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Minnesota recounts: For the GOP, the spin is the thing

It is always curious to me how Republicans can flip their viewpoints at the drop of a hat … depending on how they can benefit.

For instance, during the Coleman-Franken recount of 2008, the PowerLine blog wrote a piece about the changes in the votes during the auditing process. …

When voters woke up on Wednesday morning after the election, Senator Norm Coleman led Al Franken by what seemed like a relatively comfortable 725 votes. By Wednesday night, that lead had shrunk to 477. By Thursday night, it was down to 336. By Friday, it was 239. Late Sunday night, the difference had gone down to just 221 — a total change over 4 days of 504 votes.

Amazingly, this all has occurred even though there hasn’t even yet been a recount. Just local election officials correcting claimed typos in how the numbers were reported. Counties will certify their results today, and their final results will be sent to the secretary of state by Friday. The actual recount won’t even start until November 19. …

To many, it just seems like too much of a coincidence that Minnesota’s one tight race just happens to be the race with the most “corrected” votes by far. But the real travesty will be to start letting election officials divine voter’s intent. If you want to discourage people from voting, election fraud is one sure way of doing it.

But in the current governor’s race, here is the commentary about the vote totals, which had moved slightly toward Emmer:

Republican recount attorney Tony Trimble … told of a wide change in the vote margin between Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton in the gubernatorial fight.

“I believe there were some 9,200 votes separating the candidates and now that number is down to 8,600. So there have been shifts going on as the counties across the state are reviewing their numbers. Uniquely the net gain everyday has been to the Emmer campaign,” Trimble said Monday.

Emmer repeated that idea Tuesday. “It is interesting that since 10 a.m. last Wednesday we have done nothing but close the gap,” he said.

Same exact process and actually a very similar result (500 votes for Franken – 600 votes for Emmer) — the gap closes in favor of the candidate with the lower numbers at the beginning of the audit.

Yet, in 2008, this was a “suspicious” change — while in 2010 this is a positive trend.

Republicans — the spin is the thing.

Dave Mindeman, of Apple Valley, is the main blogger for mnpACT!, a nonprofit dedicated to progressive issues and ideas. This article first appeared on its website.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/16/2010 - 09:28 am.

    Can we just call “spin” what it is:…

    the substance which covers the ground of every cattle feed lot across the country,

    that same substance which provides the odor which causes so many urban and suburban folks to wrinkle their noses when it wafts through the air and into the windows of their cars and RVs,

    the substance which, although it’s good for adding to the fertility of the soil in which healthy things can be grown, contains massive amounts of e coli, salmonella, and other dangerous ingredients and should, therefore, NEVER be ingested wholesale because it can make you sick and even kill you,

    Can we FINALLY call spin what it is: PURE UNADULTERATED B.S., stop treating it as a rare delicacy to be enjoyed, realize that a certain segment of us are addicted to it and need to kick that habit, and realize that failing to reject the B.S. that is “spin” in favor of good, healthy, clean facts and information is killing us?

  2. Submitted by myles spicer on 11/16/2010 - 11:12 am.

    There are always a number of things we can find to criticize our politicians, but the one that galls me most (from either party) is…hypocricy!

    It is rampant in today’s political scene; it has gone wild. Most politicians are shamless in its usage. They can stand in front of TV cameras with a straight face and reverse virtually any comment, vote, or position with nauseating impunity. So, here it is again, as Mindeman points out.

    One of my favorite quotes (variously attributed to either Twain or Churchill): “a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth even has a chance to get its boots on”.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/16/2010 - 11:34 am.

    Dave, maybe you can help me out.

    Where, exactly, is the term “positive trend” used either overtly or obliquely?

    Oh, wait…this is piece about spin, isn’t it?

  4. Submitted by David Mindeman on 11/16/2010 - 12:50 pm.

    Ahhh, Mr. Swift. Let’s try another quote of Mr. Trimble’s from MPR:

    “There have been shifts going on, as the counties across the state are reviewing their numbers. Uniquely, the net gain every day has been to the Emmer campaign,” said Trimble. “So there’s been about a 6.5 percent reduction of the deficit … the very first three days of this effort. So we feel confident that we’re moving forward.”

    Would “moving forward” be considered a positive trend? I know you are a stickler for semantics when you want things to be perceived a certain way.

    I think just about any person that would read the two references above would come to the same conclusion.

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/16/2010 - 01:56 pm.

    Consider, Dave, that you are parsing words and defining semantics to make a case for “spin”.


    Your call.

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