Considering how we basically sell ambassadorships to major donors, should selling Senate seats even be a misdemeanor, other than the crime of straight up bribery for personal gain?

As a hypothetical, suppose some governor came out and said he give the Senate seat to whoever donated the most to the ASPCA, or whatever charity floats your boat (that isn't called the Clinton Family Foundation or some other entity that's basically a slush fund or front). I could see progressives or conservatives regarding that as some kind of merit based test, a simple contest measuring some kind of moral worth. It's non-democratic, yet the alternative seems to be having a governor flip through his Rolodex of personal friends and political backers.

If you wanted to give the contest an air of democratic input, you could set it up like a talent show and have people text their votes to 1-800-SENATOR.

For background, five states avoid the issue entirely by not allowing the governor to make an appointment at all, leaving the seat vacant until a special election is held, and nine other states only allow the governor to make an interim appointment until a special election is held (or regular scheduled major election, such as for the House). 36 states allow the governor to appoint someone to finish the existing Senate term.

There are probably better ways to handle the interim, such as having a state's oldest serving House member take over the role, but of course that just moves the vacant hole somewhere else.

After he left Vietnam and Colonel Kurtz's camp, Captain Willard joined the FBI and moved to Chicago.

How many politicians had I already nailed? There was those six that I know about for sure. Close enough to throw their last beer in my face. But this time it was a governor and a senator. That wasn't supposed to make any difference to me, but it did. Shit ... charging a man with corruption in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. I took the mission. What the hell else was I gonna do? But, I really didn't know what I'd do when I busted him."