One characteristic of Tales of Minnesota Election Fraud is--like zombies and urban legends--they're hard to kill. But unlike zombies, a good tap to the head won't stop a Tale of Minnesota Election Fraud. Conservatives continue to dig up and repeat this stuff.
Take Harold W. Rippe's most recent letter in the Pope County Journal, DFL, liberal media go after Bachmann again. Rippe pulls out the discredited "ballots in the trunk" campfire story not once but twice:
. . .The DFLers' icon, the donkey, planted its two front legs firmly on the ground, raised its two rear legs into kicking position, while hee-hawing trying to belittle the U.S. Congresswoman's work and record. First, and loudest from the icon, was that she only eked out the fourth term by a razor-sharp, hairsplitting razor thin 4,300 votes (one and one half percent). The DFLers and their icon were sent back into the stable , when it was called to their attention that DFLer Gov.Dayton only won by 8,000 votes (less than one/eighth of one percent) out of Minnesotans 5,232,521 voting public. Next the faithful were seen installing locks on the stable door, when they were reminded that Al Frankin [sic] became Senator by only a 300-vote margin percent win, at .0000000001%. I believe these wining ballots were found in the trunk of a car days after the election some where in the stronghold of the DFL party in the Twin Cities. . . .
. . .I do want to acknowledge that the Minnessota [sic] DFL party can also be two faced or better yet, have two faces. The ugly one was displayed at U.S. Rep. from the Sixth, as in above opinion, The other face was happy, smiling, slick , smooth, polished, well buttered, etc.. This face was evident when Mn. Secretary of State, DFLer Mark Richie [sic], announced that he had enough politics after only two terms. That party face heaped praise glory on his work . And why not? After all as chief cook and bottle washer (vote counter) for Minnesota, he saw to it hat DFLer Al Franken won his senate seat. Wasn't it his people who found 200 votes in the truck of a car days after the election in the Twin Cities? That along with the double counting of 300 votes, put Franken in office. . . .
Let Rippe stand on his own two hind legs and bray this story as often as he likes. Bluestem believes that we take no risk in predicting that he won't be alone, just part of a herd of silly letter writers across the state as November 2014 approaches.
For an authoritative debunking of the conversative campfire tale, we need look no farther than the St. Paul Pioneer Press's account, Overtime: Chapter 2, Part 2: The Franken vs. Coleman ballots in the trunk — and other myths exposed:
ABOUT THOSE BALLOTS IN THE TRUNK ...
Cindy Reichert, then the elections director in Minneapolis, was about to find herself in the cross-hairs, too.
Election Day in Minneapolis had been chaotic, especially the absentee ballots. There were a record number, and Reichert's staff spent the day processing them. Some overseas absentee votes didn't arrive at Reichert's office until an hour before polls closed.
In Minnesota, absentee ballots are processed at the precinct level, meaning those that arrive on Election Day have to be delivered to any of 131 precinct locations in the city. Using the city's snow emergency hot line, Reichert had created an automated voice messaging system for all precincts and alerted them not to close the polls until all the absentee votes arrived.
Not everyone got the message, and the city didn't deliver every absentee ballot to the precincts before they closed. In all, there were 32 ballots left over.
They were returned to City Hall, but Reichert couldn't count them right away. She needed the voter registries from precincts so she could make sure the absentee voter didn't show up at the polls on Election Day and vote in person. And those registries, which are locked in the voting machines, were slow in arriving.
But by Friday, Minnesota's most liberal city was ready to open and count 32 additional, validly cast ballots. The campaigns and the public were keenly aware of how close the race was, and the Coleman campaign reacted swiftly.
"I let (the campaigns) know we were going to be working on Saturday. And they said, 'Really? What are you doing on Saturday?' And I said we're going to count the ballots that didn't get counted on Election Day. 'What do you meeeean ballots didn't get counted!' " Reichert recalled.
After learning of the development, Knaak called Ramsey County Chief District Judge Kathleen Gearin at home Friday night to tell her the Coleman campaign would be filing a case over Minneapolis' decision to count the ballots. Gearin had been hosting a dinner party and — maybe it was the wine — had a hard time taking Knaak seriously.
"I said: 'This is a joke. You've got to be kidding,' " Gearin said. "It took him a while to convince me that this really was serious."
Gearin quickly hung up, vowing not to speak to either campaign unless both were present.
On Saturday morning, the recount landed in court for the first time.
The proceedings were hectic, and Lillehaug was peeved at the emergency hearing — he'd been taking his dog to the vet when he got the call. A harried Reichert did not hear when Knaak told Gearin he thought the ballots had been in Reichert's car.
While state election law assigns many of the burdens of litigation to Ramsey County, on this particular issue Gearin ruled that she didn't have jurisdiction over Minneapolis. The importance of what was about to happen had already dawned on Gearin, and she admonished everyone — "as a citizen, as well as a judge," she said — to proceed carefully.
Meanwhile, the story that Reichert had been driving around with the ballots in her trunk spread like wildfire, from blogs to Fox News, feeding a suspicion that the fix was in for Franken. Reichert learned about it for the first time after walking out of Ramsey County court, when a lawyer for the city told her.
She was upset. Stoked when Gov. Tim Pawlenty mentioned it during a news conference, the story called her integrity and her competence into question, and it still lingers despite Knaak's almost immediate insistence that there was nothing to it.
"My mom called and said: 'Put it on Fox News! They're going to be talking about Minneapolis elections!' I thought, 'Oh, gee, wonder what this is?' " Reichert said.
What she saw alarmed her.
"They've got a picture of an open car trunk on one side with an arrow pointing in it, and a picture of Al Franken with his angry fist up on the other side, and they're reporting that I've been driving around with ballots in my car," Reichert said.
Reichert doesn't even own a car — she drives an SUV. It doesn't have a trunk. Yet more than any other, this story has persisted as an emblem that there was something very wrong with Minnesota's 2008 recount.
Not 200 ballots in a car trunk, but 32 absentee ballots at City Hall. That's what sent Rippe to his fainting couch up in Glenwood. Go read the rest of his defense of Michele Bachmann at the Pope Count Journal.
Photo: Election fraud troll Harold Rippe, doing a little fishing, via Facebook.
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