Latest updates to The Green Papers ...
Review changes beginning Wednesday February 11, 2009.
- Tuesday February 3, 2009
- Two Obama nominees withdraw even as the President
names a replacement for an earlier such withdrawal
- President Obama has nominated U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) to be Secretary of Commerce; Senator Gregg's name replaces that of Governor Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico) who withdrew his name from consideration for the post last month. Media reports indicate that there is an "understanding" that, should Senator Gregg be confirmed, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch (Democrat) will not appoint a Democrat to temporarily fill the resultant vacancy (so that Gregg leaving the U.S. Senate will not reduce the Republican minority in that body to a mere 40 [which would, however theoretically, otherwise have then made the Senate "filibuster-proof", as Senate rules require a 3/5 vote (60 out of the current 100-member Senate) to invoke Cloture]).
- Governor John Lynch has announced Republican Bonnie Newman as his choice to replace Senator Judd Gregg. Future Senator Newman has promised not to run for the seat when it is up for election in 2010.
- Former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) has withdrawn his name from Senate consideration of his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services as well as Director of a brand new White House Office of Health Policy, this latter post not requiring U.S. Senate confirmation; Mr. Daschle's Cabinet nomination had been delayed due to ongoing controversy surrounding his having to have paid back taxes and more recent revelations that, while being vetted for these posts, he did not inform the Obama Transition Team that he had been aware, for some months before, that he actually owed them and had so paid up.
- Nancy Killefer, appointed on 7 January 2009 by then-President-elect Obama to take up the post of Director, White House Performance Office (a brand new White House Staff position which does not require U.S. Senate confirmation) as well as nominated to be Deputy Director for Management in the Office of Management and Budget (a position that does require Senate confimation), has withdrawn her name from consideration for both posts for undisclosed reasons; however, media reports indicate that she has had a tax lien placed on her home by the District of Columbia due to failure to pay unemployment compensation on behalf of domestic help and that such tax-penalty issues are primarily what has prompted her withdrawal.
- Monday February 2, 2009
- The United States Senate today confirmed Eric Holder as the Nation's first African-American Attorney General by a vote of 75-21.
- Thursday January 29, 2009
- After a 4-day-long impeachment trial, the ILLINOIS State Senate voted 59 to 0 to convict Governor Rod Blagojevich (Democratic) per the Articles of Impeachment passed by the Illinois House earlier this month. Mr. Blagojevich, who was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, is banned from ever again holding office in Illinois. Under Article V, Section 6 (c) of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, the Lieutenant Governor assumes all duties and powers of Governor.
- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn becomes the 41st Governor of the State of Illinois, having taken the Oath of Office at 5:40 p.m. on Thursday 29 January 2009. The Oath of Office was administered by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke in a brief ceremony in the Chamber of the Illinois House of Representatives.
- Wednesday January 28, 2009
- Monday January 26, 2009
- Timothy Geithner (pronounced "GITE-ner") was confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury by the United States Senate today: the vote in favor of Geithner's confirmation was 60-34.
- The trial of ILLINOIS Governor Rod Blagojevich (Democrat) by the State Senate upon his Impeachment by the State House of Representatives began today- this being a process in which the only possible sanction is Blagojevich's removal from office (an altogether separate criminal case against the Governor is pending in Federal court). Blagojevich has been accused of- among other things- attempting to sell the Class 3 U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama upon his election to the Presidency (and to which Blagojevich eventually appointed Senator Roland Burris) to the highest bidder; this reputed "seat sale" involved reported machinations prior to Burris' emerging as a potential appointee and there has been no evidence whatsoever that Senator Burris himself might have gained his appointment to the vacancy as a result of any such wrongdoing on the Governor's part.
- Friday January 23, 2008
- 2008 Presidential, Senate and House Results and Analysis With a brief history of US electoral politics since the Civil War by Adrian Beaumont Special to TheGreenPapers.com
- Governor David Patterson (D-NEW YORK) has appointed Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat: CD 20) today to fill the vacancy in the State's Class 1 seat caused by the resignation of now-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Senator-designate Gillibrand (pronounced "JIH-lih-brand") was re-elected to her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives in the General Election this past November.
- 22 January 2009 update: COLORADO's Governor Bill Ritter (Democrat)'s appointee to fill the vacancy in the State's Class 3 seat caused by the resignation of now-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Michael F. Bennet (Democrat), was sworn in as a United States Senator.
- The current partisan composition of the UNITED STATES SENATE is now: 56 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 1 Independent, 1 Independent Democrat and 1 vacancy (the Class 2 seat from MINNESOTA, election still undetermined).
- The current partisan composition of the U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES is now: 255 Democrats, 178 Republicans, and 2 vacancies (IL CD 5 & NY CD 20).
- THE PRESIDENTIAL OATH-TAKING THAT WILL NOT END
- Last evening (that of 22 January 2009), the White House released an audio tape of the "do-over"- that is: of President Obama having taken the Presidential Oath of Office with the constitutional words in their proper order the previous evening.
- Notes from Mr. Berg-Andersson: Despite all this, three new issues have emerged from the whole Oath-Taking debacle as it emerged this week:
Thursday January 22, 2009
- Many in the media covering the White House have been questioning the efficacy of the transparancy promised by the new Obama Administration because the "do over" was not done in front of 'live' television cameras nor (evidently) recorded on video.
- Many have questioned whether or not any presidential acts (meaning: Executive Orders and the like) issued in the name of President Obama prior to the "do-over" are, in fact, valid and legally binding. ANSWER: the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution emphatically makes clear that Barack Obama became President (and Joe Biden became Vice President) at precisely Noon EST [1700 UTC], 20 January 2009; thus, any and all acts under the signature of President Obama after that time (so long as these pass constitutional muster against any potential legal challenge later on) are, indeed, valid and legally binding.
- Many have now begun a new round of "conspiracy theories" centered around the fact that, during the "do-over", there seems to be no indication that President Obama had placed his left hand on a Bible while holding up his right hand to be re-sworn in and that, therefore, the "do-over" is itself invalid. ANSWER: there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution requiring the use of a Bible- or, for that matter, any other sacred scripture or religious instrument- during an Oath-Taking for Federal Office [including the Presidency]: indeed, the Constitution specifically forbids a "religious test" as "a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States" [Art. VI, clause 3] , thus the choice of on just what to place one's left hand whilst being sworn in is solely a personal matter-- this issue was the very subject, by the way, of much of my own Commentary of 9 February 2007 (in fact, at least one President of the United States- John Quincy Adams- was sworn in with his hand on a book other than the Bible: one, instead, containing the Constitution and Laws of the United States [this was back in March 1825, when the latter could still so easily fit in a single volume ;-)], because J.Q. Adams believed the Bible should only be used in public worship in church and during private devotion at home and had no place in a civic ceremony in which a secular official was being sworn).
Wednesday January 21, 2009
- Commentary: NOW COMES THE HARD PART!: TO LEAD AND TO GOVERN ... A few random notes on the
Inauguration of Barack Obama by RICHARD E. BERG-ANDERSSON TheGreenPapers.com Staff
- Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and niece of U.S. Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), has removed her name from consideration to be appointed by Governor David Paterson to fill the vacancy in NEW YORK's Class 1 U.S. Senate seat, citing "personal reasons".
- 20 January 2009 update: Delaware Governor Jack Markell (Democratic) appointed Velda Jones-Potter (Democratic) to replace him as State Treasurer. Jones-Potter states she will serve the remaining two years of the term and will not run for re-election in 2010. Governor Markell was elected Governor in 2008. He was first elected Treasurer in 1998 then re-elected in 2002 and 2006.
- Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's Senate appointee, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael F. Bennet (Democratic) was sworn in as Colorado's Class 3 Senator. The partisan composition of the U.S. Senate is now 55 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 1 Independent, 1 Independent Democrat, and 2 vacant offices.
Tuesday January 20, 2009
- former First Lady and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) has been confirmed as Secretary of State by a Roll Call vote of 94-2 in the United States Senate.
- Immediately after the Confirmation, she resigned from her U.S. Senate Class 1 seat.
- The partisan composition of the U.S. Senate is now 54 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 1 Independent, 1 Independent Democrat, and 3 vacant offices (the others being COLORADO's Class 3 seat and MINNESOTA's Class 2 seat).
- The White House released official photos of President Obama taking the Presidential Oath of Office again this evening (21 January 2009), again administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, at the White House. This was evidently in response to a rather minor glitch during the original Swearing-in at the Capitol yesterday (in which the Chief Justice placed the words of the Oath at one point in the improper order ["execute the Office of President of the United States faithfully" instead of "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States"] causing the new President to stop short and then state this portion of the Oath in the order the Chief Justice had originally given them- that is, the wrong order). It was reported that the Presidential Oath was stated in the proper order as to wording this time round!
- Mr. Berg-Andersson comments: I did begin to see the earliest forms of "conspiracy theories" suggesting this might mean that Barack Obama was actually not 'legally' President on the Internet last evening into this morning, so perhaps this was a rather good idea; yet, other than the title of the Neil Innes song How Sweet to be an Idiot coming immediately to mind upon seeing such "conspiracy theories", I felt I should point out that this evening's "do-over" was actually completely unnecessary (back in the days when Presidents did not even recite the Oath themselves but were, instead, merely asked by the administering magistrate- almost always the Chief Justice- "Do you solemnly swear...(etc.)?", to which the incoming President would only respond "I do", Chief Justice William Howard Taft [himself a former President, by the way] misstated the Oath he read to incoming President Herbert Hoover on 4 March 1929 [saying- instead of "preserve, protect and defend"- "preserve, maintain and defend the Constitution... (etc.)"]; no one, at the time, seemed to think this had any effect at all as to Hoover's constitutional ability to thereafter act as President [although, yes, Hoover was President during the Stock Market Crash later that very same year! ;-)]. In contrast, President Obama did end up reciting all 35 words of the Presidential Oath of Office as contained in the U.S. Constitution during the original Swearing-in, only in a slightly altered order- albeit one as makes no difference... but, hey, at least now there is no question as to the Oath's efficacy in relation to the current occupant of the White House!
Monday January 19, 2009
Thursday January 15, 2009
- PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION DAY
- The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January...; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.-- from the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION: 20th Amendment thereto, Section 1
- Barack H. Obama of Illinois was sworn in as 44th President of the United States of America
- I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States; and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
- Joseph R. Biden of Delaware was sworn in as 47th Vice-President of the United States
- I, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the Office upon which I am about to enter.
- the 56th PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION of four years' duration, thusly, began at precisely Noon EST (1700 UTC) this date.
- Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the United States (by number of ADMINISTRATION)
- The United States Senate, this afternoon of 20 January 2009, confirmed the following Cabinet nominations viva voce:
- With the resignation of Senator Ken Salazar (Democratic, Colorado), the partisan composition of the U.S. Senate is now 55 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 1 Independent, 1 Independent Democrat, and 2 vacant offices (the other being MINNESOTA's Class 2 seat where the election to which is still in the process of being finally determined).
- Arizona Secretary of State Janice K. "Jan" Brewer (Republican), who was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, became Governor of Arizona upon Governor Janet Napolitano's 20 January 2009 resignation to become Secretary of Homeland Security.
- With the resignation of Governor Janet Napolitano (Democratic, Arizona), the partisan composition of U.S. Governors is now 28 Democrats, 22 Republican:
- Arizona state Senator and Senate President Ken Bennett (Republican) has been appointed Arizona Secretary of State by Governor Janice K. "Jan" Brewer to fill the vacancy caused by her own succession to the Governor's Chair.
Sunday January 11, 2009
Friday January 9, 2009
- UPDATES re: the UNITED STATES SENATE
- DELAWARE Class 2 seat: Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden (Democrat) is resigning his Senate seat (to which he had been re-elected in the 4 November 2008 election) today; his long-time aide- Ted Kaufman (Democrat), appointed by Delaware's Governor as Biden's temporary replacement (pending a Special Election in November 2010)- is to be formally sworn in on Friday 16 January 2009. This change has no effect on the political breakdown of the U.S. Senate in the 111th Congress.
- ILLINOIS Class 3 seat: Roland W. Burris (Democrat), appointed by embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich to temporarily fill the vacancy in this seat (pending the regular Election for this seat in November 2010) caused by the resignation of President-elect Barack H. Obama in mid-November 2008, was formally sworn in today
- The partisan composition of the U.S. Senate is now 56 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 1 Independent, 1 Independent Democrat, and 1 vacancy (MINNESOTA Class 2 seat, the election to which is still in the process of being finally determined).
Thursday January 8, 2009
- PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA OFFICIALLY NAMES THE INCOMING ADMINISTRATION's TOP INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS
- former Congressman Leon E. Panetta (D-California) as Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Panetta also served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget and, later, White House Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration.
- retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Dennis C. Blair as National Intelligence Director.
- ILLINOIS GOVERNOR IMPEACHED; NOW FACES TRIAL IN STATE SENATE
- The ILLINOIS House of Representatives has voted to impeach Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Illinois) by a vote of 114-1; a trial on the charges brought against the Governor by the House will now have to be held in the State Senate, the other chamber in the Land of Lincoln's bicameral General Assembly; the sole punishment which can be brought to bear as a a result of such a trial would be removal of the Governor from office (which would make no difference as regards the Federal criminal charges Blagojevich currently faces, as these will have to adjudicated in Federal court).
- Blagojevich remained defiant in a news conference during which he responded to the House action, claiming that, among the reasons he had been impeached, one was "because I've done things to fight for families".
- UPDATE re: the Class 3 U.S. Senate seat from ILLINOIS:
- The ILLINOIS Supreme Court ruled today that the appointment of Roland W. Burris by Governor Blagojevich to fill the vacancy in this seat caused by the resignation of President-elect Barack Obama this past November is valid even without the attestation of Illinois' Secretary of State (who has yet to sign Mr. Burris' Certificate of Appointment): the court ruled that the power granted to the States- per the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution- to allow for the temporary filling of U.S. Senate vacancies by their respective Governors where permitted by State law supersedes any rules, customs or traditions of the Senate itself requiring more than mere appointment by the Governor (in essence, then, the court interpreted the term "executive" of the State as found in the 17th Amendment to refer to a State's Governor only and not to other officials who might otherwise be considered to be part of a State's Executive branch of Government). The Democratic Party leadership of the U.S. Senate is reported to be going over this ruling as part and parcel of considering what steps to take next as regards the possible seating (or not) of Mr. Burris as the junior Senator from the State.
Wednesday January 7, 2009
- TABULATION JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS
- The 2008 Electoral Votes (those formally cast by Presidential Electors back on 15 December 2008: these Electors having been "appointed [as well as- at least theoretically- "pledged"] via the results of the Presidential Election in each of the 50 States plus the District of Columbia back on 4 November 2008) are counted and tabulated before a Joint Session of both houses of Congress, presided over by the constitutional President of the Senate (Vice President Dick CHENEY), after which it is officially declared who has been elected President and Vice President of the United States of America.
- Vice President Cheney gaveled the Tabulation Joint Session to order at 1:08 PM EST (1808 UTC)
- 538 total Electoral Votes (1 per each U.S. Senator and Representative in Congress to which each State is entitled, plus 3 for D.C.)- thus, there were 538 duly appointed Presidential Electors re: 2008
- Duly Appointed Presidential Electors
- No objections were raised by any Senators or Representatives to the counting and tabulating of the Electoral Vote from any State (or the District of Columbia). The Certificates of the Electoral Vote from all 51 jurisdictions seemed "to be regular in form and authentic" and the total Electoral Vote as "ascertained and delivered to the President of the Senate" by the four Tellers- two from each house of Congress, one from each side of the aisle:
was determined to be as follows:
270 Electoral Votes (a Majority of same) necessary to elect
Therefore, it was officially declared that
- from the UNITED STATES SENATE
- Senator Robert BENNETT (R-Utah)
- Senator Chuck SCHUMER (D-New York)
- from the U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
- Congressman Robert BRADY (D-Pennsylvania)
- Congressman Dan LUNGREN (R-California)
for four-year terms beginning at Noon EST (1700 UTC), 20 January 2009.
- BARACK H. OBAMA was elected President of the United States
- JOSEPH R. BIDEN was elected Vice President of the United States
- Vice President Cheney dissolved the Tabulation Joint Session at 1:36 P.M. EST (1836 UTC)
- UPDATE re: the Class 3 U.S. Senate seat from ILLINOIS: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-Nevada] announced today, after a meeting (along with Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin [D-Illinois]) in the Capitol in Washington, DC with Roland W. Burris, appointed to this vacant seat by embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, that the seating of Burris cannot take place until two separate issues have been resolved:
Only once these issues have been dealt with can the United States Senate itself begin considering the matter as to whether or not Mr. Burris is, indeed, entitled to the Class 3 U.S. Senate seat from the State of ILLINOIS, through appointment to fill the vacancy by that State's Governor: this, again, per Senator Reid. Thus, 'The Green Papers' continues to list this seat as 'vacant'
UPDATE re: the Class 2 U.S. Senate seat from MINNESOTA: Senator Norm Coleman [Republican]- whose six-year term in the Senate actually expired as of Noon Eastern Time [1700 UTC] on Saturday 3 January (so Mr. Coleman is, if only technically, no longer the incumbent and the seat is now, again if only technically, vacant)- indicated yesterday that he is filing an "election contest"- as provided for under Minnesota law- against the preliminary certification, issued on Monday (5 January) of Al Franken [Democrat] as the winner in the General Election for this seat held back on 4 November 2008. Until this contest is finally resolved, Mr. Franken cannot be finally declared to be the new United States Senator from Minnesota; thus, 'The Green Papers' continues to list this seat as 'vacant'.
The current partisan composition of the United States Senate in the 111th CONGRESS, therefore, remains: 55 Democrats, 41 Republicans, 1 Independent (Mr. SANDERS of Vermont), 1 Independent Democrat (Mr. LIEBERMAN of Connecticut) and the 2 vacancies (as noted above).
Tuesday 6 January 2009
- that the Illinois Secretary of State countersigns the Certificate of Appointment originally signed by Governor Blagojevich (as required by the United States Senate's own Rules) or the Illinois State Supreme Court determines that such a countersignature is unnecessary in that State (thereby upholding Senator-designate Burris' position that, once the Governor has made the appointment to fill a Senate vacancy, the appointment is already valid): a ruling on this issue by the Court is expected as early as later today.
- that Mr. Burris himself appears before the relevant committee of the House of Representatives in the General Assembly of Illinois considering Impeachment proceedings against Governor Blagojevich (who is currently under criminal indictment for, among other things, attempting to sell this vacant seat to the highest bidder), an appearance that is expected to take place (in Illinois) sometime tomorrow [8 January] afternoon.
Monday 5 January 2009
- 111th CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES convenes at Noon Eastern Time [1700 UTC]
- Although the terms of members of the U.S. House of Representatives in this Congress [along with the terms of those elected on 4 November 2008 to a full 6-year term in the United States Senate (Class 2 seats), as well as 2 others elected to fill out unexpired Class 1 terms via Special Election (Mr. BARRASSO of Wyoming & Mr. WICKER of Mississippi)] officially began at Noon EST [1700 UTC], Saturday 3 January 2009, 6 January is the day "appointed" for this Congress to formally convene for its constitutionally-required once-a-year session: as the 110th Congress exercised its prerogative to by law appoint a different day [from the 20th Amendment to the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, Section 2]- a day different from the constitutional assembling date (also per the 20th Amendment, Section 2) of the 3d day of January.
- All U.S. Representatives in Congress and newly elected (or re-elected) U.S. Senators take the following Oath of Office- one required of all Federal officers, whether elected or appointed (except for the President of the United States, who takes a completely different Oath of Office as required by specific language in the U.S. Constitution):
- [I do] solemnly swear [or affirm] that [I] will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that [I] will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that [I] take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that [I] will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the Office upon which [I am] about to enter.
- note: the brackets '[ ]' in the preceding indicate opportunities for appropriate optional language (for example, where the Oath is issued as a question to the Oath-taker: i.e., "Do you solemnly swear that you will...?"-- to which the person taking the Oath of Office is expected to answer "I do" before entering upon his/her duties [the usual method of administering the Oath in both houses of Congress-- to the incoming Senators in groups of four at a time, to the incoming Representatives en masse]).
- CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP: 111th CONGRESS
- United States Senate
- President pro Tempore: Robert C. BYRD, D-West Virginia
- Majority Leader: Harry REID, D-Nevada
- Majority Whip (officially Assistant Majority Leader): Dick DURBIN, D-Illinois
- Minority Leader: Mitch McCONNELL, R-Kentucky
- Minority Whip (officially Assistant Minority Leader): Jon KYL, R-Arizona
- United States House of Representatives
- Speaker of the House: Nancy PELOSI, D-California
- Majority Leader: Steny HOYER, D-Maryland
- Majority Whip: James CLYBURN, D-South Carolina
- Minority Leader: John BOEHNER, R-Ohio
- Minority Whip: Roy BLUNT, R-Missouri
- UPDATE re: Class 3 U.S. Senate seat from ILLINOIS: Roland W. Burris, appointed by Governor Rod Blagojevich to fill the vacancy in this seat caused by the resignation of President-elect Barack Obama in mid-November 2008, presented his credentials to the Secretary of the Senate this morning (6 January 2009) but was refused entry onto the Floor of the United States Senate in order to take the Oath of Office on grounds that the Senate had not yet received a Certificate of Appointment from the State of ILLINOIS: Mr. Burris's position is that- once the Governor has actually made the appointment, as per Illinois State Law (itself allowed per provisions in the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)- the appointment has, indeed, been made by the "executive" in conformity with the constitutional language (Mr. Burris is, therefore, claiming that the very term "executive" in 17th Amendment only refers to the Governor himself); the counter-argument is that those responsible for issuing the Certificate of Appointment (such as the Secretary of State of ILLINOIS) are also part of the State's "executive" and, therefore, also included in the constitutional language: thus, in this interpretation, the process of appointment has not yet been completed and, therefore, Mr. Burris is not yet entitled to take his seat as the junior Senator from Illinois. Mr. Burris is now weighing his legal options.
- The Monthly Rotation of PRESIDENCIES of the United Nations SECURITY COUNCIL page is updated for 2009.
- The United Nations Security Council page is updated for 2009.
Sunday 4 January 2009
- Minnesota, Senate Class 2. As of afternoon 5 January, Al Franken (Democratic-Farmer Labor) leads Senator Norm Coleman (Republican) by 225 votes out of 2,887,227. The recount began Wednesday 19 November 2008 and the State Canvassing Board has preliminarily certified the vote (with Franken as the apparent victor) Monday 5 January 2009. The losing candidate (who is, technically, no longer the incumbent: as Senator Coleman's term officially expired at Noon EST [1700 UTC] on Saturday 3 January 2009) now has 7 days in which to contest this formal certification. Also on 5 January 2009, the Minnesota State Supreme Court rejected a request from the Coleman campaign to include additional absentee ballots. This election is not expected to be resolved by the time the new Congress is seated on Tuesday 6 January 2009. References: U.S. Senate recount results from the Minneapolis-St. Paul StarTribune.com, Minnesota Secretary of State - US Senate Recount Data
Friday 2 January 2009
- Governor Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico) has withdrawn his name from consideration as the nominee to be President-elect Barack Obama's Secretary of Commerce due to a grand jury investigation into contributors to Richardson's political campaigns. Claiming to have done nothing wrong, the New Mexico Governor nonetheless did not want this to become a distraction for the incoming Obama Administration.
Tuesday December 30, 2008
- On Wednesday 5 November 2008, President-elect Barack Obama announced Congressman Rahm Emanuel would be his Chief of Staff. Congressman Emanuel resigned from Congress on 2 January 2009.
- The partisan composition of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 111th Congress is now to be 256 Democrats, 178 Republicans, and 1 Vacant Seat.
Monday December 29, 2008
- Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (Democrat) has appointed Roland Burris (Democrat), a former state Comptroller and Attorney General of the State of Illinois, to fill the U.S. Senate Class 3 seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) have issued a joint statement stating they will block the appointment.
- relevant provisions of the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION:
- Each House [of Congress] shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members...
[from Article I, Section 5, clause 1]
- When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue Writs of Election to fill such vacancies: PROVIDED That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the People fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
[17th Amendment, clause 2]
- Basic constitutional issue involved: Does the power granted to the Governor of Illinois by State law (unless and until the law is itself changed under the provisions of Illinois' own Constitution and statutes) to appoint a successor to President-elect Obama in the U.S. Senate (per the provisions of the 17th Amendment quoted above) at all trump the consitutional power the Senate itself has over whether or not to seat its own Members (per the provisions of Art. I, Sec. 5 quoted above)?-- or is it, rather, the other way round?
Tuesday December 23, 2008
Friday December 19, 2008
- New pages: 2009 Off Year Election
- Media reports indicate that Congressman Rahm Emanuel (Democratic, Illinois) plans to resign his District 5 House seat Friday 2 January 2009. An election will be called to fill the vacant seat. On Wednesday 5 November 2008, President-elect Barack Obama announced Congressman Rahm Emanuel would be his Chief of Staff.
Thursday December 18, 2008
- PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA
FILLS OUT HIS CABINET
- for Secretary of Labor: recently re-elected Representative in Congress Hilda Solis (D-California).
- for Secretary of Transportation: retiring Representative in Congress Ray LaHood (R-Illinois).
- for United States Trade Representative: former Dallas, Texas Mayor Ron Kirk.
Wednesday December 17, 2008
- for Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission: Mary Schapiro, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (a non-governmental, private-sector, regulatory body created out of earlier entities regulating the National Association of Securities Dealers and membership on the New York Stock Exchange).
Tuesday December 16, 2008
- for Secretary of Agriculture: former Governor Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa).
- for Secretary of the Interior: U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colorado).
Monday 15 December 2008
- for Secretary of Education: Arne Duncan, Superintendent of Schools: Chicago, Illinois.
Friday December 12, 2008
- PRESDENT-ELECT OBAMA ANNOUNCES HIS NEW ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT OFFICIALS
- for Secretary of Energy: Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Prize winning Physicist at the University of California at Berkeley.
- for Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency: Lisa Jackson, former Commissioner of New Jersey's Environmental Protection Department.
- for Chair, Council on Environmental Quality: Nancy Sutley of California.
- for Director, White House Office of Energy and Climate Policy ["CLIMATE CZAR"] (a new office within the White House): Carol Browner, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration.
- ILLINOIS HOUSE BEGINS LOOKING AT IMPEACHING GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH
- The Illinois House of Representatives has begun the process of putting together a Committee to consider the possible impeachment of Governor Rod Blagojevich, currently under Federal indictment on a variety of political corruption-related charges (most notably an alleged attempt to sell the Class 3 U.S. Senate seat from the State left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama); it is reported that formal moves towards Impeachment will begin in about a week (media reports indicate that this may be an attempt to put pressure on the Governor to resign before the issue can even be more formally considered).
Thursday December 11, 2008
Tuesday December 9, 2008
- A timetable for a possible SPECIAL ELECTION in ILLINOIS for the Class 3 U.S. SENATE seat already vacated by President-elect Barack Obama (Democrat) has emerged within legislation being prepared for action by the State's General Assembly which would also strip embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich (Democrat) of his power to appoint a temporary successor to former Senator Obama: a Special Primary would be held on Tuesday 24 February 2009, with the Special Election itself being held on Tuesday 7 April, these dates being chosen so as to coincide with regularly scheduled Municipal Elections in Illinois; this timetable, however, awaits an initial vote by each chamber of the Illinois General Assembly and, further, would be subject to possible veto by the Governor himself (assuming he does not resign or is otherwise removed from office ahead of time [the General Assembly is also preparing Impeachment of the Governor and, in addition, State Attorney General Lisa Madigan (Democrat) has filed papers with the State Supreme Court seeking to declare the Governor incapable of governing and having Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn (Democrat) installed as 'acting Governor': the fate of each of these proposals are still very much "up in the air"]), a veto which would, in turn, have to be overridden before the end of the current General Assembly and the taking office of the next General Assembly early this coming January (or else the whole process of the General Assembly setting up a Special US Senate Election in lieu of gubernatorial appointment would have to start from scratch).
- Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich (Democrat) and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today on corruption charges. Media reports indicate the Governor tried to sell the appointment to President-elect Obama's vacant Senate Seat; other charges include witholding State aid to institutions unless a campaign contribution kickback were forthcoming and threatening to not help out the Chicago Tribune [which only recently sought bankruptcy] unless editorial writers critical of the Governor were fired. It is alleged that Blagojevich was trying to amass millions of dollars in campaign funds (presumably for the regular Election for the Class 3 US Senate seat in 2010) before a new State Ethics Code takes effect at the beginning of 2009.
- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), as well as other Illinois politicians of both Major Parties, have begun calling for the Illinois General Assembly to pass a law filling the Class 3 US Senate vacancy via Special Election rather than gubernatorial Appointment (assuming, obviously, that Governor Blagojevich does not resign as a result of the recent criminal charges)-- presumably, such a bill would have to gain enough votes (at least 2/3) in each house of the General Assembly so as to be able to override a potential veto by the Governor, if necessary.
- General Election contest called:
Monday December 8, 2008
- Louisiana CD 4. John Calvin Fleming, Jr. (Republican, 48.07%) has defeated Paul J. Carmouche (Democratic, 47.69%) by 0.385% = 356 votes.
- General Election contest called:
Sunday December 7, 2008
- Ohio, Congressional District 15. Mary Jo Kilroy (Democratic, 45.94%) has defeated Steve Stivers (Republican, 45.18%) by 0.761% = 2,311 votes. Reference: The Columbus Dispatch.
Saturday December 6, 2008
- PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA NAMES FORMER SOLDIER TO VETERANS' AFFAIRS CABINET POST
- for Secretary of Veterans' Affairs: Eric Shinseki, retired U.S. Army General and former Army Chief of Staff.
Wednesday December 3, 2008
- Louisiana Open General Elections for the U.S. House.
- In CD 2, Anh "Joseph" Cao (Republican, 50%) has defeated Congressman William Jennings "Bill" Jefferson (Democratic, 47%); Cao [pronounced "gow"], thus, becomes the first Vietnamese-American ever elected to Congress.
- In CD 4, John Calvin Fleming, Jr. (Republican, 48.07%) leads Paul J. Carmouche (Democratic, 47.69%) by 0.385% = 356 votes. Counting of the Provisional ballots should be completed Tuesday 9 December. Fleming is expected to win.
- This concludes the 2008 election season.
- PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA ANNOUNCES ANOTHER CABINET NOMINATION
- for Secretary of Commerce: Bill Richardson, Governor (D-New Mexico) and former Secretary of Energy and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton Administration.
- General Election contest called:
Tuesday December 2, 2008
- California, Congressional District 4. Thomas "Tom" McClintock (Republican, 50.21%) has defeated Charles Duane "Charlie" Brown (Democratic, 49.79%).
Monday December 1, 2008
- Incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss re-elected in Georgia's US Senate Runoff
- Georgia Class 2 Senatorial Runoff Election. Since no candidate received 50% of the vote plus 1 in the 4 November General Election, the top 2 vote getters, Senator Saxby Chambliss (Republican, 49.8%) and James Francis "Jim" Martin (Democratic, 46.8%) advance to a 2 December 2008 runoff.
Friday November 28, 2008
- PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA ANNOUNCES NOMINATIONS RE: NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE
- for Secretary of State: Hillary Rodham Clinton, currently U.S. Senator (D-New York) and former First Lady.
- for Secretary of Defense: Robert Gates, currently Secretary of Defense and being retained (the first Secretary of Defense ever formally retained in a transition between Administrations of Presidents of different Major Parties).
- for Attorney General: Eric H. Holder, Jr., former Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration and, before that, Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia [the District's court of general jurisdiction (equivalent to a trial-level court in a State)]. (the first African-American nominated to be U.S. Attorney General)
- for Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano, Governor (D-Arizona) and, before that, Arizona State Attorney General.
- for National Security Advisor (officially 'ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS'): James Jones, General- U.S. Marines, retired; former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and, before that, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
- for Ambassador to the United Nations: Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Clinton Administration.
Tuesday November 25, 2008
- Congressman Thomas M. "Tom" Davis, III (Republican, Virginia CD 11) resigned on Monday 24 November 2008. On 30 January 2008 he announced he would not seek re-election.
- The partisan composition of the United States House of Representatives is now 236 Democrats and 198 Republicans, and 1 vacant office.
Monday November 24, 2008
- PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA NAMES CHIEF WHITE HOUSE BUDGET OFFICER for Director, Office of Management and Budget: Peter Orszag, currently director of the Congressional Budget Office.
Saturday November 22, 2008
Wednesday November 19, 2008
- PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA ANNOUNCES FIRST CABINET-LEVEL NOMINATIONS
- for Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy Geithner, currently president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- for Chairman of the National Economic Council: Lawrence Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration.
- Delaware Governor announces Class 2 Senate seat appointment. Governor Ruth Ann Minner (D-Delaware) has announced that she will appoint Ted Kaufman, a long-time aide to Senator (now Vice President-elect) Joseph Biden, to the seat Biden will have to vacate prior to Noon Eastern Time next 20 January, when he is scheduled to be sworn in as the Nation's new Vice-President. Senator Biden won re-election to his seat (as well as the Vice-Presidency) in the 4 November Elections; Kaufman would be appointed to serve until a successor is chosen by the People of the State of Delaware in a Special Election in November 2010.
- General Election contests called:
Tuesday November 18, 2008
- Missouri, President. John Sidney McCain, III (Republican) has won Missouri's 11 electoral votes by 0.133% = 3,902 votes. The final Electoral Vote 'as pledged' is Obama: 365, McCain: 173 (with 270 [a majority] of the total 538 needed to win).
- Since no candidate received a majority (50% + 1) of the 4 November vote,
the top two vote-getters, Governor Togiola T.A. Tulafono (41.3%) and Utu Abe Malae (31.4%) participated in a runoff election for American Samoa Territorial Governor. Governor Togiola T.A. Tulafono was re-elected with 56.45% of the vote.
- A Special Election in Ohio House CD 11 was held today to fill the remainder of the term (110th Congress) of Congressman Stephanie Tubbs Jones who passed away 20 August 2008. Congressman-elect Marcia L. Fudge (Democrat), who won the 4 November election (111th Congress), ran unopposed in today's Special Election.
- The partisan composition of the United States House of Representatives is now 236 Democrats and 199 Republicans.
- General Election contests called:
Sunday November 16, 2008
- Alaska, Senate Class 2. Mark Begich (Democrat) has defeated Senator Theodore F. "Ted" Stevens (Republican) by 1.180% = 3,724 votes. Media reports state about 2,500 ballots remain to be counted.
Thursday November 13, 2008
- Illinois Senator Barack Obama (Democrat), who was elected to the Presidency on 4 November 2008, resigned his Class 3 Senate seat today.
- The partisan composition of the United States Senate is now 49 Republicans, 48 Democrats, 1 Independent, 1 Independent Democrat, and 1 vacant office.
- Our sympathies are extended to the family and friends of Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll (Democrat) who passed away at 6 PM on 12 November 2008 from neuroendocrine cancer. Mrs. Knoll was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. Under the Pennsylvania Constitution, Mrs. Knoll will be replaced as Lieutenant Governor by the Senate President Pro Tempore, Joseph B. Scarnati III (Republican-Jefferson).
- Media reports state President-elect Barack Obama will resign his Illinois U.S. Senate Class 3 seat this Sunday, 16 November.
- General Election contests called:
Tuesday November 11, 2008
- Virginia, Congressional District 5. Tom S. P. Perriello (Democratic) has defeated Congressman Virgil H. Goode, Jr. (Republican) by about 0.2%. The State Board of Elections will certify the results by 24 November. The losing candidate may then request a recount.
- General Election contests called:
Saturday November 8, 2008
- North Dakota, Commissioner of Insurance. Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm (Republican) has defeated Jasper Schneider (Democratic-Nonpartisan League).
- HONORABLE MENTION
- Although The Green Papers does not cover State legislative elections in the United States of America per se, we do report noteworthy political/electoral developments such as the following: for the very first time in American History, a legislative body of a sovereign political jurisdiction here in the USofA will have more women than men as its members: the State Senate in the 161st Session of the NEW HAMPSHIRE GENERAL COURT, elected this past Tuesday [4 November 2008], will have 13 women and 11 men among its total of 24 seats.
- 2008 Presidential Concession and Victory Speeches
- General Election contests called:
Friday November 7, 2008
- Media: Obama wins electoral vote in Nebraska. The candidate who receives the greatest number of votes statewide (McCain) receives 2 electors. The candidate who receives the greatest number of votes in each Congressional District (McCain: CDs 1 and 3; Obama: CD 2) receives that district's elector.
- Washington, Congressional District 8. Congressman Dave Reichert (Republican) has defeated Darcy Burner (Democratic).
Thursday November 6, 2008
- Georgia, Senate Class 2. Since no candidate received 50% of the vote plus 1 in the 4 November General Election, the top 2 vote getters, Senator Saxby Chambliss (Republican, 49.79%) and James Francis "Jim" Martin (Democratic, 46.79%) advance to a 2 December 2008 runoff.
- Maryland, Congressional District 1. Frank Michael Kratovil, Jr. (Democratic) has defeated state Senator Andrew P. "Andy" Harris (Republican).
Wednesday November 5, 2008
- Montana, Secretary of State. Public Instruction Superintendent Linda H. McCulloch (Democratic) has defeated Secretary of State Brad Johnson (Republican).
- North Carolina, President. Called for Obama.
- Oregon, Secretary of State. State Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown has defeated Rick Dancer (Republican).
- Oregon, Senate Class 2: State Speaker of the House Jeffrey Alan "Jeff" Merkley (Democratic / Independent Party of Oregon) has defeated Republican Senator Gordon Harold Smith.
- Washington, Commissioner of Public Lands. Peter James Goldmark (Democratic) has defeated Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland (Republican).
- Washington, Superintendent of Public Instruction. Randy Dorn has defeated Public Instruction Superintendent Teresa "Terry" Bergeson.
- Washington, Treasurer. Jim McIntire (Democratic) has defeated Allan Martin (Republican).
- General Election details:
- Contests proceeding to a runoff or an Open General Election
- American Samoa Territorial Governor (Tuesday 18 November 2008)
- Louisiana, Congressional District 2 (Saturday 6 December 2008)
- Louisiana, Congressional District 4 (Saturday 6 December 2008)
- Alaska, Senate Class 2
- California, Congressional District 4
- Georgia, Senate Class 2
- Maryland, Congressional District 1
- Minnesota, Senate Class 2
- Missouri, President
- Montana, Secretary of State
- North Carolina, President
- North Dakota, Commissioner of Insurance
- Ohio, Congressional District 15
- Oregon, Senate Class 2
- Oregon, Secretary of State
- Virginia, Congressional District 5
- Washington, Congressional District 8
- Washington, Treasurer
- Washington, Commissioner of Public Lands
- Washington, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Review changes prior to Wednesday November 5, 2008.