Palin Not Ruling Out Stevens Seat « The Washington Independent
In an interview tonight with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Palin said she hasn’t ruled out filling Sen. Ted Stevens’ Senate seat if he is reelected and the Senate ejects him for his felony conviction.
She said she doesn’t want “to close any doors” on her future.
She also said she is not “egotistical” enough to appoint herself to the seat.
That comment is slightly problematic, in that the seat can only be permanently filled by the winner of a special election. At best, Palin could appoint someone in the 60- to 90-day interim before the election.
When Gov. Frank Murkowski became governor of Alaska in 2002, he appointed his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, to his vacant seat. That didn’t go over well with Alaskans, and the law was changed twice, by ballot and the state legislature. The result was that the governor was stripped of the power to fill vacant Senate seats.
The ballot initiative prohibits the governor from even appointing an interim senator, while the legislature’s version allows an interim appointment. The state’s supreme court would have to work out the difference detail if the law were challenged.
If Palin wanted Stevens’ seat for a full term, she’d need to win the special election like any other hopeful.