November 04, 2002


QUESTIONS IN MINNESOTA: Gov. Jesse Ventura appointed his advisor, Dean Barkley about the same time as the Mondale-Coleman debate. Questions:

1. Who will Barkley, an Independent, caucus with? Jim Jeffords, the other Indy senator, backs the Democrats; Barkley said in a Fox News phone interview a short while ago that he didn't know yet. It's therefore unclear which party controls the Senate right now.

2. Does he serve until January, or only for a few days? There was some thought that whoever won the election would take office as soon as he's certified, which is how this statute reads to me, but now the lawyers seem confused over whether this is the statute that applies.

3. If he serves until January, will the winner of the election affect Barkley's decision on who to caucus with?

4. The confusion with absentee ballots suggests that if the election is close (as it appears it will be), there will be lawsuits. Will the legal wranglings affect Barkley's decision on who to caucus with?

5. If he decides to caucus with a different party than the winner of the election, will there be lawsuits to determine whether he serves until January?

6. Since they're saying that Coleman won the debate, did Ventura help Mondale by drawing attention away from it? (I'm not in Minnesota, so I don't know how this was handled on TV, and of course if the debate is replayed later when more people are watching, then it becomes a moot point.)

7. Can we get Marge Gunderson to straighten everything out?

Posted by John Tabin at November 4, 2002 03:45 PM