Massachusetts Democrats are moving ahead with their obscenely partisan plan to reverse the very law that the late Senator Kennedy pushed for in 2004 which stripped the governor of his power to appoint a replacement to vacant Senate seats and instead mandates a special election within five months of the vacancy.
It should be noted that at the time Democrats voted down efforts by Republicans which would have given the governor the power to appoint an interim Senator until the special election.
So what has changed? The party affiliation of the governor, that’s what. It was a great plan in 2004 when Mitt Romney was governor, but now that the hapless Deval Patrick is at the helm of our sinking state we all of a sudden need representation during the five months between now and a special election? Anyone who tries to spin this as a way for the citizens of the Commonwealth to have full representation in the U.S. Senate needs to explain why it was such a bad idea a scant five years ago.
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo has given his behind-closed-doors blessing to an effort to hand Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint a temporary successor to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, sources say.
While DeLeo has been publicly silent on the controversial measure tagged a power play by critics, the speaker indicated his tacit support.
The Winthrop Democrat met with his inner circle Monday to discuss the late senator’s request for the temporary appointment and is looking at ways to fulfill the proposal as lawmakers started collecting votes, according to sources.
Kennedy wanted lawmakers to allow Patrick to name a successor for five months until a special election can be held to elect a new senator so that there is a “continuity” of representation in Washington.
Kennedy had asked that the temporary successor vow not to seek the seat in the special election.
Patrick has previously backed the gubernatorial appointment power which was taken away from former GOP Gov. Mitt Romney by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.
But Patrick has not taken a position on the latest Kennedy proposal.