In an incredibly cynical and transparent proclamation, Texas Governor Perry announced today that the last 6 to 7 weeks of Tom DeLay’s unexpired term would be filled by a special election to occur on the same day as the General Election, on November 7th.
As noted in the posting immediately preceding this one, it was revealed to The Daily News, a Galveston County daily newspaper, that Perry was contemplating not filling the remainder of the term, giving CD-22 a near-record time interval where they were not represented in Congress.
According to Kathy Walt, spokesperson in Perry’s office, the reason for the huge delay in issuing the proclamation was just this:
”Because there were a lot of maneuverings in the court on the Delay question on what could happen with that election, that had to play out then we reviewed all the legal requirements and options”.Well, heck. If you would have just said that in the beginning, gee, we would all understand. After all, this is one tricky little devil, trying to figure out if the seat is really and truly vacant. Don’t want to make a mistake, right? Oh, but wait, what does that reason have to do with the two other special elections that were proclaimed today? The ones to fill the unexpired terms of state Representative Vilma Luna, and state Senator Frank Madla?
Could it be that both of these seats are in strong Democratic districts?
Is it that transparent? Perry waited until the last possible day to issue the proclamation, and candidates who want to file to run in the special election have a whopping 72 hours (not counting today, today doesn’t count), to file the necessary papers and pay the necessary fees?
Yes, it’s that transparent. And when you read Kathy Walt’s explanation, it’s just that cynical.
Well, all I can say is we dodged another constitutional crisis in CD-22. Perry’s reported consideration not to have a special election in this case would have raised constitutional issues again, just as it did when Tina Benkiser decided to declare Tom DeLay ineligible to run for Congress in CD-22. In this case, Perry would have run afoul of Section 2 paragraph 4 of the US Constitution which says:
“When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies”.Hand he not, it would have been bad. It seems that Rick and his buds are starting to read the law of the land now. Not necessarily because they want to follow it. Mainly it’s because they know that the Texas Democratic Party will hold their feet to the fire on following the rule of law in this country.
Well, we know that Nick Lampson will be filing for this election, and also, that Shelley Sekula-Gibbs will file, now that she knows there will be an election. Well, at least those who intend to vote for the choice of 83 precinct chairs in a backroom deal won't have to vote for the "Pink Lady" with a write-in wheel on the special election. There's that. No word from Smither, but I doubt it. The filing fee is more cash than he has in his campaign war chest.
Now here is the “expect the worst” aka “Half Empty” advice to the Lampson campaign on filing for this sucker. Hand-carry the filing papers to Austin. Bring extra copies. Personally place them in Secretary of State Roger Williams’ sweaty hands, and pay the filing fee in cash – make sure he counts it out in front of you. Bring witnesses and a notary. Wait for the receipt. Videotape the entire meeting.
Anything less, and you give Tricky Dick’s boy an opportunity to claim that he never received the papers, and oh-oh, the deadline is past.