Blunt Enters Missouri Senate Race
Rep. Roy Blunt, a former member of the Republican House leadership,
that he is running for the Senate seat to be vacated by
Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) in 2010. Blunt is not the only Republican eyeing
the seat, however. State Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) is also pondering
a bid. On the Democratic side, the most likely candidate is Secretary
of State Robin Carnahan. The Missouri race will be one of the most
closely watched races in 2010. Open Senate seats in states that are
this closely balanced between Democrats and Republicans are pretty rare.
In Nov., John McCain carried the state by fewer than 4000 votes out of
2.9 million votes cast.
House Seat for D.C. to be Debated by Senate Next Week
A bill to give D.C. a full seat in the House of Representative
Congress this session. Generally, Democrats are for it (because D.C. is full
of Democrats) and Republicans are against it (because D.C. is full of
Democrats). However, to make the bill more palatable to Republicans, it would
increase the House from 435 members to 437 members, with the other seat going
to the state that came closest in 2000 to getting another representative.
That state is Utah, where the Republicans control the state machinery and can
gerrymander the districts to make sure the new representative is a Republican.
If the bill passes both houses of Congress and is signed by President Obama,
it becomes law. No changes to the constitution are required. Congress has changed
the size of the House many times in history as the nation grew.
Giving D.C. senators is a different story altogether. The constitution says clearly
that each state gets two senators and this bill would not make D.C. a state. Making
it a state would require only an act of Congress (which happened when Alaska and Hawaii)
were admitted to the union), but Republicans would filibuster it to death because it would
virtually guarantee two more Democratic senators. Other proposals to give the residents of
D.C. representation in the Senate, such as making it part of Maryland, are nonstarters.
(Making it part of Virginia would be even worse for the Republicans since it would
change Virginia from a state trending blue to a permanently deep blue state; adding it to Maryland would change little.)
Conceivably Republicans could accept making D.C. part of Utah, but Democrats would probably
balk at that.
If the Democrats were ever to achieve 60 votes in the Senate, actually admitting
D.C. to the union as a state would probably be on the agenda. By way of analogy, the
the European Union's executive branch (the European Commission) is in Belgium
and the European Parliament meets in France for several sessions a year, although it also conducts some of its business
The Secretariat is in Luxembourg.
Neither is in some special no-man's land not part of any country.
Burris' Support Dissolving
A group of prominent black pastors
has added its voice
to a growing chorus asking Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
to resign from the Senate due to his possible perjury and willingness to at least contemplate raising money
for now-impeached-and-convicted former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich.
Several Republicans and an editorial in the Chicago Tribune have called for him to step down.
No Democrat is on record supporting him; they are all silent. There is no question that they all
want him to resign, though. He will be a very weak candidate in 2010 and they would rather have a
new senator who is squeaky clean. So far, the Illinois state legislature has not done what was talked
about a lot last month: change Illinois law to require all Senate vacancies to be filled by special
elections, just as House vacancies are. This would be a good time to do that, but there is no
detectable motion in that direction so far.
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