Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Footnote to the Missouri Presidential Primary Situation

One thing that occurred to FHQ overnight is that there is one other alternative that should and very likely will be considered/reconsidered in the process of resolving the date on which the Missouri presidential primary will fall in 2012. We have gone to great lengths to include the possibility of a veto override of SB 282 in most special session Missouri posts, but failed to adequately consider that yesterday in light on the new snag in the Show Me state Senate. Suddenly, an override of the veto on the broad elections bill that included a provision to move the presidential primary to March.


Well, if the alternative to Republicans both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly and Democrats -- in the state House in particular -- is a non-compliant primary or caucus on February, those members may feel some pressure to reconsider an override of SB 282. That bill would obviously move the primary to March 6. Now, I know I was hard on Sen. Crowell and those writing this amendment in yesterday's post, but if that was merely a sideshow to wider attempt at pressuring at least four Democratic House members into joining forces with the House Republican majority, then perhaps I'm not giving them enough credit. The Republican majority in the Senate, you see, is large enough on its own to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto, but in the House the Republican majority would need the help of at least four Democrats for an override there.

If the Senate is trying to cut off every option but the veto override as a means of moving the primary, then they are off to a pretty good start of setting up a roadblock on this particular piece of legislation (HB 3). According to the Missouri Constitution (Article III, Section 32), a veto session can happen for up to ten days starting on the first Wednesday after the second Monday in September. That coincidentally enough will overlap with the remainder of the special session.

If, on the other hand, Democrats don't particularly care about a switch to a caucus -- and with the potential for a state mandate on that type of contest, they likely will -- then they can call the Republicans bluff and set up a potential fight between the Republican majorities in the General Assembly and the state and national Republican Parties.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see this one plays out over the next couple of weeks.

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