Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

What a symbol of failure. Trent Lott will abandon his Senate seat before the end of the year, in order to avoid the new lobbying restrictions that require Senators to wait two-years before selling out the publics interests.

Instead, Lott will be able to jump right into the money during the last giveaway year of the Bush reign. Haley Barbour will appoint U.S. Representative Chip Pickering to Lott's seat.

Update [2007-11-26 9:39:36 by Todd Beeton]:A bit more about how Lott will be replaced. From The AP

Mississippi's Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, will appoint Lott's replacement, who will serve until the 2008 elections, when voters will elect someone to serve out the balance of Lott's term, which runs through 2012.

As for whether or not it will be Pickering, it appears to be as yet unclear.

Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi, a former Lott aide who recently announced his retirement from the House, is widely seen as a potential successor. Pickering could not immediately be reached for comment.

A big question is whether Pickering would even want it. Back in August when Pickering announced he'd be leaving the House, it appeared he might have the same designs as Lott now does. From First Read:

The Cook team is getting conflicting signals over whether Pickering is resigning or whether he won't be seeking another term (however, with Pickering heading to work on K Street, he might want to leave Congress before the lobbying/ethics reform legislation is signed into law). But one thing is clear: Another GOP-held House seat is being vacated.

No matter who is appointed to the senate seat in the interim, it will mean two senate seats up in 2008. Now that Thad Cochran has announced he will run in 2008, the race to replace Lott may be the Democrats' best bet and as Jonathan noted back in October, winning in Mississippi is not as much of an uphill battle as it would seem at first glance.

Looking at the general partisan demographics of the state, George W. Bush carried Mississippi with about 60 percent of the vote in 2004. However in 2006 the Democrats managed to receive 46.1 percent of the two-party House vote in the state -- even though they only fielded candidates in three of the state's four districts. Yes, that's right. Democrats managed to come close to securing 50 percent of the statewide vote while only running in 75 percent of the state's districts, quite a feat indeed. What's more, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Democrats still hold a 74-seat to 47-seat majority in the state House and narrowly trail in the state Senate 27 seats to 25.

It's not only these underlying numbers that suggest the Democrats would be able to play in an open-seat Senate race in Mississippi. Former state Attorney General Mike Moore, who as recently as 2002 sported a 65 percent favorable rating in the state, is often mentioned as a possible Senate candidate, as is former Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Moore, in particular, would be difficult to beat.

While running for an open seat would of course be preferable to running against an incumbent, even an interim one, if Mike Moore is going to make a run for the senate, I suspect this will be the seat he chooses to run for.

Tags: trent lott (all tags)



Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

Wow.  Chip Pickering will be a Senator.  Can we convince Mike Moore to run against him if there's a special election?

by Vox Populi 2007-11-26 03:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

Didn't he decide to retire because he wasn't spending enough time with his family? How hypocritical is that?

Barbour could at least appoint ex-Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, so Mississippi would finally, for the first time ever, have a woman in Congress. (Assuming she's not a crazy Jean Schmidt type.)

by johnny longtorso 2007-11-26 03:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

Methinks Pickering had some inside info that Trent would be resigning his seat when he decided to "retire" from Congress.

How much of a shot would we have at taking Pickering's House seat in a special election?

by Tom 2007-11-26 04:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

Pickering won with 78% in 2006 and 80% in 2004... Not much of a chance.

by frankies 2007-11-26 04:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

At R+14, it is two points less Republican than the district bordering to the south of him held by Gene Taylor (D).

A special would be the only chance we would ever have of getting it. What about the incumbent democrat that ended up in a general election run against Pickering in 2002 after redistricting?

by Trowaman 2007-11-26 04:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

Ronnie Shows -- and he got trounced pretty badly in 2002.  He was, however, less conservative than Gene Taylor.  If there's ever a chance for us in this district, it would be if Pickering resigns and there's a special election.  That was how Taylor originally won his seat.

by Tom 2007-11-26 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

Serves the citizens of MS right for trusting the GOP. Resigning after people gave Lott a mandate in 2006, barely eleven months later..disgusting.

by Boilermaker 2007-11-26 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

Considering in 2004 he didn't even have an opponent, I'd say holding him to 80% was dang good.

About half the district used to be part of the old 4th district prior to the 2002 reapportionment. That was held by a Democrat. It's also in the central part of the state, which is more liberal than either the Redneck Riviera on the coast or the Appalachian foothills and Memphis exurbs on the north.

So yes, the district is quite winnable. On paper, anyhow. To make it so, we need a good Democratic candidate who fits the tastes of the voters--and that Democrat will be closer to Gene Taylor politically than to the progressive netroots. But that will certainly be better than any Mississippi Republican.

by admiralnaismith 2007-11-26 07:47AM | 0 recs
Larry Flynt got some goods on Lott?

Didn't Flynt say he had something on a big, big Republican leader? Lott doesn't look like someone who would just resign out of the blue - he loves the power and attention too much. So this retirement news is strange.

by rosebowl 2007-11-26 05:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Larry Flynt got some goods on Lott?

Y'know, it's one thing to have to envision a younger person like Vitter in those circumstances, BUT FLABBY OLD LOTT!!!

Frak, thanks for putting that in my head.  >:-(

by Trowaman 2007-11-26 05:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

To be fair, Lott did lose his house to Hurricane Katrina. I'm not sayin' the man's hurtin' for money, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn he's in a slightly different financial situation than most Senators.

by Nathan Empsall 2007-11-26 06:47AM | 0 recs
Special Election?

From my reading of Mississippi law, it looks as if Barbour has to call a special election if the vacancy happens this year (and does section (2) mean no temporary appointment? it's so poorly written):

SEC. 23-15-855. Elections to fill vacancies in office of U.S. Senator; interim appointments by Governor.

(1) If a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from Mississippi by death, resignation or otherwise, the Governor shall, within ten (10) days after receiving official notice of such vacancy, issue his proclamation for an election to be held in the state to elect a Senator to fill such unexpired term as may remain, provided the unexpired term is more than twelve (12) months and the election shall be held within ninety (90) days from the time the proclamation is issued and the returns of such election shall be certified to the Governor in the manner set out above for regular elections, unless the vacancy shall occur in a year that there shall be held a general state or congressional election, in which event the Governor's proclamation shall designate the general election day as the time for electing a Senator, and the vacancy shall be filled by appointment as hereinafter provided.

(2) In case of a vacancy in the office of United States Senator, the Governor may appoint a Senator to fill such vacancy temporarily, and if the United States Senate be in session at the time the vacancy occurs the Governor shall appoint a Senator within ten (10) days after receiving official notice thereof, and the Senator so appointed shall serve until his successor is elected and commissioned as provided for in subsection (1) of this section, provided that such unexpired term as he may be appointed to fill shall be for a longer time than one (1) year, but if for a shorter time than one (1) year he shall serve for the full time of the unexpired term and no special election shall be called by the Governor but his successor shall be elected at the regular election.

by PeteyP 2007-11-26 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Special Election?

Section 1 is as you summarized; if the resignation happens before January, there will be a special election within 90 days.  If not, then the election will happen on general election day.

Section 2 says that the governor may (which in reality means will) appoint a replacement for Lott.  This replacement will stay in office pending the results of the special election (which may be on general election day, provided that Lott retires later than December of this year).

-YLS grad :)

by frankies 2007-11-26 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Special Election?

Agree on section 2. I read it again. Twice.

(GWULS grad)

by PeteyP 2007-11-26 07:38AM | 0 recs
Cochran and Moore

Didn't someone claim that Thad Cochran and Mike Moore are somehow connected to the same law firm?

Will the personal relationship between Cochran and Moore come into play?

by Carl Nyberg 2007-11-26 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Lott gettin while the gettin's still good

I heard today that Lott is retiring now to avoid the new two-year waiting period for lobbying that goes into effect in 2008. I think that means that he has to resign in calendar year 2007, which means that the 90 day maximum limit for a special election in section 1 would control.

That sounds great. Ninety days as an appointee is not very much juice as compared to running for a vacant seat. Moore, or whoever the democrat is who is running, should be gearing up like crazy right now.

by anoregonreader 2007-11-26 10:06AM | 0 recs


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