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Momentum Builds for Temporary Kennedy Replacement


Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick now backs the idea of appointing a temporary Senator. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye -- AP)

Updated 3:30 p.m.
By Ben Pershing
Less than two days after the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D), momentum is building in Massachusetts behind a proposal to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement to fill his seat. Democrats in Washington, including Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), have also endorsed the move.

Under current state law, Kennedy's seat will remain vacant until a special election is held 145-160 days after his death, meaning that the state could be without its full complement of Senators during the debate over Kennedy's signature issue -- health-care reform. Last week, Kennedy sent a letter to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) asking that state law be changed so the governor could name a successor to hold the job until the special election.

Democrats initially seemed cool to the proposal, and Republicans complained that it smacked of hypocrisy, given that the appointment power was taken away in 2004 when the GOP held the governor's office. But the tide has shifted since Kennedy's death, and Patrick said Wednesday that changing the law seemed like "a reasonable idea" and that he would sign a bill if it reached his desk.

"Right now, Massachusetts needs two voices in the U.S. Senate," Patrick told reporters.

Just as importantly, leaders in the state legislature also appear to be warming to the idea. The Boston Globe reports that state House Speaker Robert DeLeo has indicated privately that he now backs the proposal, and state Senate President Therese Murray's opposition appears to be softening. Both Vicki Kennedy, the senator's widow, and Reid are lobbying state officials to fill the seat quickly.

"While it is ultimately up to the people of Massachusetts and their representatives at the State House to decide this matter, Senator Reid agrees with Senator Kennedy and Gov. Patrick that the law should be changed," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley. "With so many important matters to be decided, the people of the Commonwealth need two Senators to represent Massachusetts until the special election."

If the law is changed, Patrick is expected to name a caretaker to fill the seat, a political luminary who would pledge not to run in a special election. The Boston Herald and other local media have named former governor Michael Dukakis, ex-state attorney general Scott Harshbarger and former state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien -- all Democrats -- as potential appointees.

As for the special election, the most likely Democratic candidates at this early date appear to be state Attorney General Martha Coakley and Reps. Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano. Coakley, who has previously conducted polling to test her viability as a Senate candidate, might well be the lone woman in the field and she has run and won statewide before. Lynch would rely heavily on his strong support among labor unions and his geographic base in blue-collar South Boston while Capuano would run as the Cambridge candidate, a strong base of intellectual and financial support in a Democratic primary.

Another prominent member of the state's Congressional delegation, Rep. Barney Frank (D), said Tuesday he "will absolutely not be a candidate for that seat." Rep. Ed Markey (D) and former Rep. Martin Meehan (D) has not yet signaled his plans, nor have Vicki Kennedy or ex-Rep. Joseph Kennedy II (D), the late Senator's nephew. Neither family member, particularly the former, is seen by political observers as a likely candidate.

Patrick said on Good Morning America Thursday that he wouldn't comment yet on who would or should succeed Kennedy. "We've got so much political talent in Massachusetts ... in that family and beyond," he said.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Scott Brown has been mentioned as a possible contender to run in the heavily Democratic state. Another potential Republican candidate, ex-Gov. Mitt Romney, is reportedly not interested in the seat. ""Governor Romney's focus right now is on helping other Republicans run for office, and that is how he will be spending his time," a Romney spokesman told Politico.

Based on current law, the primary to succeed Kennedy would occur in November or December, with the special election scheduled for January -- a mid-winter timetable that could suppress turnout.

Chris Cilllizza and Paul Kane contributed to this report.

By Ben Pershing  |  August 27, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Campaign  
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Comments

Gee....some "lion":

Mary Jo was in the back seat and, while he claimed he was just giving her a lift back to her hotel, it was widely thought that he had picked her up for sex. Kennedy swam ashore to save himself, but left Mary Jo to drown - in fact, it was even worse than that.

It was nine hours before he reported the accident. In the meantime, he walked back to his motel, complained to the manager about a noisy party, took a shower, went to sleep, ordered newspapers when he woke up and spoke to a friend and two lawyers before finally calling the police.

Mary Jo's mother later said: 'I don't think he ever said he was sorry.'


The state last changed its succession law in 2004 to require the special election. Before that the governor was allowed to name a successor. At the time, Democrats were worried that then-Republican Gov. Mitt Romney would be able to fill any vacancy created if Democratic Sen. John Kerry was elected president.

Republican House Leader Brad Jones said he proposed virtually the same idea in 2004 as Kennedy is proposing now - which would have allowed Romney to name someone to fill the seat on an interim basis - but it was overwhelmingly rejected by Democrats.

”If this is going to move forward, people are going to have to explain what's changed between then and now,” said Jones, of North Reading.

Posted by: moonchild64 | August 27, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Democrats need to explain why they believe the Massachusetts law merits revision. So far the explanations offered amount to nothing more than: "we have a tough fight coming up, and we want to win." Citizens of a democratic republic deserve better than this.

Posted by: coastofutopia | August 27, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Brilliant idea! change the law and honor for real senator extra-ordinaire!
None of above candidates to replace the lion seem to have the potent needed roar to put in place
those unruly and futile subversive senatorial
obstructionist-plots!
A new face with equal passion can do miracles to pass health reform bill: his dream.

Posted by: manittou | August 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

This does smack of political expediency but also I think the law should never have been changed in the first place. I do not think it is healthy for democracy for a Senate seat to be vacant for so long.

Posted by: pjjacobs | August 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

What a legacy: Chappaquidick, followed by many brilliant moments in the Senate, and concluded with the venal hypocrisy of changing the law to perhaps stop a GOP appointee under Romney and then a demand that it be rescinded to allow a Dem appointee under Patrick.

Ted Kennedy's legacy will be compromised by the chincanery with which it began and ended.

Maybe it should be otherwise, but he did it to himself.

Posted by: jayjay9 | August 27, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

If any of you guys live in Massachussetts, then you have grounds to complain about it. Otherwise, MA is welcome to choose its senators in any way they see fit.

States' Rights, you know? I think we even went to war over that once. How ironic that most of the people who oppose this move live in states that were so big on it before.

Posted by: Section406 | August 27, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't want MA suddenly changing the rules so they can effect the vote on health care for all Americans.They made a switch to cover their butts if Kerry won and now it's come back to haunt them.

Posted by: FLvet | August 27, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

coastofutopia: Here is the answer to your question. They would change the law because they can. The original law should have allowed the governor to appoint an interim replacement until a special election could be held... this would allow full representation and a democratic method of choosing a successor. Having said all that I'm glad they didn't pass the original law that way because Mitt Romney might have had the change to appoint the replacement for John Kerry. That's completely partisan of course, but I'll be honest about it :)

Posted by: VinceDC | August 27, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

To he!! with the Gov. if he signs it. To he!! with the citizens of Mass. if the don't scream about this and to he!! with the Senate if they accept it.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | August 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This will only further confirm that the Spendocrats are now morally and fiscally bankrupt. It was Teddy that originally changed the law to prevent Republican Governor Romney from replacing John Kerry. Now because there is risk from the election the Spendocrats want to change it back. This would just confirm the sleaze factor that is now what is left of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | August 27, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Kennedy wrote this letter six weeks in advance but only sent it when it seemed the end was near.

Why didn't he ask for this change months ago when he was already functionally out of office?

I believe Kennedy and the Dems had the timing of the letter's release planned in advance in order to milk the most emotion from a "dying wish" to reverse the state law.

Wonder what Mary Jo's dying wish was?

Posted by: spamsux1 | August 27, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I lived in Massachusetts and voted for Ted Kennedy when I was there. It's a wonderful state and I wish I still lived there rather than in the DC area. People are nicer in Cape Cod than they are here.

In any event, Senator Kennedy tried to make amends the rest of his life for the very tragic death of Mary Jo Kopeckne. I'm sure he lived with that knowledge everyday of his life.

Posted by: JaneDoe4 | August 27, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Bubbette" states that Kennedy changed the Commonwealth's succession law. Perhaps Bubbette would explain how he could do that since he was not a member of the Commonwealth's legislature which passed the succession legislation, but rather a member of the U.S. Senate.

Posted by: CheneyM | August 27, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The legislature and Governor should consult over a round of Chappaquiddicks (Scotch & murky water).

Posted by: cletus1 | August 27, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

What do you get when you cross a bridge with Ted Kennedy?

Half-way.

Posted by: cletus1 | August 27, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

CheneyM: Are you trying to be obtuse? Well good job. If I am not mistaken the Massachusetts House of Representatives has 143 democrats, 16 republicans, and 1 independent. If the citizens of Massachusetts allow this power grab it will further confirm how corrupt the political process is. How un-American to hold an election, instead the political party in power can simply change the law to meet their ends.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | August 27, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Devall Patrick is another Obama....just an empty promise and claims of self importance. And when Barney Frank is referenced you know its Mass politics at its highest....or lowest. Mass changes laws to suit the democrats needs, as they cant seem to run their own state very well, so rather than fix it, they change the playing field. Just what we need in washington, another wishy washy, spineless politician that only the finest money can by.....or lobbyist

Posted by: livefreeordie2 | August 27, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

To all you angry and hateful rightwingers who post these cheap shots at a dead man, I am sorry for you. Your lives must be miserable with the hate and meanness that you exhibit. As Jesus said, let he who is without sin throw the first stone.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | August 27, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy advocated for the law change in 2004, but was mute about the provision of whether to allow the Gov. to appoint a temporary Senator until the special election. The legislature took that out. That is the only change that he asked for in his letter.

This is really none of my business as I am not a resident of Massachusetts. It's between the Gov, the legislature, and their constituents. I very much doubt it will have much effect on health care reform.

PS to Moonchild64. My apologies for yesterday--it was an emotional day.

Posted by: yeswiican | August 27, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Talk about the Elitist Dim Socialist Scum trying to get their Sick Cake, and then trying to eat it TOO!

They made the Bed!

SLEEP IN IT!

The rest of the US, and the US Supreme Court should never allow such GARBAGE to be pulled!

So the Leftist Scum wanted to Ham-string Governor Mittster...

LOL! :-D

Look who got caught!

Hasta la Vista 60 Seat Advantage Dims! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | August 27, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

yeh yeh yeh ....

*this is a state issue*, and if you don't live in Massachusetts, go aggravate people somewhere else.... like YOUR home state.

if you're looking to trash a politician, there are many live *and trash-worthy ones* to choose from.... like YOUR Senator or Rep.

cheap cheap cheap

Posted by: hilarity | August 27, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrits.

Dim libs.

Harry Reid pressures Mass legislature to change its law.

Yeah, right. Good reason for doing it Harry.

Crooked bunch of jackals

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | August 27, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

If it were anyone other than Edward Kennedy, would there even be a proposal to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement to fill his seat?

The law is quite clear - the seat will remain vacant until the Special Election.

Posted by: asmith1 | August 27, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the law is quite clear. And quite clearly it is within the state legislature's authority to change the law if they want to.

Posted by: yeswiican | August 27, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"If it were anyone other than Edward Kennedy, would there even be a proposal to allow the governor to appoint a temporary replacement to fill his seat?

The law is quite clear - the seat will remain vacant until the Special Election."

It doesn't matter a whit that the seat was vacated by the death of Senator Kennedy: The people of Massachusetts shouldn't be deprived of half their representation in the Senate for six to eight weeks.

And laws can be changed whenever legislative bodies see fit to change them.

There's something that conservatives, especially those who are exhibiting such lack of fundamental decency since Senator Kennedy's death, seem to overlook about government in the United States: Every law that gets passed, from the county ordinance to the Constitutional amendment, had damn well better represent the wishes of the people. If it doesn't, the likelihood is that those who passed and began administering it will have the chance to pursue new employment challenges after the next election. If government isn't doing what you want it to do, it's probably because a lot of other people want something else.

Posted by: jlhare1 | August 27, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Well it's pretty clear the Democrats DON'T believe in elections. They would rather bypass We The People and put a crony in there.......

Of course the MOST qualified candidate for Kennedy's old seat would be MITT ROMNEY

Posted by: allenridge | August 27, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"I don't want MA suddenly changing the rules so they can effect the vote on health care for all Americans.They made a switch to cover their butts if Kerry won and now it's come back to haunt them.

Posted by: FLvet | August 27, 2009 11:38 "

If MA does not put someone in place that has similar ideological views as Kennedy, that would be changing the outcome. Kennedy's passion was healthcare for all - certainly MA deserves to have a similar voice in the debate since Kennedy's death. Kennedy has been a MA senator for decades, the people of that state have spoken clearly in the past, their voices should be heard, and thier words spoken by someone with the same or similar views.

Posted by: Michael_A1 | August 27, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jlhare1 | August 27, 2009 2:13 PM

It doesn't matter a whit that the seat was vacated by the death of Senator Kennedy: The people of Massachusetts shouldn't be deprived of half their representation in the Senate for six to eight weeks.

---

Five years ago, the Dems in the MA legislature thought it was perfectly fine to deprive the people of Massachusetts half their representation in the Senate for six to eight weeks.

Why is that which was okay five years ago is not okay now?

Posted by: MisterTanaka | August 27, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"I don't want MA suddenly changing the rules so they can effect the vote on health care for all Americans.They made a switch to cover their butts if Kerry won and now it's come back to haunt them.

Posted by: FLvet | August 27, 2009 11:38 "

If MA does not put someone in place that has similar ideological views as Kennedy, that would be changing the outcome. Kennedy's passion was healthcare for all - certainly MA deserves to have a similar voice in the debate since Kennedy's death. Kennedy has been a MA senator for decades, the people of that state have spoken clearly in the past, their voices should be heard, and thier words spoken by someone with the same or similar views.

=================================

MITT ROMNEY'S PASSION WAS HEALTH CARE too

And Mitt Romney is the only person in America to get one in place that does work and IS under budget......

Mitt Romney 2012.........POTUS, It's time for pragmatic leadership

Posted by: allenridge | August 27, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

You do understand, don't you, that this appointment would only last until January? And they're talking about limiting it to a person who will not run in the special election.

Under the pre-2004 law, Patrick would be appointing someone to sit until through the current Congress. A Special election would be held in Nov. 2010 to fill the seat until the end of Kennedy's term in 2012.

Under current law, the winner of the January 2010 special election will keep the seat until the 2012 election.

Posted by: yeswiican | August 27, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The absolute hypocrisy is well addressed by other posters here.

For those claiming MA needs two senators for adequate representation, where were these cries from the states of Il, AZ and NY who only had one senator working for them the past 2 years while Obama, Clinton and McCain were campaigning? The silence was deafening.

It was Kennedy himself who railroaded the change that stripped the governor of his right to choose a successor through the general assembly. Now that the law applies to his seat, MA needs to abide by their previous ruling.

Unfortunately, I doubt they will elect anyone less liberal than Kennedy, so it is a moot point.

Posted by: mobileclem | August 27, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the poster who said that most of us do not live in MA but I disagree that it means we can't ask questions about the motive of the law change for two reasons.
1. If the purpose is centered around the health care vote, that vote will affect every American. Should only Floridian's been given a voice when there were voting irregularities in the Bush/Gore election?
2. If the purpose is centered around the health care vote, all Americans have the right to know what lengths the health care proponents are willing to take in order to push their agenda and decide if they feel the ends justify the means.

Posted by: g2ugzm | August 27, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Let see, in 2000 they wanted to change the rules on the "hanging chad issue", in 2004 there was a push to not give then Republican Governor Romney the ability to select a replacement if Senator Kerry was elected President, and now that it benefits the Democrat party to change the law after the fact to go back to the way it was since it is a Democrat Governor, I would say this is a blantnat abuse of power and unehtical in the need for the people to select a replacement. Give it up and go with the law as written at the time of the vancancy. Senator Kennedy is held to high standards on both sides, let's not dilute it with pity polictics.

Posted by: MidwestContributor | August 27, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

When considering legislation concerning the seating of a US Senator, it is appropriate for the state legislature to get input from its current Senators as well as, perhaps, the leadership of the Senate.

Advocating or supporting a change is not "abuse of power." What power does Reid have over the Mass. legislature? They are overwhelmingly Democratic elected officials, and they should do whatever they feel is in the best interests of their constituents.

Posted by: yeswiican | August 27, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This situation typifies what is wrong with the Kennedy mentality . . . they want to change laws at a whim to satisfy their narcissist needs. Unfortunately, the sheep in that state will probably let them keep on doing it.

Posted by: rplat | August 27, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Republicans think about this? They brought us 4000 dead Americans in Iraq based on W's lies and Cheney's treason. They would just as soon let New Orleans drown because, uh, those folks don't look anything like who showed up for the GOP National Convention. Dam the torpedoes, all speed ahead, Democrats! And to h*ll with liars, crooks, and right wing fascists.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | August 27, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Kennedy legacy- abuse of power and lots of corruption right to him fertilizing the ground and pushing up daisies.

Posted by: ekim53 | August 27, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If the people of Mass. were so concerned about not having an empty seat, they should have encouraged Kennedy to step down many, many months ago since he's been absent for many, many months. He couldn't let go because he was greedy and power hungry.

The only atonement he's done since Chappaquidick has been spending other people's money.

Leave the law alone. You changed it Mass., you need to live with it.

Posted by: bandmom22 | August 27, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Section406
If any of you guys live in Massachussetts, then you have grounds to complain about it. Otherwise, MA is welcome to choose its senators in any way they see fit.

States' Rights, you know? I think we even went to war over that once. How ironic that most of the people who oppose this move live in states that were so big on it before.
------------------------------------------
Yes, we did go to war once over states' rights, and states' rights lost to Lincoln's federal abomination

Posted by: ronnyknows | August 27, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The laws were changed, by the democrats, from an appointment to this special election process instead when Kerry was running for President against Bush so that if he won, then Governor Romney could not perhaps appoint a republican to replace Kerry. Kennedy supposedly had a big say in wanting this done by the state. Now that there is a democratic governor, they want the rules they demanded be changed in their favor last election to be returned so they can get a dem in there faster? This is hypocritical political posturing and positioning and nothing more and is indeed the most shameful of acts if it does occur.

Posted by: justmyvoice | August 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Now, why would Ted Kennedy write a letter to change the rules for Senators? Could it be a vacant Democrat seat in the Senate would not help the Democrat’s agenda?

The preference would be to by-pass election and make a temporary appointment so that Ted Kennedy staff and his special interests could continue in the U.S. Senate. Remember the Alamo or remember Ted Kennedy for health care deform.

Posted by: klausdmk | August 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should appoint a Kennedy to the US Senate. After all it is the Kennedy family seat. The citizens of the commonwealth then do not need to be bothered with an election.

Posted by: jhpbriton | August 27, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Let us remind the readers how the Kennedy manipulate women, voters, states and reporters to suit their needs.

Change the law in 2004 to favor Democrats and then change it again to once again manipulate the system. I hope a smart lawyer holds it up in court as a violation of voters rights.

Let us see how many minorities make it past the first round of the democratic primary in Massachusetts.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | August 27, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Some of you people are really. . . amazing.
Laws become laws because legislative bodies pass them, and legislators vote for or against them based on the realities at the time a particular law is passed. That's what they did in 2004. Realities have changed since then. That's why laws can be changed. If we followed the line of reasoning that some of you Kennedy-haters are following here, slavery would still be legal because no law can ever be changed. The seventeenth century law in Massachusetts that "children who persisted in riot" against their parents could be put to death would still be in effect because, well, a law is a law and can't be changed.
Frankly, the proposed change seems pretty sensible to me. A governor can have a caretaker Senator working immediately, and the electorate can chose the caretaker's replacement.

Posted by: jlhare1 | August 27, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Just leave the seat vacant—to keep the Democrats from doing any further damage.

Look what happened in Illinois. We thought we couldn't have a worse Senator than Barack Obama and now we're stuck with Roland Burris. Actually, come to think of it, Obama was worse than Burris.

Posted by: Jerzy | August 27, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

To replace Ted Kennedy they will have to find a drunk that is willing to kill unborn babies. drown there lovers at the Chappaquiddick Bridge. over eat at every opportunity. Open the borders. Take from the working man to give to the lazy bums. and try to destroy the United States at every opportunity.

Posted by: CaseClosed | August 27, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey it's the Dumbocrates .... They can change the rules anyway the see fit to accommodate their needs.

Posted by: frankn1 | August 27, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The Dems just don't get it!! We don't want the Health Care Bill, we don't want deficits and we don't want "politics as usual". What happened to "Change".

Posted by: lawman1 | August 27, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

To all you angry and hateful rightwingers who post these cheap shots at a dead man, I am sorry for you. Your lives must be miserable with the hate and meanness that you exhibit. As Jesus said, let he who is without sin throw the first stone.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | August 27, 2009 1:11 PM

------------------------------------

Thank you. Could not have said it better.

But one must understand that those folks belong to the class of brainless things desperately in need of leaders like Limbaugh, Beck, Palin and Steel.


Posted by: mackiejw | August 27, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Laws become laws because legislative bodies pass them, and legislators vote for or against them based on the realities at the time a particular law is passed. That's what they did in 2004. Realities have changed since then."

The mockery is coming because Kennedy changed his position twice for no reason other than political expediency.

"The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should appoint a Kennedy to the US Senate. After all it is the Kennedy family seat. The citizens of the commonwealth then do not need to be bothered with an election."

Joan is still around.

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 27, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope that the legislature gets this done. Kennedy was a strong voice for the working class -- the people who make America work -- and the poor. These are the same folks who are experiencing insurance company denials, cancellations and etc. At a minimum, the Mass legislature can work to get someone in there as a replacement -- and that someone should have no interest in retaining the position.

Posted by: teoandchive | August 27, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

So much for the rule of law. Now, it's one law for the Democrats and another law for everyone else.

Posted by: tharper1 | August 27, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey lawman1!

Do you understand what elections are about? In 2008, Teddy campaigned with Barack and expressly promised that if elected Barack would be the one pushing health care reform.

Despite being called a socialist, a terrorist, a thug, an "affirmative action baby", incapable, communist, foolish and various other forms of insults, Barack won with almost 55% of the vote (and he won 30 of the 50 states).

We're going to get health care. We're going to get smaller deficits and we're going to get these laws soon.

Posted by: teoandchive | August 27, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Terrible situation all together. Knowing what the rule change was, Sen. Kennedy should have resigned his seat in advance. He would have still had the clout and political power to advocate in re the health care issue.

But changing the law again sets a terrible precedent and I hate to think what the response could be from other one party majority held states to some laws they have on the books.

Posted by: ballgame | August 27, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow! What’s up with this? A man on his death bed, a week before he dies, has unbelievable cognitive ability and physical capacity to write a letter! Not to mention the fact cancer patients are routinely given Morphine for excruciating pain at the end of life. First time for everything I guess....Obama team, you will stop at nothing. A half smart person can see through this.

Posted by: annlawler26 | August 27, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey teoandchive !

You need to cut down on the Kool-Aid.

Could you be al franken by chance ?

Posted by: UpAndOver | August 27, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it is a good idea to change the state law to avoid cloture. Byrd has also been missing in action, so the Dems may just be spinning their wheels going nowhere. They don't need anything but 51 votes by going nuclear. Do it and the GOP will come around from their obstructionism before they let that happen. The public option to compete against for profits is easy to do, just start funding faith based cooperatives to compete and the GOP will be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Posted by: jameschirico | August 27, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

MASS should have a Democrat and the nation needs that vote to pay a fitting tribute to Kennedy. Kennedy spent his entire life fighting for Americans, and now that we are on the cuspo of having real health care reform - his greatest dream -- it would be a crime against the state of MASS and against America if losing his voice allowed the party of no to keep us from real reform and health care for all Americans.

Posted by: John1263 | August 27, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

What are you RATS thinking ? I already know .No need to answer .It is apparent to ALL you are as CORRUPT as ... well I can't think of anyone more CORRUPT .It's just more proof of your intent to do GREAT DAMAGE to America .All your acts of TREASON are pileing up .When it gets to a certain point .This kind of rot will destroy you RATS FOREVER ! ! ! American Patriots are watching you RATS .When we have had enough it's over .

Posted by: Imarkex | August 27, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Gee....some "lion":

Mary Jo was in the back seat and, while he claimed he was just giving her a lift back to her hotel, it was widely thought that he had picked her up for sex. Kennedy swam ashore to save himself, but left Mary Jo to drown - in fact, it was even worse than that.

It was nine hours before he reported the accident. In the meantime, he walked back to his motel, complained to the manager about a noisy party, took a shower, went to sleep, ordered newspapers when he woke up and spoke to a friend and two lawyers before finally calling the police.

Mary Jo's mother later said: 'I don't think he ever said he was sorry.'

---------------------------------------
1. "it was widely thought that he had picked her up for sex." -- Widely "thought?" So if one were to say that it is "widely thought" that you are an idiot, would that be a fact, or pure speculation?

2. "Mary Jo was in the back seat" -- in the back seat?--yeah, I guess one could suspect that a hooker was picked up at party and and was being taken back to "a hotel" to have sex...problem is, I didn't get the idea from all I've heard about the woman that Mary Jo was a hooker...but then again I would "widely think" that she was given that she rode in the back seat of a man's car to get a ride to a hotel to have sex, huh?

3. "when he woke up and spoke to a friend and two lawyers before finally calling the police." -- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I "widely heard" that one of the first people he called was Mary Jo's mother before calling the police, but failed to mention that he was the driver of the car.

4. "Mary Jo's mother later said: 'I don't think he ever said he was sorry." Was Mary Jo's mother "widely thinking" in this comment, or could she have forgotten that he did...after all she did say "I don't "think" he ever...also, would it be unusual for a grieving mother to make such a statement in anger of loosing her daughter...no disrespect to Mary Jo, but do you think she may have had some responsibility in all of this by getting in the car with someone who was obviously drunk?

Look, the man made a mistake in his life...he later went on to do great things for those who were less fortunate than himself. His family sacrificed a lot for this country and perhaps...just perhaps his drinking problems stemmed from the lose of his brother who was murder by someone much like you--a hater. He who is without sin, let him/her cast the first stone!

RIP Teddy...

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 27, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, perfectly said. Do you Dems see how bad this makes you look??? The Dems look corrupt, for even bringing the subject up in the first place. The horrifying thing is the dems aren't even trying to hide it!....BTW, I don't care if Ted wrote the note 6 weeks ago, he would have been doped up on Morphine then, too.
=================
"""...You can's This will only further confirm that the Spendocrats are now morally and fiscally bankrupt. It was Teddy that originally changed the law to prevent Republican Governor Romney from replacing John Kerry. Now because there is risk from the election the Spendocrats want to change it back. This would just confirm the sleaze factor that is now what is left of the Democratic Party."""

Posted by: annlawler26 | August 27, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

All those crocadile tears for Mary Jo. But not one for the hundresds of thousands of Americans who face homelessness because their job does not offer health care. Not a tear for the 47 million who have to choose carefully whether to go to the doctor or eat. Not a tear for the 400,000 the tobacco industry will kill this year. Not a tear from the right for the 15,000 Americans killed by hand guns every year.

M'thinks you all don't really give a carp about Mary Jo. It is just that you have nothing else you can use except a single ad hominem attack against someone who although he was rich and famous spent every day of his life working like hail to make your life and mine a better one.

Posted by: John1263 | August 27, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Posted by: annlawler26 | August 27, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Democrats need to explain why they believe the Massachusetts law merits revision. So far the explanations offered amount to nothing more than: "we have a tough fight coming up, and we want to win." Citizens of a democratic republic deserve better than this.

Posted by: coastofutopia
-------------------------------------
Here's your explanation...because we won...majority rules...the seat was held by a Democrat, so there's nothing wrong with putting a temp Dem in place until a special election takes place--that race will result in another Democrat being elected anyway, so what's your problem?

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 27, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, perfectly said. Do you Dems see how bad this makes you look??? The Dems look corrupt, for even bringing the subject up in the first place. The horrifying thing is the dems aren't even trying to hide it!....BTW, I don't care if Ted wrote the note 6 weeks ago, he would have been doped up on Morphine then, too.
=================
"""...You can's This will only further confirm that the Spendocrats are now morally and fiscally bankrupt. It was Teddy that originally changed the law to prevent Republican Governor Romney from replacing John Kerry. Now because there is risk from the election the Spendocrats want to change it back. This would just confirm the sleaze factor that is now what is left of the Democratic Party."""
------------------------------------
LMAO...this from someone who's from the Club of No, LOL...not even big enough to be called a Party, LOL..."what is left of the Democratic Party", LMAO...from one who is from the Club lead by Palin and Rush, LOL...you guys crack me up...you really don't see it do you? When are you going to open your eyes and see that the Repugnant Party no longer exist except for the few loonies who spend their days "screaming" NO! NO! NO!, LMAO..."The Dems look corrupt", LMAO, look up the word "corrupt" in the dictionary and they will be a picture of Palin and Rush mouth hanging open with the caption..."come yee my few little friends, we must march on the mall until we turn red screaming NO! NO! NO!, LMAO...you guys really crack me up, LMAO...if it weren't so sad it would be really funny, LOL!

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 27, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

To avoid this issue in the future, they should merely amend the law to state that, if the governor is a Republican, an election must be held within 145-160 days; if the governor is a Democrat, he can name a successor.

Easy.

/rolleyes

Posted by: ld59 | August 27, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

One last thing - to the Mass. dem that blogged, "If you don't live in Mass. you [we] need to butt out"

***NEWS FLASH!!!!!
This whole nation of states, belongs to each and everyone of us citizens. Your state, Mass., is just as much mine as it is yours.....Don't you remember your history lesson? -- It is "We the people"...and NOT, "I" or "me" the people."

Posted by: annlawler26 | August 27, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Gee, why didn't they feel this way when Romney was governor?
Oh that's right, he is a Republican. so now the sleazes want to fill the seat in a hurry.
What a slovenly bunch of feces these democrats are.
The stench is overpowering.

They honor an individual who was a cheat, a drunk, a hateful hypocrite, a pro abortion catholic(whatever that is), and someone who should have gone to prison for manslaughter.
A real principled slug. Arrogant, rich(thanks to hisold man's bootlegging) and who nnever did ahn honest day's work. Tyoical democrat politician. Just the type that mindless liberals honor.

And the sad part is that they are going to bury him in Arlington where so many principled, patriotic Americans are buried.

Embarrassing, simply embarrassing.

Posted by: LarryG62 | August 27, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Has it crossed anyone's mind that the above ways of thinking are exactly why we're never going to get anywhere on healthcare... stop being so partisan!

I don't think the MA law should have been changed in the first place, and I would support changing it back. Not to give maintain a Democratic majority and bar Republican efforts or views. But to allow the people of MA an equal voice with every other state in whatever important votes come before the Senate, and, as pjjacobs said, because I don't think its good for a Senate seat to be vacant for so long.

Maybe MA should appoint a Republican, and try to focus on what Sen. Kennedy did - reaching across the aisle and pursuing bipartisan solutions. It shouldn't matter whether the Dems have 59 or 60 seats. And if you're convinced that it does, and persist in being partisan, you can kiss any worthwhile reform to healthcare goodbye.

Posted by: AlexB2 | August 27, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope Dukakis get the appointment, and rides into DC on a tank.

Posted by: Jihm | August 27, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Now the dems want to change their own rules?

This is exactly why people like me are so SICK of politicians and their lies and selfishness.

First it was Bloomberg seeking to rewrite the rules in his favor even though he promised not to.

Now we have democrats going down the same path.

This is truly disgusting.

Posted by: dcis1 | August 27, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Has it crossed anyone's mind that the above ways of thinking are exactly why we're never going to get anywhere on healthcare...? Stop being so partisan!

I don't think the MA law should have been changed in the first place, and I would support changing it back. Not to maintain the Democratic majority and bar Republican efforts or views. But to allow the people of MA an equal voice with every other state in whatever important votes come before the Senate, and, as pjjacobs pointed out, because I don't think its good for a Senate seat to be vacant for so long.

Maybe MA should appoint a Republican, and try to focus on what Sen. Kennedy did - reaching across the aisle and pursuing bipartisan solutions. It shouldn't matter whether the Dems have 59 or 60 seats. And if you're convinced that it does, and persist in being partisan, you can kiss any worthwhile reform to healthcare goodbye.

Posted by: AlexB2 | August 27, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

What are you RATS thinking ? I already know .No need to answer .It is apparent to ALL you are as CORRUPT as ... well I can't think of anyone more CORRUPT .It's just more proof of your intent to do GREAT DAMAGE to America .All your acts of TREASON are pileing up .When it gets to a certain point .This kind of rot will destroy you RATS FOREVER ! ! ! American Patriots are watching you RATS .When we have had enough it's over .

Posted by: Imarkex
------------------------------------
"It is apparent to ALL you are as CORRUPT as ..." Bush? Chaney? Rove? Rumsfeld? Tom Delay? Otto John Bolton? Oh, we can go on and on in on, but you get the picture right? Just wanted to give you a head start on finding folks who are "more corrupt". Oh yeah, and as far as you "American Patriots" who are watching and waiting to have had "enough to call it over"...LOL, you you had the ability to get it "over", you would have done it by now...know that your efforts to date is all you have, and that's basically NOTHING, LOL!

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 27, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrisy in action!

Take it away (the right thing to do) from a Republican, but give it back to a Democrat. What crock of twaddle!

Democrats have changed in really bad ways in the last 20 years. This is an example.

Posted by: thelaw1 | August 27, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I doubt this was Ted's idea to get the law changed back.....I also, think if Teddie weren't so weak towards the end, he would have helped to pass a bipartison bill that would have been far superior and one that was best for the country. I can't imagine in a million years, Teddie supported HC3200.

Posted by: annlawler26 | August 27, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Why not just change the law to this:

If the governor is a Democrat, the seat is filled by appointment, if the governor is a Republican the seat is filled by a special election.

Posted by: bearfanrp | August 27, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The greatest tribute to Ted Kennedy will not be a health care bill. It will be the incredible feat of non-surgical genetic engineering that, by virtue of his death, transformed this pig into a "lion".

Posted by: MARKM2 | August 27, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Sorry anyone has died. We all have sacred worth in God's eyes. But....if Kennedy had always gotten his way our nation would be trillions in debt and headed for socialism! Oh, wait! We have that now!

Posted by: Revcain777 | August 27, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, to be exact, if you refer back to the bible ---
Jesus was addressing a group of folks for tormenting a defenseless prostitute....big difference.
=====================================
To all you angry and hateful rightwingers who post these cheap shots at a dead man, I am sorry for you. Your lives must be miserable with the hate and meanness that you exhibit. As Jesus said, let he who is without sin throw the first stone.

Posted by: annlawler26 | August 27, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

One last thing - to the Mass. dem that blogged, "If you don't live in Mass. you [we] need to butt out"

------------------------------------
Well, I'm assuming that the same goes for the Repugnants who do not live in Mass...humm, that would mean that there are only two comments allowed on the issue from the opposing party, lol...your's and that other idiot who still with the Repulsive Club, lol...

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 27, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

This is a perfect example of why the American public is turned off on politics. Just 5-years ago, the state changed the law to prevent the Republican governor from appointing a replacement for Senator Kerry in case he was elected to the office of President. Now they want to simply go back in time in order that a Democratic governor can appoint a fellow Democrat.

Reminds me of the underhanded mess that the Republicans created in their redistricting within the state of Texas not too many years ago. This was wrong then and it's wrong now to conveniently change the laws to accommodate the party in power.

Posted by: kabusn6198 | August 27, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what they do in Massachussetts?
No one as long as it is fair and legal.

How do you justify changing the law everytime it meets the democtats objectives?

Posted by: hhorne1 | August 27, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

A MODEST PROPOSAL
Why not just enact a law that if a Democrat is governor the replacement will be appointed and if a Republican is governor there will be an election?
That way, the Democratic babies can have their cake and eat it too.
F Stagg MD
Tucson AZ

Posted by: docfjs | August 27, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

To avoid this issue in the future, they should merely amend the law to state that, if the governor is a Republican, an election must be held within 145-160 days; if the governor is a Democrat, he can name a successor.

Easy.

/rolleyes

Posted by: ld59
-----------------------------------
Yeah, you know that's the most sensible thing I've heard all year from a Rethuglican, lol...for that, you get the "Most Sensible Ilk Award", lol...

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 27, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

This is oh so typical of the conniving, manipulative, ego driven nature of the Dems. First they say it can’t be done when the situation arises for the Reps, and now they want to do yet another about face, because it may adversely effect them now. They feel the need to ensconce yet another sycophant in Kennedy’s position to do their bidding rather than permit the voters to decide because they feel the ordinary, imbecilic, middle class taxpayer isn’t smart enough to see things the elitist way. I can see some dark storm clouds forming on the horizon.

Posted by: 1SkyTrooper | August 27, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The law was put in place in 2004 by the Democrats when there was a Republican governor and Kerry might get elected. Now that they have a Democrat they want to repeal it and make things more "fair." How convenient. Kind of sounds like Chicago Politics to me....

Posted by: DL13 | August 27, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

First, unless you live in Massachusetts, your opinion on whether Massachusetts law should be changed does not matter.
If the law is changed, that can not be blamed on Kennedy.
Those of you who want a republican should remind yourselves that MA is pretty much a democratic state, and right now no bi-partisanship is possible with a republican - they keep saying so themselves, so that is not my judgement. Finally, there is no reason why MA should be without its full complement of senators at a time when there is a national debate on an issue that so impacts all citizens, and the senator chosen should represent the views of the people of Massachusetts.

I am so very disappointed in the inability of citizens of this country to converse without trying to intimdate, to respect others who disagree instead of threatening to kill them, and to question all the misinformation that has been put about by people who have a huge stake in the outcome. If I tell you the sky is falling four or five times, will you believe that too?

Finally, while Sen. Kennedy certainly was at fault in Mary Jo's death, there is a difference between a person who tries to to good for the rest of his life and the person who keeps on killing. According to too many of you, once you do anything wrong, you might just as well keep doing bad things because you will always be seen solely as the perpitrator of the worst thing you ever did. I hope I never meet any of you.

Posted by: benbury | August 27, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This time the American People aren't going to be swayed by the "Karl Rove Play Book"

Yes, let the Governor of Mass. seat someone until election time. Hell, if we get stuck with the likes of "Roland Burris" to represent Illinois, knowing that we will not be voting for him in 2010 - the same goes for the replacement of Ted Kennedy seat! but until than, you in Mass. who want to wait five months would not get the full benefits of having two Senators. Think of the leglislation that would not get process in time because of only having one senator.
Learn your politics before you go out hollowing about!

You would think the taxpayers of Mass. would want the governor to seat someone until Nov. of 2010

Republicans PUH-LEEZE when you have the likes of Cheney, Rumsfield, Gonzales, Wofowitz, and Bush let alone the Palin's, O'Reiley's, Beck's, and Limbaugh nuts. Don't come talking about rights and wrongs!

When you look up the word hypocrisy you will find Republicans!

Posted by: danders5000 | August 27, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

political hypocrites do it again,be it dem/rep. citizens have no choice. more voter referendums are required to stop these crooks from doing more damage to our country

Posted by: pofinpa | August 27, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

There seem to be reading comprehension issues here with a lot of the conservative trolls. They aren't proposing to call off the special election, merely to make sure Massachussets has representation for the five months in between now and January.

Posted by: SeanC1 | August 27, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrisy in the government at its finest! What's good for one is surely not good for another; especially depending on who holds what seats and what their agenda is. How unfortunate!

Posted by: sarahw6886 | August 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about the legitimacy of the process?

We'll just change the rules for naked partisan reasons in 2004 and do so again in 2009.

Posted by: bobmoses | August 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the law is quite clear. And quite clearly it is within the state legislature's authority to change the law if they want to.

Posted by: yeswiican | August 27, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse ........

It's also quite clear that Sen Kennedy would never have made the proposal if the sitting Governor was a Republican.

Sen Kennedy was not concerned about the "good people of MA not being respresented," he was concerned that they would not be represented by a Democrat.

Posted by: asmith1 | August 27, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse


So much for the rule of law. Now, it's one law for the Democrats and another law for everyone else.

Posted by: tharper1
-----------------------------------
LOL...the Democrats are everyone else, LOL...anyone outside of the Party is either Independent--who by the way is in support of the Democrats and theose other crazies who are screaming so loud they can't even hear themselves making a fool of themselves, LOL...

Posted by: Beingsensible | August 27, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully they'll be honest and just change the law to read the way they really intended it to.

Something like:

In the event that a Senate seat shall become vacant, if the Governorship is currently held by a Democrat, the Governor shall have the power to appoint a member of the Senate to complete the current term. If the Governorship is held by a Republican, then a special election must be held to fill the seat.

That's what they're really after, right? Go ahead, be honest.

Posted by: etceteraetc75 | August 27, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong with the reading comprehension. The law was initially changed to prevent the very same thing they NOW want to happen. I don't care one way or the other... My only care is that the Dems want it changed both ways to fit their needs. If the law is good for one side, it's good for the other as well. Get a grip!

Posted by: sarahw6886 | August 27, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

They should honor Ted.
He was above the law and so apparently is the Mass. state legislature.

Posted by: smb1 | August 27, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Democrats in Massachusetts are turning the law into a yo-yo, yanking it whatever direction suits them at the moment.

The problem, though, with appointing someone is that it would require amending the law to do so, and if the legislature does this and Patrick appoints someone, that person will need to be someone who has no ambition to run, yet who has an air of credibility and independence. If the person wants to run, then Democrats will be in a lurch come election time because they will have to fight against a semi-incumbent who never won a Senate election, all while recognizing that this person could be vulnerable in an election of the electorate becomes cynical about the partisan games that Democrats are playing with the law.

This is Massachusetts, so it would be hard for a Democrat to lose, but at the same time, how can anyone not be cynical about what Democrats are doing given what they just did in 2004?

Posted by: blert | August 27, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

FIRST THE GOOD NEWS " KENNEDY IS STILL DEAD"
MORE GOOD NEWS , " HE WILL STAY DEAD"

I WOUNDER WHAT HE WILL SAY TO GOD WHEN HE HAS TO EXPLAIN WHY HE GOT DRUNK, DROVE OFF A BRIDGE AND LEFT A YOUNG WOMAN TO DIE BY DROWNING BECAUSE HE WAS A COWARD AND DIDN'T TRY TO SAVE HER ????????

I HOPE THEY THROW OBOZO HEALTH CARE PLAN IN THE GRAVE WITH HIM AND BURY BOTH>>>>

Posted by: TRJ1107 | August 27, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Ironically everyone screaming "hypocrisy" right now no doubt opposed the rule change in 2004 for Kerry. If so they are being just as hypocritical for not wanting it changed back.

Forget the posturing, of course it's about politics. The majority of the legislature and the governor were elected as Democrats and are doing what they think will advance the Democratic issues that they ran on. It's what politicians do, and I think they're being pretty clear about it.

Posted by: justme2727 | August 27, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Per usual. Democrats assert that rules should be for everyone else until it inconveniences their own political agenda. It is only fitting that the Dems agenda dies on the sword of the deceased knight who led them. If they flip flop those laws for this there is no hope for this country full of hypocrites..

Posted by: dangramza | August 27, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Just stuff ol Ted and prop him up in his Senate seat. You don't need a brain to be a Democratic senator, or any other kind of Democrat for that matter.
Just make sure that the hearse doesn't have to cross any bridges.
docfjs

Posted by: docfjs | August 27, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The right-wingers posting their diatribes here and elsewhere are definitely giving conservatism a bad name. Who'd want to support a party of mean-spirited, ill-informed jerks?
In the interest of enlightenment, let's look at the beginning. In 2003, before any changes, the governor of Massachusetts would have appointed somebody to fill out the term of the senator who had died or resigned. That meant that a governor could appoint someone who's political philosophy was diametrically opposed to the senator the people had elected. Is that a good thing? How would you wingnuts like a Democratic governor appointed a Democrat to serve in place of a resigned/deceased Republican until 2012?
The change made in 2004 was a move in the direction of giving the people of Massachusetts the power to choose who would represent them in these special circumstances. If you've got a problem with the people electing those who represent them, the United States is probably not the right place for you; people here take the right to elect pretty seriously. The problem with the change made in 2004 was that it postponed getting the state's full complement of senators back for a minimum of 145 days. Senator Kennedy apparently recognized this and recommended a change that would provide continuity without forcing the people to accept an appointee they hadn't chosen--at least not for long.
If you want to go back, don't go back to the 2004 law; go back to the 2003 law. For that matter, go back to the earliest law passed on the subject in Massachusetts. After all, a law is a law, and laws can't be changed.

Posted by: jlhare1 | August 27, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I live in MA and agree with the posters that said we should not be without representation in the Senate for over 4 months, especially now during the health care debate.
It's unfortunate that the law was changed previously but they should change it back and add an addendum stating that it can't be changed again for 100 years. This is silly, deceitful politics and we deserve better.
It's extremely distateful of those posters who bring up old "sins" of Sen.Kennedy before he is even buried and it has no relevance to the issue at hand.
I'm conservative in my political approach but not affiliated with either party.

Posted by: terry18 | August 27, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Has the Republican Party ever had a Senator as Popular as Edward Kennedy ? OMG, I forgot they had Benedict Arnold didn't they ? His legacy lives on with every elected Republican to this day.

Posted by: wasaUFO | August 27, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that Massachusetts changed its the law when John Kerry was running for President to make sure that the then Governor (a Republican) could not appoint a replacement Senator (Republican) if Kerry's seat became due to winning the Presidency.
But now they have a Democrat Governor they want to change the law back. This changing the law again because they have a Democratic Governor seems a little questionable. If they had done it as soon as Senator Kennedy was diagnosed as having a Brain Tumor, that would have made sense. But now ?

Posted by: Anne501 | August 27, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

No one with any intelligence pays attention to the Republicans, the few who are left spew hate and kiss up to any lobbyist they can find. The party of Bush & "Big Dick" Cheney has taken the same path as the "Gooney Bird" ... they're extinct.

Posted by: wasaUFO | August 27, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Kennedy will forever be associated with the tragedy at Chappaquiddick but at least he's not responsible for 5000 American deaths and thousands more with debilitating injuries in Iraq based on lies and deception. Oh, what short memories Republicans have.

Posted by: tbirdguy | August 27, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Republicans extinct? Enjoy the 2010 elections, buddy.

Posted by: etceteraetc75 | August 27, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Kinda makes ya glad ya don't live in Massachusetts, where hypocrisy is indeed the coin of the realm.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | August 27, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Massachusetts. Crooked and crookider.

Posted by: AWWNats | August 27, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Denny Crane for Senator of Massachusetts!

Posted by: JoeAndy | August 27, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

HYPOCRITES one and all...the democrats have shown themselves for what they are a bunch of hypocrites who for political expediency changed the law a few years back and now decide it is time to change it again to only serve THEIR political needs. I do not care if you are a democrat or republican, this type of maneuvering by either party is despicable and does not serve the constituents. IS IT ANY WONDER OUR DEFICIT JUST HIT $9TRILLION AND KEEPS GROWING. WE HAVE A BUNCH OF MORONS, CROOKS, CHEATS, DRUNKS, MURDERERS AND ADULTERERS [SORRY TEDDY]running the insane asylum...vote each bum out of office if you want to save this country. remember the bad laws they pass do not care if you are a republican or democrat, we all suffer equally.

Posted by: foxwhite1 | August 27, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

For Moonchild64 Why are you so bitter - This man did say he was sorry it was an accident - No doubt you are perfect - not too many of you around. God Bless you anyway. Pru

Posted by: ppeterson1 | August 27, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

In reply to tbirdguy and wasaUFO you guys are typical of the type of voters democrats love to attract, idiots. You two would have been perfect for the OJ jury. Let me see..How many Rwandan were slaughtered because Clinton looked the other way...Some 800000 people were killed in Rwanda's genocide in just 100 days not 5000 soldiers fighting a war both democrats and republicans supported. Only the Republican had the stomach and intelligence to realize a war is not won over night and there are casualties.
To quote The Guardian, a respected UK newspaper, "President Bill Clinton's administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time.

Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene."

You can call republicans anything but the word spineless hypocrites and gutless comes to mind when thinking of the democrats.

Posted by: foxwhite1 | August 27, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The current proposal should have become the law in 2004 - no state should be without its full complement of Senators. The Governor should appoint an interim Senator to represent the State (Commonwealth) until the special election is held and a permanent replacement is elected and sworn in.

Posted by: tmurt | August 27, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The current proposal should have become the law in 2004 - no state should be without its full complement of Senators. The Governor should appoint an interim Senator to represent the State (Commonwealth) until the special election is held and a permanent replacement is elected and sworn in.

Posted by: tmurt | August 27, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

In the vast scheme of things, the petty bleating of the small-minded means nothing.

Posted by: lagnaf | August 27, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy----still buying, lying, and boozing his way even after death !!

Posted by: poordevil | August 27, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Democrat legislature in Massachusetts should dispense with the Senate-appointment problem once and for all.

Pass a law stating that, should a Senate vacancy occur during the tenure of a Democrat governor, said governor shall appoint an interim Senator with all due haste, and

should a Senate vacancy occur during the tenure of a Republican governor, the senatorial seat shall remain vacant until such time as a special election is held.

This avoids the current messy process of changing the law every time a vacancy looms (or occurs) following a change of parties in the statehouse.

And it stacks the deck, also once and for all, exactly as the Democrat legislators want.

Posted by: AdrianWMetz | August 27, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

A bit of information for those of you who believe Sen. Kennedy was doped up on morphine when he wrote his letter, brain cancer patients don't experience pain like other cancer patients. Sen. Kennedy was not prescribed morphine. He would have been prescribed anti-seizure medications, which do not have the same affect that morphine has.

Posted by: mkwagner54 | August 27, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Adrian

Interesting thought a discriminatory law that would be struck down by any State Supreme Court, even if they agreed with it. But at least such a law would guarantee a Democratic Senator until struck down.

Posted by: Anne501 | August 27, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

annlawler26: "Well, to be exact, if you refer back to the bible ---
Jesus was addressing a group of folks for tormenting a defenseless prostitute....big difference."

Well, to be exact, Jesus never actually said that. That whole incident of the adulteress about to be stoned by an angry mob recounted in Chapter 8 of the Book of John never even appeared in the earliest Biblical texts. It was added around the 9th century A.D. by some anonymous scribe who was hand-copying the Book of John into a new manuscript.

Off-topic, I know.

Posted by: whatmeregister | August 27, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

What is tragic is that a man who plead guilty to leaving a person to die, "I didn't know if she made or not" can run for and fill a office of public service after pleading guilty to a felony. Oh wait even back then, just like the 3 DUIs for GW Bush, it suddenly wansn't a felony for that person.
Major politicans all lie cheat and steal to get elected to office, and they continue to do so to continue to be elected. Where is the surprise? There shouldn't be any.
Sen. Kennedy is dead, he has paid the price for his sins. How about the rest of the politicians who are once again figuring how to change the law so that it isn't broken.

Posted by: bldgcode1 | August 27, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

If they change this law again it will prove that politician have no morals or shame. I can't see the Democrats being that stupid.

Posted by: justamaz | August 27, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Here is an idea for all you republican haters out there. Win an election. Then you can make the laws. Truth

Posted by: igsoper | August 27, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

You can call republicans anything but the word spineless hypocrites and gutless comes to mind when thinking of the democrats.

I can call the republicans lots of things. But in the spirit of Ted Kennedy I will refrain. We must follow his example, stop all the hating and try to get along.

Posted by: igsoper | August 27, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of having/making laws if the person that writes the laws can change them at will to suit all of his own purposes? Is this a sample of democracy? Or is it a sample of democracy run amuck?

Posted by: cjones210 | August 27, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that all of Senator Kennedy's detractors should go ahead and list the skeletons in THEIR closets. It's easy when you are anonymous, but the Senator clearly did not have that on his side. Also, read his accomplishments and take an HONEST look at how his dedication to his work has had a positive influence on your friends, family and country.
We cannot all be perfect like you folks.
So how about it-anyone care to start by revealing ONE HORRIBLE THING YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR LIFE?
I thought so.
From a Proud Kennedy supporter,
Dave

Posted by: thinknow1 | August 27, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Just embalm Smilin' Ted, sit him in his senate chair and have someone say "Aye" for any piece of legislation that is as liberal as he was. That way, he can keep his seat and still vote. That is better than when Obama voted just "Present."

Posted by: PalmSpringsGirl | August 27, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

How disgusting. Daval Patrick has no class if he supports this.

The Democrats wanted the law changed to allow for a special election so they could prevent Governor Mitt Romney from appointing someone in '04 and now they need to live with the consequences of their decision and let the people of the State do without representation until a special election occurs.

They simply should not be allowed to change the rules randomly to whatever benefits the Democrat Party. And Ted Kennedy should have had more class than to recommend this in his dying day Talk about flip-floppers; I thought Kennedy had conviction but apparently he was one himself.

Posted by: Ci2Eye | August 27, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

thinknow1 aka Dave - sure, I've done more than a few untoward things in my life.

But, try as I may, I can't remember the last time I left a young lady to die a long and agonizing death while I made off to construct my alibi and sleep my drunkeness off.

Perhaps my memory is faing me.

Posted by: AdrianWMetz | August 27, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

CONSIDER FORMER SEN. ED BROOKE

Instead of choosing from a short list of Democrats, I would appoint a Republican to fill Kennedy's seat, but one who would pledge to vote for healthcare reform. I would consider Edward Brooke (R-MA), the first black Senator since Reconstruction and former Ranking Member of the Banking Committee. He was influential during the Nixon Administration (when Nixon was supportive of healthcare reform), although he was a Rockefeller Republican. Sen. Brooke was also very active in healthcare policy while in the Senate and active as well on equality of opportunity issues (particularly housing programs). He and Birch Bayh, before Kennedy, led the fight on Title IX funding as well, although Sen. Kennedy was ultimately Title IX's most successful champion.

Posted by: fentry2001 | August 28, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I live in MA and the Dems will do what they please. They should be honest and just pass a law that says if the Governor is a Democrat appoint...or if the Governor is a Republican...special election. The Globe supports the hypocrisy. Why should they care...the last time the law was changed it was done with the legislature hooting and hollaring like little boys in a playground. Can't wait to see the repeat of that. Until the voters in MA wise-up ...we deserve what we get.

Posted by: KathyCorey | August 28, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

This argumentation is kind of pointless. First Mass has the right to change it's law. However if Mass passed the law prior to the vacancy then the governor could appoint a temporary senator. Now that there is a vacancy the law that exists when the vacancy occurs is the law that has to be followed. If Mass changes it's law it will apply to the next vacancy not this one. So if Mass changes it's law there will be an injunction filed if the governor tries to appoint a temporary replacement for the current vacancy.

Posted by: DonPC | August 31, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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