As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, November 26, 2007

One Less For The Baby Party

This may be the ultimate Baby Party move:

Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) will resign his seat by the end of the year, he announced in his home town of Pascagoula on Monday.

The announcement took Capitol Hill by surprise because Lott, the former majority leader, seemed to be relishing his job as minority whip, the second-ranking GOP leadership job [...]

A Lott friend said part of the reason, and a factor in the timing, is a new lobbying regulation, signed by President Bush in September, extending the existing lobbying ban for former members of Congress from one to two years. The lobbying ban takes effect at the end of this year.

Lott was just elected in 2006. He waited to see if Republican Governor Haley Barbour, who will select a replacement to serve until November 2008, was re-elected at the beginning of the month. Then, seeing that his cash cow would slip away and he'd have to wait a whole TWO YEARS to make a bazillion dollars on K Street, he decided to put his wallet first and resign. Plus the Senate wasn't any more fun anyway, what with all this "minority" stuff.

You'd think a guy like Lott, with his history, would be relishing the Minority Whip position, but it didn't have the allure of making millions for the pharmaceutical industry or something.

Thing is, there's a good Democratic candidate named Mike Moore, a former Attorney General in the state, waiting in the wings. And Mississippi apparently has a funny thing called the law that won't let Lott resign without automatically triggering a Senate election within 100 days:

Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said in a statement Monday that he would schedule the special election for the same day as the November 2008 general election. State law, however, appears to require an earlier date if Lott retires this year, as he said he would.

While Lott sneaks in under the wire for the extended ban on lobbying Congress by retiring this year, the secretary of state’s office said Monday that state law appears to require a special election within 90 days if he does so.

Conversely, if Lott were to wait and retire in 2008, the law allows for the special election to be held the same day as the general. Of course, he would then be subject to the new two-year ban on lobbying his former colleagues, instead of the current one-year ban.


Not only is this the ultimate selfish act, it actually harms Republican chances in the Senate. Lott will have to choose between waiting a year for his payday or allowing a rushed general election in the middle of April. Three guesses what he'll pick.

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