Skip to comments.Four States Can Stop Lame Duck Threat
Posted on 07/31/2010 9:40:49 PM PDT by meadsjn
Four States Can Stop Lame Duck Threat
Posted on 31 July 2010.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made it official: Illinois will have a special Senate election just for the lame duck session. Thus Illinois joins Delaware and West Virginia (both having special elections) as the three states whose winners on election day willbarring a disputed election resultbe seated for a lame duck session in December. A fourth, Colorado, is less clear but may also be in play.
The lame duck session looks increasingly likelyand increasingly ambitious. Sen. Kerry continues to stress that cap-and-trade will be on the agenda, and Sen. Harry Reid (who may be a lame duck himself after Election Day) confirmed it to the Netroots Nation audience, saying: Were going to have to have a lame-duck session, so were not giving up.
Along with cap-and-trade, a lame duck will likely consider the recommendations of Obamas deficit commission a package that will include enormous tax hikes and could draw the support of some departing Republicans like Judd Gregg of New Hampshire George Voinovich of Ohio, and Robert Bennett of Utah.
And organized labor, seeing the lame duck as their last chance for a legislative return on their political investments for years, will also demand lame duck action.
While Sen. Tom Harkin is still promising some version of card check, more likely is Sen. Bob Caseys proposed union pension bailout, S. 3157, which would relieve unions of their pension obligations with a potential price tag for taxpayers in the hundreds of billions. Democratic Whip Dick Durbin signed on as a co-sponsor yesterday, indicating this bill is a top priority.
The winners in Delaware, Illinois, and West Virginia could be the vital deciding votes on these major policy issues.
In Delaware, Republican Christine ODonnell has publicly committed to opposing any policy change in a lame duck session, and has been especially vocal about stopping cap-and-trade. Her primary opponent, Mike Castle, voted for cap-and-trade in the House last year and, unless he makes a strong public commitment, is at risk of voting for it again in a lame duck session. Castle must match ODonnells promise to voters and commit to opposing any policy changes in a lame duck session. He must promise voters he will not help Democratic leadership disregard a national election.
In Illinois, Mark Kirk will be the Republican nominee for both the special election to complete President Obamas term in the lame duck and the new six-year term to start in January. Kirk, like Castle, voted for cap-and-trade in the House last year. Unlike Castle, however, Kirk is now publicly committed to opposing cap-and-trade, and has even put that commitment in writing by signing the www.NoClimateTax.com pledge. He should go further and make a clear public commitment to oppose any policy change in the lame duck.
West Virginia will have a special primary August 28 to determine its candidates, and the frontrunners are Republican businessman John Raese and Democratic Governor Joe Manchin. Manchin is running as a conservative, and the lame duck should be a major issue in the campaign and a test of Manchins willingness to buck the national Democratic Party to do whats right. If Manchin refuses to make a strong commitment to vote no on major policy changes in a lame duck, voters concerned about cap-and-trade and other threats may well consider voting Republican.
There could be a fourth seat in play for the lame duck: Colorado. If appointed Senator Michael Bennet loses his first election bid there, tradition suggests he should resign and allow the winner to be seated for the lame duck.
The last time an appointed senator lost a bid for a full term was in Nebraska in 1988, when David Karnes (R) lost to Bob Kerrey (D). Karnes resigned on Election Day. It happened twice in 1978, in Minnesota where Wendy Anderson (DFL) lost to Rudy Boschwitz (R) and in Montana where Paul Hatfield (D) lost his primary to Max Baucus (D). Both appointed senators resigned in December.
The last time an appointed senator lost a bid for a full term and refused to resign was in 1970, when New Yorks Robert Goodell (R) lost to Jim Buckley (C). Goodell remained in office for that years lame duck session, an ambitious lame duck driven by President Nixons agenda not a proud model for Bennet to follow. Colorado voters should demand Bennet promise to respect the election results by resigning if he is rejected by voters in his first election to the office of U.S. Senator.
Candidates in the states with an opportunity to derail the lame duck Delaware, Illinois, West Virginia, and Colorado would be well-served to make a clear, public commitment to doing so and make it an issue in their campaigns. Voters, in turn, should understand that before we can begin the next Congress can begin the difficult work of undoing this Congresss big government policies, we need to hold the line against a lame duck session.
If I said what I truely thought, I'd be banned.
I could guess, but their day will come.
Kirk should go further and make a clear public commitment to vote pro-life and pro-family.
If the voters are stupid enough to get us this far... Well they are stupid enough to commit complete Obamacide.
the idea that politicians who have been thrown out of office should be scheming to jam through monumental legislation on their way out should not be allowed. If they won’t go quietly, hang the bastards.
Surely even the RINO Senators including those from Maine would know that allowing any serious legislation to be rushed through in a lame duck session would be unacceptable. They hung tough on health care, surely they would until the new members of Congress are sworn in.
I’ll vote for that.
Looks like we need to send lots of money to Christine O’Donnell - Dems know who to fear. She’ll be the target just as Norm Coleman was back in 2008! They’ll stop at NOTHING to achieve their goals...
Absolutely correct. The Dems have to ration out their funding also, even though they have stolen gazillions to work with.
Cap and trade is awful but to me bailing out the unions is far worse. Bust up the unions and the dems lose a big voting bloc and hence the ability to even consider something like cap and trade.
Before we can actually roll back anything, we need majorities, preferably super-majorities in both houses. Hopefully we will have majorities in Jan 2011.
We need those vacant seats.