Quigley Wins Illinois Congressional Primary
When Rahm Emanuel resigned from the House to become President Obama's chief of staff, he left
behind an open seat in a heavily Democratic Chicago district. There was a 12-candidate primary yesterday
to select the Democratic candidate for the April 7 special election and it was won by Cook County Commissioner
Mike Quigley, with 22% of the vote.
Given the huge Democratic edge in the district, which Obama carried with 73% of the vote,
Quigley is virtually certain to win the special
election and succeed Emanuel, so the partisan balance of the House will not change.
Only 48,127 Democrats turned out to vote, but this far exceeded the 2750 Republicans who turned out
to nominate Rosanna Pulido, a former police dispatcher, as their candidate.
Coleman Wants a New Election
Former senator Norm Coleman rested his case in the Minnesota Senate election contest by
that the judges will never be able to figure out who won so they should just toss out the election
and hold a new one. Al Franken's lawyers immediately rejected this idea saying that the day after the
election, when Coleman held a lead even smaller than what Franken now holds (225 votes), he said Franken
should concede the race to save the taxpayers the cost of a recount, let alone a whole new election.
Futhermore, Franken's lawyers said that the judges were not empowered to discard an election, merely to
determine who got the most legal votes. Given that most of Coleman's motions so far have been rejected,
with this motion it looks like Coleman realizes he is not going to find a net gain of 226 votes in the absentee
ballots left so his best hope is to chuck out the election and have a new one. However, there is no
precedent for doing this in Minnesota, although it did happen in the
1974 Senate race
in New Hampshire.
Coleman's lawyers have finished their case; now Franken's lawyers get to present evidence.
They called 23 witnesses yesterday. They also showed a 40-minute video that the Secretary of State
sent to all counties to train the poll workers. This is a crucial piece of evidence because Coleman
claims different standards were used in different counties for admitting voters and counting votes.
If Franken can establish that the Secretary of State mandated uniform standards throughout the state
and even provided training material so all poll workers would respond to the same situation in the same
way, it strongly undercuts Coleman's case. Franken's lawyers think they can wrap up their case in 2-3 weeks.
Then the appeals will begin.
Republicans Have a Limbaugh Problem
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh caused a
for congressional Republicans
when he said he wanted President Obama to fail last week and then repeated this at the Conservative
Political Action Conference over the weekend. The new chairman of the RNC, former Maryland
lieutenant governor Michael Steele, said Limbaugh's remarks
were "incendiary" and "ugly" but after Limbaugh attacked Steele Monday, Steele immediately backed down and
Democrats are having a field day saying Limbaugh is the de facto head of the Republican
Party--knowing full well that he turns off crucial independent voters. The DCCC even made a
Website where anybody can apologize
to Limbaugh (thanks to Political Wire for the tip).
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