Could the Newest Member of the House Be Kicked Out of Congress?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Not Over Yet

More than a week after the voting, there are questions about who really won in the special election for New York’s 23rd Congressional District. Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman conceded to Democrat Bill Owens late on election night, after receiving what turned out to be inaccurate vote counts. Owens was sworn into the House of Representatives Friday, then Saturday cast a crucial vote in favor of the health care reform bill.

But a Syracuse newspaper reports re-canvassing in the district shows the race has tightened in Hoffman's favor — he trails by just 3,000 votes. That means the election will be decided by roughly 10,000 absentee ballots. The state Board of Elections has not certified the election yet.

John Conklin, communications director for the New York Board of Elections told The Post-Standard: "All ballots will be counted and if the result changes, Owens will have to be removed."

Higher Calling

A government watchdog group is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in another effort to remove Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Judicial Watch claims Clinton is ineligible to serve, because she was a senator when the compensation for the secretary's position was raised. The group's first try at this was dismissed by a D.C. district court on a technicality.

In the past, presidents have gotten around the eligibility issue, known as the emoluments clause, by requesting that appointees' salaries be lowered to the pre-raise levels. Congress did that for Secretary Clinton. But Judicial Watch says that does not change the fact that she is constitutionally barred from being secretary of state.

Weakest Link?

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is in the doghouse with GOP officials in Charleston County. They unanimously voted to censure Graham for allegedly weakening the GOP brand by working with Democrats on a variety of issues.

But Graham still has a friend in former State Party Chairman Katon Dawson. The prominent conservative defended Graham's maverick style, saying to the Huffington Post: "Lindsey marches to the beat of a different drum."

Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.

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