More at *******www.theuptake****. lected DFL leaders held a press conference to ask Sen. Coleman's campaign to produce evidence linking Al Franken to a recent Texas lawsuit, or else pull their ad insinuating Franken is smearing Coleman's wife. Minnesota GOP Chair Ron Carey talked with reporters afterward and repeatedly deflected requests to produce evidence of a connection between the Texas lawsuit and Franken's campaign.
At the Hennepin County elections warehouse in Minneapolis, one calm person is in the eye of the storm between election judges, the media, and campaign lawyers: Cindy Reichert, Director of Elections for Minneapolis. Cindy describes the challenges that arose on the first day of Minnesota's senate recount.
We also take a look at a sampling of challenged ballots, including a glimpse of a "Mickey Mouse" ballot, and a bit of MN GOP chair Ron Carey being interviewed.
Produced by Chuck Olsen for The UpTake: *******theuptake****
More at *******www.theuptake****. Lawyers for Norm Coleman and Al Franken dueled in Minnesota while the state canvassing board reset the race to zero-zero and the recount begins.
More at *******www.theuptake****. Common Cause, a nonpartisan organization designed to hold local government accountable to public interest, will be overseeing the Minneota Senate recount, which begins on November 18th. The advocacy group held a press conference to address their role in observing the recount process.
More at *******www.theuptake****. At the October 24th McCain rally in Denver, protesters stood with signs along the line to get into the event. One man in particular was very upset by one sign. The UpTake spoke with both the woman with the sign, and the man who found it so offensive.
More at *******www.theuptake****. New Mexico's elections, like almost all of the rest of the nation's, are carried out by private companies on electronic voting machines. These machines have vulnerabilities, and the contractors running them inspire suspicion as well. See a previous story about Auburn See Wolf, the company that keeps New Mexico's voting data in a guy's basement here: *******blip.tv/file/1415128/
More at *******www.theuptake****. Hamtramck, Michigan's Vice Mayor talks of prejudice proposal and why "Muslim extremists" oppose it, despite the fact that it protects Muslims.
More at *******www.theuptake****. In Greeley, Colorado, at the University of Northern Colorado, after hearing about possible long lines due to voter cards and the surprising presence of a Sherrif's Deputy, we spoke to a student who had just finished casting his first ballot.
More at *******www.theuptake****. 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.
More at *******www.theuptake****
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.
Star Tribune Managing Editor Rene Sanchez says that is simply not true. Sanchez old MinnPost that "we did not get a copy of this lawsuit until it was filed Monday."
It was questions from the Star Tribune's investigative reporters earlier this week that tipped other media off to the story. At a campaign event in St. Cloud, Senator Coleman refused to answer or even acknowledge the reporters who asked him about the lawsuit and payments of $75,000 to his wife from a Texas company controlled by a wealthy Coleman supporter.
On Friday Coleman said the lawsuit, filed by Republican Paul McKim, was politically motivated and indicated it was the work of his opponent Al Franken calling it "sleazy" and "11th hour".
Lawyers in Minnesota who examined the lawsuit documents were reasonably sure politics was not the primary motivation in the lawsuit. Talk show host and lawyer Mark Heaney and election law specialist Christian Sande examined the documents on Heaney's show this week.
Heaney noted that the firm filing the lawsuit was a reputable one, and would probably not risk that reputation by being involved in a lawsuit that had no basis.
Sande commented that this was really a lawsuit about a fired CEO trying to obtain money from his former employer. Sande suggested the Coleman allegations were probably included in the suit to get the employer (Nasser Kazeminy) to settle it quickly.
That apparently worked since the suit was withdrawn very fast, indicating the two parties had reached a settlement. However, negotiations between the two reportedly broke down and a new fraud suit, identical to the first one, has been filed in Texas.
According to the Star Tribune, Franken spokeswoman Colleen Murray said no one associated with the Franken campaign had anything to do with bringing the lawsuit to light.
A Minneapolis attorney, Lori Peterson, started asking questions during Senator Coleman's news conference in Moorhead. She wanted to know if Kazeminy had purchased suits for Coleman at Neiman Marcus as reported by Harpers Weekly. Coleman then accused Peterson of being with the Franken campaign and left the room.
Peterson said she was a Democrat and was going to vote for Al Franken, but she was not with the Franken campaign.
Please note, The UpTake did not have a video camera following Senator Coleman's campaign to northwestern Minnesota. The DFL does have a camera following Coleman's campaign. This is what is commonly called a "tracker". The UpTake asked the DFL if it would provide us access to their video. The DFL provided The UpTake with a raw clip of the event so we could be sure nothing had been edited out.
More at *******www.theuptake****. A brief history and explanation of voter suppression in Hamtramck, Michigan.
More at *******www.theuptake****. Two lawsuits have been filed against New Mexico's Republican heavyweights on behalf of voters who endured visits from a private investigator and having their personal information publicly distributed via press conference.
Story By Stuart Overbey
More at *******www.theuptake****. Election day in Denver in 2006 saw lines late into the night, and an uncountable number simply walking away from the polls. A lot of things have been changed to try and address that, including going back to systems less dependent on computerized systems. And it's estimated that 35% of Coloradans have already voted by mail or early vote. But the ballot in Colorado is long this year. Seriously long. It took me about 45 minutes to vote it, and I skipped the judges. I don't know how many minutes election officials here figured people would need when they decided how many voting booths needed to be where. I'm guessing it wasn't 45. The rumor is this is the longest ballot in the country. We'll be keeping an eye on things on election day to see how the system handles such a ginourmous ballot. Tune in to theuptake****.
More at *******www.theuptake****
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 is here: *******minnesotaindependent****/15781/colemankazeminy-roundup-with-second-lawsuit-norm-has-even-more-splainin-to-do
More at *******www.theuptake****. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie continues his press conference on voter intimidaiton by discussing:
* how Minnesota keeps its voter rolls clean and up to date
* how other disnfranchisements are occuring - the major one being absentee ballots being sent to Minnesotans with an out of state return address
* ACORN's track record in Minnesota
* new rules restricting poll challenges in Minnesota
More at *******www.theuptake****. 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.
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
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.