READER COMMENTS ON
"COLEMAN BUSTED FOR HIDING WITNESS, EMAIL"
(31 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 9:38 pm PT...
No, this isn't from the Daily Show or Colbert, it's really true:
Al Franken and ACORN: How Liberals are Destroying the American Election System
Hans von Spakovsky, The Heritage Foundation
Heather Heidelbaugh, Republican National Lawyers Association
Mark Braden, former RNC chief counsel
Moderator: Cleta Mitchell, American Conservative Union Foundation
Let me repeat that: Hans von Spakovsky speaks on destroying the election system (I guess they got the right guy, he's an expert)
It should say: "Hans von Spakovsky speaks from first hand knowledge on how he helps destroy the election system to a bunch of fringe whackos".
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 9:40 pm PT...
Hon. John Bolton (speaks on how he helped destroy America's reputation worldwide, and how he fumigates his mustache)
Introduction: Tom Kilgannon, Freedom Alliance
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 9:41 pm PT...
Shocker! Bay Buchanon takes of her wig and reveals that she is actually Pat Buchanon with a wig on! I thought I have never seen both of them at the same time!!!
Timeless Principles, New Challenges: The Future of the Conservative Movement
Van Hipp, American Defense International Inc.
Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal
Bay Buchanan, The American Cause
Moderator: Donald J. Devine, ConservativeBattleline.com
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 9:44 pm PT...
Mike Huckabee speaks on the blending of church and state and plays the bass solo from Alice Cooper's "Halo of Flies":
Hon. Mike Huckabee
Introduction: Sarah Huckabee
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 9:48 pm PT...
Take a spin in the FACT-FREE zone with the 3 stooges - Tucker Carlson shows "Scar" and "the cockster" how to tie a bow tie, for laughs:
Targets of the Fairness Doctrine
Introductions: Seton Motley, Media Research Center
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 9:52 pm PT...
Michele Bachmann speaks of how she helped the GOP make negative inroads in the last election: "We're going in the right direction!" says Bachmann. Bachmann has contacted CPAC about misspelling her name with two "l"'s, it was very unprofessional that they can't spell her name right on the official CPAC website! They got the two "n"'s right in her last name, though.
Master of Ceremonies: Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN)
Presentation of John M. Ashbrook Award
Sponsored by the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs
Presenter: M. Stanton Evans
Recipient: Tom Winter, Human Events
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 10:06 pm PT...
Oh, no! Now that Danny's got a real computer, nothing will be safe from him! There won't be anything, anywhere he does not know! He is the fastest typist in history and nothing will stop him now.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 10:47 pm PT...
Not for long, I fear... or doesn't he know that listening to CPAC proceedings can cause brain damage?
This is known to include cognitive disruption, persistent aphasia and loss of motor nerve control...
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 11:25 pm PT...
Coleman will be giving a workshop at CPAC on how to doctor evidence and hide witnesses.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2009 @ 11:44 pm PT...
Y'know... the GOP has been working all along to scare people off of paper ballots, hand counts, and the rule of law in elections... and now they're doing EI advocates a huge favor instead
"What's the worst that can happen with hand-counted paper ballots?"
"Coleman could happen again, that's what!"
"And? That was the worst that could be thrown at the system... and they failed to disrupt the process."
... mayhaps we should send a thank-you bouquet to CPAC?
(Dives back into dissecting Holt's latest...)
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 12:02 am PT...
It gets better, the freak show ends with the King Freak:
Rush Wraps Up CPAC on Saturday
What a way to wrap it up! With a big, fat, bald, lying, drug addict gay guy!
...not that there's anything wrong with being gay...
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 1:11 am PT...
Fact Zone: is it not a felony to doctor evidence, hide witnesses, and lie in court? It's time Coleman did time, and his lawyers, too.
Big Dan, great set of commentary for the "agenda for CPAC". What fun. Thanks.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 8:40 am PT...
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 8:43 am PT...
An oh yeah, anyone need more evidence of repulicon putrification of our legal system? Thanks norm!
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 9:25 am PT...
People like the ones in this article should not be allowed out of the sandbox until they follow the rules...let alone in OUR government!
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 9:51 am PT...
I mean what the hell do I teach my child morales for, if she's growing up to see our elected officials screw the pooch for their own benifit? Can ANYBODY answer that persistant little question for me?
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 3:38 pm PT...
I looked at the MN Startribune and the latest article "Witness Swept into Vortex" claims that Coleman's witness testimony was only called into question because Coleman's attorney overlooked sharing the witness' statement/email with Franken's legal team. Coleman's team didn't necessarily get "busted" as you claim but this was a mere technicality. It appears the MN Star Tribune is putting a completely different spin on the trial to Coleman's favor. what do you think?
here's a few paragraphs from the article:
Tossed from the case on Wednesday and reinstated on Thursday, the Republican election official called by Norm Coleman was removed from the stand yet again Friday as Al Franken's lawyers discovered more undisclosed documents related to her court appearance.
Calling it "an innocent mistake," Coleman attorney Joe Friedberg said he hadn't been aware that e-mail messages were traded between Howell and another Coleman attorney and assured the three-judge panel there was nothing left to divulge.
But Franken attorney David Lillehaug asked the judges to strike not only Howell's testimony but the Coleman claim for which Howell was called to testify --- the possibility that double-counting in Minneapolis may have boosted Franken's votes.
The judges said they would rule by Monday whether to bring back Howell one more time before the Coleman lawyers wrap up their case, expected early next week.
also, do you care to comment about the latest judge's decision to include an additional 1,500 uncounted absentee ballots published in yesterday's MN's Star Tribune aricle:
Senate recount trial: Ballot ruling buoys ColemanJudges ordered inspection of 1,500 envelopes for rejected absentee ballots, which could lead to more votes being counted.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 4:09 pm PT...
"Overlooked" is invariably the excuse, john, and almost never the truth.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 2/28/2009 @ 5:06 pm PT...
John, your proposed take on it, ala the Star-Tribune's take on it, seems to miss the point entirely.
The FIRST time the Coleman team messed up with telling the Franken team about this witness it was so bad the judges tossed her testimony out.
Then the Coleman team got on their knees and pleaded that it was "just an oversight"... and got her testimony reinstated.
And, once the witness was on the stand again, THEN the judges learned about her deliberately being hidden away from the Franken team's discovery process... complete with secret emails outlining the conspiracy.
And out she goes again... with any claims of "an accidental oversight" being blown out of the water by their own witness and their own emails.
Yes, John, the appropriate word is indeed "busted".
Actually, the appropriate phrase would actually be "Busted yet again."
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2009 @ 1:52 am PT...
I've read that Reid plans to seat Franken in April even if Coleman's stalling is still not wrapped up. Does that not require a Senate vote? Did Reid reject seating Franken because it would be against MN law? I personally hope he can do it but I'm not sure how it can be done, anyone know enough about the Senate to enlighten me?
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2009 @ 8:13 am PT...
John Harris: "also, do you care to comment about the latest judge's decision to include an additional 1,500 uncounted absentee ballots published in yesterday's MN's Star Tribune aricle:
Senate recount trial: Ballot ruling buoys ColemanJudges ordered inspection of 1,500 envelopes for rejected absentee ballots, which could lead to more votes being counted."
The Star Tribune's suggestion that this ruling favored Coleman is erroneous. You need to understand that both sides are seeking to have the court count previously rejected absentee ballots--Coleman solely from Counties that voted heavily in his favor, Franken from the remaining counties. Much of the testimony about the potential that absentee ballots may have been improperly rejected because there may be registrations inside the secrecy envelopes was brought out by Franken's lawyers in questioning a Minneapolis election official, and it was after this testimony was presented that the parties entered a stipulation that a specified list of secrecy envelopes be opened to determine whether there is a valid registration inside. If there is, the election official must redetermine whether the ballot should be opened and counted or rejected--if rejected, they must list their reason for rejection on the resealed secrecy envelope.
The facts do not support the Star Tribune's conclusion that this "stipulated order" bolsters Coleman's chances, especially since a state-wide analysis of uncounted absentee ballots, like those offered by Nate Silver, instead of Coleman's effort to cherry-pick ballots from right-leaning counties, are taken into account, will likely produce an increase in the vote margin.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2009 @ 9:42 am PT...
thanks all for the clarification. i have found that I need to read and re-read some of the STar Tribune articles several times because they tend to be misleading. I missed that the 1,500 rejected absentee ballots are actually the secrecy envelopes. it gets confusing after awhile. thanks again
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
David E. Brown
said on 3/1/2009 @ 9:59 am PT...
I think the STrib's point was that the 1500 ballots present one of the few chances Coleman has to put enough new ballots in play to have a chance of overcoming the relatively enormous lead Franken has at present, even though it may only be a slim chance.
Also, my impression was that the judges only threw out Howell's testimony because of the combination of the unshared notes, and the coaching of Howell by Coleman's team on the break while Franken's team was reviewing the document. I suspect that the judges relented because they're giving Coleman every benefit of the doubt they can to reduce his chances of a successful appeal, but I find it hard to believe they'll be able to overcome the smoking gun of the evidence that Coleman was trying to conceal the witness.
Then, finally, on Howell. Lillehaug was hinting on cross that there was some information that he had that suggested Howell was such a partisan that she had caused problems with other election officials. I suspect that he's in a position to undermine her credibility to the point that she perhaps even becomes more of a liability to Coleman than an asset, especially with the way she was handled by Coleman's team.
I was impressed by Canning's piece on the issue of sanctions, but, beyond that, I'm appalled at the profoundly poor representation Coleman is getting and the blatant grounds he is being given for a malpractice suit against his whole legal team (perhaps his financial woes are nearly over), including, and especially perhaps, Ginsberg. His gyrations and criticisms of the court have to be reaching the judge's ears, and no matter how hard they may try to disregard it, it can't be helping Coleman. But beyond that, the appallingly poor preparation, doctoring of evidence, presentation of evidence only to withdraw it, failures to test evidence to identify vulnerability under cross, continued attempts to prove improper rejection rather than meet the court's explicit standard of proof of leagality, tampering with witness, concealing of witnesses, and even a suggestion of leaving open the possibility of having witnesses change their testimony, etc. is beyond incompetence and reeks at least in part, of criminality.
By way of contrast, I'm profoundly impressed by the Franken team, their professionalism, their solid, thorough, and complete preparation of their case, their continued success in getting additional Franken votes accepted, their consistency of message and tactics, their ability to think on their feet, their eloquence, and their overall grasp of the evidence and understanding of what its importance is, their seemingly uncanny nose for sniffing out vulnerabilities to cross, have all contributed to their virtually unbroken sting of success.
In some respects, I think the only danger confronting the Franken team is the possibility of over-arguing their case. I get the sense that both the ECC and MNSC are chomping at the bit to find in their favor. But perhaps that's evidence of my slightly partisan filter.
I just thought though of a possible explanation that might ultimately work in Coleman's favor. What if he could prove that his legal team was, in reality, a Franken plant?
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
David E. Brown
said on 3/1/2009 @ 10:01 am PT...
I forgot to add my thanks to you Brad for your work on this and other issues you.ve explored.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2009 @ 4:05 pm PT...
Kudos to Eric Kleefeld for excellent journalism. This young man has an important and brilliant career ahead of him.
Coleman's lead attorney is essentially using the incompetence of the attorneys under him as his defense for the admissibility of Ms. Howell's testimony! I predict the appeal court will accept Franken's attorneys' motion to throw her testimony out. That will eliminate Coleman's claims about the double counting of ballots.
It's difficult to imagine a shabbier case by the Coleman team. It is a case so ugly it is one only a Republican member of Congress can love. Coleman's attorneys will be lucky if they merely lose the case without being brought up on contempt charges. Lying to the court is not viewed lightly.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2009 @ 5:40 pm PT...
To David Brown: The three judge panel originally struck the testimony of Pamela Howell, a Republican election judge from a single precinct, who presented testimony of "possible" duplicate counting. This ruling was based on the failure to turn over notes given to Coleman's attorneys by Howell in compliance with court ordered discovery.
A court has a wide discretion in terms of sanctions for a failure to comply with court ordered discovery ranging from monetary sanctions, to striking testimony to barring an entire claim.
The Coleman legal team argued that they did not intentionally violate discovery; that the notes were missed when they went through the file. While attorneys should use care to thoroughly review their files in response to discovery, mistakes can happen.
Upon reflection and taking into consideration the policy favoring decisions on the merits, the three judge panel reversed their earlier order principally because the court relied upon the representation by team Coleman that we are dealing with an unintended error.
Per Kleefield, Howell returned to the stand. Further cross examination revealed that team Coleman had still not turned over all the documents that were subject to the discovery order--to wit, e-mails in which team Coleman instructed Howell "to hold off" signing her affidavit, "to avoid tying [Howell] down to any particular testimony and to avoid having to disclose [her] name and statement."
It was this second violation of the discovery order which led to a renewed motion not only to strike Howell's testimony but the entire duplicate ballot claim. The court took the motion under submission.
While we will have to await a new ruling, Franken is in a much stronger position than he had been the first time around because the newly disclosed evidence suggests that the failure to comply with the discovery order was not inadvertent but part of a pattern of conduct designed to both conceal testimony and to coach this partisan witness.
Ernest A. Canning
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2009 @ 8:11 pm PT...
In any race in any particular sport, if cheating is revealed, disqualification results. Surely, something that is truly relevant, such as the seating of a Senator, ought to following a stricter standard. Disqualification, at least!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 3/1/2009 @ 8:43 pm PT...
@John Harris: You may want to take the articles on the Mpls StarTribune web site with a small grain of salt. The Strib is/was owned by Avista Capital Partners and the paper endorsed Norm Coleman for the Senate race. Throughout the race it's been fairly obvious that they favored Coleman and that has held true throughout the recount and election contest process.
Eric Kleefield has been doing an incredible job on Talking Points Memo. I have to also applaud Brad and Ernest A. Canning here for adding their insight.
I'm sure the Election Contest judges spent this weekend considering how to deal with this latest situation in the proper way while also trying to shut the door to Coleman's expected appeal. The coming week's proceedings might be interesting!
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2009 @ 7:18 am PT...
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2009 @ 12:24 pm PT...
Can't Coleman appeal the entire case based upon the fact that his legal team is either unethical or incompetent? Or does that argument only work for public defenders?
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2009 @ 11:27 pm PT...
Once again you have kept us all well informed on another very important issue. An issue that I'm very interested in and one that has dropped off the radar on other news venues. I hope you get that show on t.v. but I really don't want to loose the great information you send us in our email. Some of us don't live close enough to San Francisco to get the station, so we'd be missing all this great information.