Friday, May 15, 2009

Don’t get mad

Get even.

DFLers in the Legislature, there is no sense in getting mad at the governor. He’s beyond your reach. Don’t bother.

Impeach his ass.

That’s right; impeach him.

What is the standard for impeachment, Spotty?

Spot is glad you asked, grasshopper. It’s not the high crimes and misdemeanors standard in the federal constitution. No, no; it’s much different. Here’s the section of Article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution:

Sec. 2. OFFICERS SUBJECT TO IMPEACHMENT; GROUNDS; JUDGMENT. The governor, secretary of state, auditor, attorney general and the judges of the supreme court, court of appeals and district courts may be impeached for corrupt conduct in office or for crimes and misdemeanors; but judgment shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit in this state. The party convicted shall also be subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law. [Amended, November 2, 1982; November 3, 1998]

What is corrupt conduct, Spot?

Here’s Mirriam Webster on corruption:

An impairment of integrity, virue, or moral principle.

Is democracy a moral principle, Spotty?

Why yes, it is, grasshopper.

Who gets to decide whether the governor has violated a moral principle, Spot?

Well, it’s the House in adopting articles of impeachment, and it’s the Senate for deciding in a trial. By a majority vote in each body. And, boys and girls, the governor doesn’t get to veto articles of impeachment.

Golly, Spotty, that all sounds kind of political.

Exactly, grasshopper. You have to conclude that the drafters of the Minnesota Constitution had a different standard in mind, otherwise it would have been easy to copy the federal constitution. The drafters obviously intended something else.

It is well within the purview of the Legislature to conclude that that governor’s wholesale ignoring of the Legislature and listening instead to to unknown individuals whispering in his ear is corrupt. This isn’t just vetoing a bill: it’s the wholesale adopting of a budget for the state.

And the funny thing is, if the House adopt articles of impeachment, the governor cannot act until a trial of the articles of impeachment is concluded:

Article VII, Sec. 3 [Minnesota Constitution]. SUSPENSION. No officer shall exercise the duties of his office after he has been impeached and before his acquittal.

That would be something to see, Spotty!

Yes it would, grasshopper.

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