failed to display this ability.  Indeed, he shows a lack of competence in basic logic that, in a better world, would disqualify him from the Senate.

Franken: 'A Few' GOP Senators Concerned About Trump's Mental Health.  Some Republican senators are concerned about President Donald Trump's mental health, according to Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken.  "A few.  Yeah," the comedian-turned-lawmaker said Sunday [2/12/2017] on CNN's "State of the Union," when host Jake Tapper asked if it was "true" that his GOP colleagues "express concern" about Trump's mental health.  "It's not the majority of them.  It's a few," he added.

Please note that Senator Franken never seemed to question the mental health of Barack H. Obama, although he should have.

U.S. Senator Colludes With Russians to Influence Presidential Election.  Yes, a United States senator really did collude with the Russians to influence the outcome of a presidential election.  His name was Ted Kennedy.  While Sen. Al Franken (D-Ringling Bros.) and other Democrats have the vapors over a truthful, complete, and correct answer Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave in his confirmation hearing, it's worth remembering the reprehensible behavior of Senator Ted Kennedy in 1984.  This reprehensible behavior didn't involve launching an Oldsmobile Delmont 88 into a tidal channel while drunk.  This reprehensible behavior was collusion with America's most deadly enemy in an effort to defeat Ronald Reagan's reelection.  You won't hear much about that from CNN and the clown from Minnesota.

Franken hands over $41K in contributions from Boston law firm under investigation.  U.S. Sen. Al Franken has relinquished $40,822 in donations from a Boston law firm under investigation by federal regulators for linking employee bonuses to campaign contributions.  The Minnesota senator's office confirmed this week that the money, which Franken deposited to the U.S. Treasury, came from Thornton Law Firm.  The admission came after the Federal Election Commission (FEC) sent Franken a letter asking him to identify the donors.



"The people who cast the votes decide nothing.
The people who count the votes decide everything."

Joseph Stalin          



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