Too many politicians woo us for our vote and then bolt for a better gig
Re “Is it time to kill the special elections tradition on Beacon Hill?” (Opinion, Sept. 4): Marcela García’s column focuses on getting rid of special elections but gives a pass to the fundamental problem of elected officials feeling they have a right to resign at their convenience instead of finishing their term. García states, “Of course, they have every right to leave for better jobs.” Why? It seems all politicians, while campaigning, promise that they want to represent the people, fight for them, etc. And most politicians love to characterize themselves as public servants. So, where is the responsibility to finish out a term for which they were elected?
If the governor announced he was leaving in the middle of his term for a “better job,” surely that would cause an outcry. Why is it not seen as an ethical violation for legislators not to fulfill their term when they can — especially, as García also notes, “with many of them leaving to take high-earning lobbyist posts”?
Special elections are key to ensure constituents are represented
Opportunities for talented, smart, skilled elected officials abound. Of course they have a right to take advantage of an offer of a well-paid job. Do we expect them to sacrifice their future and their families? Perhaps some do. I don’t. Do we expect their constituents to be unrepresented for an extended period of time until the next scheduled election time? Perhaps some do. I don’t.
I expect a special election to be called by the appropriate leadership within a reasonable time to allow a full and fair contest among however many candidates can muster sufficient signatures, resources, and support. I trust the constituents to elect a person who is blessed with brains, integrity, and good humor.