Thursday, November 13, 2008

Minnesota Senate Update

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This week we've reported on the Alaska Senate Results and the Georgia Senate Special Election but haven't touched on the recount in Minnesota..

The latest twist in Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount came this morning, when the Al Franken campaign hit Ramsey County with a lawsuit, seeking the names of would-be voters whose absentee ballots were rejected.

The DFLer's campaign hopes to force counties across the state to cough up the lists of rejected voters who, if later found eligible, could tip the balance in the closest Senate race in the country, between Franken and Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.

Mark Elias, lead recount attorney for the Franken campaign, said that both Ramsey and Hennepin counties had already rejected its request, forcing the campaign to take legal action.

Elias said the campaign has already learned of one woman, an 84-year-old Beltrami County stroke victim, whose absentee ballot was disqualified because her signature no longer matched that on her pre-stroke voter registration card. - Strib

And TPM has more on the scandal involving Coleman's wife. A Minneapolis company called Hays allegedly funneled money to Norm via his wife's paycheck:

Late last month, in a suit filed in Texas, Paul McKim, the former CEO of Deep Marine Technologies (DMT), alleged in a sworn statement that Kazeminy -- who owns DMT -- directed him to make payments totaling $75,000 to the Hays Companies, a Minnesota insurance brokerage that employs Coleman's wife Laurie Coleman. The payments, claimed McKim in the suit, were not for legitimate work performed by Hays for DMT, but rather were a way for Kazeminy to funnel money to Coleman.

Soon afterwards, a group of DMT investors filed a separate suit naming both Kazeminy and McKim as defendants, and making similar allegations.

Since news of the suits surfaced in late October, none of the principals has offered responses that have put the matter to rest.

Officials hope to have the final results of the election by mid-December.