Re "Let the governor fill seats," Column, Nov. 25
George Skelton points out a clearly regrettable waste of about $1 million that taxpayers spend every time we hold a special election because a state legislator changed his mind about doing the job he was elected to do.
Having the governor appoint a replacement isn't the worst of ideas, but why not simply offer the job to the runner-up? At least the replacement would be someone who ran for the office and had the support of at least a chunk of the people.
Furthermore, the specter of giving the job to someone they tried so hard and spent so much to defeat might just persuade a legislator or two to stay the course.
Skelton makes a case for having the governor fill legislative vacancies. He mentions how expensive the increasingly occurring special elections are for taxpayers.
I think Skelton is right, but I disagree with his solution. Instead of the governor appointing a replacement, we should pass an amendment to the state Constitution that would forbid our political hacks from jumping ship until they fulfill their terms. That would save us millions of dollars.