Alabama, Get Your Senator

I’m not from Alabama, but if I was, I’d be raising hell right now, because Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said in January that he won’t hold a special election to fill Senator Jeff Sessions’ seat. He’s going to appoint someone to fill in. For TWO YEARS.


In Massachusetts, my state of political residence, you know what happened in 2012, when President Obama appointed our senator, John Kerry, to the cabinet, with less than two years left on his term?

WE HAD A DAMN ELECTION. Immediately. Even though it was a weird time of year. You know why? Because Amendment 17 of the U.S. Constitution says Americans have direct election of senators, and specifically:

“When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.”

Temporary. Until the people fill by election. Governor Bentley “shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.” He doesn’t get to pick whether that happens. And if he doesn’t get with it, it’s the job of the legislature to step in and direct. The gov’s ability to even appoint somebody in the interim is purely at their pleasure, not any power of his.

Also, there’s speculation that Bentley will appoint the Alabama AG as a way to delay that AG’s investigation of guess who Governor Bentley.

Call the Alabama statehouse and demand they schedule that special election ASAP, not way off in 2018. Direct election of Senators is your CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.

Come on, Crimson Tide. Flood those guys.

Not for nothing, same thing happened in 2010, when Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy died with a couple years left on his term. SPECIAL ELECTION STRAIGHTAWAY.