Norm Coleman vs. Norm Coleman

NORM COLEMAN VS. NORM COLEMAN…. Way back in November, shortly after Election Day, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) announced that he would concede if he were losing. As he saw it, just one day after Minnesotans headed to the polls, it was “important” for the “healing process” that voters not be put through a prolonged fight.

Coleman obviously changed his mind about this, once Al Franken had more votes. As it turns out, that’s not the only thing Coleman has reconsidered.

The former senator also argued, before the process become farcical, that Franken should not pursue a recount, despite the narrow margin, because it would cost taxpayers in the state tens of thousands of dollars. So much for those concerns.

[T]ake a look at this number: Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has told Time that a new election, for which Coleman is increasingly angling, would cost $3.5-5 million — and the state is already trying to fix a multi-billion dollar budget deficit. “It’s pure fantasy, pure baloney,” said Ritchie.

Also consider that at the time Coleman was saying the state had to be spared the expense of a recount, Ritchie estimated that it would cost nearly $90,000. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann just told TPM that the recount proper ultimately came in above estimates, at $120,000.

So, $120,000 when Coleman thinks Franken is trailing is an irresponsible waste of taxpayer dollars. Up to $5 million when Coleman sees himself trailing is money well spent.

This fiasco is bound to end one of these days. I think.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.