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More Franken-Coleman: Two to Three Weeks?

Once again, the Election Contest Court’s desire to keep from giving Team Coleman any sort of justification to appeal this to the Federal level has trumped the need to spank them for their egregious misconduct. Instead of tossing the double-counting gambit or even Pamela Howell’s tainted testimony from the case, the ECC will allow it — but at the same time, Coleman lawyer Tony Trimble’s firm will be required to pay Franken’s attorneys’ costs related to the delay caused by Team Coleman’s failure to provide the Howell information to the court as well as to the Franken legal team.

Speaking of Howell, Eric Kleefeld of TPM thinks that she may have actually been telling the truth about alleged ballot problems in her precinct. But (and a big hat tip to WineRev for spotting this) a Minneapolis StarTribune reader familiar with local election procedures strongly suspects not:

Where is Howell’s Incident Report?

What stinks the most about Howell’s testimony is that it directly contradicts the paperwork filed on the day she claims it happened. IF there was an election irregularity such as inadvertently counting ballots that should not have been counted, state law REQUIRES an Incident Report be filed by Howell. None was.

Instead Howell came up with this story only AFTER the double-counting accusation was made by Coleman. Even then, instead of going back and filing an Incident Report, or going to the SOS, she went directly to Coleman and reported it just to Coleman. At that time, the recount was still active, and she was still obligated to file an Incident Report. She did not. She has violated the law regarding reporting at the least. At the worst, she is committing perjury.

I went and checked the pertinent statutes (Chapters 8220 and 8230) and sure enough, state law does indeed require an incident report to be filed. (In David Lillehaug’s cross-examination of Howell today, she claimed that she called the Secretary of State’s office and that they allegedly told her to call the Republican Party — and if you believe that, then I have some lovely oceanfront property in Wyoming for you.)

So how much longer will Minnesota be down one senator? According to Al Franken, who is going to be that senator, the Coleman contest trial will be over in "two to three weeks" and he hopes to be seated soon afterwards. [UPDATE: Per The UpTake — who really could use your donations, if you can spare them — the Coleman camp has finally, albeit "provisionally", rested their case. Franken arguments start tomorrow at 9:00 am. Whoohoo! ]

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