The Markum Report - The Conservative Blog of Galveston County, Texas: Perry gets it right: no special election for Delay's seat until the fall Ladies and Gentlemen.... Now Forming at the North End of Kyle Field... the Nationally Famous.. Fightin' Texas Aggie Band !

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Perry gets it right: no special election for Delay's seat until the fall

In case you missed Nick Lampson's publicity stunt; he is calling on Delay to leave office by tomorrow, and demanding that Governor Perry call a special election on May 13th in the name of voter representation.

That's just like a Democrat, spending taxpayer money like it grows on trees.

Tom Delay has already said he is resigning in mid-June, precisely because there is work to be done in congress.

Governor Perry can't afford to risk alienating the Republican base by wasting taxpayer money to call a special; especially if congress is in recess in the summer and off in December.

The base has already spoken and their answer is no. The GOP chairmen in Ft. Bend and Harris counties have already stated their opposition to a special election and other Republican leaders will soon follow.

As I, and others predicted, Lampson's ship is sinking fast and he's trying to hang on for dear life.

I also think it's worth noting that unless there is a special election on May 13th, Nick will have to "think" about running in it.

Newsflash Nick: Don't think too much about it. Just say no. You can't win it and you have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

I predict Nick will go quietly into the night and we will NEVER see him on a special election ballot.

You don't suppose the upcoming trial(s) have anything to do with DeLay's resignation, do you? The timing sure is coincidental. Any idea why the Ethics Committee is being prevented from meeting?

Have you seen the email sent from the DeLay office asking supporters to disrupt a Lampson press conference? Have you seen the video of that event, where the brave Republicans targeted a 70-year old woman for physical abuse?

Why is the DeLay office so terrified that someone might hear Mr. Lampson that they would risk giving him tons of free publicity and make themselves look like goons in the process.

They must be SCARED! Do you have any idea what Mr. Lampson has to say that has these guys risking arrest to keep him out of the marketplace of ideas?

Whatever it is, it must be good.
Spending taxpayer money? There will already be elections on May 13 whether or not the TX22 race is on it. The largest concentration of people I could find that don't have a local election May 13 is the City of Rosenberg/Lamar Consolidated ISD. My understanding is that Friendswood, Santa Fe, Hitchcock, Texas City and La Marque ISDs all have elections on May 13. There would be very little marginal cost of adding the TX22 race on the ballot.

The cost of the election argument is deceitful. Admit what is going on here. The Republican powers-that-be want to appoint the nominee.

Yes, a special would probably result in a runoff between Lampson and the plurality winner among Republicans. But the plurality winner Republican would win the runoff.

I'm comfortable letting the plurality-winning Republican candidate become Congressman. But the Republican powers-that-be don't trust the voters.

I think Tom Delay's resignation has to do with what's best for the constituents in CD 22.

Delay clearly understands that the best chance to keep CD 22 firmly in conservative Republican hands is to resign.

The internal poll numbers were pretty clear, any Republican on the ballot beats Lampson, even Delay, but some Republicans were stronger than Delay was.

You heard it here first; Tom Delay resigning was the worst thing that could have happened to Lampson.

Greg in TX22,

There will be no special on May 13th because Delay did not resign by April 7th. There is no marginal cost issue.

Governor Perry has to decide first IF there will be a special election called; if he decides to call one, he then has to decide when to call it.

He can call an emergency special in the summer or a regular special in November.

The cost for one county to run an election is about 200K, with another 125K for a special election; that's $1.3 Millon dollars for all 4 CD 22 counties.

And for what purpose?? The Republican nominee on the November general election ballot will be picked by the Republican CD 22 District Committee which will have one precinct chair from each county on it (the process, by the way, is the same for the Democrats).

There is no connection between the Republican nominee on the ballot in November and the interim congressman who would be selected in a special election.

Additionally, CD 22 has a congressman. His name is Tom Delay and he'll be there till June or so.

Then congress is on recess until Sept.

So congress meets for two months, then they are off for the elections in November, they come back for two weeks and they are on recess in December.

My assertion is that spending $1.3 million taxpayer dollars for 2 months and two weeks of temporary representation is not in the best interests of taxpayers; when a permanent congressman will be sworn in in January '07.

Here is the response I originally posted at my own place. Basically, a special is necessary to heal the Republican Party.


At the time of my comment, there was the possibility of a May 13 special election if Tom DeLay had been honorable enough to resign in time to allow for it. Even the premise of your post anticipated a possible May 13 special. Yes, that time has passed now.

The Republican base is fractured in TX22. The behavior of Fort Bend Republicans is particularly offensive. A special election would go a long way in repairing the rift. Republican voters would feel satisfied that the Republican nominee wasn't chosen via a backroom deal.

The reason we need a special is to heal the Republican Party. Lampson would be on board, too. Onzelo, a special is necessary regardless of the cost.

Thanks for the response. I just posted this special election question on my poll. I'll leave it up for a week or so.

Check back every now and then for the results.

If my understanding of the law is correct, choice #2 in your poll is unlawful. If Governor Perry doesn't call an emergency special election prior to Nov. 7, there must be, by law, a special election on Nov. 7 for the unexpired term. Governor Perry has no discretion over that. I know it sounds crazy, but it is the law.

The secretary of state's office seems to think the question is up for interpretation.

I spoke with them today and they said the Texas Constitution reads as follows:

(a) When vacancies occur in either House, the Governor, or the person exercising the power of the Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies; and should the Governor fail to issue a writ of election to fill any such vacancy within twenty days after it occurs, the returning officer of the district in which such vacancy may have happened, shall be authorized to order an election for that purpose.

They feel and I concur that the language directs the Governor to call a special, but I think it is clear he is not required to do so because there is an existing provision in case he does not.

The SOS did say however, that no Governor has ever not called a special election in recent memory.
I think 203.004 of the election code applies here:

ยง 203.004. DATE OF ELECTION. (a) Except as provided by
Subsection (b), a special election shall be held on the first
uniform election date occurring on or after the 36th day after the
date the election is ordered.

[Subsection (b) allows for an emergency special section; Subchapter B of Chapter 204 says Chapter 203 applies to vacancies in the US Congress]

As long as DeLay resigns prior to October 2, there must be an election on November 7.
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