George W. Bush “won” the White House in late 2000 when he officially “won” the pivotal state of Florida — with the help of Florida’s then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who also just coinky-dinkily had sat on the state committee to elect Gee Dubya — by only 527 votes. The next president had to be determined expeditiously, the Repugnicans argued, and the Repugnican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court — in one of the court’s worst. rulings. ever. — ruled to stop the Florida recount, effectively crowning George as president.
Now, all of a sudden, counting every single vote accurately is vitally important to the Repugnicans. Reports The Associated Press today:
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Republican Norm Coleman said [today] he is suing to challenge Democrat Al Franken‘s apparent recount victory in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, delaying a resolution of the contest for weeks or months.
At a Capitol news conference filled with cheering supporters, Coleman said he won’t accept a board’s determination a day earlier that Franken won 225 more votes in the November election. He had a seven-day window to file the lawsuit.
“We are filing this contest to make absolutely sure every valid vote was counted and no one’s was counted more than anyone else’s,” Coleman said.
Coleman shrugged off the idea that he might concede the election to avoid a protracted fight that could leave Minnesota with only a single senator in Washington for months.
“Something greater than expediency is at stake here,” Coleman said. He added: “Democracy is not a machine. Sometimes it’s messy and inconvenient, and reaching the best conclusion is never quick because speed is not the first objective, fairness is.”
State law prevents officials from issuing an election certificate until legal matters are resolved.
Franken’s campaign planned a news conference later [today] to comment. In an e-mail to supporters, his campaign requested donations to continue the fight.
“Unfortunately, we’re not done, because instead of conceding, Norm Coleman has decided to go to court, filing a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn the result of the election,” read the plea from campaign manager Stephanie Schriock.
Coleman issued his own appeal for donations a day earlier.
Coleman, whose term expired Saturday, led Franken by 215 votes in the Nov. 4 count but that advantage flipped during a prolonged recount. Coleman’s lawyers say recount inconsistencies and election irregularities should be reviewed by a special three-judge panel.
In going to court, Coleman has three big challenges: raising money to pay escalating legal bills, proving the election was flawed and managing the public’s desire to have the race over….
A race that was a couple of years in the making — Franken announced his campaign in February 2007 — is now two months past Election Day.
Franken declared victory [yesterday], but the former “Saturday Night Live” personality was not sworn in with new senators when Congress convened [today]….
Franken made up his Election Day deficit over the prolonged recount in part by prevailing on more challenges that both campaigns brought to thousands of ballots. He also did better than Coleman when election officials opened and counted more than 900 absentee ballots that had erroneously been disqualified….
I just made a little donation to Team Franken to help them bury Coleman the asshole for good. You can, too, through Franken’s website.