Brad Jones is the GOP House Leader and he didn’t mince any words on the subject:
Bay State Republicans are “appalled” at the “hypocrisy” of ailing U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s call to change state law to allow Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint his potential temporary successor.
GOP House Leader Rep. Bradley H. Jones accused Democrats of partisan politics for supporting Kennedy’s pitch after blocking a similar 2004 effort to give former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney the same power. Romney sought authority to appoint a temporary replacement for U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry had the senator won the 2004 presidential race but Democrats blocked the move.
Jones said he was “shocked and appalled by the blatant hypocrisy being displayed in regards to the potential replacement of Senator Ted Kennedy.”
“Back in 2004, when the possibility existed that then Governor Mitt Romney could be making an appointment to fill Senator John Kerry’s seat, the Democratic-controlled House and Senate hastily passed a law stripping the governor of the appointment power,” Jones (R-N. Reading) said. “Now, fast forward five years, a Democrat holds the corner office and suddenly there’s an effort to change the law yet again.
“The Democrats in Massachusetts have proven time and time again that they don’t hold democracy to the highest regard,” Jones continued. “Out of political expediency and convenience, the Democrats are again considering showing a complete disregard of the democratic process and the laws of the Commonwealth by contemplating a change to the law to serve their partisan interests.”
Howie Carr is reporting on his radio show that in 2004 it was Ted Kennedy himself who pushed for the change in the existing law to ensure that Mitt Romney would not be able to appoint a Republican to the Senate seat that he and the rest of the left were convinced would be vacated by a victorious John Kerry. Even sweeter is the fact that it was the Boston Globe that reported on Kennedy’s efforts at the time. They must have simply forgotten this minor detail when they published their story on Kennedy’s letter in today’s paper.
Update #1: The above is confirmed by today’s Wall Street Journal:
What Mr. Kennedy doesn’t volunteer is that he orchestrated the 2004 succession law revision that now requires a special election, and for similarly partisan reasons. John Kerry, the other Senator from the state, was running for President in 2004, and Mr. Kennedy wanted the law changed so the Republican Governor at the time, Mitt Romney, could not name Mr. Kerry’s replacement. “Prodded by a personal appeal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy,” reported the Boston Globe in 2004, “Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to take up a stalled bill creating a special election process to replace U.S. Senator John F. Kerry if he wins the presidency.” Now that the state has a Democratic Governor, Mr. Kennedy wants to revert to gubernatorial appointments.
Update #2: Howie Carr gives us his take:
No, no, a thousand times no to this last Kennedy play.
Here’s what this naked political ploy boils down to:
Sen. Ted Kennedy is basically asking the Massachusetts Legislature to repeal a law that he personally pushed through that very same Legislature in 2004. He would gut his own law in order to give a very unpopular governor the right to appoint a rubberstamp who might – might – provide the 60th vote in the Senate to ram through this Obama-care monstrosity that is vehemently opposed by an ever-growing majority of the American people.