Franken-Coleman: Clues for the Clueless
As noted yesterday, Norm Coleman’s effort to dump a bunch of previously-rejected absentee ballots into the countable ballot universe fell flat when the vast majority of the ballots turned out to be uncountable. Meanwhile, his efforts to disappear a bunch of Franken votes by claiming them to be double-counting (the "Let’s repeal Rule 9" gambit) are falling equally flat. Coleman’s chances of ekeing out a win — or even of dragging this out for much longer than the two to three weeks mentioned by Al Franken — were never that good and haven’t been getting any better; anyone who’s been closely or even sporadically following the case knows this.
So, what possessed the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza to do yet another he-said-she-said "balance" piece that puts the rock-solid statements of Franken attorney Marc Elias on the same level as the nonsense-filled hallway press conferences of Swift Boat and Florida 2000 troll Ben Ginsberg?
Chris, look, it’s really simple: Marc Elias is an "officer of the court" in regard to this case; he is legally representing Al Franken in court. Ben Ginsberg is not legally representing anyone in this matter — he had filed his pro hac vice motion that would allow him to represent Coleman in a Minnesota courtroom, but then withdrew it a few weeks later.
Now, Chris, why would Bogus Ben Ginsberg have withdrawn his request to be allowed to represent Coleman in court as his legal counsel? Why does Ginsberg no longer wish to be an "officer of the court" for Coleman? Furthermore, why aren’t the in-court utterances of Joe Friedberg — who, unlike Bogus Ben, really is representing Norm Coleman in a Minnesota courtroom — matching up with what Ginsburg is saying?
Here’s a hint, courtesy of Martin A. Cole, First Assistant Director of the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility: "The Rules of Professional Conduct do not just hope that lawyers will follow this old maxim and do the right thing. In fact, truth is sufficiently important that the Rules contain several requirements that attorneys tell the truth. For example, Rule 4.1, Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct, states unequivocally that “[i]n the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact or law.” Can it get any clearer?"
Here, I’ll make it even simpler: If Marc Elias opens his mouth, what comes out must hew to something approximating reality, or he gets spanked — and not in a fun way. So when he says that there are only a few dozen valid ballots out of the 1,600-odd "Pile 3a" rejected absentee ballots Team Coleman wanted added to the recount, and the Coleman people (i.e., Bogus Ben) are talking up between 400 and 700 additional valid ballots, don’t be surprised when reality falls much more in line with Elias’ vision than Ginsberg’s.
Oh, and could you please pass this on to the rest of the TradMed types? Thanks.