The Hill advances baseless GOP claim that Dems are attempting to "steal" NY, MN elections

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI & BRIAN FREDERICK

The Hill advanced the baseless charge by the National Republican Congressional Committee that Democrats are attempting to "steal" the New York congressional and Minnesota Senate elections.

In an April 1 story posted on The Hill's website, reporter Jeremy Jacobs advanced the baseless charge by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) that Democrats are attempting to "steal" the New York congressional and Minnesota Senate elections. Jacobs wrote, "National Republicans are warning prospective donors that Democrats are trying to 'pull a Franken' and 'steal' Tuesday's special election in upstate New York." He also quoted NRCC executive director Guy Harrison claiming in a fundraising email: "Democrats have almost succeeded in stealing the election in Minnesota and seating Al Franken. ... We cannot allow them to manipulate electoral results to seat" New York Democratic House candidate Scott Murphy. Jacobs provided no assessment of whether the GOP claims were true, nor did he give any indication that he had contacted the NRCC and asked it to back up its claims.

By contrast, in an April 1 blog post about the NRCC email, St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger wrote with respect to the Minnesota election: "To be clear, political rhetoric aside, there is no evidence of a stolen election in Minnesota." During the March 11 edition of PBS' NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, former Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter and MinnPost.com blogger Eric Black similarly said of the Minnesota election: "We've had no evidence of any fraud. Even the partisanship of the various referees and judges has been very much in check."

The April 1 Hill story -- headlined, "GOP: Democrats trying to 'steal' NY-20" -- in its entirety:

National Republicans are warning prospective donors that Democrats are trying to "pull a Franken" and "steal" Tuesday's special election in upstate New York.

Republicans made the charges in a fundraising e-mail sent out early Wednesday morning after a too-close-to-call finish in the New York House race between Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco.

Murphy leads by 59 votes with all precincts reporting, but thousands of absentee ballots remain uncounted. Final results may not be known for weeks.

The GOP e-mail highlights Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, who appears likely to win a Senate seat after a state court gave him an important legal victory on Tuesday over Republican Norm Coleman.

"Democrats have almost succeeded in stealing the election in Minnesota and seating Al Franken," wrote Guy Harrison, the National Republican Congressional Committee's executive director. "We cannot allow them to manipulate electoral results to seat another tax-troubled liberal."

The e-mail indicates Republicans are gearing up for a legal fight over the election results, and suggests the party will pursue a more aggressive legal battle than in Minnesota. In that contest, Coleman was initially up after Election Day but Franken was able to overtake his lead in the recount and legal process.

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The Hill
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2008 Elections
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