Monthly Archives: January 2009

Senate Contest Day 4: Maplewood ballot issue dropped

Video-Chuck Olsen, Text-Noah Kunin — Quick recap: lots of talking about previous positions by each campaign, when those positions were taken, when they were reversed.  Not a lot of discussion on who actually got the most votes.In fact, the scope of this election contest actually SHRANK.  Upon questioning from Joe Friedburg, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann discussed the chain of custody regarding 171 ballots unscanned ballots in a voting machine during the recount.  Satisfied with Mr. Gelbmann’s explanation, Friedburg dropped that complaint from the Coleman election contest.While yesterday was dominated by testimony from Mr. Gelbmann, today the Coleman legal team mixed it up a little with testimony from two additional voters whose absentee ballots Coleman claims were improperly rejected.  Overall, Coleman’s argument is that a lack of adherence to statute or rule requirements should not mean those votes are rejected as long as they are registered voters in MN. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Senate Contest Day 4: “Cherrypicking”

Video Chuck Olsen- Text Noah Kunin -
The other aspect, that I found notable, was the idea of cherry picking.  These clips are going to be in our highlight reel released later today.  Friedburg acknowledged both campaigns were doing it and if someone didn’t know about cherry picking they really shouldn’t even keep their job.  Most observers have conlcuded that both campaigns were targeting their likely supporters but today it was put in stark relief in the cross examination of Peter Demuth – Demuth said that he was called by the MN Republican Party, told his absentee ballot was rejected and ASKED if he supported Coleman.  When replied that he had, he was offered legal support to draw up an affadivt. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Coleman’s Past Opposition To Counting Absentees Highlighted In Court

Story By Noah Kunin –Coleman Election Contest Attorney, Joe Friedburg, continued his examination of Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann in Day 3 of the Minnesota Election Contest Trial for US Senate. The most notable moment came early in the day when Friedburg asked Gelbmann if the ability of either candidate to veto the opening of an improperly rejected absentee ballot disenfranchised voters. Gelbmann replied: “Yes.”  That veto power was agreed to by both campaigns during the recount process.  This power is invested to the campaigns by the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The thrust of Coleman’s argument is that this veto power resulted in unequal treatment of ballots across the state. Franken Election Contest Attorney Marc Elias argued that Coleman’s about face – first agreeing to then opposing the rules – violates the legal doctrine of invited error.   In layman’s terms, you can’t argue against an argument you made earlier. 
Furthermore, Team Franken contends that Coleman should be limited to the universe of 654 ballots Coleman lawyers named at the end of the recount because they did not make detailed specifications in their notice of election contest. Coleman Election Contest Consultant Ben Ginsberg, in a lunchtime press conference, argued that the election contest is de nuovo – that the trial is operating from a blank state.  As a result, previous arguments made by Team Coleman are irrelevant to the trial’s proceedings and their previous arguments should not be entered as evidence.The three judge tribunal has yet to issue orders on several motions related to these issues.  Their orders will greatly clarify the future course of the trial.  Orders are expected this week as the trial continues. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Op/Ed-Our Safety And Our Ideals

The Uptake wants to hear your voice. Submit your own video “letter to the editor.” More information here.ABOUT THIS VIDEO: Barack Obama wrote the headline to chapter one in his own administration’s history when, with George Bush sitting just feet away and the whole world watching, he seemed to wipe away a whole doctrine with:”We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” As he the new president was signing executive orders that shut down the detention facilities at GITMO, U.S. military drones fired missiles that killed at least 15 people inside Pakistan, leaving people around the world asking if the controversial military policy begun by George W Bush had changed after all. Dennis Trainor, Jr has worked as a writer/ media consultant for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Governor Pawlenty Pitches Budget Cuts To Rochester Chamber

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is touring the state pitching his plan to cut spending as the way to deal with Minnesota’s looming budget deficit problem.  The Governor wants to cut taxes for businesses, raise fees including fees on institutions that serve the mentally disabled, and cut aid to local governments which will need to choose between raising property taxes or cutting vital services such as police and fire. In the past, the Governor has ruled out increasing taxes on the richest Minnesotans who pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than even the poorest Minnesotans.  
This is raw video of the Governor’s speech in St. Paul Minnesota on Wednesay jan 28, 2009 speaking to the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Voters Testify: “Count My Vote”

By Noah Kunin –The second day of the Minnesota Election Contest Trial for US Senate proceeded slightly more smoothly that Day 1 – once the trial actually began.  Scheduled to begin at 9:00am, the 3-judge panel did not convene the trial until 1:00pm.  Judges spent the first part of the day behind closed doors, debating an order on how the trial should proceed now that it is likely anywhere from 4,500 to 12,000 original absentee ballot envelopes and applications may be entered into evidence.  Coleman’s legal team requested a tiered system of obtaining the originals but was initially denied.  As of 9:00pm CST, no orders had been issued by the court.The trial moved on to other issues – Coleman lawyers called individual voters as witnesses.  All had been contacted by the Republican Party of MN and informed their absentee ballots had been rejected.  All testified that they felt their absentee ballots should have been accepted.  In certain cases, the evidence currently available shows reasonable reasons for their rejections.  One voter admitted that his girlfriend forged his name on his absentee ballot application since he was out of state at the time caring for his mother, who was suffering from cancer at the time.Testimony of Minnesota Assistant Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann dominated the last portion of the trial on Tuesday.  Lead Coleman Contest Attorney Joe Friedberg questioned Mr. Gelbmann on various rationales for the various reversals of the rejected absentee ballots during the recount.  This testimony was stopped at the end of the day and will pick up Wednesday, 1/28/09 at 9:00am CST. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Day 1-”Best Evidence” Standard Hurts Coleman

Former US Senator Norm Coleman faced a setback in court Monday when judges ruled the ballot envelope copies his lawyers wanted to submit as evidence had some problems.  The copies had been written on and then had information removed.   Lawyers for both campaigns explain what happened to the media.  
Oh yeah… and Norm Coleman was there too.  He says he’ll be at the trial on other days too. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Franken Jokes With His Radio “Base” – Confident About Victory

US Senate candidate Al Franken was loose and making jokes as his legal team prepared for Monday’s election contest trial that could determine who is Minnesota’s next US Senator.  
After a state-wide hand recount, Franken holds a 225-vote lead over former US Senator Norm Coleman. Coleman is taking the election to court claiming irregularities on how some of the votes were counted and handled.  You can watch that trial live on The UpTake starting Monday at 1pm CT/ 2pm ET/ Noon MT/ 11am PT.  
Known initially as a comedian, Franken solidified his seriousness about politics while hosting a radio show on Air America.  Saturday he recalled those days while speaking at a party thrown by the Minnesota Air America affiliate AM 950, KTNF “The Voice of Minnesota”. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Court Denies Franken And Coleman Motions

There will be no piles of absentee ballots hauled into a St. Paul courtroom as Norm Coleman wanted.  The election contest trial will not be dismissed as Al Franken wanted.  The three judges hearing the case in Minnesota’s very close US Senate race today denied motions from both campaigns and set a no-nonsense tone for the trial issuing rules that included a ban on cell phone use in the courtroom.  
Most observers agreed that Franken’s attempt to have the case dismissed was a long shot given that the Minnesota Supreme Court had specifically instructed the Coleman campaign to take its allegations of double-counted ballots to an election contest.  The Franken campaign had claimed the court had no jurisdiction since the US Senate was the “final court” that would decide who would be seated.  The justices found they have the constitutional right to decide the case because it does not “usurp the Senate’s final authority to judge the qualifications of its members.”  
The Franken campaign had also argued that the Coleman suit was too general and vague.  The court disagreed and said that bringing up absentee ballots, missing ballots and ballots that may have been counted twice was specific enough.  
The court was curt in denying the Coleman motion to bring piles of ballots to St. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Bank CEO Says Bailout Failing Community Banks

As another $350 billion goes out the door, ANP looks at one small bailed-out bank. Eagle Bank, a community bank headquartered in Maryland, received many millions of dollars of TARP money, but is having trouble making loans. Its CEO, Ron Paul, says that the government has not taken fleeing depositors into account and, as a result, small banks and their surrounding communities will suffer.  (From The American News Project – www.newsproject.org) Continue Reading →

Filed under:

“There Goes Bush”

While leaving the National Mall, UpTake Senior Political Correspondent hears a young man cal out “There goes Bush!” Turning his camera toward the sky, former President George W. Bush’s helicopter is seen transporting him from the US Capitol to Andrews Air Force base where he boarded a plane to Midland, Texas. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Obama Oath And Inaugural Speech-Full

Text of speech:
My fellow citizens:
 
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and co-operation he has shown throughout this transition.  
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Op/Ed-History Book Material-Where Were You?

Dennis Trainor talks about today’s inauguration. No longer with head in the sand, is America really going to change?  
If you’d like to submit an Op/Ed video for consideration, here are the instructions
 
1) Have something intelligent to say 
 
2) Record it on a video using your real name.  
3) Upload it at www.tubemogul.com using info@theuptake.org as your log in and uptake411 as your password.  
4) Send an email to info@theuptake.org telling us about your video. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

With Dream Realized, The Work Begins

Students at the traditionally African-American Howard University in Washington D.C. are committed to a long struggle for progress after Barack Obama is sworn in as President of the United States. Cognizant that it might take at least eight years to resolve the problems of the past administration, students are ready to simultaneously support President Obama while holding him accountable for his campaign promises. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Zip Ties Separate Obama, Thronging Masses

Noah Kunin and Salimah Ebrahim moonlight as security consultants and review the security arrangements put in place at the US Capitol for Barack Obama’s inauguration as the next US President. They find zip ties. VIDEO: Noah Kunin 1/19/2009 7:20am EST Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Recalling the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Video from the Presidential Inaugural Committee –Congressman John Lewis and former Senator Harris Wofford reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., whom they both marched alongside. As we near January 19th, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday, we are preparing for a national day of service to commemorate the man that turned on so many Americans to a life of service. January 19th will be just the beginning of a broader effort to reengage Americans in service.  
President-elect Barack Obama has asked that we all make an ongoing commitment to our communities that extends beyond January 19th. Find out more about the Renew America Together initiative and sign up to attend or host a service event in your area. Continue Reading →

Filed under: