Republican Sen. Norm Coleman declared victory for a second term from Minnesota, even as the state this afternoon explained how it intends to recount nearly 3 million votes cast in his battle with Democrat Al Franken.
Coleman added that Franken should abandon any pursuit of a recount, saying that "the prospect of overturning [the necessary] votes is extremely, extremely, extremely remote." Franken could request that there not be a recount, but there is no hint that he would make such a move.
Coleman, whose lead in the unofficial state tally stood at 475 votes as of 4 p.m. today, said from his headquarters in St. Paul that he is "humbled and grateful for the victory that the voters gave us last night."
As we've noted, the Coleman-Franken race is going to a recount. So it's definitely not over. But if it should soon prove to be over, and Coleman wins a second term in the senate, let's not forget about those charges that surfaced in the last few days of the race. According to claims contained in court filings (statements made under penalty of perjury), Coleman's sugar daddy Nasser Kazeminy funnelled $75,000 for Coleman's personal use by channelling it through cut-out 'work' by Coleman's wife, an actress and sometime inventor who obtained an insurance license only in late 2006. We took a wait and see approach in the waning days of the election, because these were just charges and a lot of stuff gets thrown around in the final days of a campaign. So caution was merited.
But more sources are coming forward now, who make me think these charges, and others, are the real thing. And as you know, bribes to members of Congress are strictly frowned upon. And increasingly so.
So we're digging in.
Al is a Harvard grad and very intelligent. He's also the most arrogant man I have ever met.
I mean he has some sort of quality education, a degree of intelligence, and is not just doing this for "laughs" sort of thing.
The margin shrinks further
(by Kevin Duchschere, Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 6, 2008)
A few minutes ago Sen. Norm Coleman’s lead over Al Franken narrowed to 338 votes, down 100 votes from the margin of 438 that’s been reported this morning. Shortly afterward, it dropped by another two votes, to 336.
That’s according to the Secretary of State’s election results website, which now shows that Coleman has 1,211,526 votes (41.99 percent) and Franken has 1,211,190 (41.98 percent).
Why the shifts? It’s because county auditors are finding minor errors as they’re proofing their unofficial numbers before shipping them to St. Paul, said John Aiken, spokesman for Secretary Mark Ritchie.
“The counties are trying to be as accurate and transparent as possible. You’ll see fluctuations here and there,” Aiken said.
It happens all the time in every election, he said. The only difference is that for most elections, the margin is much wider and the election less prominent. Here, he said, “The eyes of the nation are on this Senate race.”