Happy Recount Wednesday!
Local elections officials with begin hand counting 2.9 million ballots today to determine whether GOP Sen. Norm Coleman or Democrat Al Franken is Minnesota’s next U.S. Senator. MPR has a look at a ballot that will likely end up being determined by the State Canvassing Board. Forum Communications and the Star Tribune also have previews.
The Pi Press says every detail is spelled out for the ballot counters to get to work.
Meanwhile, Coleman made his first public statement about the recount. In a conference call with reporters Coleman said he is confident the recount will be conducted in the “Minnesota way.”
“I can’t impact the recount. I can simply do my job. We’ve got some big issues in front of this country right now that I’m trying to do my best to be part of the solution. What’s going to go on in Minnesota politically simply is going to go on. I do have confidence that the people who are doing the recount are good folks and want to do it the right way.”
The State Canvassing Board ordered the recount yesterday but punted on the decision on whether to include rejected absentee ballots. The board is expected to meet again next week. MPR, the Pi Press, Forum Communications, AP and WCCO have stories.
The latest Franken argument questions the local Senate counts.
Franken’s campaign will make additional arguments in Ramsey County District Court this morning on the rejected absentee ballots.
Coleman’s campaign says Franken wants the Senate to resolve the election.
MPR says some absentee voters are worried that their ballot didn’t count.
Democrats are now two votes away from sixty. That’s because Ted Stevens lost his reelection in Alaska.
Eric Holder is Obama’s choice for Attorney General.
GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad is in line to be Obama’s drug czar. Ramstad is retiring from Congress.
CNN wonders whether Obama can celebrate his inauguration without corporate money.
Gov. Pawlenty spends another day in the Washington D.C. area today. The Star Tribune says he’s making plenty of noise but is saying little about his plans in 2012.
Lawmakers grill Hank Paulsen on the bailout plan.
The Big 3 warn that the costs would be catastrophic if the bailout doesn’t happen.
GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar part ways on the auto bailout. Coleman doesn’t support it. Klobuchar does.
A federal judge sides with a Brooklyn Park mega church in a dispute with the IRS.
The feds are probing the use of a Medtronic product.
Legislature and State Government
MPCA Chief Brad Moore resigned.
An environmental review of a taconite expansion in northeastern Minnesota is about to begin.
The Legislative Auditor says the Sonia Pitt case is closed.