Interim Senator

A tough choice, but I think you made the right decision.  For me, the fact that the interim senator will not run in the special election is important.  Am I right in understanding that that stipulation is only a requested pledge and not part of state law? If so, is it possible to make interim appointments to elected offices “temporary” appointments?

Published by Michael Arnott

Cambridge Resident of Cornerstone Village Co-housing.

5 replies on “Interim Senator”

  1. The interim appointment is, in effect, temporary — ends when the new senator is elected.

    What we did is pass a resolution of the legislature asking that the Senator appointed not run. It is not a law, but there is zero practical chance, at least this time around, that the Senator appointed would also run.

  2. Mr. Brownsberger,

    Is there any provision in the resolution, or would you support an amendment, that would prevent the interim Senator from campaigning for another candidate? A Senator has a mighty bully-pulpit from which they can lobby for a specific candidate. The potential for nepotism is staggering.

    1. Not sure I see a “staggering potential for nepotism”, but you raise a valid concern. Constitutionally, it really isn’t one that we can address by legislation. It’s on the Governor to appoint someone who won’t abuse the position.

      1. Hypothetical scenario:

        A governor appoints a close friend to the position of interim senator. That appointment then turns around and endorses said governor for that seat or any other elected position the governor is running for. In lieu of the governor being endorsed perhaps another friend or ally. Better yet what if that interim Senator simply wants to use their brief time in the Senate to sponsor/advance a self-serving piece of legislation.

        Lets not also forget about the potential for any number of (I don’t want to say pay-to-play) ethically dubious rewards for a governor for appointing a specific person. I’m not talking cash, but other kickbacks from the interim senator.

        I know all of this may sound far fetched, but we’ve all just witnessed in Chicago a Senate seat essentially put on EBay.

        This gets back into the heart of the matter, which is the interim appointment. I actually supported taking the power to appoint away from Romney back in 2004. (Please don’t think I am so naive as to think this was done for any other reason then partisan politics.)

        The unintended result of this blatant power grab was a more honest system of succession where the voters pick the Senator, not a potentially self-serving politician.

        I have very strong convictions that anytime government gets more power, it’s simply another way that voters can get rolled.

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