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Governor’s race: Finally, it’s a wrap

AFTERNOON EDITION Dayton is officially governor-elect. ALSO: MDE online chat, unhappy Republicans, and Bachmann up for an “award.”
Read Wed. Morning Edition


It’s a wrap. On the Strib’s “Hot Dish Politics” blog, Bob Von Sternberg writes: “Meeting less than an hour after Republican Tom Emmer conceded, the state canvassing board voted Wednesday to certify the original election night results making DFLer Mark Dayton the next governor of Minnesota. The board signed the election certificate declaring Dayton the winner shortly after noon Wednesday. The final certified result: Dayton, 919,691, Emmer, 910,611, a margin of 9,080.”

At the PiPress, Dave Orrick writes: “Several legal issues remain cloudy, but attorneys involved appeared to agree that Dayton will not actually get his election certificate before a seven-day period — during which any citizen of Minnesota can file a lawsuit contesting the election — has expired. Republican Tom Emmer, who conceded the race this morning, said he would neither file nor support such a lawsuit, but legally, it remains a possibility. As far as the final results of the election go, it appears that it will look like the 2010 recount never happened. In a bizarre twist this morning, Emmer attorney Eric Magnuson announced that Emmer not only conceded the race, but waived his right for the otherwise-mandated recount, which should render moot any results of the weeklong process. Dayton attorney Marc Elias and Minnesota Solicitor General Alan Gilbert (the canvassing board’s attorney) agreed. Thus, Dayton will win by 8,770 votes — a number that is universally agreed to be incorrect after the statewide, taxpayer-funded hand-recount of some 2.1 million ballots.” In other words, your tax money was …?

Hart Van Denburg at City Pages blogs: “Gov. Tim Pawlenty said today that Tom Emmer ‘was realistic’ about his chances of beating Mark Dayton when all the ballots were counted again by hand. Could have fooled us, with all those cryptic charges of fraud, frivolous ballot challenges and assertions about not getting rolled. But now the race is over, and everyone is moving on. Pawlenty also confirmed that it was a state Supreme Court opinion issued yesterday that finally pulled the legs out from under whatever legal challenges Emmer might have tried to stand on as the number of votes favored his Democratic opponent. [Says Pawlenty]: ‘I think he’s been realistic about this process. This is an automatic recount. The law requires it. And the canvassing board was going to get it resolved one way or another. But I think his main concern has been this issue of how could there be more votes than voters who signed in. And that’s why he was waiting on that Supreme Court decision; to see how they justified saying it was OK to have more votes than voters.’ ” I say this ain’t over until we hear it from Tony Sutton’s lips.

Under “Living and Dying By the Sword”, Emmer’s departure prompted the Toronto Sun to headline its story, “Tea Partier concedes governor’s election.”

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Depending on your appetite for outrage, you can dial into Minnesota Democrats Exposed tonight at 7 p.m. for a live interactive chat … which ought to be rife with accusations of voter fraud, polling judge fraud, Supreme Court fraud and … and … and … give me a minute, I’m thinking here. Here’s a sample of the comments dialogue so far:

“Average_Joe Says: Emmer did the right thing at the right time. Republicans, though, did not in nominating him. While I like him as a person, there is little doubt Marty Seifert would have won this race. It’s too bad they decided to listen to the non-sense some were putting out about Seifert being a global warming guy or a ‘liberal.’ Those lies hurt him with the delegates who were about as closed-minded as I’ve seen them be in twenty years. Sometimes Minnesota Republicans are not the smartest bunch and this was one of those times.

“Hector Says: Marty [Seifert] might have been a stronger candidate, but Margaret [Anderson-Keliher] might have been too. Before you get elected, you need to be nominated and that can be an unpredictable process on both sides. On the other hand, to both Marty and Margaret I would say, if you were such strong candidates, how come you couldn’t win your party nominations? Like the infamous Minnesota 18, I am not exactly welcomed at Republican gatherings, but what I hear over the transom is that let’s just say there were lots of folks at the Republican convention who some Republican leaders had never seen before. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s an indication power is shifting in the Republican Party to activists who are somewhat new to the process.” Do you think?

On the  GOP  purge story, the blog “Minnesota Conservatives” chastises its own, saying: “Having just won control of the state legislature a large segment of the delegation promptly looked backward and in a manner that made the RPM look petty, small and foolish. The final vote on this ridiculous motion was 59 to 55. Lost in media reports, almost understandably so, was the fact that this motion split the party. Why would Republican activists insist on proceeding with a course of action that would damage the party? Because these type of activists insist on being right and pure rather than effective or useful in winning elections. MC would have enjoyed listening to them explore why their candidate for governor failed in spectacular fashion in a wave election but no such self-reflection was forthcoming. Instead, another target was chosen and off they went: smug, self-righteous and tone-deaf.” Uh-oh. Another name clipped from the Christmas party invites.    

Our own Michele Bachmann is up for a major prize. The St. Petersburg Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact site, assessing the veracity of statements made by public officials has her among the nominees for the “Lie of the Year.” The story says, “Later this month, we’ll announce PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year — the most significant falsehood of 2010, as chosen by our editors and reporters. We’re examining claims we’ve rated False or Pants on Fire and will choose the one that played the biggest role in the national discourse in the past year. For the coveted Readers’ Choice award, we’re also inviting PolitiFact readers to vote on the most important lie. (Last year, both honors went to the same lie — “death panels.”)

Bachmann is in the running for her pulled-from-God-knows-where statement that “The president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day.” But she’ll have defeat such classics of the genre as: “The stimulus has not created one private sector job.” — Gov.-elect Rick Scott, R-Fla., and others.

Bachmann, Rep. John Kline and other members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus released a letter, reports Andy Birkey at the Minnesota Independent, criticizing President Obama for not using the word “God” often enough. “The caucus complained that Obama omitted the word “God” five times during his recent trip to Indonesia and called on him to correct the record. The caucus wrote that Obama used e pluribus unum (‘out of many, one,’ in Latin) as the motto of the United States instead of ‘In God We Trust.’ While e pluribus unum is part of the nation’s seal and has been an unofficial motto since the country’s founding, the group was upset he didn’t use ‘In God we Trust’ in its place. ‘Additionally,’ the caucus wrote, ‘during three separate events this fall, when quoting from the Declaration of Independence, you mentioned that we have inalienable rights but you consistently failed to mention the source of those rights. The Declaration of Independence definitively recognizes God, our Creator, as the source of those rights.’ The group said not mentioning God could have consequences for freedom.” I tell ya, there’d be easy ways to handle this sort of thing if we had Shariah law.