No word yet on how soon the D.F.L. will sue Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach for continuing in her role as a state senator, but Saint Paul Democrat Richard Cohen tossed a zinger at Fischbach, who was presiding during Thursday night’s floor session.
Fischback said to Cohen, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see you, Senator Cohen. You have to stand up and say, ‘Madame President,’ because that’s the way the rules say you should do it, so, Senator Cohen…”
“Okay, my good friend, Madame…whatever,” he began, “So Madame President….”
The exchange appeared to be tongue-in-cheek and was met with laughter in the chamber.
Still, Democrats, including Mankato State Representative Jack Considine, say Fischbach holding two offices at the same time violates the Minnesota Constitution and, “This business of tap-dancing around, I think that’s cheating and I think she knows it.”
If the D.F.L. is successful in suing to remove her from the Senate, the chamber would be an even 33-33, with a special election to replace Fischbach.
If that happens, Fischbach said she would run for her Senate seat and resign as lieutenant governor if she is elected and Considine said, “The Constitution says she has to move up to Lieutenant Governor; she needs to resign her seat. If she wants to resign immediately as Lieutenant Governor and then go back and run I think that is something she should be allowed to do.”
Republicans have said there’s ample legal precedent that a state Senator can also serve as Lieutenant Governor.