Saturday, December 16, 2006
I have not seen this reported anywhere on this side of the pond but according to the Washington Post here Senator Tim Johnson a Democrat from South Dakota is critically ill in hospital recovering from stroke like symptoms and emergency brain surgery.
Were he to fail to take his seat in the Senate a replacement would be nominated by the Governor of South Dakota Mike Rounds. Governor Rounds just happens to be a Republican. In the new Senate the split is currently 51 Democrats (including 2 independents who say they will vote with the Democrats) and 49 Republicans. If the Governor were to appoint a fellow Republican this would tie the senate 50 50.
In such a situation the casting vote would go the President of the Senate - otherwise known as the Vice President of the United States one Dick Cheney!