Monday, 26 November 2007

Trentless in Tillatoba

The Strom Thurmond fan club in the Senate is losing its most prominent member; according to media reports, Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott is resigning from office to pursue other interests. Presumably he won’t be replacing Ed Orgeron as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, so I have no clue what those interests might be.

Lott, always considerate of others, apparently decided not to wait out the next five weeks just to shaft Mississippi taxpayers with the cost of a special election to replace him—if he waited until January 1, an interim appointee could serve until November 2008, but otherwise the election must be held within the next 90 days (or possibly the next 100 days, the code isn’t entirely clear), according to the state election code. Hopefully Gov. Haley Barbour will be able to schedule the election to correspond with the presidential/congressional primary already scheduled for March 11th and save some money, but if Lott resigns effective today that may not be possible.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.
[Permalink] 1. Rick Almeida wrote @ Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 9:35 am CST:

MSNBC suggests it could be that he wants to exit before Congress’ recent lobbying reform legislation takes effect. If he waits until it’s in effect (Jan 08), he’d have to wait 2 years before returning to Congress as a lobbyist.


Yeah, I missed that detail initially (or—more accurately—it didn’t register with me).

There’s enough ambiguity in the state election law that if Lott resigned on December 31st, the special election might be deferrable until November as long as Barbour doesn’t act on the notification until January. Either way, at least that would guarantee March 11 as a possible date.

[Permalink] 3. Rick Almeida wrote @ Tue, 27 Nov 2007, 9:01 am CST:

I thought the law was that Barbour had to make the announcement within 10 days of the resignation and have the special election within 90 days of the announcement?


Mississippi’s laws will make your head spin. This one’s probably going to the courts to decide, as there’s an exception for “general election” years—and 2007 is a general election year in Mississippi, so it’s not beyond a reasonable reading of the law that the election can be deferred to November 2008.

The other possibility is that the legislature might amend the law in January or Barbour might call a special session before Dec. 31 to do so.

Comments are now closed on this post.