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Monday, Nov 24th

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Franken camp finds 6,400 uncounted absentee ballots

With the recount in the razor-thin Minnesota U.S. Senate race continuing into its second week, Democratic candidate Al Franken's campaign says it has uncovered 6,400 rejected absentee ballots and will ask a state board to count at least some of those votes.

Franken's campaign also says several dozen ballots have gone missing. 

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Pelosi Announces New Majority Leadership Team

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today the new Majority Leadership team for the 111th Congress, elected today by members of the Democratic Caucus:

  • Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi of California
  • Majority Leader: Steny Hoyer of Maryland
  • Majoriy Whip: James E. Clyburn of South Carolina
  • Democratic Caucus Chairman: John B. Larson of Connecticut
  • Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman: Xavier Becerra of California
  • Assistant to the Speaker and Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: Chris Van Hollen of Maryland
Leadership will take office on the first day of the new Congress, January 6, 2009.
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Bush, Out of Office, Could Oppose Inquiries

“If the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of the presidency is to have any validity at all, it must be equally applicable to a president after his term of office has expired,” Truman wrote to the committee.

Congress backed down, establishing a precedent suggesting that former presidents wield lingering powers to keep matters from their administration secret. Now, as Congressional Democrats prepare to move forward with investigations of the Bush administration, they wonder whether that claim may be invoked again.

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Could Allegations Invalidate Senate Results?

Allegations have surfaced of voter irregularities involving a paid staffer of Sen. Norm Coleman, and the ramifications could have a profound effect on the outcome of Coleman's race against Al Franken.

A reporter for the Minnesota Independent, a progressive online publication, was working on a story about voter turnout when she overheard that Republican poll challengers monitoring voting at the precinct had brought in Mahamoud Wardere to help voters translate.

The Coleman campaign confirmed that Wardere is a paid member of their staff.

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E-Voting Machines Used in Disputed Franken, Coleman Race Failed Tests

Electronic voting machines that a Michigan election official said last week incorrectly tabulated vote counts during testing in the state were used in Minnesota where the senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken is in dispute.

According to an Oct. 24 letter sent to the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Ruth Johnson, the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds, warned that tabulating software in Election Systems & Software M-100 voting machines recorded “conflicting” vote counts during testing in her state.

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Reid Says Stevens Cannot Serve

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was forced into the middle of Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) re-election bid late Saturday night after a senior Senate Democrat endorsed Stevens and called on voters to disregard his seven-count felony conviction.

In a bluntly worded release from his office, Reid warned that Stevens would not only face an ethics investigation but also expulsion proceedings regardless of his efforts to appeal the convictions.

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Tough times: Congress grew 13 percent richer in 2007

Times are tough, but don't worry about most members of Congress making ends meet.

Their collective wealth grew by 13 percent last year, leaving them in better shape than most Americans to make it through an economic downturn, according to a new analysis of personal financial reports.

Overall, nearly two of every three senators are millionaires.

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