Casting doubt

CASTING DOUBT…. Several high-profile, far-right voices have stumbled upon a new hobby: convincing as many people as possible that Al Franken’s success in Minnesota is illegitimate.

Joe Scarborough and Ann Coulter are repeating all kinds of nonsense, and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, which has never been truth-oriented, is apparently trying to lead the parade with this wretched editorial.

Not surprisingly, the far-right arguments don’t stand up well to scrutiny. Which is to say, their complaints are baseless. Earlier this week, Nate Silver went paragraph by paragraph, highlighting exactly why the WSJ editorial is completely wrong. Just as good, Minnesota Assistant Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary, a member of the state canvassing board, wrote an entertaining letter to the Journal, questioning the editorial board’s integrity.

As a member of the Minnesota State Canvassing Board, appointed pursuant to statute, I have attended all nine Board open meetings held the past seven weeks. I am knowledgeable about the proceedings as well as Minnesota’s election laws. Our members (two Supreme Court Justices, two District Court Judges, and Secretary of State Ritchie) came from all political backgrounds, openly expressed our opinions at the meetings, and can hardly be accurately described as “meek”, unless you mean “meek” by New York in-your-face standards. Your groundless attack on Secretary Ritchie reflects poorly on the author; Ritchie worked assiduously at avoiding partisanship in these proceedings.

As to the Board as a whole, all of our major votes were unanimous. We consistently followed the law in limiting our involvement to a non-adjudicative role, declining both candidates’ attempts to expand our mandate. Further, we painstakingly reviewed each challenged ballot, some more than once, to confirm that we were ruling in a consistent manner.

One can only assume, based on the tone of the editorial, the numerous inaccuracies, and the over-the-top slam at Al Franken (“tainted and undeserving?”) that had Norm Coleman come out on top in this recount, the members of the Board would have been praised as “strong-willed, intelligent, and perceptive.”

We won’t hold our breath waiting for that editorial to appear.