Free Markets, Free People

Byrd dead at 92 – will WVA declare seat vacant now or on July 3?

That’s the question I’ve seen asked any number of times as I’ve read various pieces on Byrd’s death.

Of course is a sane world, the seat would be declared vacant now, since the moment he died was the moment the seat actually became vacant. But that’s not necessarily how it works in the insane world of party politics.

Here’s the deal:

State law dictates that had Byrd lived until July 3rd, the position would have been filled for the remaining two years and six months by a gubernatorial appointee. But because Byrd died just a week shy of the break point, the remainder of his term will be filled by an interim appointee until a snap election in November.

So, by law (a minor inconvenience, I’m sure), there should be a interim appointee to fill the seat until November when an election should take place to fill the seat on a permanent basis.

Or, a declaration of vacancy could be held off until July 3rd (5 days from now) and a replacement named by the governor to fill the remaining 2 years and 6 months of the term (and then have all the benefits of incumbency when running for reelection).

Now, I’m not saying the governor and Democratic party will play those sorts of politics with this. However, I am saying I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. Given the possibility of strong GOP gains in the Senate this November, the national party may ask the state party (i.e. the governor, etc.) to “do what it can” to keep that seat safe.

Oh, and I found this interesting as well:

“Byrd was born Cornelius Calvin Sale Jr. on Nov. 20, 1917, in North Wilkesboro, N.C. His mother died of the flu in 1918 when he was only 1. At the mother’s request, his father dispersed the family children among relatives. He was given to the custody of an aunt and uncle, Vlurma and Titus Byrd, who renamed him Robert Carlyle Byrd and raised him in southern West Virginia.”

I assume Mr Sale is now surrounded by his other kleales, cyclops and grand wizards reminiscing about the good old days when being a Democrat and a member of the KKK wasn’t a “bad” thing.



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24 Responses to Byrd dead at 92 – will WVA declare seat vacant now or on July 3?

  • I expect that, barring some overwhelming display of anger from the populace of WV, the governor will wait five days and appoint himself to the seat.  As I understand it, without that seat the Democrats no longer have a filibuster-proof majority.  Thus they have an incentive to press the governor of WV to ignore the law and ensure that the seat stays firmly Democrat through 2012.

  • When he died, did they wrap his body in a nice white sheet?

    • Best line on this (swiped from someone else at another web site, sorry I can’t give that person credit):

      Instead of an eternal flame, his headstone will have an eternal flaming cross

      • Favorite one I heard was “Someone told me I should stop picking on Byrd.  In his honor, I responded ‘What are you, some kind of Jew?'”
        I would very much enjoy the irony on that Senate seat ending up going to a Black guy from the Tea Party Movement.  One last knife-twist for that old racist son of a bitch.

  • Yet another senator I won’t miss.  Bye Bye Byrdie.

  • Speak not ill of the dead, guys. At least for a respectable period.

    • For Halloween this year, I’m going as a zombie Klansman, and when people ask what I am, I’m going to reply “Senator Byrd”.

    • So if I don’t have anything nice to say about the departed featherbedding racist, I shouldn’t say anything at all for a while?

      • Oh, how we have longed for this day!!  *wink*

      • Speaking not ill of the dead only applies to the dead you would speak ill of, looker. There’s no particular exclusion for “unless you really want to“; that’s exactly when you need to stop.
        I mean, if you want to, fine. But don’t come whining to me about lack of civility ever again. This is pretty basic stuff, and if you can’t honor even this fundamental precept of civility you can just forget about the rest of it.

        • Granted – you are correct.
          I won’t argue that to toss out aspects of civil society that I disagree with on this exception opens it up to selectively jettison the others when convenient exactly as you remark.
          I don’t generally whine about the lack of civility, if I did I could hardly respond to Erb at all, since I am so rarely civil to him.
          Nevertheless, your point is understood and acknowledged.

        • I mean, if you want to, fine. But don’t come whining to me about lack of civility ever again. This is pretty basic stuff, and if you can’t honor even this fundamental precept of civility you can just forget about the rest of it.

          >>>  I’m not sure how accurately noting that the guy was a racist klansman violates civility. Besides,  there’s civility and political civility, and in this case Political Civility died a quick death within 10 minutes of the filing of the Gore v.  Bush lawsuit and the proceeding 8 years was just a trampling on the grave. 

  • The law doesn’t provide W VA the ability to hold off declaring a vacancy, it’s common knowledge that the W VA Sec of State is trying to fudge the law, to infer there is “alternative” language, though there isn’t. The vacancy occurred today, nor can they claim that the law doesn’t apply, because gosh darn it, the primary already passed, which is another gambit they’re trying, the law doesn’t give them that out. They are obliged to hold a special primary and election this November. They need a massive a$$ kicking to force them to follow the law.

  • Of course they will wait until 3rd of July. It took Jesus three days to rise from the dead, so it may take byrd just a day or two longer…

    • Jimmy Carter tells this great story about how when he first arrived at the Georgia Legislature, they were debating how long after a person dies that their designate could still vote for them.  In a rare moment of logic, Jimmy thought this was absurd.

  • He was an unprincipled buffoon. May God have mercy on his soul.

  • Apparently the seat will be filled by an appointee until 2012.

    • Of course, because the laws are always to be interpreted to the benefit of the party in power.