Those Democrats with tax problems, i.e., cheaters, dodgers, defalcators, swindlers, etc., haven’t been faring so well under the suddenly ethically challenged Obama presidency.
The Senate approved Tim Geithner as Treasury secretary, but his reputation has, it seems, been almost irreparably tarnished. Two more Obama nominees—Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer—bowed out on the same day this week because of their tax “situations.”
And now another Democratic tax shirker, Al Franken—he had to pay $70,000 in back taxes and penalties during the Minnesota senatorial primary–is finding his uneasy grip on that seat becoming even more slippery.
The ex-comedian, who eked out a 225-vote “victory” over GOP Senator Norm Coleman under dubious circumstances, now finds that his triumphal shouts of exultation have been premature. His alleged win is now in grave danger because a three-judge panel, picked by Democratic state Supreme Court senior justice Alan Page, ruled this week that 4,800 rejected absentee ballots must now be included in the final vote tally. That could spell doom for Franken, who had done just about everything he could to block these ballots from being counted.
The ruling has given the joyful Coleman camp a big boost, with the candidate himself ecstatic and Coleman attorney, Benjamin Ginsberg, proclaiming that he, too, is “thrilled.” The panel is supposed to have the final say as to who’s the winner and if these absentees break for Coleman in big enough numbers, as many believe they will, Franken will have to go back to Air America.
Ginsberg informed Potomacus prior to the recent ruling that he was quite pleased with the panel’s openness to the Coleman arguments on fairness. Among the Coleman team’s chief complaints:
- Ballots marked precisely the same way in various localities were treated differently.
- Many ballots were double counted.
- Some ballots mysteriously appeared out of thin air.
- Several precincts cast more votes than there were voters, and
- Thousands of perfectly valid absentee ballots weren’t counted at all.
Up to now, the process has seemed stacked against Coleman. On election day, he had a comfortable 725 vote victory. After counties resubmitted the vote totals, Coleman’s lead had been slashed by more than two-thirds, with most “corrections” sent in by local election officials benefiting Franken. Then came a handcount of paper ballots, and presto!, the Minnesota Canvassing Board had given the election to Franken.
Franken was crowing. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to seat him, even though the process had not been completed and would have been a violation of Minnesota state law. Then came Coleman’s appeal to Alan Page and the three-judge panel.
The result: Coleman now has a fighting chance to win back a seat he probably should have won on election day. And another Democratic tax cheat may bite the dust.