Is Gov. Pawlenty a shameless “election fraud” propagandist?

What the hell is going on with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R)? Has he, too, become a shameless propagandist?

Last night (Wed.) on FOX News’ Hannity and Colmes Pawlenty said:

Minnesota has a reputation of clean and fair and good elections. […] However finding 32 ballots in a trunk of a car and supposedly forgetting that they were there is suspicious.

The “32 ballots in the trunk of Minneapolis Elections Director Cindy Reichert’s car” story is a fabrication (or, a bizarre misunderstanding) by one of Sen. Norm Coleman’s lawyers.

David Brauer, a political reporter at MinnPost, documents the rumor’s origin and demise:

Reichert is all too happy to provide an explanation. She says the “car ballot” story is “just not true,” painting a picture of normal balloting procedures twisted into something grotesquely misleading.

The “car ballot” story emerged Saturday from the mouth of Coleman lawyer Fritz Knaak, who, according to AP, told reporters, “We were actually told ballots had been riding around in her car for several days, which raised all kinds of integrity questions.”

Knaak never provided a source and did not return two MinnPost calls for comment. However, he was already backing off his story at the same press event. As that day’s Pioneer Press noted, “Knaak said he feels assured that what was going on with the 32 ballots was neither wrong nor unfair.”

It’s odd that Pawlenty continues to propagate a rumor that was, essentially, retracted by the rumor’s creator on the same day it was created.

At this point, those who continue to spread the rumor are either willfully ignorant, or are happy to lie in order to “catapult the propaganda.” Which is it for Pawlenty?


  1. 1

    YLB spews:

    Just the kind of lies that are meant to stir up the wingnut crowd.

    It’s too predictable. Franken’s election will be considered illegitimate by the wingnuts.

    In six years, the R’s will put up Coleman again or someone even worse (if that can be imagined) and Franken will be re-elected by a strong majority.

    That’s how the story goes.

  2. 2

    Daddy Love spews:

    The ideas to remember here are:
    – Votes are not counted at the location they are cast.
    – They are transported to where they are counted in cars (what else would they use?).
    – When being transported, they were in the continuous custody of election precinct judges.

    So: The ballots were in cars because state law mandates precinct counting. An election judge always had custody, and they were never “lost.” They were not in vehicles overnight and spent Election Night, and the next several nights, tucked away safely in City Hall. No ballots were ever lost or forgotten, nor was there any breach of the law regarding their treatment.

    Full story at

  3. 4

    Dan spews:

    @1. Perhaps it will be Michele Bachmann!

    @2. Why let the facts get in the way!

    Painfully obvious that the Rs are trying to cast doubt on the counting so that they can waste money and time with a sham suit and then keep it alive for years by calling the results questionable.

  4. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    Coleman, call Rossi. Find out how well that tactic worked for Rossi, in the long term. And then get back to us.

  5. 6


    Hey Darryl, I posted a dKos diary about the incredibly low recount pricetag estimated by MN’s SoS. On a per-ballot basis, it’s about 1/10 of what ours cost four years ago (and 1/8 of the NH primary recount).

  6. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Is Gov. Pawlenty a shameless ‘election fraud’ propagandist?”

    Yep, because it’s impossible to believe that Pawlenty, a lawyer, is unaware of the 1962 Minnesota Supreme Court decision establishing the “true vote” rule as the governing principle of his state’s election laws, to wit:

    “The object of all election procedural laws is to ascertain the true vote of the people and to declare elected the candidate who receives the most legal votes in a legal election. Absent fraud, bad faith, or jurisdictional defects, technical irregularities in the procedure followed in obtaining the correct result will frequently be overlooked in order to give effect to the true vote of the people.”

    (In that decision, the court ordered that ballots which had been properly cast by eligible voters but mishandled by election officials had to be counted.)

    Thus, by inference, Pawlenty either is (a) engaging in demagoguery, or (b) lying to Minnesota citizens about what their state’s election laws are, or (c) both.

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Pawlenty is (d) a liar, too. But hey, he’s a Republican, so what can you expect?

  8. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 “Why does anyone give a shit?”

    Because some people don’t like being lied to, but as a Republican, you of course are incapable of understanding that.

  9. 11

    headless lucy spews:

    Speaking of Al Franken, when he refers to Hannity and Colmes in print, it looks something like: ‘HANNITY and colmes’.

    Fair and balanced, doncha’ know!

  10. 12

    proud leftist spews:

    Pawlenty needs to show his party that he is capable of committing nasty, dishonest acts in service of fellow Republicans so he can maintain viability as a national candidate in 2012. Partisan venality is an essential attribute for Republican presidential or vice presidential candidates. Go, Tim, go.

  11. 13

    Daddy Love spews:

    “Politically Incorrect”

    The reason WE care is because we’re going to shine the bright light of truth on each and every Republican lie from this day forward! No more letting unchallenged lies be mistaken for fact. Never again.

    And there are millions of us.

  12. 14

    Blue John spews:

    Mr. Pawlenty kicked off the conference with a somewhat gloomy appraisal of where things stand for the Republican Party.

    “We cannot be a majority governing party when we essentially cannot compete in the Northeast, we are losing our ability to compete in Great Lakes States, we cannot compete on the West Coast, we are increasingly in danger of competing in the Mid-Atlantic States, and the Democrats are now winning some of the Western States,” he said. “That is not a formula for being a majority governing party in this nation.”

    “And similarly we cannot compete, and prevail, as a majority governing party if we have a significant deficit, as we do, with women, where we have a large deficit with Hispanics, where we have a large deficit with African-American voters, where we have a large deficit with people of modest incomes and modest financial circumstances,” he said. “Those are not factors that make up a formula for success going forward.”