and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

On potential U.S. Senate vacancies

To:  Members of the Committee on Election Laws
Re:  U.S. Senate vacancies
         June 15, 2004

In the unlikely event that John Kerry is not the junior senator from Massachusetts next year, we hope that the traditional method of choosing a temporary replacement will prevail.

There are several reasons for our preference that the governor appoint a replacement until the next senatorial election, including the desirability of giving a private citizen the time to put together a campaign against existing officeholders’ war chests; but we will focus on the argument that most concerns the taxpayers. 

The Legislature embarrassed itself earlier this year when it blatantly rigged former Senator Cheryl Jacques departure to add an additional year of taxpayer-funded pension while at the same time giving a Democrat an election advantage. The argument used was that it would cost local taxpayers to hold a special election instead of utilizing the Democrat primary.

As it turned out, not that much was saved, and the ploy didn’t work anyhow. But in this case, an extra statewide election WOULD cost the taxpayers a lot more money. So to be consistent, you should vote for the less expensive option of allowing the governor to appoint.

CLT plans to give you further opportunity to save money be filing a bill to allow Prop 2½ overrides only at regularly scheduled town or state elections. We hope, in the interest of saving taxpayer dollars, you will support that too.

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