Friday, April 3, 2009

Stevens To Be Senator Before Franken?

We have been jabbing at Brad Blog for its wrong headed position on the Franken / Coleman election in Minnesota.

It was clearly wrong for Brad Blog, an "EI blogging center", to advocate that all states should use the Minnesota model for elections.

That would be a catastrophe like getting AIDS to wipe out AIDS.

We have been jabbing at Attorney General Holder for making a judicial decision he should have left to the courts.

Holder effectively pardoned Ted Stevens after that senator had been convicted by a jury for 7 felonies associated with political corruption. After all, Eric was once a judge you know.

Now the state of Alaska, where Stevens can see the Senate from his house, is all a twitter and is freaking out for a general election.

Stevens lost by less than 4,000 votes under the felony cloud, so it is more than likely he would win re-election.

That means if Senator Cornyn has his way, Alaska has its way, and Eric Holder has his way, the convicted Ted Stevens will be a senator before Al Franken is a senator.

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser over here in the empire Barak, so "get back Jo Jo, get back Loretta".


  1. Dredd - I notice you've been selectively (and repeatedly) quoting what I wrote about Minnesota's excellent election procedures three months ago, back in January, without bothering to offer either context for your readers, or any of our copious and subsequent commentary at The BRAD BLOG, in dozens of articles since then, pointing out Coleman's repeated and flagrant abuse of MN's process and its legal system in his continuing frivolous claims.

    While I certainly wrote what you've oft-quoted me writing (and, in fact, still stand firmly by that comment), it seems a bit, um, misleading and/or disingenuous to use that comment for a specific attack without noting the additional commentary to help put the entire matter into perspective.

    That said, I'm just curious, had there been a Republican-majority in the Senate at this time, you'd have been just fine with them having seated Coleman since January, allowing him to vote with the Republicans on every bill so far this session, right? Because that's the argument you're making (without actually bothering to explain that to your readers, while opportunistically taking out of context shots at me).

    So would love to read your response to that very sincere question. And thanks in advance!

  2. One of the legs of propaganda ideology is to divide.

    "Take a side" is the breath and life of propaganda meisters.

    There is no proper side to join, no winning side for election officials or election science.

    There is only honesty or dishonesty.

  3. One of my many criticisms of elections was a democratic party primary in New Hampshire.

    I would criticize a bad election in any shire, including even The Shire of Hobbiton.

    The Minnesota system is quite flawed and I feel for the people of Minnesota who have only one senator because they made their law thinking everyone who participated would be fair.

    Now they need to go back and fix it realizing there are many corrupt minds in American politics.

  4. I don't think I understand your reply in the least, but I guess I understand it enough to see that you've chosen not to answer my question.

    Disappointing, given the amount of time (and number of blog posts) that it seems you've spent here using an old, out of context quote of mine, in hopes of making some point that you seem to feel is important. I might have thought you'd have thought your point through before making it so frequently.

    But I guess you haven't? Seems a pretty straight forward question that you'd be able to answer. But you haven't.

    I'll rephrase and ask again: Without the law that you've derided me for supporting, Coleman could have been seated long ago if there happened to be a Republican majority in the Senate. Would you have supported the seating of Coleman throughout the duration of any election contest? (Even though the certified results show that Franken was actually the winner?)

    It's a pretty straightforward question. Or does your derision of my position only work out when you've got the party of your liking in control of Congress?

    Seems you haven't thought it through much, which is surprising given the amount of "ink" and number of blog posts that you've dedicated to the purpose of trying to condemn my position.

  5. BradF,

    You have chosen all by yourself not to get my simple point:

    Minnesota's election law is flawed and you are wrong to say all states should follow Minnesota's example.

    What politician is running for senator from what party is irrelevant. Which politician you are for or who you are against is not a factor in determining that the law is flawed.

    There are at least "50 ways to leave your lover" Simon says, and I say that there are at least 50 ways to fix bad election laws.

    I suggest that is where you EI experts need to focus your brilliance if you really want to aid Minnesota.

  6. If "Minnesota's election law is flawed" because they do not sign certification docs until all legal contests have concluded in the state, then how would you like to fix that? You say there are "50 ways." Please name one.

    The obvious alternative to NOT signing certification before legal contests are ended is to go ahead, as most states do, and sign certification to the Congress to go ahead and seat whoever came out ahead on Election Night or in an recount. That's what most states do, and what I think is a bad idea, but what you seem to be arguing in favor of.

    That would, of course, allow partisans to seat whoever they like, even if it might not be the legal winner (the will of the people), giving that seated member an undue, clear advantage in both legal courts and court of public opinion -- even if he/she wasn't the rightful winner (the will of the people).

    That's exactly what happened in California in the 2006 special election to fill the U.S. House Seat of Duke Cunningham (as I argued in the article you like to selective quote, without mentioning that part of my article.

    In the CA-50 special election, though the legal winner (the will of the people) had not yet been determined, a Republican SoS, appointed by a Republican Gov. certified the Republican candidate as the "winner", sent it to the Republican Congress who then instructed the Judge in the state election contest to dismiss the state case, since the Constitution gave the Republican Congress the say on who gets seated, not the people of California. The judge bought it, the case was dismissed, and the people not had their proper say before the Republican would then go on to serve under a cloud.

    I think the people of CA, in that case, should have gotten to determine who filled that seat, not a partisan Congress. If CA had had the same law as MN, that would not have happened. But you seem to prefer the CA model.

    If not, and if you believe there is a different model that is better, please share it with us. One of your "50 ways" will do.

    It's simple, of course, to throw continuous stones at my position, to not give your readers the full picture of either what I said, or what the reality of the matter is. But, of course, it's much harder (apparently) for you to offer the alternative to what you describe (over and over) as my wrong position.

    So, please share with us that alternative. If you have one. As I said originally, I'm quite interested in what it is.

  7. Hi BradBlog,

    From you own words, you claim to have first heard of the Speedway Bomber, Brett Kimberlin, on November 10th, 2004. Care to explain how a mere two days later the Velvet Revolution was formed?

    Are there public records which show how much money the two of you have raked in through donations?

    People can trace your sudden rise to fame through the dubious Clint Curtis story and see that without Brett's machinations, no one would have ever heard of you.

  8. BradF,

    You bring up a good point - why is the Minnesota election law flawed?

    I suppose that would also include "how" is it flawed.

    This is a common sense problem and answer. Sometimes experts leave their common sense at home.

    We are months away from the November election and we do not have the second senator from Minnesota. There is "it should take as long as it takes" rhetoric that would push it out for years.

    The fiasco speaks for itself in common sense terms.

    Common sense tells us that this does not pass the smell test.

    Let me just say that if Minnesota law were the norm in all states as you advocate, the United States would be at risk of being shut down ... because the Senate could be shut down by close elections ... and if the Senate is shut down ... since our congress is bi-cameral ... the government would be shut down.

    The loosing candidate, from any party, could do what Coleman did and keep Senators from being seated.

    Imagine the Senate with 30% of its members not seated. The Senate could not function properly in the sense it could go haywire and could be functioning contrary to the way the people voted ... and that could continue for months or for years.

    In the current economic crisis, and a hundred more, that situation could have dastardly implications and a catastrophic impact on our culture.

    One solution would be to seat the certified candidate pending court adjudication, place all costs of litigation on the challenger, bring the burden of proof standard up to 'clear and convincing', and apply summary judgment rules of procedure, and put a time limit within which the challenger can make his or her case.

    The focus of that would be to speed things up.

    But most of the work should be done at the ballot level by making the paper ballots and marks on them crystal clear, and at the precinct level by improving the quality of both personnel and practice.

    So that even politicians can understand the way honesty works.

    Thankfully Minnesota is not the standard bearer and thankfully there is hope ... Florida can and did ... Minnesota can and should.

  9. Hats off to all the thousands of precincts within the 3,003 some odd counties, within the 50 states, who finished their elections in November of 2008.

    I can't extol the virtue of those who still have not finished last year's election, so the hats off only applies to those who can and did finish last year's election in a timely manner.

    You electioneers who have not finished last year's election yet are examples ... but not the examples for other states to follow.

    You need to fine tune your elections so that they cannot be hijacked by whiners.

    For the record, BradF did not allow me to leave a post, today, on his blog concerning this issue.

    Instead, he censored my post by deleting the comment, after I allowed him to express his dissent here on Dredd Blog.