During the 2004 gubernatorial contest in Washington state, the Republicans, as part of their “election fraud” propaganda campaign, needed an enemy with a name and a face.
Their primary victim was King County Records, Elections and Licensing Director Dean Logan, who was mercilessly vilified through the contest, court case and even afterward. They might have gone after our Secretary of State, Sam Reed, except that he’s a Republican. (They did go after him to a lesser extent after losing the lawsuit).
In Minnesota, it looks like Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is going to be the Republican’s first target. TPM Muckraker has obtained a three-page “backgrounder” put out by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
The NRSC origin of this memo highlights one big difference between the Washington state 2004 gubernatorial election and the Minnesota 2008 Senate race—the addition of an important target audience for the latter. Ultimately it is the Senate who will seat either Franken or Coleman. The election results, certified by Secretary of State Ritchie, will be used to guide the Senate (as per Article I of the U.S. Constitution) in seating the winner.
One long-shot strategy for the Republicans is to discredit Ritchie enough to cast doubt on his impartiality in certifying a close Franken win. The Republicans would challenge the election in the Senate (as sometimes happens) with the aim of not seating Franken.