Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bet you can't top this

Competing in the "extreme bipartisanship" category is the Pennsylvania legislature.

Democrats have assumed the majority in the Pennsylvania House and promptly elected a Republican as speaker the first time in at least a century that a majority party doesn't have one of its own members as presiding officer.

Republicans had held the majority for 12 years, but Democrats picked up eight seats in November, just enough to give them a 102-101 lead.

That was followed by two months of ballot recounting and political intrigue that culminated in a behind-the-scenes deal in which nearly all House Democrats and a half-dozen Republicans banded together to oust Republican Speaker John Perzel and put the gavel in the hands of GOP Rep. Dennis M. O'Brien by a 105-97 vote.

O'Brien was generally viewed as a less divisive figure than Perzel particularly among Democrats and his promises of reforms drew in votes from Republicans looking for an alternative.

We're only a few days into 2007, but I'm inclined to give them the award now. I don't think anyone will be able to top that.

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