Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Election theft in MN.

Posted by Brian D (Profile)

Wednesday, January 7th at 12:36PM EST

The Wall Street Journal in an Op Ed published on Monday, Funny Business in Minnesota, made the case that funnyman Al Franken is stealing the disputed U.S. Senate election from Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota. After the first count of ballots, Senator Norm Coleman retained a 215 vote lead, but the margin of victory triggered a mandatory recount of the election. After a recount, Franken emerged with a 225 vote lead. This controversy will be resolved by the Minnesota courts, yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already decreed, “Norm Coleman will never ever serve [again] in the Senate.”

The WSJ points to the following examples of how Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and his four fellow Canvassing Board members have delivered inconsistent rulings and are ignoring glaring problems with the tallies leaving the certified result in doubt:

1. Franken picked up between “80 to 100 votes,” because duplicate ballots may have been double counted. There is evidence that “25 precincts now have more ballots than voters who signed in to vote.”
2. Franken gained 46 votes when the Canvassing Board decided to jettison the recount results from Hennepin County and substituted the election night results.
3. Franken gained 37 votes in Ramsey County where 177 more ballots were counted in the recount than were recorded on election night.
4. Franken gained 176 votes because of inconsistent consideration of contested absentee ballots.

Minnesota law does not allow a certification of the result until the court cases are resolved and the Senate should let this process work out in the Minnesota Courts. A vote of the United States Senate to seat Franken without a certificate of election would prejudice any change Coleman has to win this case on appeal in Minnesota. Of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already decided the case and declared that “Norm Coleman will never ever serve [again] in the Senate,” Reid told Politico’s Manu Raju. “He lost the election. He can stall things, but he’ll never serve in the Senate.”

Another great of example of schools that don't have enough money.

Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General.

That was just one example of questionable CPS actions detailed in the inspector general's 2008 annual report. Others included high school staffers changing grades to pump up transcripts of student athletes and workers at a restricted-enrollment grade school falsifying addresses to get relatives admitted.

In the case of the cappuccino machines, central office administrators split the order among 21 vocational schools to avoid competitive bidding required for purchases over $10,000. As a result CPS paid about $12,000 too much, according to Inspector General James Sullivan. "We were able to find the same machines cheaper online," he said.

"We also look at it as a waste of money because the schools didn't even know they were getting the equipment, schools didn't know how to use the machines and weren't prepared to implement them into the curriculum," Sullivan said.

CPS spokesman Michael Vaughn said CPS plans to change its purchasing policy so that competitive bidding kicks in when a vendor accumulates $10,000 worth of orders, no matter how many schools are involved. One person was fired and disciplinary action is pending against three others, he said.

The grade-changing took place at an unidentified high school, where student athletes grades were boosted, then, after transcripts were issued for college admission offices, the grades were changed back. The culprits could not be identified because passwords allowing entry to the grading system were shared by a number of people, Sullivan said. A new record system has tighter security, he said.

At Carson Elementary, an overcrowded school in Gage Park where even neighborhood kids were restricted from enrolling, five lower- level employees got six relatives into the school by falsifying addresses. Sixty-nine students from outside the attendance area got in, but they didn't even bother to lie about their addresses. CPS had to spend as much as $252,000 to bus kids who live in the neighborhood to other schools, Sullivan said.

Vaughn said the employees involved have resigned, been fired or will be fired.