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Downballot: It's Gillibrand

MINNESOTA: "Al Franken's effort to block Norm Coleman's lawsuit over the U.S. Senate recount was rejected Thursday by a three-judge panel, setting the stage for a trial to begin Monday on the Republican's claims," the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes, adding: "The panel also rejected Franken's attempt to limit any court review to verifying math and other technicalities of the recount and canvass, clearing the way for the judges to consider Coleman claims that some votes in Democratic areas were counted twice, that some absentee ballots from GOP areas were wrongly rejected and that there were other irregularities." 
Coleman also put out a video to supporters, declaring, "I fully expect to win this election." 
Though he fully expects to win, he says, he joined the Republican Jewish Coalition, a Republican lobbying group for Jewish causes, as an adviser. "Democrats raised ethical questions about the job, citing Senate rules that require members to report negotiations involving private employment, and preventing ex-senators from lobbying for two years." Coleman said he would not be lobbying, but simply needs to pay the bills. The conservative blog, The American Spectator, writes in reaction, "However this is spun, the fact that Coleman is taking another job doesn't inspire much confidence that he truly believes he'll prevail in court and head back to the Senate." (Though the campaign apparently later contacted the blog to spin its side.) 

NEW YORK: The New York Times on Paterson's pick of Gillibrand: "If Mr. Paterson was hoping to quiet the tumult over the selection process by picking Ms. Gillibrand, there were indications that he may not get his wish. Ms. Gillibrand, who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, is controversial among some of the party's more liberal leaders downstate. Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a Long Island Democrat and ardent gun control activist, said Thursday that if Ms. Gillibrand got the job, she was prepared to run against her in a primary in 2010. Ms. McCarthy was elected to Congress after her husband was killed in a gunman's rampage on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993."

More: "Ms. Gillibrand's selection was a careful political calculation by the governor, who will run for his second term as governor in 2010, when Ms. Gillibrand will also be on the ballot. The choice reflects Mr. Paterson's thinking that his selection should be someone who can help him attract key demographics — in Ms. Gillibrand's case upstate New Yorkers and women."

The New York Daily News: "Paterson Thursday night was being lobbied against Gillibrand by the left wing of the Democratic Party, which views her as too conservative, sources said. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-L.I.) and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer are already considering running primaries against her in 2010, sources close to the two said." 
Liberals are angered by the pick of the NRA-backed congresswoman and the New York Post writes, "Gillibrand, a mother of two occasionally resented by colleagues for being an aggressive self-promoter, was strongly backed for the post by Charles Schumer…."

As the Wall Street Journal reminds us, "The new senator could face two elections in the next four years -- in 2010 for the final two years of Ms. Clinton's term, and in 2012 for a full term."