Franken-Coleman Update, 01/10/09: Annals of WTF!?
Shades of Ken Starr’s subpoena-happy OIC — Norm Coleman’s people, trying to win in court what they couldn’t achieve at the voting booths, are starting to toss around frivolous, if not outright punitive, subpoenas:
Patty O’Connor wasn’t surprised when the subpoena arrived Thursday, but the Blue Earth County election director was somewhat taken aback by the scope of the information demanded by the Norm Coleman campaign — and by the deadline for when it must be compiled.
"It took my breath away," O’Connor said.
Among other items, the subpoena calls for copies of every absentee ballot application (there were over 2,500), all the envelopes that enclosed accepted absentee ballots, the rosters of registered voters and the Election Day registration applications (more than 9,000). And they are requiring it be provided by Wednesday morning.
"They want the world, and they want it by the 14th," O’Connor said. "Which is about impossible. We’ll be working over the weekend."
The documents will be used as part of Coleman’s lawsuit, which will be heard by a yet-to-be-named panel of three judges.
O’Connor said she believes she’s the only election director or auditor in the immediate area to be served, but she doesn’t expect to be the last.
She heard of a few counties that were also served with subpoenas Thursday, including Nobles and Ramsey, and wondered if the first were aimed at places where Democrat Al Franken outpolled Coleman.
"It’s looking like wherever Franken won is where they’re going," O’Connor said.
The Franken campaign has yet to issue any subpoenas to county officials, much less to insist the subpoenas be complied with well before the yet-to-be-picked members of the three-judge contest panel have a chance to meet. Then again, unlike the Coleman people, they’re not in a position where they’re desperately trying to grasp at any straw they can find to buttress a painfully weak case.
Meanwhile, The UpTake was at the State Capitol today and videotaped the perennially clueless and callous State Senator Dick Day (R-Owatonna) mocking the "stupidity" of voters who can’t fill in an oval on a ballot –and also caught Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s impassioned rebuke of Day, where he invoked his late grandmother, "sharp as a tack until the day she died", who couldn’t fill in a circle because her hands shook so much. (Dick Day, as many FDL readers may remember, was one of the occupants of the Clown Car the Republican Party of Minnesota sent forth to lose to Tim Walz.)