Dear Senator-Elect Hagan, (That's a fantastic opening to be able to write!)
While I realize you haven't yet even had a chance to get assigned an office on Capitol Hill, there's one question which you'll likely be faced with even before you take the oath of office, and that's the question of what to do about Senator Lieberman and his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee.
I realize that the internal politics of the US Senate are complex and tricky, but two factors stand out. The first, and most obvious, is not just that the Senator campaigned against President-elect Obama, but did so in particularly nasty ways. He spoke at the Republican National Convention, repeatedly campaigned with Senator McCain, and openly and hostilely questioned President-elect Obama's patriotism, intelligence, and preparedness to be President, calling him "dangerously naive" at one point. It's one thing to support the other party's nominee, which certainly has precedent in the Senate. It's quite another to do so in such a quarrelsome and mud-slinging manner, particularly for someone such as Senator Lieberman, who claims to be above such ugliness.
Secondly, and more importantly, however, Senator Lieberman utterly failed to fulfill the duties of the chairmanship. In his role, it was uniquely his responsibility to investigate the failure of the response to Katrina, the rampant corruption and waste in homeland security contracts, and many other issues that Chairman Henry Waxman, Mr. Lieberman's House counterpart, went after aggressively. Mr. Lieberman declined to do any investigating of the catastrophic Bush administration from his highly important seat atop one of the most important oversight committees in the Senate.
There is precedent for this. When Democratic senators endorsed Barry Goldwater in 1964, they lost their committee seniority, including chairmanships where applicable. If Mr. Lieberman chooses to caucus with the Democrats, I see no reason to force him out. However, elections have consequences, as do our actions during them. Given that Senator Lieberman has in almost all ways left the Democratic party behind, I ask that you support action in the Senate to deny him another term as chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee.
This is not about retribution. This is about following standard Senate practice and ensuring competence at the Chairs of the Senate's most important committees.