Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicago And Minnesota Breaking News

Chicago And Minnesota Breaking News








Ill. gov readying for legal fight | Prospect of impeachment now looms over Blagojevich


By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers were unanimous on how they should handle disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich - potential impeachment. And the embattled Democrat signaled he isn't going down without a fight.


Lawmakers Monday quickly shelved the idea of setting a special election where voters would fill the vacant Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama - the seat the governor is accused of trying to sell before his arrest last week on federal corruption charges.


The Illinois House then voted 113-0 late Monday to create a bipartisan committee that will recommend whether Blagojevich should be impeached. The House reconvenes Tuesday.


"We ought to move as quickly as possible to correct our problems and to get ourselves on a track where we can do what we're supposed to do for the people of Illinois," said House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat and former co-chairman of Blagojevich's re-election campaign who has become one of the governor's fiercest critics.


Minnesota Recount Enters Crucial Phase (Today) Tuesday


By Emily Cadei, CQ Staff


The still-to-be-decided Minnesota Senate race enters its pivotal phase on Tuesday as state officials begin reviewing more than a thousand ballots challenged by the two campaigns.


The count of these ballots could determine who the state certifies as the victor in the contest between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken. However, the race is unlikely to end there, with legal challenges opposing the counting of certain types of votes already in the works.


The state canvassing board, which oversees the conduct of statewide elections and reviews the results, has set aside four days to assess and count disputed ballots.


The two campaigns each initially challenged several thousand votes, but have pledged to whittle that number down to a thousand or less, each, after it became clear that the vast majority had no merit.


The campaigns’ challenges are not included in the secretary of state’s tally of the recount results, making it difficult to assess who is leading in the race.


Franken trailed Coleman by 215 votes out of 2.9 million votes cast after the initial counting of election returns from Nov. 4. The margin of .007 percent between the candidates triggered the Minnesota law that requires a hand recount in any election for federal or state office in which the margin is less than one-half of 1 percentage point.


The Franken campaign says its own internal recount tally, which includes challenged ballots based on unofficial rulings made by county election judges, shows the Democrat ahead by four votes. The Coleman campaign has dismissed those calculations, but has not offered its own.


Both agree that with the race at a statistical tie, as few as a hundred or less votes could swing the outcome one way or another.


“This is basically a dead even race . . . and we believe we will net more votes out of the challenges,” said Franken attorney Marc Elias.


Even as the review of challenged ballots begins, the two sides continue to wage a legal battle over other ballots not included in the recount total, which wrapped up Dec. 5.


The Franken campaign won an important victory on Friday after the state canvassing board issued a recommendation that each of the state’s 87 counties review absentee ballots that were initially rejected as invalid, and submit amended vote tallies that include any ballots found to be wrongly turned away.


The Minnesota secretary of state’s office has estimated that as many as 1,500 ballots have been improperly rejected.


The Coleman campaign responded by petitioning the state Supreme Court to stop the count because of a lack of uniform standards for reviewing such ballots. They further argued that issues related to such ballots should be handled via the courts, rather than through the recount process.


In its petition, the Coleman campaign wrote, “The Board has no authority or discretion to consider these rejected absentee ballots in this recount as they do not comprise ‘ballots cast in the election.’”


On Monday, the state Supreme Court announced it would hear arguments on the matter on Wednesday afternoon. In the order, the court did not forbid counties from beginning to count rejected absentee votes in the meantime, asking only that they document any ballots that are removed from their envelopes.


Hennepin County, which includes suburbs of Minneapolis, has indicated that it will continue its sorting of rejected absentee ballots.


The Coleman campaign also sent a letter to the canvassing board asking it to address the problem of duplicate ballots, which aides said could amount to a few hundred double-counted votes. In its letter, Coleman’s recount attorney Fritz Knaak wrote, “without question, some ballots” were “double counted in the recount process.”


The Franken campaign said Coleman camp’s legal maneuvering amounted to an “attempt to stop the counting of lawful ballots.”


“This is shameless,” said spokesman Andy Barr.


Just Another Way To Make The Point!


Cafe Camus Political Coffee House: Take A Break From Desperation!
By Ed. Dickau 
Conversation No.9: Deborah Lawrence's Impeach Bush... Conversation No. 8: Waverli Rainey: A Young Lady O... Conversation No.7: A Serious Consideration Of The ... Conversation No. 6: Indictments Against Cheney, G... Conversation No. ...
Cafe Camus Political Coffee House - http://cafecamuspoliticalcoffeehouse.blogspot.com/

No comments:

Post a Comment

Fair Use Notice: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.