Campaign Confidential

Ugly Franken, Coleman Fight for Minnesota's 'Jewish Seat' Continues

By Brett Lieberman

A week after the polls closed, there’s no end in sight for the election fight between Norm Coleman and Al Franken for Minnesota’s Jewish Senate seat.

As Politico reports, Coleman’s lead now stands at a meager 206 votes out of more than 2.4 million ballots cast. That’s a difference of 41.99 percent of the vote to 41.98, according to the state’s secretary of state

A mandatory recount is required because the margin is less than 0.5 percent.

The post-election fight has been full of charges of ballot box stuffing, votes seemingly discovered in the middle of the night, and in one case noted by Politico, “an election official from solidly Democratic Hennepin County left 32 absentee ballots in his car, netting Franken an additional 11 votes.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Al Franken, Norm Coleman, Minnesota, Senate, Elections

Will Jews Have More Voices in Congress?

By Brett Lieberman

MULTIPLE UPDATES

So far it looks like the number of Jews in Congress may grow by one to three seats.

We’ll update these results on Wednesday

In New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, Democrat John Adler has been projected the winner over Republican Chris Myers in a squeeker. With 93 percent of precincts reported, Adler trailed 142,477 votes to 144,218 but was projected the winner.

Update Here’s the report from the Newark Star-Ledger.

Democrat Jared Polis leads Republican Scott Starin 59 percent to 36 percent with 39 percent of precincts in Colorado’s 2nd District reporting.

Nathan Berkowitz trails Republican incumbent Don Young 51.6 percent to 44.1 with 45 percent of precincts reporting for Alaska’s Congressional seat.

Update Young won 51.7 percent to 44 percent, according to unofficial results. The Minnesota Senate contest between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Al Franken remains close with Coleman narrowly leading 1,138,466 votes to 1,137,254 votes and both candidates at 42 percent with 94 percent of precincts reporting. The outcome may remain in limbo if a close race triggers an automatic recount.

Update The Associated Press is reporting Coleman the winner this morning. The latest numbers are Coleman with 1,210,790 votes to 1,210,028 for Franken.

Another Update AP has now uncalled the race. This one may take a while to sort out.

Franken is not conceding.

His campaign just issued the following statement:

“The Secretary of State’s office reports that all but nine of Minnesota’s 4,130 precincts have reported in. And this race is too close to call, with a margin of just about 1100 votes out of 2.9 million cast. That’s four one-hundredths of one percent of the vote. And we expect that when those final nine precincts are counted this morning, that 1100-vote margin will shrink into the hundreds.”

“Under Minnesota state law, we will now enter into an automatic statewide canvass and recount. It will be the first one since 1962, when I was 11 years old. I remember that year very clearly for two reasons. The recount between Elmer L. Anderson and Karl Rolvaag. And the Gophers were in the Rose Bowl that year.”

“And we have twice as many ballots to count this time.”

“Let me be clear: Our goal is to ensure that every vote is properly counted.”

“The process, dictated by our laws, will be orderly, fair, and will take place within a matter of days. We won’t know for a little while who won this race, but at the end of the day, we will know that the voice of the electorate was clearly heard.”

“There is reason to believe that the recount could change the vote tallies significantly.”

“Our office and the Obama campaign have received reports of irregularities at various precincts around the state. For instance, some polling places in Minneapolis ran out of registration materials. Our team has been working on those issues for several hours already, and they will continue to do so this morning as the recount process begins.”

“Let me be clear: This race is too close to call, and we do not yet know who won. We are lucky enough to live in a state with built-in protections to ensure that in close elections like these, the will of the people is accurately reflected in the outcome.”

“This has been a long campaign, and it’s going to be a little longer before we have a winner. Senator Coleman, Senator Barkley, and I have done a lot of talking. Minnesotans have waited a long time to have THEIR say. And thanks to our state’s laws, we will eventually understand precisely what they have said.”

Keep reading for other Jewish results of interest:

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Congress, Elections

Bloomberg Endorses Blind Rabbi

By Brett Lieberman

Dennis Shulman, the blind psychologist rabbi running for Congress in New Jersey, picked up a high-profile endorsement this morning from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“I’m impressed by his pragmatic, sensible approach to the tough issues, including how we strengthen the economy and how we keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Bloomberg said in a statement. “We need more leaders in Congress willing to reach across the aisle and focus on problem solving, not ideology.”

Shulman, a Democrat, is challenging Republican Congressman Scott Garrett in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District.

Bloomberg blamed ideology for too often blocking progress on critical issues.

You can listen to Bloomberg’s conference call


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: New Jersey, Michael Blooomberg, Elections, Scott Garrett, Congress, Dennis Shulman

Blind Rabbi Gets Times Endorsement for Congressional Bid

By Brett Lieberman

The Gray Lady threw it’s support behind Dennis Shulman, the blind rabbi and psychologist challenging incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett in New Jersey’s 5th District.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Elections, Congress, Scott Garrett, Dennis Shulman

Jewish Challengers Seen Gaining in House Races

New ratings from the Cook Political Report reflect improved chances for a couple of Jewish challengers in tough congressional races.

The non-partisan group changed the contest between incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Rogers and Democrat Josh Segall in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District to likely Republican from solid Republican.

Likewise, Florida’s 18th Congressional District seat held by incumbent Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been downgraded from solid Republican to likely Republican. One recent poll showed Jewish Latina businesswoman Annette Taddeo trailing by 7 percent.

Neither incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Kirk or Democratic challenger Dan Seals is Jewish, but Illinois’ 10th Congressional District has garnered attention because of its large Jewish population. That race is now rated a toss up.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Annette Taddeo, Elections, Cook Political Report, Dan Seals, Mark Kirk, Mike Rogers, Congress, Josh Segall

Report: Lieberman Not Welcome to Break Bread With Democrats

By Brett Lieberman

Retribution was swift for U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman after the Connecticut Indepedent/Democrat’s speech supporting John McCain and criticizing Barack Obama at last week’s Republican National Convention.

Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call [Registration required] reports that he’s no longer welcome at the Democrats’ weekly lunches and biweekly lunches of committee chairman.

Speculation remains on what will happen to Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

At least for now, Democrats need his vote now to remain in the majority. But with Democrats expected to pick up seats in the November elections that may not be the case for long.

UPDATE: Lieberman tells The Hill: “I think it’s probably wise for me and for my colleagues in the Democratic caucus to dine somewhere else for the next few weeks.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Democrats, Lieberman, Congress, Senate, Elections, President, Republican, Obama, McCain




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