Skip to comments.The Stealing the (MN U.S. Senate) Election Project (+ Latest Coleman News)
Posted on 01/08/2009 11:41:00 AM PST by flattorney
The highly publicized vote recount in the Minnesota Senate race between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman is shining a light on Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, the states chief election officer. Ritchie is chairman of the Minnesota Canvassing Board, which on Monday certified that Franken received 225 more votes than Coleman did.
Ritchie gave partial credit for his 2006 election to a liberal 527 group, the Secretary of State Project, which says its goal is to ensure fair, clean elections by replacing conservative secretaries of state with liberal Democrats. I want to thank the Secretary of State Project and its thousands of grassroots donors for helping to push my campaign over the top, Ritchie said in a posting on the projects Web site. Your wonderful support--both directly to my campaign and through generous expenditures by the strategic fund--helped me get our election reform message to Minnesota voters. The SoS Project says it spent a total of $500,000 in seven swing states in 2006 trying to get Democrats elected as secretaries of state. They achieved victories in all but two of those states--Michigan and Colorado--but helped fund Democratic wins in Ohio, Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa and New Mexico.
In 2008, the group had a clean sweep in its targeted states, spending $280,000 to help elect Democrats in Montana, West Virginia, Oregon and Missouri, according to the watchdog group Center for Public Integrity.
The Secretary of State Project was created by concerned citizens to provide an easy-to-use, low-cost vehicle for online donations to key Secretary of State races, the groups Web site says. Elsewhere, the site states: A modest political investment in electing clean candidates to critical Secretary of State offices is an efficient way to protect the election. SoS Project donors helped elect reform candidates to the chief elections officer position in 5 key presidential battleground states. The groups Web site holds up former Republican secretaries of state Katherine Harris of Florida and Ken Blackwell of Ohio as the type of people they want to keep out of office. Harris was secretary of state in Florida in 2000, when George W. Bush won the state after a recount, and Blackwell was secretary of state in Ohio in 2004, when Bush won that state narrowly. Becky Bond and Michael Kieschnick, co-founders of the group, could not be reached for comment Monday after numerous attempts via phone and e-mail.
In addition to backing the election of Secretary of State Ritchie in Minnesota, the Secretary of State Project also backed Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. The SoS Project says it spent more than $200,000 ($167,000 directly to the campaign and $30,000 on independent expenditures) to get Brunner elected in 2006. Brunner made news in October 2008 when she declined to hand over to county election boards 200,000 names on voter registration forms where the drivers license or Social Security number on the forms did not match the name. The SoS project praised her actions. What a difference it makes to have a Secretary of State committed to fair and ethical elections, the Web site said of Brunner. Thats why our 2008 slate targets clean elections candidates in Montana, Oregon, Missouri and West Virginia. Your contributions help us stand up for candidates who will stand up for fairness.
SoS isnt just focusing on the state level. It says in 2008 it also concentrated on electing reform-minded Democrats to key county-level posts in battleground states, given the tremendous amount of influence that manipulative county-level elections officials can exert over election results. According to the Center for Public Integrity, the SoS Project received a total of $102,000 in funding from four members of the Democracy Alliance. This alliance, which supports liberal causes, describes itself as an investment partnership of business and philanthropic leaders. The flow of 527 money into these races highlights the need to depoliticize the office of chief election officials, said Robert Richie, executive director of Fair Vote, which advocates for election reform.
As long as there are elections for this office, there will be groups that will use every expense to try to elect the person who will do a better job--from their point of view, Richie told CNSNews.com. Voters have already made the decision that it should be political in most states. There is a tradition in other countries to establish election officials as civil servants beyond reproach. He said Maryland and North Carolina have non-elected officials supervising elections.
Richie said that, overall, he thinks the Minnesota secretary of state conducted a respectable recount. A secretary of state cant just run wild if people believe there is full-fledged cheating going on, Richie said. I would hope that when candidates have to face voters again, they would be on shaky ground if they tried to cheat. After the 2000 election, it didnt take too much observation to see that what a secretary of state does matters, Richie said. The office is important and more reporters should be cognizant of that.
Our Declaration of Independence states that government "derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Our government of laws is only as just as the elections that determine who make the decisions that affect us all. So we all have responsibility to make sure each vote counts in every election so the purity of democracy in our nation can be preserved and enhanced on our watch.
On November 4, 2008, nearly 3 million Minnesotans cast their votes for the United States Senate. The vast majority of those votes were clear and validly cast. Obviously, it was an extremely close vote, so Minnesota law required an automatic hand recount. I want to express my deep appreciation to all of the election officials and volunteers who helped to make this election successful. I also want to thank the hundreds and hundreds of people who have been involved in this recount process for their work during a busy family time of the year for doing the work to get us to this point in the process.
But in the wisdom of Minnesotas excellent election law, the local recount actions to date and those of the canvassing board are steps in the process of reaching a clear and unambiguous result all the people can accept as final. But as of today, not every valid vote has been counted and some have been counted twice. So today I am announcing that Ive instructed my legal team to file an election contest according to Minnesota law. Until these issues are settled, any attempt to seat someone who is not properly certified ignores the law, violates Senate precedent and usurps the will of the people of Minnesota.
There are several vital issues that must be resolved for the sake of this and future elections. Let me be very specific.
When double counted votes are included in a recount, an accurate and valid count cannot be obtained. When there are more votes counted in a single precinct than votes cast on the night of the election, an accurate and valid count cannot be obtained. When hundreds, if not thousands, of absentee ballots were wrongly rejected and still not included in the recount, an accurate and valid count cannot been obtained.
We are filing this contest to be absolutely sure that every valid vote was counted and no ones voted was counted more than anyone elses. The only way to do that is to guarantee that clear standards were applied fairly and uniformly throughout every single precinct of this state.
Under Minnesota Law there can be no valid election certificate issued if an election contest is filed. An election contest is the exact remedy the law provides to ensure that this recount and the associated inconsistencies that come with it are properly examined and properly resolved.
Thats what the Supreme Court said when it ruled the wrongly rejected absentee ballots that have still not been counted should be part of a contest. And its what members of the Canvassing Board communicated when they said they did not have the power in a recount to deal with the double counting of original and duplicate ballots.
While I understand there is a desire by a small number of people to simply move on, something greater than expediency is at stake here. As Americans we believe that every valid vote should count and that everybodys vote is equally to everyone else's.
Democracy is not a machine. Its run by people working to obey the law as best they can. Sometimes its messy and inconvenient, and reaching the best conclusion is never quick because speed is not the first objective: fairness is. Ive directed my team to move as quickly as possible to resolve these issues. But we will not permit the full process to be shortcut. That would only cast greater doubt and uncertainty over the final result.
A six year term is a long, long time. Crucial decisions will be made during that period on the economy, national security and the rights of all Americans. Minnesotans deserve 100% confidence that their Senator was fairly elected by all the people.
Speaking personally for just a moment: it has been an enormous privilege for me and my family to be involved in serving the people of Minnesota for over 30 years, the last six in the United State Senate. I hope to keep doing so. I have been humbled by the privilege given to me, but I want to make it clear: nobody is indispensible. Its the will of the people that really matters.
This is not just about me. The eyes of the nation are on the state that we love and we need to show them that Minnesota has done everything we can to make sure that we protect every voters right. At this moment, I may not have a working office in D.C. or in St. Paul, but I still have my voice in Minnesota, and I certainly plan to use it.
We need to get this right for all of us: a true, accurate and valid result of the Minnesota United States Senate Recount so all Minnesotans can have a Senator with the full credibility to lead and serve.
Thank you and God bless.
# # # # #
A Quick Look at a Minnesota Election Contest
From Coleman for Senate Official Site
January 7th 2009 9:26 AM
Who Can File An Election Contest?
- - Any eligible voter, including a candidate, can file an election contest
How Can An Election Contest Be Filed?
- - Notice of an election contest must be served and filed within seven days after the recount is certified by the canvassing board. A contest is filed in the District Court of Ramsey County. This time period corresponds with the 7 day waiting period between the canvassing board declaring a winner and issuing a certificate of election.
Why Can An Election Contest Be Filed?
- - When contesting the election of a U.S. Senator, the only question to be decided by the court is which party to the contest received the highest number of votes legally cast at the election and is therefore entitled to receive the certificate of election. (Minn. Stat. 209.12.)
An election contest can be brought based on a number of grounds, including:
- An irregularity in the conduct of an election or canvass of votes (such as votes cast by unqualified voters, spoiled ballots because of identifying marks, problems with absentee ballots, missing duplicate or original ballots).
When Would an Election Contest Go To Trial?
- - Within three days of receipt of the contest, the Ramsey County Court Administrator submits a copy of the notice to Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Magnuson. Chief Justice Magnuson then assigns 3 judges to hear and determine the case. The trial will be held in Ramsey County and must start as soon as practicable within 20 days after filing of the notice of contest. (Minn. Stat. 209.065)
What Else Should You Know About an Election Contest?
- - There is a provision for an inspection of ballots, which is essentially the same as an administrative recount except that it is conducted by a team of three inspectors, one each chosen by both parties and then those two inspectors choose the third inspector.
In this matter, there are several important facts that must be understood. First, there is a specific legal process, and related timing of actions, that Senator Coleman must specifically follow. Many of the comments bashing both Coleman and the GOP ignore this fact.
Second, many of the comments bashing both Republican Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Senator Coleman ignore the facts that both are moderate Republicans in a liberal Democrat State. It is important to remember that both Republicans Governor Pawlenty and Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau have significant combined Minnesota political experience. However, Minnesota has continued to become an increasingly ultra liberal Democrat State this decade. As MN Secretary of State Democrat Mark former? Communist and Soros Puppet Ritchie, both MN Attorney General Democrat Lori Swanson and MNs other U.S. Senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar, were only elected to office on Nov. 7, 2006. SorosGirl Klobuchar was elected as a freshman Senator to the 110th U.S. Congress and is a major ultra liberal. The facts that Minnesota is a liberal Democrat State is further demonstrated:
Minnesota Presidential Winners
1992: Bill Clinton(D)
1996: Bill Clinton(D)
2000: Al Gore(D)
2004: John Kerry(D)
2008: Barack Obama(D)
Does anyone really believe that an FR approved conservative Republican can get elected as MN Governor or U.S. Senator? Does anyone really believe that if Norm Coleman was more conservative he would have beaten Al Franken, and the National GOP would not be in this mess? It is also important to understand that until Governor Pawlenty certifies the election results, the Coleman-Franken U.S. Senate seat will remain vacant. Pawlenty will not certify the election until the conclusion of the legal process. If Coleman cannot obtain appropriate legal relief in the State Courts, then he will go to the Federal Courts, which is what many GOP Interests are gearing up for.
One week after the November 4, 2008 elections, Gov. Pawlenty was here in Miami for the Republican Governors Conference. I assure everyone, the private discussions with him were not about our nice weather, Gov. Palin, or Pawlentys ideology for the New GOP. To-date, he is doing what is both responsible and necessary in this Coleman-Franken fiasco. Further, Pawlenty is not going to do anything stupid in this matter, nor would he be asked to on Colemans account.
Pawlenty is one of 16 of 22 State Governors who terms expire in 2010. Eight cannot seek reelection due to term limits. While he has not made an official statement, Pawlenty is expected to run for MN Governor in 2010. The Democrats-Soros Shadow Party are already gearing up to drag Pawlenty down and elect a Democrat as Governor. Like many States, Pawlenty is currently dealing with a major MN State budget deficit of $426 million, with even deeper deficit projected for the next two years. Of the 2010 Governor races, Pawlentys will be one of the most difficult and very expensive. In short, political capital must be evaluated on both a macro and micro basis.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Year holiday FlA
Great lesson for us Republicans. These positions like Sec State and others really can impact elections. That is why ACORN and the Dims made a full court press on these positions since 2000. We need to fight for these jobs in order to prevent what happened in MN.
That’s why you push for court oversight of the count and toss the criminals who rigged the recount (by applying a floating standard that was assured to give the Rat victory) out of office AND in jail.
It isn’t just about elections. It is about laws. To see that they are held accountable for abusing the powers of their offices.
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