Today’s UpTake: All Recount Eyes on Hennepin

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Recount Central

Is Minnesota’s post-election battle winding down, or is it heating up? Over 70 percent of ballots from the Nov. 2 election have now been recounted, and according to the Dayton campaign, based on votes that have turned for the Democratic-Farm-Labor candidate this week, Mark Dayton’s lead over Republican Tom Emmer now tops 9,000. But Emmer’s team increased their challenging of ballots in Hennepin County yesterday, and Emmer attorney Tony Trimble got into a heated argument with Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith yesterday over recount procedures and whether Hennepin County could add more tables to finish the counting before next week. On top of that, now GOP chair Tony Sutton has fueled rumors that the Republicans will file a post-recount lawsuit.

The UpTake will cover the recount again today from Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. We’ll also broadcast a host of political stories that you might find more interesting than “watching people watch paint dry”. At 10 a.m. Congressman Jim Oberstar will hold a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. — likely his last as Chairman. Oberstar is expected to make personal remarks as well. Minnesota’s November Economic Forecast is scheduled to be released today at 12:15 p.m. We’ll cover it live, as we will Senate Majority Leader-elect Amy Koch and Speaker of the House Designate Kurt Zeller’s comments on the November budget forecast at 2 p.m. DFL Senate Caucus Leader Tom Bakk and House Caucus Leader Paul Thissen will follow with their own comments. Then at 2:30 p.m. Governor Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Steve Sviggum will hold a news conference to discuss the economic forecast. You can watch it all on The UpTake.

Last night our roving videographer Craig Stellmacher made it to Powderhorn Park for a “Take Back the Park” rally following a sexual assault and shooting over Thanksgiving weekend. Powderhorn is a cherished park in South Minneapolis and famous for hosting the annual May Day festival. Tomorrow afternoon we’ll also cover a protest at Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office to keep Anh Pham, Tracy Molm and Sarah Martin out of Jail. They were among the peace activists raided by the FBI on Sept. 24 and have since been re-subpoenaed to appear before a Grand Jury investigating “material support of terrorism.” Pham, Molm and Martin face the choice of participating in the witch hunt or going to jail indefinitely for ‘contempt’. Last weekend we also interviewed Joe Iosbaker and Stephanie Weiner, the Chicago activists who were raided by the FBI on the same day.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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