Date: June 16, 2004

Sent to Boston Globe but not published

The idea of allowing special elections to fill vacancies in state offices is a good one.

Unfortunately the bill is getting mixed up with day to day politics. It is expected and hoped by the Democrats on Beacon Hill that the first vacancy to occur will be the senate seat of John Kerry if he is elected President. Obviously the Governor and his fellow Republicans object.

I also think that people should live by the rules. I did not like it when the rules were bent to allow Frank Lautenberg to replace Robert Torricelli as Democratic candidate for senate in New Jersey. I don't like it if the rules change for Kerry and his fellow Democrats if he gets elected president.

There is a solution that will allow both Republicans and Democrats to support this important bill: The bill should not take effect until a week after the January 2005 inauguration day. That will allow the rules to be followed for the anticipated vacancy due to Kerry's expected resignation. It will also give a modicum of democracy back to the people for subsequent vacancies.