Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Double Dipper Dan v. AG Steve Beshear ('81)

The citizens of the 30th Senate district in Bell, Harlan, Leslie, and Perry counties would have a new state senator today if Governor Steve Beshear had called the special election on November 9 when Senate President David Williams made the request.

As it is, a special election for the seat can not now be held before the end of January. Double-Dipper Dan should do the right thing and insist Governor Beshear do his part to ensure the people in his district have the representation they deserve.

Governor Beshear really does understand the need to protect citizens on issues like this. Well, sometimes. He understood it when he wrote the following Attorney General's opinion in 1981, in which he ordered legislative staff not to mail but to hand deliver the Writ of Election for a special election.
As the Court pointed out in the case of Furste v. Grey, 240 Ky. 604, the framers of the Constitution had in mind that vacancies in the General Assembly shall not continue but should be filled immediately in the manner provided by the legislature.

Thus, because of the urgency for filling the vacancy in question so that the residents of the 75th Legislative District will be properly represented at the earliest possible time following the beginning of the Session starting on January 5, it is suggested that the Writ of Election be issued on January 1st and hand delivered rather than mailed, to the sheriff.

Governor Beshear also recognized this necessity when he elevated Rep. J.R. Gray to Labor Cabinet Secretary last week and immediately called the special election. He understood the need to call a special election right away. Why doesn't he get it now?