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U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint will resign his post as South Carolina’s junior United States Senator to take over the leadership of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank.

News of DeMint’s decision – effective was first reported this week by The Wall Street Journal.

“This is an urgent time,” DeMint told the paper, “because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections.”

DeMint’s bombshell decision means that S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will get to appoint an interim successor prior to a special election being held in 2014.  Haley can appoint anyone to the post – including herself.  However Haley would technically have to resign from the Governor’s Office prior to accepting the U.S. Senate appointment – meaning she would need to trust S.C. Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell to fulfill her wishes.

South Carolina is one of thirty-six states in which chief executives appoint successors on an interim basis prior to the next general election.  The other fourteen states require that special elections be held to fill the post.

DeMint’s surprise announcement is nothing short of disastrous from a taxpayer perspective.  For starters, it deprives the U.S. Senate of one of its few fiscal conservative champions – and gives the notoriously corrupt and self-serving Haley the power to appoint his successor.

Talk about a lose-lose proposition.

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