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*** UPDATED x1 - Gingrich takes the bait *** Another phony “controversy” has the Interwebtubes in a tizzy

Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Check out the right-leaning blogs today and you’ll see a huge number of posts that more than just suggest the Democrats are plotting to deny Republican Mark Kirk his rightful place in the US Senate. A representative sample…

* Illinois: We can’t certify Mark Kirk’s win until after Thanksgiving because of “paperwork”: And yet, despite there being zero doubt as to who won, “paperwork” means Kirk won’t join the Senate until late November at the earliest. I’m not sure which is worse — the thought that Illinois Democrats are purposely dragging their feet to keep Kirk out of the chamber so that he can’t block lame-duck Democratic legislation or the thought that they’re not dragging their feet and this really is the fastest they can move.

* Surprise: Illinois “Paperwork” Backlog Delays Seating Mark Kirk Prior to Senate Lame Duck Session

* Mark Kirk stopped from taking Senate Seat to give Burris power to vote on Lame Duck Agenda: Despite the voice of the people in this pivotal race, the democratic party machine that runs Illinois is attempting to hold up Kirk’s appointment to the Senate seat so that Roland Burris, never elected, appointed by Rod Blagojevich, can help Barack Obama pass his agenda to fundamentally transform America.

* OUTRAGE: Illinois Demorats Delay Seating Sen. Kirk: The state says they cannot seat him until after Thanksgiving due to paperwork. Yeah, riiiiight. And that even though Kirk won by more the 70,000 votes and his opponent has graciously conceded.

* What Arrant Squid Nonsense: Illinois State “Paperwork” to Delay Kirk’s Swearing in Until Dec. 3—Keeping Unelected Dem Burris in the Senate!: Ha-ha-ho-ho…how very coincidental. This is the Dems’ way of ratifying the new Obama-proclaimed era of cooperation. And the spineless media will find oodles of justification for this Squid-manufactured atrocity.

* Shocker: Illinois Dragging Feet On Certifying Election Of Republican Senator

* A Great Example of What I Hate About Democrats

Whew! That’s a lot of yucky bile. And that handful of posts barely skims the surface of the indignant blogtastic outrage.

And, by the way, it’s all completely false.

* All the hoo-ha is based on a fatally flawed AP brief

Illinois Republican Mark Kirk won’t be seated in the U.S. Senate in time for the start of the lame duck session of Congress this month - unlike two other newly elected senators.

The session begins Nov. 15. But state officials say the paperwork officially declaring Kirk the winner of the Senate race won’t be delivered until Nov. 29.

That should still allow Kirk to participate in two weeks of the session in December.

* OK, first of all, way back in July the judge who ordered the special election gave the Illinois State Board of Elections until November 24th to certify the special. This schedule has been in place a very long time, before anyone knew that Kirk would be elected.

* Secondly, the Illinois State Board of Elections actually plans to certify the election a day early, according to an official I just spoke with. They’re gonna do it on the 23rd, not the 24th.

* Thirdly, the Senate is recessing its lame duck session during the entire week of the 23rd because of Thanksgiving. The Senate won’t restart the session until November 29th.

* And fourthly - and most importantly - Secretary of State Jesse White’s office claims the AP misquoted them. What they said was they intend to process the paperwork immediately and will make sure that it gets into the hands of the proper DC authorities in plenty of time for the first day of the restarted lame duck session on the 29th. Between the 23rd and the 29th lies Thanksgiving, remember. Things can happen. That’s why they stressed they want to make extra special sure that Kirk is sworn in on or before the 29th.

* So, to sum up, the schedule that was set way back in July is still on track. The State Board of Elections is actually pushing up the ordered date by a full day. The AP screwed up. The SoS will expedite matters. Mark Kirk will be sworn in by the time the Senate reconvenes on Monday, November 29th.

Also, I’m not sure where Tom Roeser found that December 3rd date, but he’s way off.

*** UPDATE *** And right on schedule, WLS allows Newt Gingrich to push this phony story into the bloodstream

Gingrich said the move to seat Democrats Chris Coons of Delaware and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and not Kirk was a prime example of a “really corrupt machine style.”

“That is such an outrageously corrupt and dishonest position that even Harry Reid ought to be ashamed of himself,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich called on the entire country, including President Barack Obama, to bring pressure on the Democratic Party to act honorably and seat Kirk immediately.

“The president could certainly intervene and say to the Senate Democrats and say to the Illinois secretary of state, ‘we need to play fair and we need to honor the American people,’ Gingrich said.

Gingrich called the delay in seating Kirk “much worse” than the machinations involving the seat of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.



  1. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 5:32 pm:

    Maybe Tom Roeser was golfing with Tom Cross, and simply mis-remembered the wrong date incorrectly?

  2. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 5:37 pm:

    Yeah heaven forbid there’s a delay in getting Kirk into the Senate so he can get back to voting like a Democrat.

    What happened to the old days when Democrats used to be the big whiners over nothing?

  3. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 5:47 pm:

    It seems to me that it’s perfectly normal for SOS to take about 2-3 weeks to certify general election results. Usually it’s not an issue because presidential electors don’t cast their Electoral College votes until December, and elected or reelected officeholders don’t take office until January.

    Last night I attempted to post a comment on the first site you linked to (Hot Air) telling everyone that this was not some Chicago Democratic machine plot but standard procedure following ALL elections. I couldn’t do so because that site only allows registered users to post comments, and they aren’t registering any new users at this time. Figures.

  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 5:51 pm:

    Something else I should’ve mentioned is that the Lake County clerk, a Republican, is not counting any absentee ballots until November 19th.

  5. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 5:54 pm:

    Does anyone else find it odd that all these blogs got the same story and shared the same outrage, in almost the same wording? It’s almost like it was a coordinated outrage machine or something.

    How does that work? It starts with a goofy story, then Drudge puts a headline up, then bloggers get e-mails with the links and…we read about it here, once it gets debunked.

    Rich, will you post links to the sites above that post clarifications?

  6. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 5:57 pm:

    I trust the new Repub/t-bag members of Cong. have a greater regard for truth/accuracy/facts than the Repub/t-bag/Fox media/blog have….but I doubt it.

  7. - pat collins - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 5:58 pm:

    But isn’t Burris out NOW? So he can’t vote. Il is just short a senator.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 6:02 pm:

    No, Burris is not out now.

  9. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 6:11 pm:

    I thought the Right would already have the impeachment papers written on Kirk–after all, he invited a Democrat out for a beer!

  10. - soccermom - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 6:19 pm:

    I read that counting the ballots will cost $200 million a day!!!! (Yes, I am joking.)

  11. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 6:26 pm:

    don’t worry, Hermie the elf will be seated before Rudolph comes on TV for the season.

    I think the noise is from the Palin/Bachmann/Rand Paul tea partiers. They must hate the thought of a moderate taking
    a seat in the Senate. ( I still haven’t figured out why if they claim that Obama and the Dems hate their freedom that they are so hell bent on restricting my freedom of choice.)

  12. - Aaron - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 6:36 pm:

    Well haven’t you heard the one about President Obama’s trip costing $200 million a day? The right wing echo chamber at its best.

  13. - rudy - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 7:10 pm:

    –Maybe Tom Roeser was golfing with Tom Cross, and simply mis-remembered the wrong date incorrectly?–

    Elephants never mis-remember.

  14. - MrJM - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 7:14 pm:

    I heard that Roland Burris’s pension will cost taxpayers $200 million a day?.

    – MrJM

  15. - Responsa - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 7:19 pm:

    Occurs to me that this should only be an issue for anybody if Chris Coons of Delaware and Joe Manchin of WV, who were also elected as replacements to the lame duck session on Nov. 2, (and like Kirk were elected for the upcoming regular 6 year term as well) are somehow seated before Kirk. Seems only fair that these three newbies with partial terms into the 111th congress should all join the US Senate with the same seniority date, I would think.

  16. - anon - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 7:28 pm:

    Newt Gingrich making stuff up? Say it ain’t so…

  17. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 7:55 pm:

    Get him in and get his seniority. Have a forensic audit of the judges ruling to see what should be done.

  18. - vibes - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 9:05 pm:

    But Rich, surely that liberal judge was in cahoots with the Machine. I’ll bet he started off as a criminal-coddling Carter era “prosecutor”, and was probably rammed through by ol’ Slick Willie in the early 90s when Democrat Senators controlled the confirmation process.

    Oh. Wait. Judge John Grady.
    Chief of Criminal Division under an Eisenhower US Attorney. And a Republican appointee to the bench as well. Rats.

  19. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 9:17 pm:

    When a party feels out of power, they do things like this. Back in 2000, it was the Democrats who saw boogeymen and conspiracies. Now it is the GOP’s turn.

    That’s all.

  20. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 9:29 pm:


    It’s my understanding that Senate winners who are filling vacant seats, such as Chris Coons and Joe Manchin will, in fact, be seated immediately and therefore have a few more days seniority. The only way Kirk could have the same seniority would be if SOS certified the election immediately and / or Burris resigned immediately … neither of which is going to happen since the seat switched parties. Just one last kiss off from the former Gov …

  21. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 10:16 pm:

    Yes VM, conspiracies like conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court taking the extraordinary step of issuing an opinion that they said doesn’t apply to anything other than the 2000 election. No conspiracy there. Just conservatives deciding to throw out 200 years of case law on elections so they could elect one of their own. Nothing to see here folks. Move along. Move along.

  22. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 10:21 pm:

    The real reason they aren’t seating Kirk immediately is because Mike Madigan and Rich Daley won’t let them. The Speaker and Mayor gave themselves all this power when they wrote the Illinois Constitution which says in Article MCMXII, Section “If a special election is held to replace a Democratic Senator who was appointed by a recently arrested Governor and if the Mayor of Chicago and the Speaker of the House are both Democrats and if a Republican is elected to complete the term, then the Speaker and Mayor shall be granted the secret power to withhold certification of the election until after Thanksgiving.”

  23. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 10:32 pm:

    There needs to be a forensic audit of how senators are being seated.

  24. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 10:55 pm:

    I invoke the AquaBudda and declare Capt. Kirk Senator for Life! (But not until after Thanksgiving, of course.)

  25. - ChicagoDem - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 11:17 pm:

    Amalia: yes everything is relative…the little elf will assume the seat “Dumbo” once had. Doing this just let you know it is not nice to call people names.

  26. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 9, 10 @ 11:35 pm:

    Chicago Dem, thanks for the warning. I’ve commented here before that Kirk’s voice sounds just like the character in the cartoon. seriously. sorry if it is mean spirited. I’ve been meaner to my party’s candidate, Alexi drove me nuts.

  27. - G. Willickers - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 12:48 am:

    Why do conservatives hate democracy??!!


  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 1:12 am:

    Some of these guys are going to really hate being in the majority in the House. Newt didn’t like is as much as what he’s doing now. No responsibility, no accountability.

  29. - We Todd Did - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 1:18 am:

    We have the Governors office, the Senate, the House, the Court and the map. Time to stop bickering with the irrelevant party and start getting things done. We are in danger of sounding like sore winners.

  30. - Obamarama - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 1:40 am:

    On a scale of 1 to 10, Newt Gingrich’s opinion/input carries how much weight in Illinois in 2010? Somewhere in between Hastert, Pate, and a PACE bus driver?

  31. - Angry Chicagoan - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 7:22 am:

    It’s not surprising to me. The AP’s DC bureau under Ron Fournier has become a water-carrier for the Republicans, part of the same media triangle as Drudge and Fox News, and it’s a powerful pulpit indeed because so many newspapers simply run the AP copy. And as for the Republicans, tinfoil hat conspiracy theories about election “theft” are the norm, not the exception. Have been ever since their own misconduct was called out in 2000.

  32. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 7:32 am:

    This is the same crowd that accused the Obama administration of holding back the final FDIC report on Broadway Bank until after the election. This despite the facts:

    –The FDIC is an independent agency, does its own hiring and has a majority Bush-appointed governing board plus…-

    – had already announced last August that the report wouldn’t be done until the end of November.

    Conspiracies are a lot more fun than governing.

  33. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 7:38 am:

    Can we assume Dennis COnrad penned the article. He never had a close relation with facts.
    BTW Newt’s pathetic effort to claw back into IL is not surprising. He is running behind Hickabee, CaribouBarbie et al and bombed as as cash magnet for Cong. Schock.
    We are very surprised the wingnuts are upset since COmmandoMakeItUp did zilch to get their hero NoTaxBill across the goal line…..just one little itsy bitsy commercial from the Commando would have slipped NTB and Daddy’s Little Deduction into power. What a blunder
    BTW-2 Capt Fax I think your timer is still living in DST

  34. - Holdingontomywallet - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 7:43 am:

    “we are in danger of sounding like sore winners”

    Too late….

  35. - MrJM - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 8:02 am:

    @Obamarama - Not so… When he calls out the stops, I believe the PACE bus driver.

    – MrJM

  36. - ChrisChicago82-Independent - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 8:08 am:

    Al though I do not buy into any of what the right wing blogs are feeding us, it is pretty embarassing that IL cant certify a Senator while DE and WV can with Chris Coons and Joe Manchin. Then again… what isn’t embarassing about this state?

  37. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 8:13 am:

    ===it is pretty embarassing that IL cant certify a Senator while DE and WV can===

    First, Illinois is a much bigger state. Secondly, those other two states have Dems replacing Dems, so there are vacancies. Illinois has no current vacancy. Third, all the ballots are not counted yet, so there is nothing legally that can be done.

    Deal with reality instead of your tinfoil, please.

  38. - Truth Seeker - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 8:16 am:

    Rich, nothing shocking here. The AP misses a story and political enemies try to use it to their advantage. It is part of our political culture. We should be used it by now.

  39. - ChrisChicago82-Independent - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 8:55 am:

    “Deal with reality instead of your tinfoil, please.”

    I take it I touched a nerve?

  40. - Deep South - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:04 am:

    This will all blow over as soon as the right wing media can find some outrage in the President’s trip to Indonesia…which should happen anytime now…something like bowing incorrectly, you know the drill.

  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:08 am:

    –”Deal with reality instead of your tinfoil, please.”

    I take it I touched a nerve?–

    What nerve would that be? The one irritated by silly statements based on willful ignorance?

  42. - ChrisChicago82-Independent - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:19 am:

    “The one irritated by silly statements based on willful ignorance?”

    And what ignorance might that be? That Illinois is an embarassment? Are you telling me it isn’t? I understand Richs counterpoint… surely I do. This is a larger state in which all votes have not been officially tallied yet. I get it.

    However, even with that said, are you honestly telling me that to people outside of IL, this looks good? Are you honestly telling me that this is not a procedural blunder, despite however many reasonable excuses you use to defend how long this process is taking?

    Surely a state as much on the radar as IL can do a little better in the realm of certifying its candidates in a more timely fashion.

    I am not asking you to agree with me, but surely, you and Rich can at least see my point. It is embarassing and only strengthens certain perceptions about this state.

  43. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:19 am:

    Yes, Wordslinger. That nerve.


  44. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:20 am:

    ===but surely, you and Rich can at least see my point===

    No, we can’t because your point has zero basis in actual facts.

    Either start dealing with facts or go away. Last warning.

  45. - lawyerlady - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:25 am:

    Clearly, this is all part of a vast left wing conspiracy to do away with democracy, and Obama’s at the helm.

    *adjusts tinfoil hat and bunkers down in basement with leftover Y2K stockpiles*

    But seriously, folks, get off the high horses…it isn’t like both sides won’t pounce on a good scandal - regardless of whether it’s based in reality.

  46. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    –Are you honestly telling me that this is not a procedural blunder, despite however many reasonable excuses you use to defend how long this process is taking?–

    Honestly, it’s clearly not a procedural blunder at all. They’re following procedure as set by statute and a federal court order.

    All these facts were conveniently provided in the posting. They were, in fact, the whole point of the posting.

  47. - VoterUSA - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 9:49 am:

    Burris will be the Senator until the 29th or Dec 3rd..this can change…but until Kirk raises his right hand he is not a Senator… This is the law folks. Also,it is totally up to Reid when to swear him in…could be Jan 3rd.

  48. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    Is it more important to count the votes properly or to rush someone into office? It’s a few days people, there are always a few days between the election and the seating of the newly elected.

  49. - R.A. Stewart - Wednesday, Nov 10, 10 @ 7:28 pm:

    What I would expect of the right-wing blogosphere. And of Gingrich, and of WLS (or WGOP, as Eric Zorn dubbed them earlier this year). And sadly, as Angry Chicagoan clarifies, of AP.

    @ Cheryl44:

    “I thought the Right would already have the impeachment papers written on Kirk–after all, he invited a Democrat out for a beer!”

    They’re too busy drafting the impeachment papers on Obama. (I jest, I jest … sort of … probably.)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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