Question from Sunday's Political Buzz page: What lawmaker, who later became governor, was one vote short of being expelled from the state Senate for taking a bribe and was the subject of a resolution that deemed him “unfit to sit with honest, upright men in a respectable legislative body”?
ANSWER: Theodore G. Bilbo. In 1910, after the death of U.S. Sen. James Gordon, the state Senate was deadlocked in choosing a replacement. After many votes, Bilbo was one of several who switched his vote to break the stalemate. He then told a grand jury the next day that he had accepted a $645 bribe, but that he did so only as part of a private investigation. The Senate fell one vote shy in a move to expel Bilbo, and passed the resolution deeming him unfit. He later served two nonconsecutive terms as governor.