Lost amid the outraged criticism of Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) calling for a $12 million special election just three weeks before a scheduled election is that today he appointed a Republican (Attorney General Jeff Chiesa) to replace a Democratic seat vacated when Sen. Frank Lautenberg died.
A friend called me today wondering why there wasn't more of a reaction to this. I suspect it's for a few reasons. One is that the special election is a far more prominent issue and overshadows most all else. Also, it isn't completely uncommon for a governor to pick a replacement from another party. And though it makes things more difficult for Democrats, one vote doesn't change the balance of power there.
But I think there is another reason, as well. The special election is October. That's just four months away. And for much of that the Senate is in summer recess. And when they get back into session, the Senate is so log-jammed in Republican blockage of near-everything, it's likely that there won't even be any votes to take before October comes along and Mr. Chiesa is on his way back to the Garden State.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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