Minnesotans have been parodied for their politeness, but the state’s Senate race seems to get nastier and nastier. With Al Franken taking a sliver of a lead by most estimates, the bitter recount battle halted Monday as both sides made a scene in Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office.

Franken has won a number of key legal skirmishes, and now Norm Coleman’s camp appears to be stalling while it searches for a viable route back to the Senate.

Minneapolis Star Tribune:

With a Minnesota Supreme Court-imposed deadline approaching and the sniping among lawyers increasing, the U.S. Senate recount stalled today as the campaigns for Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken remained far apart on an agreement on improperly rejected absentee ballots.

Lawyers for the two campaigns publicly bickered this morning at a meeting held by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office, with the Franken campaign saying Coleman did little over the weekend to help reach an agreement over how many of the disputed ballots should be counted. While the Franken campaign said Saturday it wanted to count all 1,346 absentee ballots that local officials have determined were improperly rejected, lawyers for Coleman said today they had agreed to 136 of the ballots but would release a list containing “lots, lots more” later today.

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