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Franken request to review absentee ballots rejected

Team Franken attorney David Lillehaug asked the Hennepin County Canvassing Board to review rejected absentee ballots. “We have information that a significant number of persongs who voted by absentee ballot, particularly in Minneapolis, had their ballots rejected and not counted.” Lillehaug said they have information about 461 absentee ballots rejected for various reasons that may be valid.  
The board, under advice from Hennepin County senior attorney Dan Rogan, rejected Lillehaug’s request, stating the board has limited authority to address the issues. Rogan said Lillehaug could raise the issue with Minnesota’s state canvassing board meeting. Continue Reading →

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Dress Rehearsal For Coleman/Franken Recount-Ramsey County Ballot Audit

A post-election ballot review of five randomly selected precincts in Ramsey County yielded one more vote for DFL candidate Al Franken and one less vote for Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman. The two-vote swing, in what represents a small fraction of the entire vote in Ramsey County, may not be reflected in the Secretary of State’s running tally for days or even weeks.  
The ballots are being recounted, not as part of an anticipated state-wide recount in the US Senate race between Franken and Coleman, but as part of normal ballot review done after every election to determine if the optical-scan voting machines recorded accurately.  
Many are looking to the post-election ballot review to provide an indication of how the impending state-wide recount may go.  
All eyes are on the ballots that are improperly marked. Continue Reading →

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Election night with the Minnesota GOP: The Michele Bachmann Show

One of the undisputed stars of the Minnesota Republican Party was, and will remain to be, Michele Bachmann. Her penchant for outrageous comments coupled with a hard-right bent has earned her intense scrutiny from the media and strong support from Republican activists.  
With the results of her race against DFL and Independent endorsed candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg still in doubt Bachmann entered the ballroom floor relatively early in the evening to talk with a select few members of the media.  
Bachmann stopped to talk with former Minnesota Sen. Rudy Boschwitz and conservative talk show host Jason Lewis.  
Lewis appeared to suggest that if Bachmann had tied her controversial comments about Barack Obama and some of her congressional coleagues holding “anti-American” views to the KKK and individuals such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney then more of the public would have understood. Continue Reading →

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Election night with the Minnesota GOP: Acceptances, concessions and one abstention

With Minnesota’s US Senate race still undecided, Senator Norm Coleman addresses GOP supporters on election night. Barb Davis-White concedes in the 5th District race. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann claims victory in what was supposed to be an easy race for her to win but became close after she remarked that Barack Obama “may have anti-American views”. We also see Republican reaction to Senator John McCain’s concession speech and President-elect Barack Obama’s victory speech.  
**http://the-uptake.groups.theuptake.org/en/videogalleryView/id/1232/ Continue Reading →

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Final Franken Coleman Confrontation Turns Nasty

Senator Norm Coleman took every opportunity he could to claim he was a victim and blame DFL candidate Al Franken for publicizing a lawuit that alleges one of Coleman’s wealthy supporters funneled money to the Senator through a company his wife works for.  
And that was just the first question.   Things didn’t get much more civil after that.  Watch! Continue Reading →

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Bachmann mixes official and campaign business in St. Cloud

With three days until the election, Sixth District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) toured the St. Cloud VA Hospital along with the visiting Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake. The event was billed as official business for Bachmann but a group of veterans, who support Bachmann’s DFL and Independence endorsed challeger Elwyn Tinklenberg, called on Bachmann’s campaign to refund the tax payers and pay for the event with campaign money.After remarks by Sec. Peake and Congresswoman Bachmann, both were questioned about the timing and nature of the event. St. Continue Reading →

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Franken Rejects Coleman’s Conspiracy Theory

With a mere three days until the election Senator Norm Coleman has made stunning accusations that his opponent, Democrat Al Franken, is behind a lawsuit filed against Coleman’s friend, businessman Nasser Kazeminy. Coleman also includes the Star Tribune newspaper in the conspiracy, by claiming that an “anonymous” package containing the lawsuit was delivered to the Star Tribune before the suit was actually filed. Coleman’s campaign has produced no actual evidence to support his accusations and the Franken campaign and Star Tribune vigorously and unequivocally deny the charges. Star Tribune denial as published in Minnesota Independent Continue Reading →

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Franken to Press: “This is where you have a job.”

Al Franken, after rebutting claims made by Senator Norm Coleman in a new ad that Franken is invovled in the recent lawsuit against Coleman’s friend Nasser Kazeminy, answers questions from the press.  Franken discusses the role of the press in truth-telling, his opinion as to the veracity of the claims within the lawsuit and whether or not he will file a complaint against Coleman’s ad. Continue Reading →

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Franken Says Coleman Looked Minnsota In The Eye And Lied

Responding to charges from Senator Norm Coleman in new TV ad, Al Franken says Coleman looked Minnesota in the eye and lied to them. Franken says he had no prior knowledge or involvement in bringing the suit that alleges money was funneled to Coleman by one of his wealthy supporters. This is a news conference that aired live on The UpTake November 1, 2008
 
Below is the ad Franken is responding to and an ad from the DSCC that asks the question “Why won’t Coleman answer reporters questions”. DSCC Ad

Continue Reading →

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Sen. Coleman Points Fingers At Media And Franken

An unmarked envelope arrives for two investigative reporters at the local newspaper. Inside are papers that will be filed in court next week linking the state’s Senior US Senator to a complicated plan to funnel him money from a wealthy businessman to his wife.  
It sounds like a scene from “All The Presidents Men”. But unlike that movie which was based on real life, this scene is based upon a fantasy in Senator Norm Coleman’s head if you believe the Managing Editor at the Star Tribune.  
Friday, Senator Coleman accused the Star Tribune of having documents from the potentially politically damaging lawsuit long before they were actually filed in a Texas court. Continue Reading →

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Newspaper Disputes Sen. Coleman’s Claims About Lawsuit

An unmarked envelope arrives for two investigative reporters at the local newspaper. Inside are papers that will be filed in court next week linking the state’s Senior US Senator to a complicated plan to funnel him money from a wealthy businessman to his wife.  
It sounds like a scene from “All The Presidents Men”. But unlike that movie which was based on real life, this scene is based upon a fantasy in Senator Norm Coleman’s head if you believe the Managing Editor at the Star Tribune.  
Friday, Senator Coleman accused the Star Tribune of having documents from the potentially politically damaging lawsuit long before they were actually filed in a Texas court. Continue Reading →

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Fighting The Urge To Purge In Colorado

As election time closes in, a federal law prevents the purging of voters from the rolls, even for the normal, valid reasons, like death or relocation, because it’s too easy to make mistakes or manipulate the process.  
Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffmann, who is also running as a Republican for a Congressional seat, has been purging tens of thousands of Coloradans from the voter rolls anyway.  
By Corrine L. McDermid Continue Reading →

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Analysis: Carefully Parsed Responses Key Clue In Coleman Funding Scandal

Senator Norm Coleman and his staff have been less than completely forthcoming in their responses to questions about Coleman’s financial relationship with wealthy businessman Nasser Kazimny.  Court documents from a case in Texas now reveal why the campaign and Coleman may have been choosing their words so carefully.  
Kaziminy is named as a defendant in a lawsuit that alleges he forced the President of a company he owns to falsify records and funnel $75,000 to Senator Coleman through Hays Companies, an insurance broker in Minneapolis and then to his wife Laurie Coleman who is listed as an employee at Hays.  
You may recall that Kaziminy’s name came up earlier this month in connection with allegedly buying expensive suits for Coleman.  When asked about that allegation, Coleman and his campaign gave the same carefully worded yet vague reply no matter what question was asked:
 
“The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received”. You can watch that same answer be given about a dozen times at a Coleman campaign news conference.  The Senator gave a similarly worded response when asked about a report in Harper’s Weekly online edition that Kaziminy had purchased suits for him before he was elected Senator. 
 
If the allegations in the lawsuit are true, you can now see why the wording of the response is important.  
First the suits.  If the information Harper’s Weekly has received is true — the DFL says a Neiman Marcus employee has corroborated the information  — then SENATOR Coleman has reported every gift he has received.  But that leaves open the possibility that PRIVATE CITIZEN Norm Coleman has not reported those gifts. Continue Reading →

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Contrast In styles: Minnesota candidates meet the press

There was no mystery as to who the media star was after two Minnesota Public Radio hosted congressional debates. In a chaotic scene, reporters crowded around 6th District Republican incumbent Rep. Michele Bachmann after her debate with DFL challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg. One Bachmann supporter proudly yelled to the press “she is a pitbull in lipstick!” Inside the lobby of MPR, a much more subdued scene had Tinklenberg taking questions from a gaggle if reporters for over ten minutes. By the time 2nd District Republican incumbent Rep. John Kline finished his debate with DFL challenger Steve Sarvi, most of the press had vanished. Continue Reading →

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Franken Sued By Sen. Coleman

Al Franken now has another thing in common with the late Senator Paul Wellstone. They’ve both been sued by Senator Norm Coleman shortly before an election. Franken is running against Coleman in a very expensive US Senate race in Minnesota. Today Coleman’s campaign announced the Senator is suing Franken and his campaign for running ads that are false. The suit is being filed with a Minnesota Office Of Administrative Hearings under a state law that makes disseminating campaign material that is knowingly false. Continue Reading →

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MN Secretary Of State Accuses Right Wing Group Of Voter Intimidation

Who’s making intimidating phone calls to voters in Minnesota? The answer might surprise you. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie released an affidavit describing a phone call linked to Minnesota Majority a far right-wing issue advocacy group.  The caller indicated that the voter in question was listed twice on the public voter rolls.  The voter (who moved addresses but kept their telephone number) asked who the caller reported to.  They indicated Jeff Davis, president of Minnesota Majority.  Davis co-founded Minnesota Majority with Republican Mary Kiffmeyer – the former MN Secretary of State before Democrat Mark Ritchie.  
In response to the allegations Davis issued a statement on the Minnesota Majority website that says in part:
 
“Minnesota Majority has been conducting research into what appear to be inconsistencies in Minnesota’s voter rolls. Voters with apparent duplicate registration records have been contacted by Minnesota Majority volunteers with a simple request to confirm the accuracy of their voter registration information. We believe these research activities to be in complete compliance with all state and federal laws.”  
Ritchie has turned the case over to county prosecutors to investigate further. Continue Reading →

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Inside McCain’s Florida Campaign

Central Florida McCain Chairman Lewis Oliver on ACORN, paid volunteers, republicans limiting hours and locations of polling stations in Florida, and voter turn out tactics used by the McCain campaign. Video by Sam Mayfield Continue Reading →

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Inside McCain’s Florida Campaign

Central Florida McCain Chairman Lewis Oliver on ACORN, paid volunteers, republicans limiting hours and locations of polling stations in Florida, and voter turn out tactics used by the McCain campaign. Video by Sam Mayfield Continue Reading →

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“Conned” by “Obama Mania” – How McCain Can Win

Despite polls that show Barack Obama ahead, one McCain stratagist sees a scenerio that will give victory to John McCain.  Lewis Oliver is the Chairman of McCain’s campaign in Central Florida.  He says little things such as Palin on Saturday Night Live and gaffs by Joe Biden have given McCain momentum and undecideds will break towards the candidate who looks like he is going to win. Continue Reading →

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“Conned” by “Obama Mania” – How McCain Can Win

Despite polls that show Barack Obama ahead, one McCain stratagist sees a scenerio that will give victory to John McCain.  Lewis Oliver is the Chairman of McCain’s campaign in Central Florida.  He says little things such as Palin on Saturday Night Live and gaffs by Joe Biden have given McCain momentum and undecideds will break towards the candidate who looks like he is going to win. Continue Reading →

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Biden Barnstorms Battleground Colorado

Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden has been crisscrossing the state of Colorado.  Polls show the Barack Obama/Biden ticket is ahead in the state, but it is close.  Here he revs up the crowed at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. You can watch his entire speech and/or watch the speakers who introduced him in our playlist below. Continue Reading →

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