Sounds a little like 2004 Washington
I see that a Minneapolis election official "found" some uncounted ballots last Friday, three days after the election. Not surprisingly, the newly discovered ballots favored Democrat Al Franken, strengthening his challenge to Republican Norm Coleman's lead in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race. I hate to say it, but I think Minnesota Republicans are about to get, uh, "taken advantage of," to put it euphemistically. Believe me, I know the feeling.
Out here in Washington state, we had the exact same situation in our 2004 governor's race -- we elected Republican Dino Rossi by a margin of some 700 votes. Democrat Christine Gregoire claimed that, rather than a defeat for her, such a narrow margin was actually "a tie," and she insisted on a recount.
In the first two recounts, the margin got narrower but remained in Rossi's favor. Gregoire continued to insist it was a tie and pushed for a hand recount, which, for some reason that was never very clear to us, was supposed to be more accurate than a machine recount.
Then an interesting thing happened: In the third recount, lo and behold, the elections commissioner of (heavily Democratic) King County "discovered" some mysteriously uncounted ballots behind a filing cabinet. Gosh! These ballots had somehow been overlooked in the first three counts! You will never guess who those ballots favored -- Christine Gregoire!
This put her up by 133 votes, at which point she inexplicably stopped talking about a tie and started talking about "the need to move on."
So listen for the magic words from Al Franken: "It's time for us to move on." As soon as you hear that, you'll know that the most recent recount finally went his way and that you've been, shall we say, taken advantage of, just like your friends out here in Washington.
PAUL NAUMANN, TACOMA, WASH.
We only hear about votes being found for Al Franken, and people criticize Norm Coleman for raising doubts about the validity of those votes?
And, with the recount, votes the machines did not previously read will be added because people did not mark their ballots properly.
I don't understand; they explained how to fill in the ballot at the polling place. If voters were too dumb to follow instructions and fill the circle, maybe they should not be voting. Maybe those votes shouldn't be counted in the recount.
RACHEL FREY, ST. LOUIS PARK
Something that Norm Coleman should consider before denigrating Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and the recount process: Doing a little bit of math, we find that for every 5,881 votes Norm got, Al Franken got 5,880.
I definitely think that a recount is in order, and that neither side should concede (or denigrate, or belittle, or whine) until everything is hand-counted.
MARC SMITH, CAMBRIDGE
I don't see why Sen. Coleman is concerned about honesty in a recount. I am sure the recount will be just as honest as the senator's political ads were.
JOHN GAMRADT, APPLE VALLEY
BAILOUTS BY THE BUNCHES
Let the oil industry save the automakers
The American auto industry has gotten itself into a jam by continuing to manufacture huge gas-guzzling vehicles instead of focusing on development of efficient nonpolluting vehicles that run on clean alternative fuels.
Why should the American taxpayers bail it out? They shouldn't. The oil companies that have been gouging us for years and have had record profits should invest in these failing industries and partner up with them to invest in their futures.
The oil companies like to make us think they are investing in alternative-energy research, but do they really think anyone believes that? They got into this mess together. Let them get each other out of it.
More money for AIG? Really? AIG should be made an example of and should be completely cut out of the loop.
At the very least, everyone with a public position and voice should be condemning the company for its behavior. Anyone who participated in the golf outing should be smart enough to know it wasn't a good idea.
I was opposed to the $700 billion bailout; however, it was passed with the promise that there would be control and oversight. What kind of oversight has allowed AIG to receive money and still spend even one dime on golf? And to now say it needs more money?
DAVID HALE, MINNEAPOLIS
WHO CAN BE PRESIDENT?
Defending the founders on eligibility for office
The Nov. 10 Letter of the Day suggests that the Constitution be amended to allow for naturalized Americans to become president. The Constitution has this restriction primarily for one reason: conflict of interest.
I immigrated to America at age 7 as a political refugee along with my parents, and became naturalized when my parents became citizens. We were so thankful to live in freedom that at no time was I ever bothered by this restriction for the presidency. I suggest the letter writer explain this to his adoptive children.
GIRTS JATNIEKS, MINNEAPOLIS