The news out of St. Paul on Friday was disgusting. The judicial panel had examined all the evidence and rendered a verdict at last, in the disputed U.S. Senate race. Candidate Franken received 312 votes more than Senator Coleman. But... no certification - another appeal - to begin IN JUNE!
With 2.9 million Minnesota ballots on November 8th, Independent Dean Barkley polled 16%, Republican Norm Coleman 43%, DFLer Al Franken 43%. Too close to call. Too close to concede. But just right to stall and stall and stall.
Five months ago a letter of mine in the Star Tribune, reminded readers of the dignity and grace of Governor Elmer L. Andersen in March 1963, and of Vice President Albert Gore in December 2000.
These gentlemen realized that the urgency of the public's business was more important than their personal quest to win an election. History looks at Andersen and Gore with admiration and respect today. We have survived four years of Governor Rolvaag and eight years of President Bush.
As a DFL contributor in 2008 I was asked for more money in November to pay for the recount. I refused. I had judged the election from my township polling place, and I trusted the county auditor who trained me and my fellow judges, to reexamine our 9,000 ballots accurately.
Lawyers and watchers were not needed in Aitkin. The process in Minnesota is fair and open. Our machines, with their paper trail, leave no doubt of the result.
But not for Senator Coleman. He lost the race for Governor in 1998 to Jesse Ventura, after a doing pretty good job as St. Paul's Mayor. He defeated Vice President Mondale in the interrupted Wellstone Senate race in 2002. He now believes that he is tied with comedian Al Franken.
Isn't there a law to prevent Senator Coleman from interrupting Minnesota's representation in the U.S. Senate?