I would like to put my name into nomination for the vacant Senate seat in Illinois. I'll admit I don't actually live in Illinois, but if it helps my cause, I could always rent a little place just over the Wisconsin border for a few weeks. How long did Hillary Clinton live in New York before she was elected to the Senate from that state? Two days? I'll even lie and say I'm a life-long Cubs fan if that helps my cause. And since it appears big bribes won't be necessary to get the seat--I think I can afford to apply.
While I'm applying for new jobs, let me announce I'm also interested in the open Senate seat for New York as well. Yes, the weekend commute back here would be arduous--but I am ready to serve however I can. If it helps my cause in New York, I'll even change my last name to Kennedy--it seems to work for everyone else with that surname.
I'm also putting my name into consideration for the open Senate seats in Delaware and Colorado--and any other seat that might open up as President-elect Barack Obama fills his Cabinet and White House staff with Washington insiders who apparently are not responsible for the mess in which we currently find ourselves. Maybe this is why we elect so few Senators to President--because it takes Senators away from several other states as well.
Whereas states have nice clean succession plans if a Governor leaves for Washington--having a seperately-elected Lieutenant Governor ascend to the position--the procedure for replacing a Senator is anything but democratic. What would Illinois Governor Rod Blagojovich have done if Obama's replacement was elected instead of hand-selected by him? Would Caroline Kennedy be so "strongly interested" in a Senate seat if she had to conduct a campaign and publicly answer questions about her stances on important issues?
Fighting Bob LaFollette must be spinning in his grave hearing that backroom negotiations and deals are putting people into the US Senate again. Why did Bob and the Progressives fight for the direct election of Senators during the early 1900's if we are just giving them away now? With as many as five open seats to be appointed this winter, we are seeing the greatest disenfranchisement of the voters since post-Reconstruction southern Democrats passed all of those election laws to keep blacks away from the polls.
I understand the expediency of having a governor appoint a replacement Congressmen--but I wouldn't trust Jim Doyle to pick the other four guys for my basketball team at the YMCA much less one of the two people representing me in the Senate. Although, I'm not sure how the two Senators we currently have represent me--but that is a Two Cents for another day.
The only positive I can see coming from the current system would be if the governors appointed non-millionaires to the vacant Senate seats. Given the rising cost of running elections for these seats--and since most incumbents can self-fund their campaigns--Jonathan the Radio Guy would have no other hope to aspire to the job. Maybe some "regular folks" going to Washington would return some sense to the "Millionaires Club" in Congress.