The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

02 December 2008

Al Franken Not Likely To Give Up Until Securing Fishy 'Victory'


Franken Loss Would Be Too Significant For Dems To Tolerate


With US Senator Norm Coleman's lead in the Minnesota recount actually growing as the effort comes to a close (he's now up by 340 votes), some are beginning to believe Democratic challenger Al Franken will have no choice but to concede the race.

But in a truly disturbing development, our friend Stuart has indicated he'll take his battle to the US Senate itself, where Democrats could simply hand him the seat. With Franken's bogus "uncounted ballots" theory to make his case, Harry Reid & Company could have an excuse to simply ignore election results favoring Coleman.

Though much of the coverage of this anti-democratic scenario was buried over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and still further by terror attacks in Bombay, it is no less alarming.

Already, Franken has tried and failed to have rejected absentee ballots added to vote totals. And according to John Fund in a recent Wall Street Journal piece, his campaign is using the template that saw Christine Gregoire steal Washington state's gubernatorial race four years ago:

Games can be played with such last-minute ballots. In Washington State, one voter submitted an affidavit that a Parkinson's disease patient who could neither speak nor write was nonetheless "mentally strong" and had completed a ballot signed by her husband. But it is illegal for anyone to sign a ballot on behalf of someone else; they can only witness it. And in Minnesota, even Secretary of State Ritchie criticized the Franken campaign last week for falsely claiming that an elderly woman in Bemidji had her absentee ballot rejected because she had suffered a stroke and her new signature didn't match the one on her registration form. In fact, no ballots were rejected due to signature mismatches, according to the local county auditor.

Democrats with experience from the Washington recount are now advising Mr. Franken. Paul Berendt, a former chair of the Washington Democratic Party, was in Minneapolis this month. "What I bring to this effort," he told Oregon Public Radio from the Minneapolis recount office, "is that I understand every single step of this recount process and the things that you need to look for in order to make sure that every vote is counted."

If the strategy of adding previously rejected ballots to the Minnesota Senate recount is successful, a final outcome could be months away. In 1975, the U.S. Senate refused to accept New Hampshire's certification that Republican Louis Wyman had won by two votes. The seat was vacant for seven months, with the Senate debate spanning 100 hours and six unsuccessful attempts to break a filibuster and vote on who should be seated. The impasse ended only when a special election was agreed to, which was won by Democrat John Durkin.

Given how critical Minnesota's election is for the outcome of filibusters, don't be surprised if this recount becomes "Washington mean" when the Senate convenes in January.

Some, including a few conservative bloggers, are underestimating just how determined Franken and the Dems are to ensure he "wins" the seat.

One of the most preposterous theories we've heard is that Harry Reid doesn't want 60 votes in the chamber, knowing it will be too easy to blame his party when things go wrong. In addition, if Dingy Harry can convince liberal Republican senators to vote with him, then why does he need Franken?

But that's crazy talk: it's much easier to obtain support from your own party than from the opposition. In addition, many Americans still aren't aware that the Democrats control Congress, so how many will know whether they have 58, 59 or 60 votes?

More importantly, Franken carries symbolic significance to liberals, so a loss in Minnesota is a repudiation of both his career as an alleged liberal funnyman and the idea that Democrats "swept" November's election.

Think about it this way: do you really think the "progressive" left is going to tolerate watching Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and other past Franken targets gloating over Stuart's loss?

That's why they know this election must be stolen by any means necessary: it's about the ongoing culture wars as much as partisan politics.

Finally, consider Franken's character: he's no angel, with a background rich in both shadiness and eccentric behavior. He gave up his well-paying Air America Radio gig for this, do you really think he will accept a loss? For the first time in his life, Al might have to get a real job.

They pulled it off in Washington state in 2004, so why would anyone believe Democrats won't steal a seat for Stuart in 2008?

LUNATIC image: David A Lunde, recount photo: AP

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  • You write that Franken indicates he'll take his battle to the US Senate, while the article you link to while making that assertion is titled "Franken may seek Senate help.
    There is a big difference between saying someone will do something, and saying someone may do something.

    What is bogus about checking to see if people attempting to cast absentee ballots were properly rejected? There are many additional votes being counted in the current recount process, and these "new" votes are no more bogus than the votes originally counted on election day.

    You suggested that if Franken loses the Senate race, he might have to get a "real job", for the first time in his life. What about writing 5 books was not a "real job"? What about his 15 years of work on SNL was not a "real job"? What about his 3 years as a radio host was not a "real job"?

    By Blogger Ezsuds, at 02 December, 2008 03:58  

  • "He gave up his well-paying Air America Radio gig for this, do you really think he will accept a loss? For the first time in his life, Al might have to get a real job."

    Not exactly. Franken's inflated salary at Air America was always most likely intended to see him through a political campaign.

    His boss at Air America, Rob Glaser, used the similar technique to get around campaign finance laws with Senator Maria Cantwell when she was on his payroll at RealNetworks and later ran for the Senate in Washington, although in that case, the main vehicle for the payments was stock awards and options rather than direct income as in the case of Franken.

    By Blogger Ironman, at 02 December, 2008 07:50  

  • ezsuds said: "There is a big difference between saying someone will do something, and saying someone may do something."

    And in case of Angry Al, it is that he has already done it.

    He moved his "recount team of lawyers" from Minnesota to Washington DC.

    Revealed today: “The Franken Campaign’s decision to pack their bags and move their operation to the DSCC headquarters underscores their commitment to dragging this election before the United States Senate.

    Franken's lack of shame and decency will let him fit in very nicely with Reid and Pelosi.

    By Anonymous jbenson2, at 02 December, 2008 15:49  

  • Writing a book may not qualify as a "real job" if, like Franken, somebody else pays Harvard students to do your "research" and writing for you.

    By Blogger Chromium, at 03 December, 2008 13:33  

  • In a nation with a Pez dispenser of a President-Elect, that needs the likes of murderers like Bill Ayers to ghost-write his memoirs, it surprises you that a dullard like Franken wouldn't do the same?

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 04 December, 2008 03:21  

  • This is typical Maloney rhetoric. Invent a "crucial" issue for the left that is a longshot at best, then when it doesn't come in, claim a huge victory for the right.

    Franken lost. It was close, but he lost. He may go through the motions and he may go down with a fight, but the left will NOT dig in to seat him. Besides, we are only talking about the difference between 58 and 59. Ho hum.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 December, 2008 16:27  

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