Senate Appointee Michael Bennet Chimes in on Appointments

March 2009
It's not Michael Bennet's fault that his colleague, Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, is pushing for a change that would have required voters to place Bennet in office. Though Bennet, a political newbie and former chief of Denver Public Schools, was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter, blame Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's decision to controversially appoint Roland W. Burris to the seat vacated by President Barack Obama. Bennet, who replaced Ken Salazar, is among four new members of the Senate who did not face an election, a loophole in the 17th Amendment's requirement that senators be "elected by the people" in their states. But Bennet likes things the way they are, according to a quote in The Washington Post: "In general, it appears to me that leaving it up to the states is the right thing to do." Bennet spokesman Michael Amodeo adds that Bennet moreover "does not support" the amendment because of the potential cost of elections to "cash-strapped" states, writes The Colorado Independent.