Al Franken’s campaign: right again. They predicted a 35-50 vote margin when withdrawn challenges were re-allocated; everyone reports the figure will be 48 when the Canvassing Board reviews a draft report today. The Coleman camp’s prediction that their guy would lead was wrong, the PiPress’ Dave Orrick notes. The Strib’s Pat Doyle says campaigns could challenge the draft list, changing the margin.
Not the final number: The gap is less than two thousandths of a percent, but does not include 100 or more disputed duplicate ballots (a likely Coleman vein) or wrongly rejected absentee votes (probably a bigger Franken pile). The Supreme Court will hear dupe-ballot arguments today. Orrick notes 11 alleged Minneapolis duplicates probably aren’t.
More recount: Coleman’s folks tell MPR’s Tom Scheck we’re “midway” through the overall post-election process, which might be right, too. Scheck says counties might have so few rejected absentees that individual voters may be unwillingly identified; this has happened once already. (Sorry, can’t find the link but maybe readers can crowdsource; it occurred early on in the process.)
A laundry room fire made 200 Burnsville residents homeless; their 64-unit apartment complex was quickly consumed, Fox9 reports. No reports of death or even injury; the dispossessed were put up at Burnsville High, fed by Burger King and Taco Bell, and kept temporarily warm by Metro Transit. Small note: story mentions a six-alarm fire (formerly a four-alarm fire). Any civilian readers know what that means? How many alarms do we get?
The battle between the Met Council and Minnesota Public Radio escalates. Met Council chair Peter Bell ripped MPR for using its airwaves to campaign against a light-rail line running by the network’s front door, the Strib’s Jim Foti and Chris Havens write. Last week, MPR boss Bill Kling announced plans to sue if line vibrations disturbed his broadcast palace; now, MPR accuses the Met Council of cherrypicking data. Sounds like Mayor Chris Coleman is siding with LRT and against the station.
Hoping everyone forgot his 1994 bellyflop against Arne Carlson, liberal’s liberal John Marty is exploring a 2010 gubernatorial run, AP reports. It’s hard to see anyone outflanking the gay-marriage-backing, ethics-reforming, universal-healthcare-lovin’ Roseville resident from the left. But it’s also hard to see DFL delegates going back to the early days of what is now a two-decade-long governor’s mansion shutout. Marty says that was Gingrich; this is Obama.
Backdating-happy UnitedHeath Group reformed itself out of an Securities and Exchange Comission fine; instead, the agency nailed the company’s former general counsel. According to the PiPress’ Julie Forster, the SEC penalized David Lubben $575,000 and made him forgo $1.75 million in gains and interest. Big guy Bill McGuire already ponied up $468 million. The Strib’s Chen May Yee notes UHC hid $1 billion in stock option compensation.
Meanwhile, 3M CEO David Buckley sees two more years of U.S. economic pain before we regain pre-meltdown levels, the PiPress’ John Welbes notes.
Speaking of pain: The Strib’s James Shiffer tells the sorry tale of 86-year-old mortgage fraud victim Telsche Paulson, a Minneapolis widow who managed to win a court victory only to lose her home. The scamsters drained her equity and paid each other fat fees. Even after the heroic help of pro bono lawyers from Faegre & Benson, the spouse of ex-KSTP announcer Al Paulson couldn’t reclaim the home. The fraudsters’ home is being repo’d too, but that’s cold comfort.
Where does the snow go after it’s plowed? To an undisclosed location! At least that’s what KSTP says; specifying only “a short section of Interstate 94 in Minneapolis.” Apparently, authorities are worried illegal dumpers will overwhelm the site. [Hat tip: Metroblogging.] By the way, cities claim snow-related towing is not a big moneymaker, KARE’s Jeff Olson reports.
I don’t know; the phrase “meth car” just got my attention. The Winona Daily News’ Kevin Behr says 31-year-old Jesse King faces 40 years and a $1 million fine for trying to make hillbilly crack in a “silver coupe.” The arrest wasn’t “high” drama; King fell asleep in his vehicle in front of a hardware store. The car reeked of paint thinner and also had anhydrous ammonia and hydrochloric acid. Yummy.
Nort spews: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — the Packers suck. But if the Vikings hadn’t been equally inept on Sunday, Monday night wouldn’t have mattered. As expected, the Williams Wall didn’t settle with the NFL over in their banned substances case; a deadline was yesterday. The NFL wants the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene and speed up suspensions. Otherwise, the penalty, should it come, will likely screw up next season. The PiPress’ John Shipley has a Gaborik trade rumor.