Currently the law reads that any U.S. senator who leaves office before their term is up will be replaced by a senator appointed by the governor until the following statewide election, which occurs in even-numbered years.
Let me give you an example here.
Let's say that the somehow Diebold manages to award the upcoming presidential election to John McCain, and he appoints Joe Lieberman to a new cabinet position, likely to be called the Secretary of Torture. Jodi Rell could then assign anyone she chooses, perhaps John Rowland, to be the GOP Senator from Connecticut until the 2010 election rolls around.
Something tells me that wouldn't be serving the will of the voters at all.
The Hartford Courant ran a story today about the Democrats' attempt to introduce a bill this session to revise the law.
Of course, had they been better organized LAST YEAR (and this demonstrates one of my gripes with Jim Amann from the previous article), they might have gotten the bill passed with a veto-proof majority. But they waited until this year, and Sen. Bill Finch's vacancy to be Mayor of Bridgeport leaves the Democrats a vote short.
The reader comments about any story on the Courant.com website are mostly boneheaded partisan rants, but Paz's story generated even more rabid responses than usual. It seems that the Democrats think a new law is totally justified, while the Republicans think the Democrats are insane partisan nutjobs.
In my opinion, it boils down to this: we will ALWAYS be better served by letting the people decide which leaders they want, rather than having someone APPOINT a leader for them.
When it comes to the topic of "democracy", I think that it's a darn good system which we should allow to be used as often as possible.