The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

05 December 2008

Al Franken Recount Tactics Show Pattern Of Behavior


When In Trouble, Franken Uses Law Enforcement Jargon

By now, it
should be clear to anyone watching the Minnesota US Senate recount that there's more to the fight than mere vote tabulation: psychological warfare is a key component. After all, if you aren't perceived as having a chance to prevail, then how can supporters be mobilized to continue the fight?

Through pit bull-style tactics that took a wrecking ball to Republican Dino Rossi's impending victory during the fishy second recount, that's exactly how Washington Governor Christine Gregoire "won" her 2004 race. Ultimately, a liberal district judge affirmed Gregoire's position, despite the addition of improperly-cast ballots into the totals.

It's certainly not a coincidence that some of the same Democrats who were involved in those electoral shenanigans have been invited to help Al Franken pull off the same miraculous feat in Minnesota.

For Franken, it's certainly not a stretch to engage in Gregoire-like behavior: he's long used bullying tactics to get what he wants, whether in Hollywood, New York, at Air America and now in Minnesota.

But to those who have followed his antics closely, there's another personality trait again rearing its ugly head: when in trouble, Franken pretends he's on the side of the law, using legal jargon to appear above the fray.

Yesterday, for example, Franken attempted to turn his obvious recount loss into a criminal investigation, citing the need for a "systematic, forensic search" for missing ballots said to somewhat favor him:

Democrat Al Franken's campaign called Thursday for Minnesota officials to engage in a "systematic, forensic search" for 133 ballots missing in a Minneapolis precinct favoring the Democrat.

The Franken campaign made the request while maintaining it has a 10-vote lead over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in the recount.

"We are calling upon the Secretary of State, Hennepin County, and the City of Minneapolis to complete an intensive search," said Franken attorney Marc Elias in a conference call, addressing reports that 133 votes have gone missing in a Minneapolis's Third Ward. Elias said every person who touched or transported the ballots should be interviewed, and any polling place, vehicles, or warehouses that have held the ballots should be searched.

The ballots are said to favor Franken by 46 votes.

"The outcome of this election may be at stake," Elias said. "The integrity of the Minnesota electoral process is also at stake."

“We have a plausible explanation from Minneapolis election officials as to what occurred,” Coleman lead recount attorney Fritz Knaak told reporters. “The issue in Ramsey County is pretty serious, but it may end up not mattering.”

But as more details emerged regarding this polling place and Franken's demands, it became clear that he's pushing for an intrusive investigation of a church and virtually anyone who was there on election day. On Thursday's Hannity & Colmes, that became a key point of debate.

Since he's still more than 250 votes behind as the recount comes to a close, his sudden demand that a church be dusted for fingerprints sure appears meant to divert attention away from other hijinks, which include "found" ballots in remote corners of the state, the attempt to include invalid absentee votes and Franken's request that Senate Democrats consider installing him in the seat, should all else fail.

But what others have apparently not noticed is that "forensic" is a word Franken loves to use to make it appear unseen, sinister elements are really behind his latest troubles.

In 2005, for example, when Michelle Malkin, yours truly and several New York City newspaper reporters were closing in on his potential knowledge of Air America Radio's sleazy Gloria Wise Scandal (where $875,000 in taxpayer grants to an inner city children's charity were instead diverted to cover expenses at the liberal radio network), Franken again pointed to shadowy figures and the "forensic accounting" that would uncover their misdeeds.

From our August 2005 coverage:

Repairing Al Franken's mangled public image is probably not a job for the Radio Equalizer, but I do still have to wonder about his reconstruction strategy, unveiled today in the New York Post, via John Mainelli:

AL Franken says 20,000 poor kids and old people weren't the only victims of an exec who allegedly arranged a Bronx charity's mega-buck "loan" to Air America.

"About three weeks into the life of Air America, I became an involuntary investor — I stopped being paid," Franken told listeners yesterday on WLIB (1190 AM).

"I think [Cohen] was robbing Peter to pay Paul," Franken said, adding that the network's current owners, Piquant LLC, did some "forensic accounting" and learned about the defaulted loan.

Franken said Piquant didn't legally have to pay back the loan, "but we morally do, so they started to make arrangements to pay it back.

"I didn't know anything about this until last week," Franken claimed.

"I really had nothing to do with this."

Of course, the Malkin- Maloney investigation uncovered a notorized document which disproved Franken's version of events and the idea that Air America needed "forensic accounting" to reveal something its execs had known about from the beginning was laughable.

What was clear: Franken pushed for a huge salary increase at the very time Air America was struggling to figure out how to repay the stolen money. The document we produced with his signature was attached to an internal report which included information about the funds diversion and was dated long before he claimed to have first become aware of the scandal.

But then, like now, Al played up the idea of outside investigators that could be brought in to find "the real killers". Thanks, OJ!

Though the Coleman campaign did highlight the Malkin-Maloney investigative work during the campaign, even releasing an ad based on our findings (which has mysteriously since been removed from YouTube), this aspect of Franken's background was not pursued by Minnesota media outlets before the election.

And while voting may have already taken place, the recount battle is a campaign in itself, a battle of wills. Anyone underestimating both Franken's determination and ability to "win" this race through trickery and deceit is much too naïve for the world of sleazy partisan politics.

In 2004, Gregoire's thugs wrote the book on this process. In 2008, it's Franken that's in charge of the new-and-improved Second Edition. To those that must face him now, look to Al's past behavior, that's where his weaknesses become clear.

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  • Brian,

    you bias is ridiculous. You say Franken has an "obvious recount loss" when the recount isn't finished. Some reporter you are.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 05 December, 2008 09:02  

  • That's signature of Franken proves nothing. If you examine the page in the PDF, you'll notice that there are markings that show it was the only page faxed from another location. Franken’s signature was needed because he agreed to forfeit his salary for a period of time. Malkin and Maloney are either too dishonest or too stupid to point this out. Take your pick, both work for me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 December, 2008 17:18  

  • The vote count is finished.
    Coleman won.

    The computer recount is finished.
    Coleman won.

    The paper trail hand recount is finished.
    Coleman won.

    Even his Hollywood supporters have thrown in the towel and given up on the tax cheat liar.

    The only thing Angry Al can hope for is a reversal on hundreds of his vote challenges. But any normal thinking person who has viewed the challenged ballots realizes that the judges will throw his challenges out.
    and once again
    Coleman will win.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 December, 2008 09:50  

  • this is all Brian has left, America REJECTED right wing radio, ignored the shriekings of the frantic Anti-American pigs on the radio. The right wing conservative era of destroying the working class is OVER, we rejected the lies of conservative talk radio, the vast, majority of America ignores the radical right on the radio.... cons are on suicide watch, America is done with the wage lowering, union busting, filth on the right

    Franken to kick around is all the radical right has. It keeps maloney alive, in these times of America, rejecting the traitors of the right

    no fairness doctrine is needed, every day con radio's demos get worse and worse, with their over 60 year old audience, and low CUME numbers nationwide....... Advertisers are rejecting it,
    America is rejoicing in the death of Anti-American degeneracy, conservativsm

    Even with Clear Channel, flipping high rated liberal stations all over the country, America is still rejecting conservatism

    lib radio is tripling in numbers, see the Portland, or Seattle books lately???

    Maloney is ignoring it all. Limbaigh was crushed 4 books in a row by Tom Hartman in Portland. Give the libs a real stick (station with signal) they crush conservative talk

    just like the radical right, ignored their impending doom in 2006 and 2008, they weill ignore their eventual obscurity on the radio

    within 5 years.... con radio will be an obscure radio format, such as Indian music

    and I will be here to rub it in, you Anti-American pigs faces

    VIVA working AMERICA


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 December, 2008 14:23  

  • CONSAREFILTH you are angry and maybe check your inferiority complex, it's pretty substantial. Check the toilet too before every flush, your IQ points are low. Also, last time I checked talk radio didn't have trouble staying in business like Air America. Why is that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 December, 2008 04:22  

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