Republican Mary Kiffmeyer, who lost re-election as Secretary of State to Democrat Mark Ritchie in 2006, is complaining that he "has lost the ability to remain neutral and objective" in his oversight role of a possible recount in the governor's race.
He's been tweeting evil clues to his devious strategy, she says in a press release issued by the Republican Party of Minnesota.[jump]
Here's the Ritchie tweet that gave her an excuse to lob her rhetorical hand grenade:
Let's break that down.
The Republican lawyer who represented Norm Coleman during the 2008 U.S. Senate recount against Al Franken, Fritz Knaak, told MPR's Tom Scheck that Republican Tom Emmer has a slim chance of making up his roughly 9,000-vote deficit against Democrat Mark Dayton in a recount.
That's just the math of it, from a Republican pro who knows about how tough a recount can be. And it's news, so Scheck tweeted it.
Former Franken recount attorney Marc Elias read the nugget, and re-tweeted it, adding a little humor: "At last Fritz & I agree." Ritchie re-tweeted the whole thread, but with no comment of his own.
And thus Mary Kiffmeyer insists that the sky is falling.
This campaign to discredit Ritchie is just warming up. GOP state chair Tony Sutton, in his infamous "something doesn't smell right" tirade, more or less accused him of election fraud. And Heidi Collins used her Fox9 perch to conduct an insanely hostile interview with Ritchie in which she questioned his motives because he was -- gulp -- prepared for a recount.
Doubtless the Democrats will crank up the rhetoric too, if Dayton suddenly finds himself trailing Emmer at some point. Although it likely won't be aimed at Ritchie.
It's true that Ritchie has used his Twitter account to pass along election results and potential recount information. He's used it to direct readers to media criticism of Collins. And he's used to to link to headlines about the challenge ahead for Emmer.
But contrary to what Kiffmeyer would have everyone believe, Ritchie hasn't used his Twitter account, or any other public forum, to suggest that Emmer give up the fight.