GOP confronts long-shot options for dealing with Moore

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are confronted with a limited, unappealing set of options in responding to Alabama GOP candidate Roy Moore, who is caught up in allegations of sexual misconduct.

For starters, the election in Alabama is already underway. Absentee ballots are being mailed in for the Dec. 12 contest, and Moore can’t be removed from the ballot, even if the Alabama Republican Party wanted to.

A victory by Democrat Doug Jones would narrow the margin of control in the GOP-controlled Senate to 51-49. That’s an outcome Republicans are anxious to avoid.

One way, albeit difficult, for Republicans to retain the seat would be to mount a successful write-in candidacy. Several Republican senators are urging Sen. Luther Strange, who lost to Moore in the GOP primary in September, to launch such an effort.

If Moore were to win, there’s no precedent in the Senate for refusing to seat him. But the Senate could immediately move to expel him, though the chamber hasn’t taken such a step since the Civil War.

Moore remains defiant and retains a base of supporters in staunchly conservative Alabama. He says allegations that he molested teenage girls during the 1970s when he was a prosecutor in his 30s are false and the product of a witch hunt.

The Senate’s options for dealing with Moore:

WRITE-IN

One option under consideration would be for Republicans in Alabama to abandon Moore and rally around a write-in candidate, perhaps Strange or even U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who held the seat until his confirmation earlier this year. Such a candidacy would be an uphill slog, particularly if Moore remains defiant and pulls a sizable vote from his impassioned base of evangelical supporters.

Even if Moore were to step aside his name would remain on the ballot — siphoning votes away from any write-in candidate — and potentially swinging the race to Jones.

EXPLUSION

Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of the Senate GOP’s campaign committee, said on Monday that even if Moore were to win the election, the Senate might move to expel him. If that were to occur, GOP Gov. Kay Ivey would appoint another interim senator.

The U.S. Constitution says that both House and Senate have the power to “punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.” The Senate has expelled 15 of its members, 14 of whom were supporters of the Confederacy, but hasn’t expelled anyone since 1862. More recently, members such as Bob Packwood, the Oregon Republican who faced charges of sexual misconduct and abuse of power, have resigned rather than face expulsion.

In theory, expulsion offers a long-shot path for establishment Republicans to reclaim the seat. But Moore would have to win the seat in the first place, and do so in the face of a write-in candidacy and opposition from state and national Republicans.

“It’s premature to talk about expelling someone who hasn’t been elected,” said No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas.

Just Posted

Rocky Mountain House man arrested for child pornography possession

A 30-year-old Rocky Mountain House man was arrested after allegedly having explicit… Continue reading

Break-in suspects sought

Coronation RCMP investigate

Advocate to correct TV Guide error

Accurate TV Guide to be available Saturday

Red Deer’s City Hall Park is taken over by a film crew Sunday

St. Albert filmmaker is shooting an independent feature

WATCH: Central Middle School students’ Christmas tree

A group of Central Middle School students are set to show off… Continue reading

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Blackfalds RCMP arrest “armed and dangerous” man

A 38-year-old man, who police identified as armed and dangerous, was arrested… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s own hammock deer garners celebrity status

After getting tangled in a backyard hammock the deer in Prince Rupert has T-shirts, Facebook page

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month