Coleman-Franken trial: Forget ballots; it’s time for legal-team ‘action figures’

Marc Elias with his ears flapping and smoke coming out of them?

Ben Ginsberg spinning on a swivel?

Tony Trimble ice-fishing … for votes?

Joe Friedberg, in a fur coat, in a boxer’s stance?

Is there an entrepreneur out there ready to stimulate the economy with a set of Al Franken-Norm Coleman Recount Action Figures?

Are there enough Recount Junkies willing to buy such silly toys?

Earlier this week, the creative folks at the UpTake conducted a key poll on the Franken-Coleman recount trial. It had to do with the lawyers in the case, many of whom have developed their personalities through the State Canvassing Board and, now, trial process.

For people who have been watching the video since December, these lawyers have become household names. And potential action figures.

So, the UpTake asked: “If these lawyers were action figures, which one would you buy?”

The future of the Minnesota Senate seat is at stake here. The intricacies of the American electoral system are being exposed here. But the action figure question exploded into a significant topic of discussion in the hallways of the Minnesota Judicial Center today, especially among the Franken legal team.

Lead recount counsel Marc Elias — known for his animated and passionate news conferences and courtroom presentations — won the UpTake poll going away, with 73 percent of the vote.

Proudly, he told anyone who would ask — or even wouldn’t ask — that he’d won. Elias is an action-figure waiting to happen.

But he was shocked — shocked — when he learned that other members of the Franken legal and media relations team attempted to stuff the ballot box for former Minnesota U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug, another Franken lawyer.

Despite such wrongly submitted ballots, Lillehaug — who is short on action (other than objecting to questions from the Coleman side) — could muster only 12 percent of the UpTake vote.

(Exactly how many folks voted is unknown, but UpTake Executive Producer Michael McIntee told MinnPost in an email it could have been as many as 750 UpTake users.)

On the Coleman side, lawyer Tony Trimble, long a Republican attorney in the Twin Cities, earned 8 percent of the vote, tops among his colleagues.

Votes. Schmotes.

What would these action figures look like?

MinnPost sought opinions of the men themselves and other trial observers. Perhaps the UpTake could run these concepts by their readers/users and we could build true action-figure consensus.

As an alternative, we could assemble a three-judge panel.

But here’s what was developed in a recent polling of the small community of folks who are attending the trial.

Elias: A tall action figure, wearing a New York Giants T-shirt over his suit (he’s a Giants’ fanatic). With the push of a button, his ears would flap, his arms would wave and smoke would emanate from those ears.

The number on his Giants’ jersey? It would be 225, of course, the margin of Franken’s victory.

On another front, when the movie is made, Elias would be played by a bald Tom Hanks.

Ginsberg: The Republican recount guru from Washington would be nattily dressed in a gray-flannel suit, his shoulders hunched a bit, and, at the push of a button, he would spin and spin and spin.

He would be smiling as he spun.

He was already played by actor Bob Balaban in a film about the Bush-Gore recount. Perfect casting.

Trimble: Deep-seated Minnesotan that he is, Trimble personally suggested that he be ice-fishing in his figurine mode.

MinnPost wondered if that could imply he was on a fishing expedition for votes.

Dodging the question, Trimble did allow that a Coleman vote should on the end of his ice-fishing pole. It shall be done.

The Trimble action-figure’s hair should be mussed, too.

Friedberg: The famed Minneapolis trial attorney’s action figure would be a stubby, pugnacious boxer, in a firm stance, fists rarin’ to go. He would be adorned in a fuzzy fur coat, as Friedberg wore to court earlier this week. (Joe Pesci would play Friedberg in the movie.)

Lillehaug: The words David Lillehaug and “action figure” have never occurred in the same sentence ever before.

His figure would be sitting down, taking notes and pondering objecting to a question. If Spencer Tracy were still around, he’d be Lillehaug.

The judges? They haven’t done enough to merit action figures yet.

New-on-the-video-streaming scene Franken lawyer Kevin Hamilton? A laser-like practitioner, he’d perhaps be karate-chopping a Coleman legal document. Fritz Knaak, Coleman’s lead lawyer earlier in the case? He’d have to have sound with his action figure, always spelling his name, deliberately: “K-N-A-A-K.”

So far, that’s the news today from Day Three of the recount trial. It’s been a slow day.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Barbara Domek on 01/28/2009 - 02:18 pm.

    I am writing with the hope and prayer my thoughts and feelings will be known to both Republicans and Democrats in public office in our state.

    I am tired of this whole mess with the election between Norm Coleman and Al Franken being one sided. Every single vote, including the ones mailed in, should be counted ONCE. The COPIES of ballots that were made AFTER the counties received them should be THROWN OUT. The duplicate ballots should absolutely NOT be Counted. That qualifies them as “DUPLICATES”, and Not ORIGINALS.

    The entire Minnesota Election has become a child’s game being played at the cost of Minnesota’s citizens and taxpayers.

    It should be handled by UN-BIASED people with enough brains and intellect to be able to see and know the difference between an original ballot and a photo copied ballot, and, be counted accordingly.

    In my opinion, Al Franken should zip his mouth and stop acting as the apparent spoiled brat he’s appearing to be and let the recount begin all over again, with HONEST people doing the counting.

    I see and hear a very spoiled, immature child in Al Franken, and it’s not doing him any good. After all. Who on earth would, except other unintelligent spoiled brats, want someone that childish, immature and poor lack of intelligence to be a leader, much less a Senator for our state? I sure don’t. It simplyt shows me his lack of ability to do the job he’s fighting for, responsibly.

    Public servants are supposed to be just that. SERVANTS to the Public. Not Controllers who are out for just what they want.

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