Republican State Sen. Mike Hewitt appears to have etched a masterstroke. Not only might he get his way and delay the seating of incoming Democrat Nick Harper, but if he plays his cards right, he won't even have to show up for work in the meantime.
Hewitt wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown saying that if she agrees to delay Harper's seating until a lawsuit concerning a political action committee's tactics in the primary is finished, he'll recuse himself from voting on legislation.
"I realize that leaving this seat vacant will result in a 48-member Senate in the meantime, and I realize that this likely deprives your caucus of another member. In this unique situation, I would be happy to recuse myself from voting on a specific matter if you thought that the absence of your 38th District vote would make a difference in the outcome on a specific issue."
Brown, meanwhile, had this to say on her own blog.
"It's not the job of legislators to determine the legality of an election. Nor is it the job of legislators to decide what the remedy should be for an election that did violate the law. That's the job of the courts."
All of Hewitt's saber-rattling about Harper's dubious election stems from a few mailers sent during the campaign by Moxie Media that may or may not have concealed the donors that helped pay for them.
They may have helped in the primary, with Harper beating former Dem Sen. Jean Berkey by two points. But seeing that Harper crushed conservative candidate Rod Rieger in the general election with 60 percent of the vote, each of those those mailers would have had to contain a huge cash bribe to realistically be blamed for such a landslide.
But don't let all that stop you from playing hooky, Sen. Hewitt.