January 2nd, 2009
01:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Senate GOP prepared to fight early Franken seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/art.getty.al.franken.jpg caption=" Democratic challenger Al Franken has a slight lead over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in the race for the Minnesota Senate seat."]MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) – Sen. John Cornyn, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is weighing in on Minnesota's close and still unresolved U.S. Senate race, saying Friday that no one should be seated until a winner is made official by both the Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Currently, Democratic challenger Al Franken holds a slight lead of about 50 votes over Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, but this number does not reflect what could be more than a thousand improperly rejected absentee ballots still to be tallied, which would sway results.

Cornyn, a Republican from the state of Texas, said a filibuster may be in order if Franken were seated before an official certificate is signed by Ritchie and Pawlenty.

"There will be no way that people on our side of the aisle will agree to seat any senator provisionally or otherwise," he told reporters on a conference call.

The new Congress will be sworn in Jan. 6, and it's unlikely a certificate would be signed by then. Speculation over what could happen in the interim included the possibility that the Democratically-controlled body would provisionally seat Franken if he remains in the lead.

"It is very clear that the people of Minnesota and the courts in Minnesota should make the decision about who won the Minnesota Senate election and not political leaders in Washington, DC."

The Coleman campaign is hoping the Minnesota Supreme Court will intervene over the issue of the improperly rejected absentee ballots because they say there is no uniform standard for local officials and the campaigns to review and count them.

It's also possible for an election contest to be filed after the Secretary of State certifies the results. The Coleman campaign has hinted at the increasing likelihood that they'd again go to the high court, which could mean a resolution would still be weeks away.

The secretary of states office is scheduled to tally improperly rejected absentee ballots this weekend and could have a result as early as Monday, though the meaning of any such result without a governor's signature remains to be seen.

Full story

soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. the idiot

    For all of you who discount the ACORN effect, it looks like they are going to own another senator. This should also be a warning to you calling for an election in Illinois. The democrats and unions do not believe in fair elections.

    January 2, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    wow! I really looks like these two shmucks onnly care about winning. They don't care about the people here. They just want the victory. Pathetic....two sides of the same coin people....

    January 2, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Grimm

    When will this ever end... seriously?

    January 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. earle,florida

    This fight is great for the Republic,and our Democratic System. Let em fight it out just like the founding fathers did,(believe me it was no cake-walk back then, either) and resolve the issue with finality! Let's use our heads,and think ? I'd like to put this senate race in perspective.#1) There are a grand total of one-hundred senators, with a population of approx. "300 Million US Citizens" that they represent.#2) These senators will be responsible for selecting our next, "Two or Three Supreme Court Justices" currently planning on stepping down,for various reasons.#3) Finally,the checks, and balances currently being conducted on absentee ballots ,with cross-referencing death certificates,over-seas entries,and military, should not be taken lightly ,so as not to turn our great country into a "Banana Repupublic! These our just a few reason that," haste-makes-waste" with a rushed ill-gotten error putting the wrong," voting public's choice" into office,even if he/she wins by one vote! PS. Remember this:registering to vote is incredibly easy today, and the lenght of time to cast a vote is no-longer relegated to just one day in "November",...

    January 2, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Jeff



    January 2, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    I second the motion to filibuster seating John Cornyn!

    January 2, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Count the thousand absentee votes and seat whoever wins. What's so hard about that?

    January 2, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. Tony

    Typical, pathetic, desperate Republicans!

    January 2, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. B

    Franklin ought to be patient atleast the other clown is still the Governor of Alaska.

    January 2, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Lori

    Go Al!!! We need you in the Senate. Don't let them steal your seat like they stole the election in 2000.

    January 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Rob

    If this moron gets in the Senate then it is overwhelming proof that this country is run by idiots.

    I'd accept a Blago nominee before this old, washed-up failure of a comic, actor, and radio host.

    This yutz's tombstone will read, "Al Franken, what a waste"

    January 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Chris

    > Kick them all out and put real people in there to do the people's
    > business.

    Then stop voting for these clowns. Everyone universally thinks Capitol Hill is inept but the voters put these people there - nobody else.

    When an articulate candidate comes around, like Ron Paul for example, who was the only one put forth plans with specific and detailed actions, the general public votes for the person who hasn't contributed anything more than a "yes, we can" catch phrase.

    Quit turning the people's business into a popularity contest or a beauty pageant and then perhaps we may have change which can be measured... not the buzzword Obama and HRC talk about so much.

    January 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Bill

    Its just democrats trying to subvert the system again.

    January 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Bill Charlotte,NC

    CNN: "Cornyn, a Republican from the state of Texas, said a filibuster may be in order ..."

    Is this the new Republican panacea? What a sad group!

    January 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. tcaudilllg

    If a vote has been cast for which consensus exists for the counting in a recount situation, count the vote.

    January 2, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Not an Obamabot

    Typical, pathetic, desperate Democrats! The big Inaugural pork dinner is about to be carved up -- pathetic

    January 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Corey W

    What goes around comes around: ie 2000 election of the hyporite George W(orst) Bush. That terrorist!!!!!!

    January 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Franky

    It doesn't matter to me on this, I'm still gonna make fun of the GOP because Al Franken got em scared...Al Franken for crying out loud...

    January 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Bigotry in the Senate

    Franken is going to be seated by Reid – Franken is white; has not yet been elected; and is a Democrat

    Burris is not going to be seated – Burris is black; he has been legally appointed; and is a Republican

    Did we have an election or a coup d etat?

    January 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Danny in Chicago

    Do it Franken! Show those posers what a real man can do....

    Go 21st Century!!

    Down with the neo-cons!

    Change is in your hands Minnesota! Woo-hoo!!!

    January 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Bill - January 2nd, 2009 3:44 pm ET

    Its just democrats trying to subvert the system again.


    Dude.......you've GOT to be kidding.......after what we've seen the last eight years, you have GOT to be kidding!

    January 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Polar Bears Against Palen

    Norm Coleman has got to be one of the most fake, political opportunists of them all. Another loser Republican about to lose. Ha!

    January 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Texas Teacher

    Doesn't this just WREAK of the STENCH of Republican Party Politics as usual..... same ole – same ole.... I think I am about to spit up in my mouth! 🙂

    January 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. JM

    Who is Al Frankin to show up in the Senate and expect to be seated before a winner is declared. This ought to be rich. Frankin shows up with no winner declared and is seated by Reid yet, Burris a man who was legally appointed will be physically removed. I can't make up stuff this bizarre.

    January 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Suzanne

    Coleman, I recall your intimation that Franken should just concede and give up the fight in November. Interesting how the tables have turned. In your own words, "It is up to him whether such a step (recount) is worth the taxpayer dollars it will take to conduct."

    This chiclet-toothed imbecile gives the word Hypocrite a new face. Limbaugh must be so relieved.

    January 2, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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