Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

The Al Franken campaign is using a series of lawsuits to try to bully the ex-comedian’s way into the United States Senate. So far, though, they aren’t going too well.

Franken has demanded that Minnesota counties give him lists of would-be voters whose absentee ballots were rejected. Some have complied, but others have refused. Today Franken sued Ramsey County, where St. Paul is located, to force the county to turn over such a list. Franken wants to use it, obviously, to track down voters favorable to him, as to whom the ballot disqualification might be overturned.

The centerpiece of Franken’s Ramsey County lawsuit was a sob story involving an 84-year-old Beltrami County woman whose ballot was supposedly rejected because her signature did not match the one on file with the county. The reason, Franken alleged, was that the woman had suffered a stroke:

An 84-year-old Beltrami County woman, whose election ballot was rejected, helped convince Al Franken’s campaign to go to court seeking the names of all Minnesotans whose ballots were not counted last week.

Franken campaign officials said the woman, a nursing home resident, told a campaign volunteer that her signature had changed due to a stroke after she first signed her voter registration forms. Her signature on absentee ballot paperwork did not match her signature for this election, so election officials rejected the ballot.

That example is being used as why the U.S. Senate candidate, a Democrat, wants to know about every rejected ballot.

There’s only one problem with Franken’s story. It isn’t true:

Al Franken’s campaign needs a new story to establish the need for a lawsuit it filed Thursday. …

A touching story the Franken campaign told at mid-day Thursday about how a Beltrami County women’s stroke-impaired signature led to her ballot being rejected proved flawed. …

The woman’s story was carried by news organizations in Minnesota and beyond.

Franken’s U.S. Senate campaign originally said an 84-year-old Beltrami County woman’s post-stroke handwriting did not match her voter registration signature, so election officials rejected her ballot.

The county’s top elections official said she told the Franken campaign that was not the case.

“Beltrami County does not have one ballot that was rejected because signatures didn’t match and the Franken campaign was clearly told that,” County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack said. “I don’t know where they are getting that from.”

So it appears that Franken deliberately lied.

Notwithstanding this embarrassment, there is a serious danger that Al Franken will bully and lie his way into office. No one is reassured by the presence of left-wing DFL activist Mark Ritchie as Secretary of State. Like Franken, Ritchie has trouble keeping his story straight:

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