Pass along a news tip by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mike DeWine Should Resign

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, plans to visit Haiti as the days in his current six-year term dwindle down to a precious few. He hopes to bring attention to the plight of the impoverished island while he's out of the country. Nothing wrong with that. Haiti needs all the help it can get.

But so does the Midwest, which has been bleeding jobs of late and struggling to gain a firm economic footing in today's global economy.
DeWine, defeated last month by U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from the Cleveland area, ought to keep his bags packed and get out of the Senate immediately. There is nothing he can accomplish by spinning his wheels with the rest of the Election Day leftovers. Quitting would help his state.

By resigning and stepping aside gracefully, the Republican would open a path for Brown to take office early and gain some precious seniority in the Senate, a legislative body where the pecking order is determined by who has been around the longest. A Senate shuffle in Ohio would jump-start Brown's new career in Washington, where he is expected to become a strong voice questioning U.S. trade policies that have flooded the nation with cheap goods while sending money and jobs overseas. It would also give Brown a chance to ask fresh questions about the War in Iraq.

Ohio law allows Gov. Bob Taft, another lame duck Republican, to appoint a U.S. senator if the office becomes vacant. He would not have to pick Brown, but there is no doubt here that he would. It would be a classy final act by Taft and DeWine to put the Democrat in office a month or so early, and demonstrate that they really do care about Ohio's clout in the U.S. Capitol. DeWine doesn't need his Senate salary -- he's a millionaire.

UPDATE: The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Openers blog is reporting now that Sen. DeWine says he is not interested in becoming John Bolton's replacement at the United Nations. According to the report, he told Steve Koff, the newspaper's Washington bureau chief, that there is no place like home and that he wants to get back to Ohio. He could do it quicker if he quit and let Sen.-elect Sherrod Brown take his place in Washington.

Here's what Ohio law has to say about filling a Senate vacancy:

3521.02. Vacancy in United States Senate.

When a vacancy occurs in the representation of this state in the senate of the United States by death, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy shall be filled forthwith by appointment by the governor who may appoint some suitable person having the necessary qualifications for senator. The appointee shall hold office until the fifteenth day of December succeeding the next regular state election that occurs more than one hundred eighty days after the vacancy happens. At that next regular state election, a special election to fill the vacancy shall be held, provided, that when the unexpired term ends within one year immediately following the date of such regular state election, an election to fill the unexpired term shall not be held, and the appointment shall be for the unexpired term. The special election shall be governed in all respects by the laws controlling regular state elections for such office. Candidates to be voted for at the special election shall be nominated in the same manner as is provided for the nomination of candidates at regular state elections.
At least one hundred eighty days prior to the date of such regular state election, the governor shall issue a writ directing that a special election be held to fill such vacancy as provided in this section. The writ shall be directed to the secretary of state and a copy of the writ sent by mail to the board of elections of each county in the state which shall give notice of the time and place of holding such special election in the same manner and at the same time provided in section 3501.03 of the Revised Code for giving similar notice for regular elections.

HISTORY: GC § 4828-3; 104 v 8; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53; 135 v H 1037 (Eff 2-6-74); 146 v H 99. Eff 8-22-95.


  1. Welcome to Blogland, Bill. Sorry I'm going to rip you on your first post, but civilly of course.

    Geez, I guess George Allen should do the same thing? And Frist, so that Corker can step in? Oh, and Burns and Talent? And why not all of the congressmen/women who just lost? And everyone else down to dog catcher?

    Surely, you, jest.

    And of course I have to wonder: Did you call for Metzenbaum to resign early when Voinovich was first elected?

    If your problem is with the time to succession for a newly-elected person, I would suggest a constitutional amendment to move everything up to about Dec. 1. This of course assumes that we can actually count votes fast enough to enable that to happen. You'll have to get with the clowns who created the "provisional ballot" fiasco that has only developed since Al Gore played the sore-loser game in 2000 to see if we can ever get to that point. Oh, and the people in OR and WA who do it all by mail and almost never have truly complete results until well into Dec.

  2. Tom: I think DeWine replaced Metzenbaum, who tried to engineer his son-in-law, Joel Hyatt, the storefront lawyer, as his successor in the Senate. DeWine beat Hyatt, who is now in California as Al Gore's partner in a cable/satellite TV venture. Voinovich succeeded John Glenn, at least that is my memory. And no I didn't call for Metzenbaum to leave early. I was busy inventing the Internet . . .

  3. The less seniority a dangerous man like Sherrod Brown gets, the better. As Colin Powell said to him, "Congressman, you don't know what you're talking about". Jobs are leaving, not because of any national policy, but because those like Bob Taft and his ideological lookalikes, Kucinich, Strickland and Brown, have made it difficult and expensive to do business in Ohio. The new minimum wage law will send more jobs out of the state, so let's see Strickland and Brown take the blame now.

    The nation's economy is historically strong. There are more jobs than ever paying more than ever. The problems are local and the solutions, primarily tax cuts, are local as well.

  4. How is seniority get assigned amongst the X candidates who got elected in 2006?

    What says that Brown won't have seniority over McCaskell et al in the first place?

    Of course, he might end up #100.

  5. Sherrod Brown should be ahead of Corker (TN), McCaskill (MO), Webb (VA), Tester (MT), Klobuchar (MN), Casey (PA), and Whitehouse (RI), simply due to the fact that he has been in the House of Representatives, and is simply a Freshman in the Senate, not in DC as a whole. I cannot remember exactly how seniority is determined, but I believe I remember seeing shortly after the election Brown being listed somewhere around 92nd.

  6. Bizzy, Anonymous (tax cuts, ra ra ra!), and others...

    Bill is proposing an idea that is fundamentally advantageous to our state (even if you disagree in principle). No, I don't think every Congress person and Senator should step down to give their successors more seniority...but it sure helps a state/region when they do.

    As far as Ohio goes...if we had an outgoing DEM in the Senate, I'd be equally happy for him to step down for an incoming GOP member so as to promote my state.

    Show a little home state love.


  7. The voters spoke November 7th and they said "we don't care about seniority and clout". If they had they would not have gotten rid of a senior senator who was on or slated to be on the Intelligence, Judiciary, and Appropriation$ committees.

    The voters are getting what they wanted, no need for fancy footwork.

    And welcome to blogland.

  8. Agreed. I think Dewine should resign early. It would actually be viewed as a positive move in a year of defeat for the Republicans. However, I find it interesting he does not want the UN job. That would bring a very high ammount of respect and if he got it, it surely would turn a year of defeat into a year of success. It makes me ponder, is Dewine hanging it up for good?