No More Franken’ed Elections

Representative Bob “Who are You” Etheridge (D-NC) was defeated for re-election by nurse Renee Ellmers by about 2,100 votes. She was the only Republican candidate to defeat any of the “at-risk” Democratic congressmen in North Carolina despite not having resources poured into her race by the Republican National Congressional Committee. Under North Carolina law, Etheridge is not entitled to an automatic recount if the margin is greater than one percent. Suddenly yesterday, more votes were found for Etheridge and he is calling for a recount.

Here is what Renee herself is saying about this:

Dear Supporters,

Election night, after the ten counties in my district had reported their votes, I led Bob Etheridge by 2,100 votes. (That number is crucial because under North Carolina law Congressman Etheridge is not entitled to an ‘automatic recount’ if he trails by more than 1% – or 1,888 votes.)

Then, yesterday afternoon – unexpectedly – the vote totals changed. The State Board of Elections reported my lead had dropped to 1,600 votes. Two hours later Bob Etheridge announced he intended to call for a recount.

As a result, last night my campaign began hiring attorneys – eleven attorneys in all. One in each county to monitor each recount and an attorney to work with the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Right now, our best estimate of the minimum cost we face is $50,000. But, of course, my campaign spent every penny we had before the election.

Yesterday, we appealed to the National Republican Congressional Committee for support, asking if they could contribute to help pay the costs of this recount. Their answer, unfortunately, was, No – that we would have to raise the money to pay for the recount ourselves.

I was afraid that would be their answer. Months ago, I went to Washington and asked the National Republican Congressional Committee and many conservative leaders to help my campaign. Many conservative groups – like the Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women of America, Freedom Works, and Sarah Palin’s Sarah PAC all helped, but the NRCC declined. Later, they did support other campaigns in North Carolina – which, unfortunately, lost – but we never received their support. In fact, their spokesman told the press “that the campaign wasn’t ready for prime time” – which actually made it even harder for us to raise money. So, I am doubtful we will get support from the NRCC to help with the expense of the recount.

Right now, I lead Bob Etheridge by 1,600 votes. That lead should hold up. But we can’t take anything for granted. We must leave no stone unturned to insure a fair recount. We cannot allow the kind of mishap that happened in Minnesota – when Al Franken was elected – to repeat itself in North Carolina.

This morning my campaign manager set up a special fund – Renee Ellmers for Congress Recount Fund – to pay for the recount. I never dreamed I’d be asking you for another donation two days after the election – but I need to raise $50,000 ‘yesterday.’ The maximum you may give is $2,400. Each contribution – whatever the amount, whether it’s $25, $250, or $500 – is crucial and will be deeply appreciated. Could you send a donation and mail it today? Or, better still, click here, to give on my website.

I apologize for asking for another gift so soon – but I am sure you understand.

As ever, thank you and best wishes.

Renee Ellmers

Lest we forget, back in 2008, Senator Norm Coleman finished election day in Minnesota with a small lead of about 700 votes over comedian Al Franken. The Democrats and Franken called for a recount and day by day Coleman’s lead was whittled away as more ballots with Franken’s name on it were “found”. Eventually Franken was declared the winner and was sworn into the Senate in July 2009.

I don’t want to see that happen in North Carolina and I don’t trust the State Board of Elections which is dominated by partisan hacks to do the right thing without a lot of prodding. And the best thing to prod these hacks is a good attorney. Or a pack of good attorneys.

What about Ellmers on gun rights? Well, Ellmers was finally endorsed by the NRA towards the end of her campaign. She is rated AQ by the NRA-PVF and 3 stars by GRNC. Etheridge was rated D by the NRA and 0 stars by GRNC. For someone from eastern North Carolina he has been particularly unfriendly to gun rights and the Second Amendment. In addition to her ratings, Ellmers is a North Carolina licensed Concealed Handgun Permit holder.

Here is the link to donate to Ellmers Recount Fund:

http://www.reneeforcongress.com/landing-pages/help-our-recount-effort

And if you need any extra persuasion, just watch the video again. I just sent her a good donation as the only place I want to see Etheridge again is on YouTube.

UPDATE: From Renee Ellmers:

Dear Supporter,

The Board of Elections in each county in the district are now counting 3,000 ‘provisional ballots.’ And, next Friday, each County Board (there are 10) will hold a ‘canvas’ to confirm the initial vote totals.

The good news is many of these ‘provisional’ ballots are in counties I won – like Johnston County which I carried 64% to 34%.

The bad news is today our attorneys informed my campaign that by next Friday, we face $70,000 in legal bills. And, after Friday, we face another $150,000 in costs for the recount.

Before I say another word, I want to thank everyone who has responded to my appeal for help. People from across the nation have contributed and their gifts have allowed us to quickly put the team we need in place to insure a fair vote recount. I also want to thank – from the heart – Sarah Palin, who joined in asking people to help, Rush Limbaugh, who discussed our recount today on his program, and every blogger who’s posted an article asking people give to help me.

Many people have expressed their disappointment that the National Republican Congressional Committee refused to help. Well, as President Reagan used to say, Sometimes you have to make a politician feel the heat to see the light. Whether it is due to Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh or all the bloggers helping us, the NRCC has seen the light. They have wired my Recount Fund $5,000 and committed to help us raise money. I am grateful for their help and, from here, we take one step at a time.

Right now, I have two deadlines staring me in the face:

1) I must be ready to pay our lawyers $70,000 for their work through next Friday.

2) And, after Friday, I have to be ready to pay another $150,000 – a total of $230,000.

So, as you can see, we’re a long way from meeting our goals, and, if you can, please send a contribution to the Renee Ellmers for Congress Recount Fund.

Right now, I have two deadlines staring me in the face.

When you think about it, here’s the bottom line: Congressman Etheridge has already announced he will call for a runoff. And if he returns to Washington it will be one more vote in Congress for Nancy Pelosi.

If you can contribute please give today.

Thank you and best wishes,

Renee Ellmers


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