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January 23, 2009 12:15 AM UTC

Senator Bennet Takes Office

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Daily Kos pitches a fit about the legalities between Bennet’s appointment and the appointment of Roland Burris of Illinois.

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Michael Bennet was sworn in today as Colorado’s junior senator, pledging to get right to work addressing some of the big economic challenges to the country.

The former Denver schools chief, appointed to the Senate by Gov. Bill Ritter, takes over for new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar just two days after Barack Obama was sworn in as president, promising massive changes in foreign and domestic policies.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have the chance to represent Colorado at this moment in history and to be part of a conversation in Washington on some of the most serious problems we’ve seen in generations,” Bennet said while taking a walking tour of the U.S. Capitol shortly before his swearing in.

Earlier, Bennet said Salazar gave him some to-the-point advice: “Do the right thing for the people of Colorado.”


20 thoughts on “Senator Bennet Takes Office

  1. Those people over there operate on the outer edges of reality.  So, they speculate, based on extra-Colorado law and pronouncements, that the Secretary of State’s signature is supposed to verify the authenticity of the Governor’s signature?  Really?!  Is Bernie supposed to be a handwriting expert?  Doubtful.  

    I would suppose that the Secretary’s duty is two-fold:  (1) to confirm that Bill Ritter is the governor, and (2) to confirm that Ritter has picked Bennet to be the new senator.  Period.  Bernie can confirm these facts regardless of whether Ritter has already signed the document.  You know, like, Bernie can actually speak to Bill and what not.  Daily Kos is Daily Krazy.

    1. sort of a Notary Public? I was hoping to have him witness my title transfer next time I sell my car.

      I love how the Kosites fire back — It was ignoring the rules, just like this one, that led to Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping and lying our way into Iraq. Sure, guys. Sure.

      1. The state law says that the Secretary of State must counter-sign and record the document.

        The definition of “counter-sign” is to confirm a document already signed by another by affixing a second person’s signature.  It is pretty much the same as notarizing.

        So Jammy is mistaken; the Secretary’s duty is not to confirm Ritter as Governor and that Ritter has picked Bennet.  It’s to confirm that the document commissioning Bennet has been duly signed by the Governor.  That’s the law, and the Senate agreed.

        1. ..but I have offered my view of the purpose of that requirement.  Regardless, the Senate did not “agree,” as you claim, unless there is another article you have.  The article you linked does not support your claim.

          1. I’m not going to accept your make-up definition just because you want to argue about it and make some other group (that I also participate in) sound undeservedly nutty.

            The point is moot now.  Ritter came back to CO, signed, and had the documents faxed and overnighted so that Bennet could be sworn in.  So now it really is “by the book”.

              1. But try to figure out the operative law (Federal vs. State) and see if it was complied with in this case.

                That would define “invalid.”

                I know it’s not as much fun as blowing farts, but it’s a lot more meaningful.

                    1. As others on this blog have already noted, the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution provides, in relevant part:

                      When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

                      That is, the state legislature (that means, state law) determines how Senate vacancies are filled.  That is why, you may notice, everyone here, and even the Kos krazies, are discussing the meaning of state statutes.  Thanks for following along.

                    2. You and I are in violent agreement on this one.

                      I think State trumps Federal also.

                      But I wasn’t going to give Kos a free pass.

          2. …discusses the “commissions” issued by the governor.  Whether the senatorial appointment is one of these “commissions” is not clear.  The statute authorizing the governor to appoint a senator in the case of a vacancy does not call it a “commission” nor does it reference the need for the Secretary to countersign anything.

            24-21-103. Countersign commissions – record.

            All commissions issued by the governor shall be countersigned by the secretary of state, who shall register each commission in a book to be kept for that purpose, specifying the office, name of officer, date of commission, and term of office

            the other statute says:

            1-12-201. Vacancies in office of United States senator.

            (1) When a vacancy occurs in the office of United States senator from this state, the governor shall make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy until it is filled by election.

            (2) When a vacancy occurs, the governor shall direct the secretary of state to include in the general election notice for the next general election a notice of the filling of the vacancy. The secretary of state shall give notice accordingly. At the election, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term. If, for any reason, no United States senator is elected at the next general election, the person temporarily appointed by the governor shall hold the office until a United States senator is elected at a succeeding general election.

      1. …the article you link discusses an entirely different point:  Ritter had to be in CO when he signed the certificate.  The article did not discuss the subject of the Kos kraziness:  whether Ritter signed after Bernie.  

        So, did you actually “READ[] THE ARTICLE”?  It would seem not.

        1. … covered the initial point adequately without regurgitating it.

          It’s a fiasco, and the Democratic Senate parliamentarians are all over it just like they were all over the Burris appointment.

          By the book, or not at all.  That’s the message.  Obama doesn’t recite the exact oath of office?  He had it redone.  Burris doesn’t show up with the IL SoS signature?  He goes back and gets it by following the proper procedures.  Franken wants provisional seating?  Not without a certificate of election of some sort.  So the same holds here.  We have to follow the law, and that means Ritter signs first – and, according to the article I just linked, that means he has to be in Colorado to sign, since he’s not in charge when he’s out of state.

          1. but he wasn’t.  There seems to be very little point in exchanging tirades over this matter.  If there was a screw up, it’s been resolved and Bennet is now our Senator. Jeesh!

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