An Ethical Rhode Island?

In a state not known for its ethical governance, a rare distinction - from the Associated Press:

Lawmakers in at least 15 states backed stripping governors of their power to fill U.S. Senate vacancies after former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama's seat, but only Connecticut and Rhode Island have done so.

Representatives in state legislatures from Colorado to Florida have introduced legislation since the Blagojevich allegations surfaced in late 2008 to require that voters — not governors — pick the people who replace senators when an incumbent dies or leaves office midterm. The proposed measures would require states to hold special elections to fill the vacancies, as 14 states — including Connecticut and Rhode Island — already do.

The U.S. Constitution requires House vacancies to be filled by elections, but allows states to choose how to fill Senate vacancies. There are 36 states that give governors the power to appoint replacements until the next regularly scheduled, statewide general election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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